Lately, it seems that there are many advocates for preservative avoidance, and many claims of products ability to nourish and feed your skin and body. I have spent a few years in college and my main concentrations of study have been biology, microbiology and the structure and function of the human body. My mission is creating safe effective products and the study involved is indeed endless. Are vitamins, minerals and preservatives getting under our skins?
I may have mentioned nutrients and minerals in some of my product descriptions-but don't get too excited! You won't be balancing your vitamin intake via topical application. Is it possible that the ingredients might benefit your skin? It depends on the molecular composition. Our wonderful skins are are our barriers against invaders and retainers of that which is needed. Many factors influence this function including over all health and age. A damaged skin is more permeable than a fully intact skin.
Will an emulsion such as most available cosmetic lotions deliver key ingredients further than the stratum corneum? How is it that we get rashes from certain plants? So many questions! Something is definitely going on. Let us consider the development of transdermal medication. If this was easily achieved, then the first medication delivery system available would have been transdermal since it is an easy and painless method. There is a process involved in creating a substance that will successfully penetrate the skin and it involves micro emulsion. The rate of penetration is also influenced by concentration levels, exposure time and skin condition. Here is a great techno read about micro emulsions and transdermal systems: _ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3978525/
Obviously, certain plant substances make it past the outermost stratum corneum layer but this does not mean that all will. When the oils from poison ivy make it past the initial layer, the immune system kicks in with a variety of cells and thus we get an itchy horrid rash. Our protective cells lurking in our barrier organ start attacking the foreign substance and releasing histamines among other things. This is usually where penetration stops. Rarely, there have been cases of systemic poison ivy which required aggressive treatment. If all cosmetic lotions and creams could deliver substances into the body and act significantly upon cells within, they would have to be regulated by prescription! Cosmetics act upon external appearance without deliberately enacting internal change. So, where does that leave us with our various lotions and potions with their myriad claims of nourishment and youthful restoration? Well, does it make you feel like a positive influence has been made? Is your hair tangle free and clean? Is the outermost layer of your skin smoother and more supple? If so, take comfort in knowing that the cosmetic acted within it's legal parameters. Where does this leave us with potentially harmful preservatives? I'm still thinking, and digging through government and medical publications. I can say that certain micro organisms can definitely absolutely do the body harm.
The problem is that the jury is still out on the complete safety of so many cosmetic ingredients. So, we do the best possible job with the knowledge that we have. If you are concerned about the potential harm alleged to be obtained from parabens and formaldehydes in products, look for ones that use other preservatives. Look up MSDS information. It never hurts. Look up actual studies of effectiveness regarding the preservatives involved in a formulation-especially when it boasts claims of 'organic' and 'all natural'. Some natural substances touted as preservatives have failed miserably or are too new to be firmly established as guaranteed effective. If you really want to avoid preservatives, study a bit and make your own products in small quantities that will be used up with two or three days. I also suggest refrigeration during that time and minimizing air exposure during use.
O.K. I have to be candid and honest! Don't imbibe that stuff! Allegedly, it won't kill you but it can give you some interesting color if you're into that sort of perpetual zombie make up thing. Ingestion of large amounts of silver may result in argyria. Here is a nice informative link:
Silver does have microbicidal properties and was once utilized in the form of silver nitrate as a neonate occular infection preventative. This treatment has mostly been abandoned since newer safer remedies are now available. Here's what the CDC has to say about it: _ http://www.cdc.gov/conjunctivitis/newborns.html
So, if silver might not be such a good idea when taken internally, how safe is it when regularly applied to the skin? That depends on several factors. I would suggest avoiding mucous membranes because the potential for absorption into the body is definitely there! I don't think I would go for applying any silver containing cream and just leaving it there. I haven't found hard evidence to suggest that such applications will definitely result in localized argyria for everyone, but I'd rather be on the safe side. I think wash off silver is fairly safe based on my own experience. When I made my first silver containing soap, I washed with my own personal sample of the batch for over a month with no ill effects. I consider any soap that I make that contains silver to be a just for fun type of ingredient thing that does it's job of cleansing.
Bluntly, all those nasty air freshening products advertised in the grocery make me sick. I get a terrible headache and accompanied sinus disturbances when I'm exposed. I'd rather smell dogs and not get sick from it any day! Ooh, but dogs can get rank too! I have special dogs. Doggy perfumes do bad things to their delicate pit skins, so I just stick to frequent washings with their Castile soap. I have discovered that if I wash dogs and beddings in the same day, their odors are greatly reduced. Actually they are imperceptible to me, but perhaps not so much to others. Since my dogs aren't out wallowing in the mud or rolling in various gross things, they stay stink tolerable for several days. Commercially produced commonly available air fresheners are loaded with mysterious fragrance cocktails and around here that is a bad thing. I prefer the delightful natural scents of the essential oils wafting through the house as I put them into my soap or lotions. I love it when the kids come home and exclaim about the wonderful way the house smells after I have made a batch. Scented candles can produce misery on the next level for me. Typically the fumes cause all of the symptoms from air freshener exposure plus some evil chest sensations and some coughing. I love fire but I hate smoke and the accompanying stenches. I especially hate it when someone blows a candle flame out! Noxious! A nice way to extinguish a flame is to simply smother it in the wax. I have a little piece of wire for this. I just bend the wick into the melted wax and then straighten it up when its out. Since I do love a lit candle, I decided to make some that were not offensive. Rather than coloring them with potentially noxious coal tar based colorants and scenting them with evil fragrances, I began making and testing candles that contained essential oils for scent and no colorants. Ah, yes! Candles that even I could handle! The versatility and renewability of soy wax gave it instant appeal for me for candle and body applications. The scented candles that I offer now are made with only natural soy wax, essential oils and herbs. They exude a non overwhelming yet gradually pervasive scent. As I'm writing this, I'm enjoying the earthy Evergreen Spice blend poured around a new wick design I'm testing. My daughter told me that this one reminds her of walking in a forest and scuffling leaves. I do not make scented candles that serve to drown out other stenches, but rather to serve as aromatic additions to the atmosphere. The best way to cure a stink is to remove the source, rather than add to it with a bunch of alleged "air fresheners". I like what this lady writes about it:_http://cleanmyspace.com/the-truth-about-air-fresheners/
My daughter took the opportunity to invest some of her Christmas money in the exploration of some Lush bath bombs. Alas, we couldn't all climb into the tub with her! But, we did get to watch the wonderful fizzies tumble around the tub as they produced marvelous fragrances and beautiful colors. We also got to enjoy the aroma seeping into the hall when she kicked us out to enjoy her private indulgence with Pheonix Rising one night and then Twilight the next. Will I be making some bath bombs? Nah. I have no urge to do something that Lush has done with such perfection already!
A Parsley Porridge soap sample was thoughtfully included with the nonpariel bath bombs. Aha! My daughter agreed to share it! Of course I lathered up with it this morning! The lather is remarkably similar to my own Castile soaps, and the scent is very herbaceously pleasing if you enjoy Tea Tree and similar scents. I emerged from the bath just as satisfied as I have been when using my own soap. Parsley Porridge does contain more synthetics than my rustic soap formulations and Lush lets you know what they are and that they are deemed safe. This soap also contains fragrance-which could be-what? Something that smells good in this case! This soap does not produce an overwhelmingly synthetic sneeze inducing overhang whch can happen when the mysterious fragrance additive comes into play. So, will I use it again? Definitely! Parsley Porridge has equal merit amongst the Crafted Herbals soap test samples festooning the tub, and I'm hoping someone will gift me with some fabulous Lush bath bombs. Check out some Lush for yourself here: