If you’re browsing our website, there’s a pretty good chance you’re interested in natural skin and hair care. Maybe it’s because you believe, as we do, that natural ingredients give you far better long-term results. Or perhaps it’s because you want to avoid using products with a long list of unpronounceable synthetic ingredients.
These days, ingredients obviously don’t make their way into health and beauty products unless they’ve been approved as ‘safe’. However, ingredients which have been deemed safe in the past have ended up being quietly banned when investigation has revealed significant risks. What’s more, little research is done on the combined effects of using multiple products, which, considering the amount of toxins we can inhale or absorb through our skin every day, is pretty worrying.
At Akamuti, we prefer to err on the side of caution. Our products are all 100% natural. We don’t use any artificial preservatives, phthalates, perfumes, colours or any other synthetic ingredients.
But what about if you’re buying from another health and beauty brand? What ingredients might you want to avoid then? Well, the main ones you might want to steer clear of, in my opinion, are:
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
SLS is cheap, effective and gives you a nice lather. So you’ll find it in everything from toothpaste to bubble bath. However, it’s a bit too effective – stripping the skin and hair of their natural oils along with any dirt. Some people can use it with little side effects, but others end up with very dry, sensitive skin, and frizzy hair. Other people find that their skin starts to overcompensate, and produce excess oil, so they get oily skin or greasy hair. SLS is also a known irritant, so can exacerbate conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Parabens are synthetic preservatives, some of which are based on natural preservatives found in fruit and vegetables. The debate still rages over how safe they are. Parabens have been found in tumours, so some people believe that they cause cancer, but as yet there does not seem to be any actual evidence that this is the case. However, again, we prefer to err on the side of caution by not using them.
Phthalates are found in a multitude of items. They soften plastics, so you’ll find them in lots of household products, from food packaging to flooring. They also help to lock in colour and scent, which is why they’re used in the cleaning and beauty industries. Phthalates are thought to be endocrine-disrupters and have been linked to a variety of health issues. There are several different types of phthalates, some of which are now banned for use in cosmetics. You won’t usually find any listed as ‘phthalates’ on an ingredients list, so if you want to avoid them search out brands that proclaim they’re ‘phthalate-free’ or ‘100% natural’.
If the above has given you food for thought, please let me reiterate that none of our products contain SLS, phthalates, parabens or any other chemical nasties. What’s more, we give preference to gentle natural ingredients that are the least likely to cause skin irritation. We list the full ingredients of all of our products on our website, to make it easier for you to check whether they’re suitable for you. You can buy from us in safety, whether you’re shopping for lip balm or body moisturiser.
We’re also very careful about packaging. All our tubs and bottles are BPA and phthalate-free, so there’s no chance of anything undesirable leaching into the product.
One of the benefits of using natural ingredients is there’s no need to test on animals. We have a very strict animal testing policy – we have never tested any of our products on animals, or asked anyone to do it for us, and we never will. We source ingredients from animal-friendly suppliers, and have a strict cut-off date for testing. (Read more about our policy here.)
Want to find out more about chemicals of concern? Check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website: www.safecosmetics.org