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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • Be informed

  • I still use Johnson’s baby shampoo for my kids. Maybe subconsciously I want to keep them little, but consciously it seems mild ~ not so much perfume for their bodies. The other day I was looking at the label.
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  • I still use Johnson’s baby shampoo for my kids. Maybe subconsciously I want to keep them little, but consciously it seems mild ~ not so much perfume for their bodies. The other day I was looking at the label.
     
    First I read, “To Use: Wet baby’s hair and body with warm water, apply wash with your hand or washcloth, gently lather, rinse and snuggle.” I love that a shampoo bottle is instructing or reminding people to snuggle their babies. I wonder if anyone really forgets to do that with young children.
     
    I read on, to the ingredients list. I compare it to another strong scented shampoo we have. Both have words that I can barely pronounce. The scented shampoo has sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, acrylates copolymer, sodium sylenesulfonate, laureth-4, glycol distearate, and a long list of others. What in the world?
     
    As I look up some of these words, I do understand that when you want to find some information, you can easily find what is partial to your perspective. I keep that in mind. Also running through my mind are the thoughts: If you can’t say it, don’t eat it and don’t buy products with more than five ingredients.
     
    Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Found in most body washes, soaps, shampoos, mouthwashes, toothpastes and laundry detergents, SLS is a foaming agent and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it effective in inhibiting the growth of harmful, disease-causing pathogens. (ehow.com)
     
    According to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, SLS is a “moderate hazard” that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption (Livestrong.com) SLS is said to be contaminated with a toxic byproduct during the manufacturing process. (Mercola.com). It is classified as a toxin and a dangerous waste by the Washington State Department of Ecology and the state of Connecticut recommends avoiding shampoos containing this substance as they may cause skin irritation (ehow.com).
     
    Dr. Mercola (Mercola.com) also informs readers that putting chemicals on your skin can be far worse than ingesting them. He says, “this is in large part because when you eat something the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break it down and flush it out of your body. When the chemical cocktail is delivered into your blood stream via your skin, however, it bypasses this built-in protective filtration process, so you have decreased protection against the toxins.”
     
    Some shampoos that do not contain SLS are: The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo; Alba Botanica shampoos; some of Aubrey Organics and Pureology shampoos and Superstar and Foxy Curls by Bed Head.
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    There is a great deal of information out there to understand. It may surprise you. Companies and the FDA get to decide what goes into a product, but as consumers we get to choose what we use. Be an informed consumer. Find out what all those words really mean and determine for yourself what you are comfortable with.

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