WHAT WE DON'T USE
THE BADIES LIST
CHECK OUT THE INGREDIENTS THAT WE DON'T USE IN MIMI PRODUCTS AND WHY!
Sulfates, specifically sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), are commonly used surfactants in many personal care and cleaning products, including shampoos. These ingredients are responsible for creating the lathering or foaming effect in haircare and cleansing products.
- Irritation to the Skin and Eyes: Sulfates can be harsh on the skin and eyes. Children, especially those with sensitive skin, may be more prone to irritation. Sulfates can strip away natural oils from the skin and scalp, leading to dryness, redness, and discomfort.
- Dryness and Frizziness: Sulfates have a degreasing effect, which can strip the hair of its natural oils. In children, whose hair and scalps are still developing, this can lead to dryness and increased frizziness. Dry hair is more prone to breakage and may be challenging to manage.
- Potential Allergies: Some individuals may develop allergies or sensitivities to sulfates, resulting in itching, redness, or rash.
- Eye Irritation and Tear Formation: The foaming action created by sulfates can lead to accidental contact with eyes, causing irritation and tears.
- Stripping Natural Oils: Sulfates are effective at removing dirt and oil, but they can also strip away the natural oils that help protect the hair and scalp. In children, whose hair is still developing, this can disrupt the natural balance and leave the hair more vulnerable to damage.
Parabens are a class of synthetic chemicals commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics, personal care products, and even some pharmaceuticals. They are added to these products to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast, thereby extending the shelf life of the products. The most common types of parabens include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.
There has been growing concern about their potential health effects, especially in the context of children's products. Here are some reasons why parabens may be considered undesirable in kids' haircare products:
- Hormone Disruption: Parabens are known to mimic estrogen, a hormone that regulates various bodily functions. There are concerns that exposure to parabens, particularly in developing children, may disrupt the endocrine system, potentially leading to hormonal imbalances.
- Absorption through the Skin: Children's skin is generally more permeable than adult skin, making them potentially more susceptible to absorbing chemicals. The skin serves as a barrier, but young children may have a higher skin surface area relative to their body weight, which could increase the absorption of substances, including parabens.
- Accumulation in the Body: Parabens have been detected in human tissues and urine, suggesting that they can accumulate in the body over time.
Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are a group of synthetic compounds that are commonly used in various personal care products, including haircare products, as emollients, thickeners, solvents, and moisture-carriers.
- Potential Contamination: PEGs are often produced through a process called ethoxylation, which can lead to the formation of 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen. Although manufacturers typically attempt to remove any traces of 1,4-dioxane, it may still be present in some PEG-containing products, posing a potential risk, especially with long-term use.
- Skin Irritation: PEGs can act as penetration enhancers, facilitating the absorption of other ingredients through the skin. While this property can be beneficial for some formulations, it may also increase the risk of skin irritation, especially in individuals with sensitive skin.
- Potential for Systemic Absorption: PEGs can enhance the penetration of substances through the skin, and there is concern that this may lead to the systemic absorption of certain ingredients.
- Environmental Impact: PEGs are not inherently harmful to the environment, but their production and use may contribute to environmental concerns. The manufacturing process of PEGs can release pollutants into the environment, and the disposal of products containing PEGs may have environmental implications.
Silicones are a group of synthetic compounds commonly used in haircare products, including shampoos and conditioners, for their smoothing and conditioning properties.
- Buildup on the Hair: Silicones are not water-soluble, meaning they do not easily wash out with water alone. With regular use, silicones can accumulate on the hair shaft, leading to a buildup. This buildup can make the hair feel heavy, greasy, and may result in a lack of volume.
- Impaired Natural Oil Distribution: Silicones create a temporary coating on the hair that can seal in moisture. While this can be beneficial for preventing moisture loss, it can also impede the natural distribution of the scalp's oils. In children, whose scalps are still developing, this may interfere with the natural balance of oils needed for a healthy scalp.
- Potential for Dryness: Although silicones provide a smoothing effect, some argue that they may create a barrier that prevents moisture from penetrating the hair shaft. In the long run, this could potentially lead to dryness, especially if the hair is not adequately moisturised.
- Impact on Sensitive Skin: Some children may have sensitive skin or scalps that are more prone to irritation. The occlusive nature of silicones could potentially contribute to irritation, particularly if the child is sensitive to certain ingredients or has pre-existing skin conditions.
- Environmental Concerns: Silicones are not easily biodegradable, and their use in personal care products can contribute to environmental pollution. There are growing concerns about the impact of cosmetic ingredients, including silicones, on aquatic ecosystems when washed off and eventually entering water sources.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is a synthetic compound often used in personal care products, including haircare products, as a chelating agent. Its primary function is to bind to and neutralise metal ions, which helps to improve the stability and performance of the product.
- Environmental Impact: One of the main concerns associated with EDTA is its environmental impact. When products containing EDTA are washed off, the compound can end up in wastewater. In wastewater treatment plants, EDTA can form complexes with heavy metals, making it more difficult to remove these metals from the water. This process can contribute to environmental pollution and harm aquatic ecosystems.
- Potential for Metal Mobilisation: While EDTA is designed to chelate and bind metal ions, there are concerns that it might mobilise certain metals in the environment. This could potentially lead to increased levels of metals in water sources, posing risks to aquatic life and potentially impacting the food chain.
- Persistence in the Environment: EDTA is known to be relatively persistent in the environment, which means it can take a long time to break down. This persistence raises concerns about its accumulation in ecosystems over time.
- Biodegradability: Although EDTA is considered biodegradable under certain conditions, its breakdown can be slow. In some cases, the breakdown products may also have environmental implications.
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) is a synthetic chemical commonly used as a preservative in personal care products, including shampoos, conditioners, and other haircare products.
- Skin Sensitisation and Allergic Reactions: MIT has been associated with skin sensitisation and allergic reactions.
- Potential for Respiratory Irritation: MIT is known to release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, and there have been concerns about the potential for respiratory irritation, especially when products containing MIT are aerosolised or used in enclosed spaces.
- Neurotoxicity Concerns: There have been studies suggesting that MIT may have neurotoxic effects. While these studies often involve higher concentrations than those typically used in cosmetic products, there is ongoing research to understand the potential risks associated with long-term, low-level exposure.
- Regulatory Restrictions: Due to safety concerns, regulatory agencies in some regions have imposed restrictions on the concentration of MIT allowed in cosmetic products. In the European Union, for example, the use of MIT in leave-on cosmetic products is restricted to a maximum concentration, and it is banned in certain types of products designed for children under three years old.
Artificial colours, also known as synthetic or artificial dyes, are often used in various personal care products, including kids' haircare products, to enhance their visual appeal. While artificial colours are generally regarded as safe by regulatory authorities when used in small amounts, there are concerns associated with their use, especially in products designed for children.
- Skin Sensitivity and Allergic Reactions: Some children may be sensitive or allergic to certain artificial colors, leading to skin irritation, redness, itching, or rash. Children generally have more delicate and sensitive skin, making them potentially more susceptible to adverse reactions.
- Risk of Ingestion: Children, especially younger ones, may inadvertently ingest haircare products during bath time.
- Environmental Impact: The production and disposal of synthetic dyes can have environmental implications. The manufacturing process of artificial colors may involve the use of chemicals, and the presence of these dyes in water sources can contribute to environmental pollution.
Artificial fragrances are commonly used in many personal care products, including kids' haircare products, to enhance the product's scent and appeal.
- Skin Sensitivity and Allergic Reactions: Fragrances can be potential irritants, and some individuals, including children, may have sensitivities or allergies to certain fragrance ingredients.
- Phthalates and Endocrine Disruption: Some synthetic fragrances may contain phthalates, which are a group of chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine system. Phthalates are used to enhance the longevity of fragrances, and there are concerns about their potential impact on hormonal balance.
- Lack of Ingredient Transparency: The term "fragrance" on ingredient lists often represents a mixture of various chemical compounds, and companies are not required to disclose the specific ingredients that make up the fragrance. This lack of transparency can make it challenging for consumers, including parents, to know exactly what is in the products they are using on their children.
- Environmental Impact: The production and disposal of synthetic fragrances can have environmental implications. Some fragrance ingredients may persist in the environment and contribute to air and water pollution.