Thursday, 7 July 2011
Looking At Labels
BBC 3 has a good and informative series on called Kill It, Cut It, Use It. I was transfixed the other night watching about the animal by-products that are used in our everyday cosmetic, clothing and house hold items. It's nuts. I really would watch it if you're able to - I know that due to licencing laws iplayer isn't available to everyone.
The beauty industry is hugely guilty of using all kinds of animal by-products and it's not always clear on the packaging about what's in our soaps and lipsticks. Here are a couple things from the programme - try and look for them and then make the choice to buy or not to buy.
Chitosan. Used in hair products, anti aging creams and serums, toothpastes etc.
I am not a chemist so I am not going to go into all the details but basically to make a long story short it's shrimp shells. It's used in a lot of products like hairspray. When it's mixed with a few other chemicals it creates a flexible but firm like texture which we like to spray out of a can onto our hair or spread over our face to firm up. Even Kiehl's will use this in some products (ex: Kiehl's Marine Firming Serum).
Lanolin. It and its many derivatives are used extensively in products designed for the protection, treatment and beautification of human skin.
So basically it's wool grease. The sheep and lambs are not hurt in the making of lanolin.You'll find it in a lot of baby products, eye care, makeup, makeup removers, shaving creams and other lotions. There are a couple problems with lanolin - it can cause an allergic reaction and after a little research it I found there have been a small number of cases in which the sheep ate the grass that has been polluted by pesticides or other chemicals and whatever it eats it excretes. Therefore it's in the skin which creates the grease which you then put on your face to absorb into your body now. Gross.
You could say that shrimp shells and wool grease are going to waste anyhow but if you're a vegan or you feel strongly about creatures in general this isn't always clearly labelled on the packaging like the way it is with food. There are a few good companies that give choice.