Ingredient of the Week

a Salon Naturals blog

Preservatives and the Formation of Benzene

Benzene may be formed when benzoic acid is combined with ascorbic acid.

However, the joint presence of benzoic acid and Vitamin C does not create – on its own – sufficient conditions to form Benzene.  Other factors influencing the formation of benzene include:

  • Concentrations of benzoic acid & vitamin C;
  • The existence of certain minerals, including copper and/or iron sulphate;
  • The pH levels of the products containing these additives;
  • Exposure to UV Light.

Addressing each of these individually:

Concentration:

The preservative used in the products offered by Salon Naturals is present in a concentration of roughly one-half of one percent.  The presence of Sodium Benzoate represents slightly less than half of that.

The essential oils used in the line are present in a concentration of roughly one-quarter of one percent.

Considering the extremely low concentration of the two components needed to result in the formation of Benzene, there is no scientific evidence at present that this possibility exists on a realistic level.  All research studies that successfully achieved the formation of Benzene through the combination of Benzoic Acid & Vitamin C did so using concentrations ranging between 4500% and 60,000% higher than those present in personal care formulations.

Copper, Iron Sulphate, Other Minerals

None of these minerals are present in the formulations on any level that can be detected in a laboratory setting.  The absence of these minerals significantly impedes the conditions necessary for Benzene formation.

pH Levels

Benzene formation has been found to occur primarily in extremely acidic conditions.  A pH of 3 or less is considered the pH level optimally needed for the combination of Benzoic Acid & Vitamin C to result in the formation of Benzene.  The pH of the formulations created by Salon Naturals range between 5.5 and 6.5.

Exposure to UV Light

All products tested that demonstrated a propensity to form Benzene through the combination of Benzoic Acid & Vitamin C were heavily exposed to UV light for long periods of time.  In contrast, the products in question are immediately bottled and stored in opaque containers that offer no potential for UV exposure.

Summary

Although there is significant research and resulting scientific opinions available concerning the formation of Benzene when Benzoic Acid and Vitamin C are combined, in actuality, this is a difficult thing to achieve.  The absence of even one of the conditions outlined above diminishes the possibility of the formation of Benzene significantly.  The absence of two or more of them results in a scenario approaching impossibility.

It is also important to note that Benzoic Acid and Vitamin C are present together in a large number of fruits – cranberries are an example of this.  There is no evidence that the joint presence of these two additives results in the presence of Benzene in these foods.

Finally, it is worth stating that there have been no studies conducted on the likelihood that Benzoic Acid and Vitamin C may or may not form Benzene in any formulations other than ingestible beverages.  100% of the research studies given serious consideration by the scientific community focused solely on the soft drink and non-alcoholic beverage industries.

Benzene is an environmental pollutant and is most frequently ingested via the respiratory system.  The primary source of Benzene exposure is through petrol that is emitted into the air from exhaust gases.  In no way do we question the toxicity of Benzene or the importance that should be placed on avoiding unnecessary exposure to it. 

Our research of this subject, however, has left us extremely comfortable with the conviction that the particular circumstances surrounding the use of Benzoic Acid and Vitamin C in our hair care products will not result in the formation of Benzene.

July 18, 2011 Posted by | Ingredient of the Week - Yummy! | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Hair Product Company Claims Hair Care Industry Not Honest About Ingredients

WICHITA, Kan. / As important health and safety distinctions like “natural” hair care product or “organic” shampoo continue to be reduced to meaningless hair care industry buzz words, one healthy hair care product company is fighting back to help create a safer, more informed customer. Salon Naturals, an environmentally and ethically conscious hair care product manufacturer not only puts the ingredients of its shampoos and conditioners on its website, it also explains the ingredients’ effects (both positive and negative), and will send customers to websites that have reviewed the ingredients so they can get third-party information and research. 

The company says honesty and transparency are born out of necessity because there is no mandatory pre-market testing for cosmetics ingredients in the United States. In fact, only one in 10 cosmetic ingredients is even tested for safety, and that’s by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, a group founded by leaders in the cosmetic industry. The Food and Drug Administration has no authority over cosmetics other than labeling requirements, and even then most companies largely ignore regulations and do not properly disclose their ingredients on their labels. The FDA only tests a specific ingredient if someone gets sick or hurt, and even then, the injuries or illnesses need to be fairly catastrophic to prompt a change in policy. This lack of regulation is why terms like “organic” shampoo or “natural” hair care products really don’t mean anything. The term “natural” is completely baseless, and even though the USDA has a branch called the National Organic Program that now regulates the use of the term “organic,” a lot of these regulations aren’t fully enforced yet. Words such as pure, non-toxic, gentle and mild are also undefined. Any product can make these claims.

“People think terms like ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ are strictly regulated by the government or the FDA, but they’re not,” says Lorrie McBee, director of customer education for Salon Naturals. “Most people don’t know the European Union has banned nearly 1,200 ingredients from being used in cosmetics, but the United States has only banned 11. People think they’re getting natural or organic products, but the truth is they have no idea what chemicals they’re coming into contact with every day.”

This is a big problem for people with health conditions, skin sensitivity, allergies, or people who just want to live a healthier lifestyle. One Salon Naturals customer was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a painful medical condition that causes skin irritation and overall chemical sensitivity in the body. The customer didn’t think she’d ever be able to find safe, natural hair products, but she found the Salon Naturals website, saw the hair care product ingredient breakdown, and contacted McBee for more information. Lorrie went as far as to send the customer an MSDS (material safety data sheet) so she could have as much ingredient information as possible.

“We’ll tell you exactly what’s in our products, how each ingredient was harvested or manufactured, where it came from, and how it can affect you,” says McBee. “The information we provide our customers gives them the truth not only about shampoo and conditioner, but all the products they use on their bodies and on their children. When our customers find us, they know they’ve found a resource that is changing the industry.”

The healthy hair care product company’s website provides consumers with a database of not only the ingredients it uses in its pure shampoos and nutrient-rich conditioners, but also the most controversial and commonly used ingredients in other cosmetics. If an ingredient is not listed on the site, Salon Naturals invites you to contact them and they will research it for you. The company’s core concepts are simple: its products have to perform, be easy to use, and they have to be good for the hair, safe for the body, and respectful of the environment. Jeffery McBee, Salon Naturals founder and CEO, thought the best way to do that was to use non-toxic, gentle ingredients and to adhere to a ground-breaking level of transparency and honesty with his healthy hair care products. 

For more information about Salon Naturals and its ingredient transparency policy, please visit www.SalonNaturalsOnline.com.

About Salon Naturals:  Salon Naturals, LLC is a dynamic hair care manufacturer dedicated to bringing safe, healthy, high-performance products to informed consumers and professionals. To that end, the healthy hair care product company has established the most transparent and honest ingredient ethics standard in the industry. Any customer can go to the Salon Naturals website to see a list of every ingredient found in its products, and see the positive and negative effects those ingredients can have. Whether it’s the Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner, Sleek and Shiny Shampoo and Conditioner, or the Curl Defining Shampoo and Conditioner, Salon Naturals strives to create a healthier, more informed consumer.

Contact
Jeffery McBee
Email:  jeff@salonnaturalsonline.com
Phone:  (316) 258-0945
Web:  www.SalonNaturalsOnline.com

May 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why are Parabens Still in Use?

Parabens have been used as a microbial preservative since the early 1920’s.  For many years, they have been strongly suspected as having the potential to create health problems, yet they are more commonly used in today’s manufacturing world than ever before.  It is estimated that tens of thousands of cosmetic, personal care products, foods and pharmaceuticals contain this toxic ingredient. 

There are several different names by which parabens can be identified.  The most common start with propyl, butyl, methy, ethyl, or iso and in most cases, all of these end with “paraben.”  However, new INCI names for ingredients are often created when public concern for a commonly used ingredient name grows to a level that affects buying habits.  With this in mind, always conduct a search for unfamiliar ingredients at www.cosmeticdatabase.com to ensure their safety.

Researchers from England recently discovered the presence of parabens in eighteen of twenty samples of breast tumors tested.  Furthermore, these same tests strongly indicate that the origin could, with a reasonable degree of certainty, be traced to absorption into the body through a topically applied product.

For many years, the scientific community dismissed the possible link between parabens and breast cancer.  This theory was widely considered to be the self-induced worry of irrational and paranoid minds.  Yet in 1998, it was firmly and conclusively established that parabens create estrogenic-type activities in not only mice and rats in a lab setting, but also in human breast cancer cells.   The importance of this discovery is that the vast majority of breast cancers respond to estrogen.  Suddenly, scientists began giving more serious consideration to the link between parabens and breast cancer in women.

These types of discoveries have led to significant and potentially lifesaving conclusions.  Even prior to these scientific realizations, it was known that parabens were easily absorbed by the body.  However, the assumption was made that they were slowly eliminated from the system through the urine.  The discovery of intact parabens in tumor tissue has completely altered how these chemicals must be viewed.  Scientists now realize that parabens are not only absorbed when present in products applied topically, but they have the potential to accumulate in breast tissue in particular.

It is also notable that consumption of foods containing parabens poses less risk to the health of the body than the use of products intended for the skin.  Parabens contained in food are degraded and lose their most harmful characteristics during the digestive process.

Common defenses for the use of parabens in personal care products always include the fact that parabens make up only a very small percentage of any given formulation.  While on the surface, this truth may seem to dilute the argument against parabens, it ignores several important considerations.  Even twelve years after these important scientific discoveries, a very high percentage of common personal care products contain one or more parabens.  The average woman uses no fewer than a dozen products on a daily basis.  The presence of this cumulative usage has the potential to bring exposure levels far beyond any that could be considered benign or meaningless. 

Cosmetics and personal care products require the inclusion of preservatives in their formulas to protect against the growth of bacteria, which in itself would create significant health risks.  While there are a handful of products that are preservative free or use only natural preservative systems, these typically require refrigeration and still have only a very short shelf-life.  That noted, manufacturers have a wide range of options in selecting the preservatives used in their products.  The evidence against parabens is overwhelming and consumers should insist on products that use other, less toxic preservatives in their formulations.

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Ingredient of the Week - Yucky! | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

Aloe vera has been recognized as a power nutrient for more than 4000 years.  Aloe is a herb that is a member of the Lily family and shares a close resemblance to the cactus.  It contains more than 75 nutrients, which include 19 of the 20 amino acids required by the human body for good health.  Eight of these aminos are not produced by the body – aloe contains all but one of these.  Among the other most prevalent nutrients are:

  • Two different hormones which assist with healing wounds and reducing inflammation, along with stimulating the growth of new, healthier cells.
  • A cellulose based substance called Lignin, which assists Aloe in penetrating the skin.  This allows the soothing properties of the plant to reach damaged skin areas and strip toxic materials that may be restricting blood flow. 
  • The Salicylic Acid found in Aloe Vera serves as a pain killer that boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  The four steroids found in the plant also have anti-inflammtory, antiseptic and analgesic properties. 
  • Aloe Vera contains nine different vitamins:  A, C & E serve as antioxidants & neutralise free radicals; B1, 3, 5, 6 promote amino acid metabolism
  • This miracle plant also contains numerous minerals, including calcium copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, sodium and zinc.  It is also currently the only known source for vitamin B12.

The list above is by no means, exhaustive, but it should provide a broad overview of the myriad of health benefits found in the Aloe Vera plant.

Aloe Vera is manufactured and marketed through numerous methods – some of which can undermine its potency and effectiveness.  These plants are not considered “mature” until they are four years old.  Before selecting a product made with Aloe Vera, it is important to educate yourself on the manufacturer’s policies regarding when the plant is harvested.  Also inquire as to whether or not the plant is derived from organic sources.  Unquestionably, this will impact the potency and to what degree the benefits are effective.

If you have stayed with me through the “History of Aloe Vera,” let’s move on to the specific benefits of this amazing plant to both the hair and the skin.  First of all, hair care cannot be considered separately from skin care. Obviously, one of the requirements for beautiful, vibrant, and strong, resilient  hair is a healthy scalp.  There are five widely recognized types of Aloe Vera.  Aloe Barbadensis is the most often used for health purposes and it is this species that we use as the foundational ingredient (instead of water) in all of our hair care formulations.  It is the synergistic quality of Aloe that is responsible for the numerous benefits of the plant to improved health, skin, hair and overall wellbeing.

Aloe vera benefits the scalp in numerous ways.  Firstly, it heals injured tissues and is an excellent remedy for abrasions, cuts, eczema and other conditions.  It encourages the skin to produce increased collagen and discourage the formulation of fine lines.  It is easily absorbed into the skin – even more easily than water.  Aloe Vera is equally beneficial for the hair.  It aids in thickening the hair cuticle and has been used for centuries as a hair conditioner.  Recent research studies even suggest that regular use of Aloe Vera on the hair can diminish hair loss, while it stimulates the growth of new hair.  Finally, it serves as an excellent treatment for scalp conditions such as irritation and redness. 

Today’s scientists refer to Aloe Vera as a diverse mixture of antioxidants, antibiotics, cell stimulators, scar inhibitors, anti-inflammatories, astringents, and pain inhibitors.  Clearly this nutritional jackpot serves as an excellent addition to your internal health, as well as exceptional support for strong, healthy hair and skin.

New and exciting benefits through the use of Aloe Vera are constantly being discovered as researchers delve deeper into this amazing plant.  The aloe vera used in our products is certified organic and processed according to stringent standards that allow it to maintain its full potency and effectiveness.  Substituting Aloe Vera as the primary base in our shampoos and conditioners instead of water is firmly supported by research in the medical and wellness communities.  Furthermore, older, more established cultures embrace the daily use of this herb so completely that we are inspired by their testimonies as to its effectiveness.  We hope you will research further this beauty and wellness miracle provided by nature for our use and incorporate it not only into your hair care routine, but into your wellness-based lifestyle also.  Visit salonnaturalsonline.com to learn more about Aloe Vera and our use of this natural powerhouse.  If you have any questions or comments, please share – we love learning for our readers’ own uses and experiences.

March 3, 2010 Posted by | Ingredient of the Week - Yummy! | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment