You Asked, We Answered
For those of you unsure as to the reasons why we should buy natural, solid products, here are some below:
WHY BUY SOLID?
Besides the very obvious packaging concerns and the space that many plastic bottles take up in your bathroom, why should we buy solid products?
Water - up to 80% of bottled shampoo and 90% of shower gels and hand washes are water. With solids, you add your own water. Shampoo bars can last up to 3 times as long as a bottle of shampoo. This saves money and drastically reduces our carbon footprint.
Preservatives - bottles containing that much water are breeding grounds for bacteria. Because of this, bottled cosmetics contain high quantities of preservatives such as midazolidinyl urea, iodopropynyl, isothiazolinone, and sodium benzoate. Solid products, when kept dry, do not need any preservatives.
Travel - they’re small, they aren’t liquid; they are great for travelling!
Space - removing all of the unwanted bottles from your bathroom is a minimalist’s dream. Just a well-placed soap dish here and there and nothing more.
Zero waste - the obvious one. Over a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute. Fewer than half of those will be collected for recycling and less than 7% of those collected will be turned into new bottles. Buying solid shampoo can save between 3 and 6 bottles per bar.
WHY BUY NATURAL?
We’ve got so used to the big foamy synthetic lather created by the shampoos we buy and we like it. Why should we switch to natural products instead?
Surfactants - these are detergents but not soap. There are too many to name and they all have very long names but the popular ones are ammonium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Some claim that these ingredients are linked to a number of cancers whilst others (in the cosmetics industry) deny this. Surfactants are irritants, causing numerous skin conditions and aggravating others. They strip the skin and hair leaving it dry. Because of this, manufacturers add synthetic conditioners to products containing surfactants to compensate for the stripping qualities.
Foaming agents - ingredients like cocamide or cocamidopropyl betaine provide the satisfying suds that complete the hair-washing experience. Lather, however, is purely aesthetic. “Lather doesn’t have anything to do with how well a shampoo works,” says Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetics chemist for Cosmetech Laboratories. “Manufacturers put lathering agents in shampoos because it’s what consumers expect.”
Acid - chemicals like sodium citrate or citric acid are added to keep shampoo at the right pH level. With a pH of around 8.5, surfactants like SLS are alkali. Acid must then be added to shampoos to redress the balance and to help the cuticle, the outer layer of the hair, maintain a smooth, flat surface.
Silicones - to create added shine, silicones like dimethicone (or any ingredient ending in “one”) are added. These are polymers that deposit a lightweight coating on the hair. With time, this coating builds up to make the hair unsightly and limp. Many hair products promise to tackle shampoo “build-up” but the only true solution is to detox your hair with natural products.
Softeners - there are many science names for these softeners (Polyquaternium, behentrimonium chloride, BTMS-50, BTMS-25). Also used in fabric softeners, it helps make hair more manageable by depositing a fatty conditioner and fighting static. It also thickens the shampoo formula so it’s easier to pour. Many claim to have found links between these artificial softeners and cancers of the pancreas, brain and respiratory tract.
With natural shampoos, you are giving your hair and skin a chance. The natural oils and fatty acids in these products help to protect your hair and skin, encouraging new growth and soothing irritation.