Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fletch Shampoo - What's In It?

I went and bought some shampoo yesterday from the supermarket. There are a lot of shampoos and conditioners and moisturizers and such. These days I get a fright when I look at the list of chemicals on the back of the bottle. What are they? What do they do? And, more to the point, are they safe?

So, I had a nosey around the internet.

I found a list HERE of common shampoo ingredients and what they are supposed to do.
OK, fair enough, but are they safe?

Apparently not all of them are. I found this site with a plethora of articles (check out the one about chloroform in your toothpaste). According to this site and others, a lot of these fragrances, shampoos and health products aren't tested because the FDA doesn't require companies to test their own products for safety.

To check on your favourite cosmetic or fragrance check out the Skin Deep site - enter the name or the company that produces it and check if it's safe or not.

I'm not trying to scaremonger, but it's good to know what's in the stuff we buy if you're curious. One of the articles no newstarget even suggests that some ingredients may cause obesity.

I think my next stop is going to be The Body Shop. Maybe their stuff will be different.
Note: this post does not mean I agree with the Govt restricting health supplements and what-not. I think that prescription drugs do more harm than any supplement.

16 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Body Shop actively promoted the anti-smacking bill.

I.M Fletcher said...

hmm, true, true - what am I going to wash my hair with then? :P

KG said...

I dunno, Fletch--I've been using whatever I can get my hands on to wash my hair for close on sixty years now and it hasn't fallen out or anything.
And I don't even glow in the dark. :-

Anonymous said...

Rocks :D

Anonymous said...

A while ago the Body Shop got stung in the UK for actually making moisturisers and such that contained amounts of fats and oils taken from aborted children. I kid you not. Ever since then we've kinda stayed away from them.

Besides, MrsTips reminds me of the fact that in 10-15 years time shampoo may not be required for me....

Lucia Maria said...

Fletch, I've stopped worrying about all that stuff. Years ago, when I thought I ought to use less chemical products, I bought some body shop cleansers and moisturisers and then broke out in a rash. I've since been a lot more careful with Body shop, but right now I'm boycotting them because of the anti-smacking thing they championed.

I'd recommend Lush instead. Smells yummier, too.

Ashley Clarkson said...

"I bought some body shop cleansers and moisturisers and then broke out in a rash."

I can't even walk into the store - the smell of the herbs or whatever it is they put in their stuff plays havoc with my sinuses. I had some manuka stuff (I think it was manuka) from them when I was in my teens and had problems with acne - absolutely hopeless. Eventually I went on roaccutane (I think that's the name) - couple of runs at it and that was that dealt with. I tend to fix "natural" solutions with a jaundiced eye now, though not completely averse to using them.

To be honest, I don't bother looking at what shampoo I use, though what I use doesn't seem that harsh on my hair (which is receding sadly, at age 21...).

I have a friend who is really into checking everything out - apparently some shampoos are carcinogenic because of the ingredients in them - but then so is black licorice. Pick and choose what you want to kill yourself with I guess.

I.M Fletcher said...

Cool, more food for thought.
ps, I think it's the tea-tree oil and shampoo that is good for the skin (acne etc).

Ashley Clarkson said...

Yes, it would have been tea-tree oil (manuka oil). Didn't work. For some people it needs to be treated with drugs (unless you can live with the scarring), because other solutions can't cope with the underlying problem (which is to do with excess production of sebum or something), but merely try and treat the symptoms.

Greg said...

Yes, alternative health care has been around for a long time and is much better than scientifically tested medicines.
That's why human life expectancy has fallen during the dominance of western medicine.

Oh, whoops, no it hasn't. It's Western medicine that has raised life expectancy over the last 100 years not the ancient "wisdom" of alternative theraphies!

I.M Fletcher said...

Greg, OK, but more people die each year from the effects of prescribed drugs than they do from supplements.
Check out the graph here - (source, New Zealand Government & associated organisations' reports and databases - 1998 last year stats available)

Link -

According to the results, 1524 died from adverse drug reaction, 669 died from highly preventable adverse drug reaction, while ZERO died from natural healthcare & therapeutic products.

I'm not saying drugs are bad, but I think the Govt needs to have a bit of perspective.

Greg said...

Being devil's advocate against popular received wisdom:

1. What are you advocating? Is it taking a multi-vitamin (no contest) or is it the hoary alternative (mystical) vs conventional medicine (scientific) debate?

1. Certainly people do die (no contest) but how many more SURVIVE because of the intervention of prescription drugs?

2. Saying supplements are less dangerous is not helpful because the truth might be that particular supplements might be doing NOTHING at all, good or bad! Nothing except making MONEY for the retailer!

3. Doesn't the argument for alternative theraphy incude the assertion that "older is better", that their is "ancient wisdom", and that pharmeceuticals are inherrently anglocentric, colonial, and denies diverse understandings of experience?
The fact remains that "alternative" theraphies existed long before the rise of modern medicine and it is modern medicine that has advanced average human life span beyond 35-45 years. The numbers are quite stark.
(Met anyone with TB, Polio, or Smallpox recently?)

4. On the other hand, I take a multi-vitamin but don't fret about its origin because vitamins are the same chemical regardless of source. I am also very angry at the apparent lack of responsibility in NZ for medical malpracice.

Greg said...

"ZERO died from natural healthcare & therapeutic products."

That's could be there is no effect! A classic example is Manntech Sugar theraphy. Their product cures everything but if you interpret teh ingredients you find all it contains is rice-flour and gum arabic!!
Of course there's no harm!!
Unless you count the suction on your money!

How many people are wearing magnetic braclets or buying Murray Deaker's BioMag underlay because they can't get a hip-replacement? Isn't that just feeding off weakness?

I.M Fletcher said...

Greg, I understand that. I don't really take any vitamins, apart from the odd Vitamin C when I get a cold. My mum takes quite a lot though and she reckons they do her a world of good. Who knows..

I think though that there might be a lot of wisdom in age-old remedies that have once been dismissed and now are being brought back because of the benefits - eg, leeches, and putting maggots in wounds to eat away the rotten flesh that the scalpel can't reach etc. That's not to say that I dismiss drugs, although I think they're being used way too much which is why we're getting the superbugs coming in which antibiotics can't kill. We'll probably have to go on to bacteriophages like the Russians do.

Anonymous said...

Try Lush, I find their products really good and they're natural.

Greg said...

It aggravates me that consumers assume that alternative therapists are not motivated by money as much as pharma companies. Why? Because the nice lady in the healthshop really cares! What, she don't have a mortgage to meet? She's a charity is she?

Last time I checked BioMag, Bob Charles Deer Velvet, NeoLife vitamins, and Mannatech essential sugars, inter alia and the various tonics and elixirs are bought with cold hard cash$$$.
Alternative theraphy is business. Business that is built on consumer enthusiams not on scientific examination.

Just as lefty commentators always question who's funding a righty pundit no-one seems to flip the question and ask who's funding the lefty commentator!?
Ditto, alt theraphy, why are they so scared of regulation?? Because it'll hit them in the pocket!

You say there is ZERO harm, well what theraphy was former Green Leader Rod Donald probably using?? There is harm there. ;\

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