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3:34 AM   September 01, 2014
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Grooming the Organic Way

Organic grooming products, such as shampoos and conditioners, make their healthful claims based on the absence of certain synthetic chemicals. These common chemicals, found in most human cosmetics, have been linked to health problems, such as cancers and chronic skin irritation.

Though studies yield conflicting findings, many consumers are playing it safe by choosing organic options for themselves and their pets. Plant-based, all-natural options bank on a public’s increasing desire to provide the healthiest possible alternatives to traditional grooming products.

Three main groups of products, absent from organic formulas, raise red flags for label-reading consumers. These chemicals, and their potential to cause health problems, make powerful justifications for going green when it comes to getting clean.

Parabens
Currently banned in Japan and Sweden, parabens are found in a wide variety of heath and beauty, as well as food products, in the United States. Used as preservatives with bactericidal and fungicidal properties, it can be difficult to find paraben-free hair care products, including those marketed for dogs.

In some studies of deodorants and anti-perspirants containing parabens scientists have found a significant link between the use of parabens and breast cancer. Though still under investigation, it is now known that parabens closely mimic naturally occurring estrogen hormones. It is thought that they synthetic molecular structure negatively impacts the body’s ability to control natural levels of the hormone, resulting in increased cancer risks.

Sodium Laurel Sulfates
SLS, as it is commonly called, can be found in most traditional soaps and cleansing agents used for humans and dogs. SLS is added to hair care and body wash products for its rich lather and foaming qualities. As it foams, SLS denatures proteins found in body oils and dirt. Studies have also shown it may eat away at the proteins that hold deeper layers of skin intact. Frequent use of products containing SLS may inflame the skin, causing painful inflammation and itching.

Other skin and mucus membrane problems have also been documented with the use of SLS, including respiratory distress, redness and pain in the eyes and nausea. Organic options do not include SLS. Though they may foam less, the absence of the chemical is reason enough for consumers to go organic.

Phosphates
Though the U.S. government has yet to ban phosphates in household and cosmetic cleansers, most companies have chosen to voluntarily phase them out of their products altogether. Substantial research has uncovered the ill effects on the natural environment caused by phosphate content in waste water.

As phosphates enter waterways they cause large-scale algal blooms that choke out native aquatic plants and animals. More environmentally responsible organic options appeal to an increasingly aware public. <HOME>


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