1. What are parabens, sulfates, DEA and Phthalates?
Sulfates: This is an inexpensive, harsh detergent that is frequently used in shampoos and body washes. Some of the most popular products contain sulfates because they help create foam. But this harsh chemical is also linked to skin irritation, hair loss and impaired hair growth. In addition to the health risks, sulfates actually dry out your hair by stripping your hair of its moisture.
Phthalates: This is a chemical plasticizing element that is often used as a preservative. Phthalates can be found in over 72% of beauty products. However, research links this chemical group to health and reproductive concerns. For example, according to the environmental lobby group phthalates affect hormone levels, semen quality and genital development in male fetus
Parabens: Estimates show that over 90% of cosmetic products contain parabens. However, parabens are linked to several health concerns including breast cancer and reproductive discorders. When looking for products that contain parabens, look hard. Parabens have many names including: methyl, propyl, butyl, ethyl and sometime even just general fragrance.
Diethanolamine (DEA): More than 100,000 tons of DEA are sold in the United States each year and is one of the most commonly used detergents in personal care products. This chemical has been linked to cancer and may inhibit the brain development of unborn babies.
2. Why should I avoid these when I am pregnant?
Several recent studies link these chemicals to serious health risks for the fetus and newborn because they act as endocrine disruptors, have been linked to cancer, autism and attention deficit disorder. When a mother chooses to use beauty products with these chemicals, the chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the chemicals can interact with the baby's circulation and can lead to birth defects or act like hormones that interfere with the normal reproductive system.
3. Chemicals in hair care products are in low doses, shouldn’t I be safe?
Although toxic chemicals in personal care products have low dosages, they build up in the body after years of exposure. Scientists estimate that everyone alive today carries within her body at least 700 contaminants. Toxic chemicals get into the body in many ways – they can be inhaled, swallowed or absorb them through skin. Some of the chemicals are passed on from mother to her developing fetus through the placenta and though breastfeeding and can remain with us for years. The term " body burden " refers to the total amount of these chemicals that are present in the human body.
4. Why do natural shampoos and soaps lather differently from non-natural products?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is the ingredient that is responsible for making shampoos foam and lather. Many women associate heavy foaming to cleanliness, when in fact, it does not contribute to how clean your hair is at all. In fact, sulfates strip hair from needed oils and nutrients and can actually dry out and damage hair.
5. Why do I have to regulate the safety of my products? Doesn't the government do that?
The reality is that the government doesn't require health studies or pre-market testing for personal care products before they are sold.
According to the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors:
"FDA cannot require companies to do safety testing of their cosmetic products before manufacturing," and "...a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA." (FDA 1995).
There is an industry organization, the CIR (Cosmetics Ingredients Review), which is responsible for reviewing cosmetics. However, a recent study found that out of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products, the CIR has reviewed the safety of only 13% of them. That means that almost 90% of the ingredients found in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by any publicly accountable institution.
6. Are your products tested on animals or contain any animal by-products?
Absolutely not. We NEVER test on animals. Further we have taken the steps to ensure that all of our products are free from any animal products. All of our formulations are 100% plant-based.
7. Where can I read more articles on prenatal health and chemical exposures during pregnancy?
See our Resources page for relevant articles. Empower yourself with the knowledge to make healthy decisions for you and your baby.
8. Is Nine Naturals sold in any retail locations?
Our products are exclusively available through our website and Amazon.com. We prefer to sell directly to our customers in order to ensure high quality control of our products. We will be launching with trusted retail partners in early 2015 and will announce this to our customers via email.