Does your facial cleanser or shampoo look like it contains strawberries, avocados, oranges or other premium ingredients? If it’s a commercial product, this is certainly due to artificial colors and fragrances intended to deceive you, and have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any actual product ingredients! As pretty as many of these artificial scents and color additives may look and smell, in point of fact, many of them are actually made from Coal Tar and Heavy Metals like lead, which adds to our body’s toxic load and implicates in hundreds of diseases. .
Why You Should be Concerned:
In today’s world, the entire cosmetic industry (encompassing skincare, hair care, and makeup) with such products as shampoos, shower gels, lotions, serums, gels etc, is rampant with Artificial Colors, Dyes and Fragrances which are nothing but synthetic chemicals that can increase our risks of systemic cytotoxicity. Let’s face it, natural ingredients are quite expensive, and take extra precautions in manufacturing (must be made in small batches and kept fresh…again expensive!). And we all know that big commercial corporation are all about bottom line profits. Even if your product only contains a single dye in its formulation, you can actually be exposed to a dozen of chemicals that can impact your DNA.
Here are some preliminary methods to identify if a product that contains synthetic dyes:
- The ingredient list contains azo dyes, anthraquinones, and phthalocyanines which are linked to advanced health and environmental negative effects. These are usually ‘bright’, ‘clean’ and, ‘transparent’ colors.
- The presence of CI (Color Index) and/or D&C and FD&C codes on the label.
- ‘Organic’ pigments (not the botanical ones) and Lakes are generally insoluble and opaque. Lake tars are known to cause allergic reactions for many individuals.
The Impact of Color Additives
Most products that contain harmful color additives contain a miniscule percentage of the synthetic compound. Currently, the US FDA hasn’t banned the usage of most commonly used synthetic colors that are derived from coal tar (containing lead and arsenic at the rate of less than 10 ppm and compounds such as 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine). However, they come with certain restrictions in terms of their usage, which some companies simply do not follow. Coal tar is commonly used in hair colors, many dandruff therapy shampoos etc. FDA claims that these additives are not toxic, even though current research shows they are potentially carcinogenic and can cause serious problems if used for longer periods of time. Some of these dyes are associated with thyroid malfunctioning, hyperactivity and kidney tumors.
How You are Being Deceived:
Though color additives are one of the most tightly regulated groups of ingredients, there are still many under-researched chemicals that are being added to products which are not currently regulated by the FDA.
FDA categorizes color additives of being – ‘organic’ and ‘inorganic’, however, people often are deceived by the word ‘organic’ in this context, which doesn’t mean ‘safe’ or ‘natural’ but merely means that the compound structures include carbon atoms. These are primarily manufactured in the form of synthetic dyes and “lakes”. On the other hand, inorganic additives contain mineral based colors such as iron oxides, ultramarines, manganese, titanium dioxide, ferric ferrocyanide, chromium oxide and zinc oxides. These chemicals when used in your daily personal care and skincare products can cause sensitization, allergies and toxic exposure in the long run.
The concern here is, that the terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are currently quite unregulated, as a result of which most products that claim to be 100% organic may still contain compounds such as iron oxides and synthetics that probably won’t show any symptoms, but secretly they aren’t good for your health over time.
The Way Out
The FDA also categorizes another group as truly organic, and that is the ‘Botanical Group’ which contain truly natural colors, wherein the final product hasn’t been altered to enhance its color. These include naturally derived ingredients such as turmeric, spirulina, molasses, henna, cocoa, clays (like French Green Clay and Bentonite White Clay), charcoal, beetroot, papaya and honey, naturally derived/ essential oils etc. So, if you are using a beauty product where you may see slight color differences in different batches of products, then this is completely normal and an indicator of the product being naturally derived. Heavily colored products are less likely to be found in formulations that contain 100% botanical ingredients.
Before you begin a product search, keep in mind to look for professional skin, hair, and personal care products that are labeled as being free from synthetic fragrances, parfumes, artificial dyes, Parabens, phthalates and DEA, at the very least. PuraVeda Organics uses a combination of natural and clinically proven skin care ingredients that ensure you can solve your skin care issues effectively, without your system being exposed to toxic chemicals.
Synthetic additives, colorants, dyes, and lakes, or whatever else they may be called, may make the product look appealing, but they don’t do anything positive for your health. Read your labels carefully, and make an effort to use botanical alternatives for you and your family.
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