Ingredients | Healthy Living

Whats Not in The Naked Chemist

At the Naked Chemist, we are dedicated to incorporating ingredients that promote skin health.

We focus on skin-identical components that seamlessly integrate with the skin.

Ingredients that bolster the skin’s barrier function.

That also balances pH and preserves the protective acid mantle.

Transparency is paramount to our beauty philosophy.

What we include in our products is as crucial as what we omit.

We have compiled a list of ingredients that we choose to exclude from our formulations:

Whats Not in the Naked Chemist

#1: Fragrances

Commonly Found In Perfumes, colognes, deodorants, and various personal care products, including those labelled as “fragrance-free” or “unscented,” as well as laundry detergents, softeners, and cleaning products.

Concerns

Complex Chemical Mixtures: The term “fragrance” or “parfum” on a cosmetic ingredients list typically denotes a complex blend of numerous chemicals. Approximately 3,000 chemicals are used in fragrance formulations. Even products marketed as “fragrance-free” may contain fragrance and masking agents to conceal odour perception, so we omit them from our formulas here at the Naked Chemist.

Health Risks: Many fragrance ingredients have not undergone toxicity testing, individually or in combination. Unlisted fragrance ingredients can act as irritants, triggering allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms. Studies have shown that perfumes and colognes can trigger asthma attacks in a significant portion of individuals, exacerbating existing conditions and potentially contributing to the development of asthma in children.

Asthma Triggers: Fragrances are known to exacerbate asthma symptoms and can be a trigger for asthma attacks. Perfumes and colognes have been found to induce attacks in a substantial number of asthmatics, highlighting the respiratory risks associated with fragrance exposure.

Sensitivity triggers: Individuals with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) or environmentally linked illnesses are particularly at risk, with fragrances implicated in both the onset of these conditions and the triggering of symptoms. However, anyone may experience skin irritation, runny eyes, or nasal symptoms due to fragrance exposure.

Environmental Impact: Synthetic musks used in fragrances raise ecological concerns due to their persistence in the environment and bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms. Several synthetic musks have been categorised as manipulative or toxic, posing risks to both environmental and human health.

In summary, fragrances pose potential risks to both individual health, particularly respiratory health for asthmatics, and the environment, highlighting the need for greater transparency and regulation in the fragrance industry.

#2: Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

Commonly Found In Body washes, shampoos, toothpaste, exfoliants, moistmoisturisers, and shaving creams.

Purpose: It creates foam and acts as a grease disperser.

Concerns

Skin Irritant: SLS is known to damage the protective outer layer of skin, aggravating conditions like eczema and psoriasis and causing dermatitis. It is so widely recognised that it is often used as a standard comparison for testing the irritancy of other ingredients. It can trigger allergic or sensitising % to 5% concentrations.

Penetration Enhancer: SLS can increase the absorption of other chemicals by altering the skin structure, potentially leading to greater exposure to harmful substances.

Environmental Impact: This ingredient is less biodegradable and has a higher ecological footprint than traditional soaps, contributing to environmental degradation.

Sensory Appeal: While foam production might appeal to sensory preferences, it doesn’t unnecessarily enhance cleanliness. The “squeaky clean” feeling associated with SLS use often indicates skin irritation, which can exacerbate skin problems.

pH Imbalance: Many cleansers with harsh surfactants like SLS have an alkaline pH (greater than 8.0), disrupting the skin’s natural acid mantle and increasing bacterial presence. This contrasts with milder surfactants, which have a pH closer to the skin’s natural level (around 5.5) and are less irritating. This is why, here at the Naked Chemist, we choose to add these mild surfactants to our formulas.

#3: Paraffinium Liquidium (Mineral Oil)

Commonly Found In Baby products, facial cleansers (especially acne treatments), eye creams, foundations, lipsticks, lip gloss, hand lotions, concealer, face powder, hair colours, and styling creams.

Purpose: Acts as a film-former on the skin’s surface, leaving a shiny film.

Concerns

Mimics Oil but Lacks Function: Mineral oil mimics natural oils but lacks their beneficial properties, making it a cheap alternative rather than a functional ingredient.

Unsuitable for Baby Care: Mineral oil is unnecessary for infants, especially during the first 12 weeks of life, and may disrupt the delicate balance of the skin’s acid mantle.

Potential for Acne Promotion: Forms a surface film that can trap dirt and toxins under the skin, potentially promoting acne.

Photosensitivity: Mineral oil is associated with increased photosensitivity, raising skin damage risk upon exposure to the sun.

#4: Parabens

It is commonly Found In Creams, body washes, toothpaste, antiperspirants, shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics, bath oils, and other toiletries.

Purpose: Used as preservatives to prolong the shelf life of products.

Concerns

Hormone Disruption: Parabens are estrogenic, meaning they disrupt hormones and may pose risks to human health, especially in young individuals.

Environmental Impact: These chemicals are absorbed by the skin and eventually enter the water table, impacting aquatic ecosystems. Certain parabens have been detected in the breast tissue of women with breast cancer.

Preservative Use: Parabens facilitate the extended shelf life of cosmetics, up to eight years. While this reduces manufacturing costs, it raises concerns about product safety and efficacy over time.

Our Approach: At Naked Chemist, we advocate for skincare products with shorter shelf lives, reflecting our belief in using fresh, influential formulations. Just as we wouldn’t use eight-year-old ingredients in our kitchen, we apply the same logic to our skincare products. We prioritise extended shelf life, avoiding high levels of preservatives in our formulations.

#5: Triclosan

Commonly Found In Hand washes, wipes, deodorant soaps, feminine hygiene sprays, foot odour preparations, and lotions.

Purpose: An antibacterial agent used to kill germs.

Concerns

Questionable Effectiveness: The necessity of using antibacterial agents like triclosan in daily life is debatable, as most household germs pose minimal threat to human health.

Contribution to Antibiotic Resistance: Triclosan’s use is linked to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which poses a significant global health threat.

Skin Irritation: Triclosan can be harsh on the skin and may exacerbate conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Environmental Impact: Triclosan’s widespread use contributes to environmental pollution and poses risks to aquatic ecosystems.

Potential Health Risks: Animal studies have suggested that triclosan may penetrate the skin and cause liver problems.

#6: Formaldehyde

Commonly Found In Soaps, shampoos, and specific nail polish formulations.

Concerns

Skin Irritation and Allergies: Formaldehyde, commonly used as a preservative, may provoke skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals, according to experts.

Allergenic Potential: A 13-year retrospective study highlighted toluene-sulfonamide-formaldehyde resin (R-TSF or TSFR), found in nail polish, as one of the most common allergens identified through patch tests.

Carcinogenicity: Formaldehyde is known as a carcinogen, although exposure to hazardous levels typically occurs through inhalation rather than topical application. Data suggests that direct skin contact with formaldehyde in personal care products poses minimal cancer risk.

Keratin Hair Smoothing Treatments: The American Cancer Society notes that formaldehyde levels in shampoos are typically well below hazardous thresholds. However, keratin hair smoothing treatments may elevate indoor air concentrations to dangerous health-related levels.

#7: Alcohol

Commonly Found In Skincare products, particularly those marketed for oily or acne-prone skin, toners, astringents, and some makeup products.

Concerns

Short-Term Benefits, Long-Term Consequences: SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol offer immediate benefits like quick-drying and degreasing, making them appealing, especially for oily skin. However, research indicates that using these damaging alcohols on the skin can lead to irritation, lipid depletion, and free radical damage, causing inflammation throughout the skin.

This inflammation stimulates neuropeptides in the oil glands, increasing oil production and exacerbating oily skin concerns in the long run.

Chain Reaction of Inflammation: The inflammation triggered by alcohol application can increase oil production, resulting in oily skin, bumps, and visibly enlarged pores. Numerous studies have linked the androgen activity prompted by irritating forms of alcohol to heightened oil production and acne breakouts.

Counterproductive Effects: Alcohol-based products may initially provide a matte finish by degreasing the skin, but this effect is short-lived. Over time, the damage caused by alcohol can lead to shinier skin, creating a counterproductive cycle of oiliness and inflammation.

Alternative: Fatty alcohols, unlike their volatile counterparts, are non-irritating and can offer significant benefits for the skin without the negative consequences associated with damaging alcohols.

If you are keen to learn more, our article, The Seven Deadly Skin Sins, covers this topic in more detail.

To conclude. The Naked Chemist

In this article, we have discussed whats not in the Naked Chemist products.

Our unwavering dedication to promoting skin health drives us to meticulously select ingredients that seamlessly integrate with the skin’s natural processes.

We prioritise skin-identical components that strengthen the skin’s barrier function, balance its pH, and preserve its protective acid mantle.

Transparency is at the core of our beauty philosophy, underscoring the importance of what we include in our products just as much as what we exclude.

To uphold this commitment, we have identified and excluded certain ingredients from our formulations due to their potential health and environmental risks.

For instance, fragrances, often comprising complex chemical mixtures, can trigger allergies, migraines, asthma symptoms, and multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) while posing significant ecological concerns due to their persistence and bioaccumulation.

Similarly, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a known skin irritant that can exacerbate conditions like eczema and psoriasis, act as a penetration enhancer for other chemicals, and disrupt the skin’s pH balance.

Mineral oil, despite mimicking natural oils, lacks its beneficial properties and can promote acne by trapping dirt and toxins, in addition to increasing photosensitivity.

Parabens, commonly used as preservatives, disrupt hormones and pose environmental risks. They have been detected in aquatic ecosystems and breast tissue. We advocate for products with shorter shelf lives, reflecting our belief in fresh, potent formulations.

Triclosan, an antibacterial agent, is linked to antibiotic resistance, skin irritation, and environmental pollution.

Formaldehyde, known for causing skin irritation and allergic reactions, is also a potential carcinogen, especially in high-exposure scenarios such as keratin hair treatments.

Additionally, while certain alcohols offer short-term benefits like quick drying, they can lead to long-term skin irritation, lipid depletion, and inflammation, ultimately exacerbating oily skin concerns.

At The Naked Chemist, our commitment to clean and effective skincare drives us to continually scrutinise and refine our ingredient choices, ensuring we provide safe and beneficial products for both your skin and the environment.

3 replies on “Whats Not in The Naked Chemist”

hello, I think what you are doing is great. your info is very helpful and well written. hope you don’t mind but I am going to share you page on my business and personal Facebook page.

thanks anne

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