Concerns with Chemicals: What should you really be on the lookout for?
Now more than ever, when social media controls much of the content we consume, it’s easy to believe everything you read, especially if you think there is a potential risk to a loved one. This has become increasingly true of content regarding chemicals and what chemicals are safe to use in your home and around your family. It’s easy to create a quick graphic that illustrates the potential dangers of using a specific chemical in your skincare products, but part of the challenge with these types of illustrations is that they often leave off important details.
Increasingly chemicals have been observed as an either/or situation. Either a chemical is clean, uncontaminated, natural, and pure or it is dirty, contaminated, unnatural, and impure. But the truth is, our perceptions of risk factors associated with chemicals are frequently skewed.
In reality, anything we put on our body or consume contains chemicals. Formaldehyde, which, under prolonged exposure in high levels has been linked to some cancers, is also present in apples, pears, & bananas, the same fruit that we feed to our families on a regular basis. It occurs naturally, including in the human body. The primary difference is the quantity. In fruits, the levels of formaldehyde are dramatically low (parts-per-million) that the benefits of consuming fruit outweigh any cause for concern.
As another example, take a look at Quaternium-15. It’s a preservative we use in some of our products. If we didn’t have preservatives in our products, our lotions, shampoos, and soaps would be a breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria. We’ve had several customers ask about our use of this chemical because, when stored above 140° F, Quanternium-15 can decompose into formaldehyde. Our typical product contains around 0.1% Quanternium-15 which means if it were to decompose into formaldehyde, the remaining amount would be tiny, measured in parts-per-million much like the formaldehyde levels contained in apples, pears, & bananas. There is a far higher and more concerning risk in letting bacteria breed in our products than there is in using the chemical Quaternium-15 to preserve our products.
The most important thing, in our opinion, when evaluating products is looking at the context around chemical usage. Ask questions if you are unsure but completely outlawing the use of any chemical you aren’t familiar with can make it difficult to create an effective product.
When it doubt, ask rather than retreat. Any company you buy from should be willing to answer your questions without judgement or condemnation. We always take concerns with our ingredients seriously and are continually evaluating the chemicals we use in our products with independent microbiologists and federal regulatory entities. More than anything we want to deliver top quality products that are safe and effective. If you have questions about a specific ingredient we use please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.