1) WHAT ARE SULPHATES AND ARE THEY SOMETHING I SHOULD BE AVOIDING?
Almost all of us have heard about “sulphates” but we are not sure what they really are, why they are used and whether we should be using products containing sulphates. Let’s try and unravel the mystery…
“Sulphates” is the common use term for a group of cleaning ingredients more correctly known as “alkyl sulphates”. Sulphates are the most common cleaning ingredients used in commercial cleaning products, such as laundry and dishwashing detergents and engine degreasers. They are used because they are the lowest cost most powerful cleaning ingredients available.
However sulphates are also the most common cleansing ingredients used in skin and hair care products! No wonder so many people suffer from an itchy scalp and dry skin and hair.
There are a number of different subtypes of sulphates. Let’s have a look at the main ones….
- Sodium lauryl sulphate (often called SLS) - common “standard” used in irritancy testing, against which the irritancy of other substances is compared(1). Researchers have found that the skin is the most vulnerable to SLS as skin tissue readily absorbs it and that it can also produce a dry itchy scalp and dandruff(2). Other research has shown a corrosion of the hair follicle leading to hair loss(3). Pretreatment with SLS has also been shown to cause increased susceptibility to other irritants(4,5).
- Sodium laureth sulphate (often called SLES) – this is the most commonly used “sulphate” in beauty products.
- Ammonium lauryl sulphate - A relative of SLS, ammonium lauryl sulphate is used in some so called “SLS-free” shampoos - however it is also a strong irritant like SLS(6).
People can make their own choice from the evidence available on whether they want to avoid products containing sulphates. However, those with sensitive skin and/or itchy scalp may benefit from using products which are “sulphate-free”.
After considerable research, [A'kin] has chosen to use the following ingredients in place of sulphates:
- Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate - from palm, a mild amino acid (sarcosine) derivative cleanser.
- Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate – from palm, a mild cleanser recommended for those who have problems with soap.
- Sucrose cocoate – 100% botanical source anti irritant sugar ester cleanser.
- Lauryl polyglucose – 100% natural source and milder to skin and eyes than the more commonly used decyl polyglucose.
- Disodium cocoamphoacetate – Mildness "standard" amphoteric cleanser from coconut.
- Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine – Mild amino acid derivative cleanser delivers superior and milder performance compared to the common and cheaper alternative cocamidopropyl betaine.
1) Brasch et al, Reproducibility of irritant patch test reactions to sodium lauryl sulphate in a double blind placebo-controlled randomised study using clinical scoring”, Contact Dermatitis, 41(3): 150-5, Sept 1999
2) Peter Dingle and Toni Brown, “Dangerous Beauty”
3) Journal of the American Journal of Toxicology, Vol 2, No 7, pp127-181, 1983
4) Choi et al, Chronic irritant contact dermatitis: recovery time in man”, Contact Dermatitis, 42(5):264-9, May 2000
5) Brasch et al, Reproducibility of irritant patch test reactions to sodium lauryl sulfate in a double blind placebo-controlled randomised study using clinical scoring”, Contact Dermatitis, 41(3): 150-5, Sept 1999
6) Formulating For Effect, Huntsman Surfactant Sciences, March 2003
2) HOW DO I FIND OUT WHAT [A’KIN] PRODUCTS WOULD SUIT MY SKIN AND HAIR TYPE?
The first step is to identify your skin and hair type. Once you know this please refer to the product pages on this site, or visit your nearest [A'kin] stockist.
3) IS IT SAFE TO USE YOUR PRODUCTS WITH ESSENTIAL OILS DURING PREGNANCY?
The concentrations of oils in [A'kin] products are safe for use during pregnancy. However to ensure your comfort and peace of mind, we recommend you check with your general medical practitioner.
4) I HAVE ECZEMA. WHICH PRODUCTS SHOULD I USE?
Eczema is a chronic inflammatory condition of the upper layers of the skin. The most common things that will trigger eczema are allergies, both food and environmental, as well as emotional and physical stress and climatic changes. The three main common features of eczema that distinguish it from other ailments are dry skin, sore rash and itchiness.
For eczema sufferers, [A'kin] recommends products with zero irritancy. The Pure Therapy range is specially formulated for dry and sensitive skin prone to Eczema, Psoriasis and Dermatitis. It is clinically proven to provide 24 Hour moisture protection and is recommended by Dermatologists and Hospitals.
Whilst we recommend these products, please remember that each person is unique. We advise for very sensitive skins that you use our testers provided in store to patch test your skin.
Try any of the following:
- Pure Therapy Gentle Soap Free Cleanser
- Pure Therapy Intensive Moisture Repair Gel
- Pure Therapy Intense Nourishing Body Moist
- Pure Therapy Extra Gentle Shampoo
- Pure Therapy Dry Scalp Anti-dandruff Shampoo
- Pure Therapy Moisture Replenish Conditioner
- Pure Therapy Daily Restore Body Lotion
- Pure Therapy Soothing Bath Milk
- Pure Therapy Daily Restore Face Moist
- Pure Therapy Calming Facial Cleanser
- Pure Therapy Deep Restore Concentrate
5) WHY IS PROPYLENE GLYCOL USED IN COSMETICS AND IS IT SAFE?
Propylene glycol is an ingredient used in numerous cosmetics and toiletries. It is also used as a powerful solvent to prevent creams from drying out. Propylene glycol is a petrochemical derivative and has been shown to cause allergies.
Propylene glycol is not used in any products created by [A'kin].
6) WHAT ARE PARABENS?
Parabens are the most commonly used preservative in cosmetic, personal care and toiletry products. While there has been some controversy regarding the outcomes of multiple studies conducted over the past few years, [A'kin] has taken the decision to not use Parabens to preserve our products. As a measure of precaution, [A'kin] have even taken the additional precaution of avoiding using ingredients which have been preserved with Parabens.
7) DO YOUR PRODUCTS CONTAIN ALCOHOL?
[A'kin] do not use what is commonly called alcohol (actual name is ethanol or ethyl alcohol) in any of our formulations.
The reference to “alcohol” on our labels refers to the wax alcohols, behenyl alcohol (made from rapeseed oil) or cetearyl alcohol. Cetearyl alcohol is made from various vegetable oils such as palm and coconut. The differ greatly from common alcohol, which is a volatile liquid.
8) DO ANY OF YOUR PRODUCTS CONTAIN NUTS?
The following products contain small amounts of nut oils.
- [A’kin] Avocado & Calendula Re-Moisturising Conditioner
- [A’kin] Macadamia & Wheat Protein Treatment Conditioner
- [A’kin] Unscented, Wheat Free, Very Gentle Conditioner
- [A’kin] Rose & Geranium, Pure Creamy Cleanser & Toner in One
- [A’kin] Rose de Mai, Anti-oxidant Day Crème
- [A’kin] Lavender & Rose, Repairing Anti-oxidant Night Crème
- [A’kin] Unscented, 24 Hour Pure Moisture
- [A’kin] Lavender & Geranium, Body Moist
- [A’kin] Unscented, Replenishing Body Moist
- [A’kin] Lavender, Geranium & Jojoba Hand Nail & Cuticle Crème
- [A’kin] Unscented, Intensive Hand Nail & Cuticle Treatment
- [A’kin] Pure Alchemy Cellular Radiance Serum
9) CAN COELIACS USE [A'KIN] SHAMPOOS & CONDITIONERS?
Coeliac Disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy) is a genetically based permanent intolerance to dietary gluten. The Coeliac Society of NSW have confirmed the external application of gluten (such as hydrolysed wheat protein used in [A'kin] hair care products) is not a concern for people diagnosed with coeliac disease as gluten must be ingested and reach the small bowel for problems to occur.
10) WHAT PRODUCTS CONTAIN HYDROLYSED WHEAT PROTEIN?
All of our formulations are wheat gluten free, with the exception of:
- [A'kin] Rice Aminos & Wheat Protein, Intensive Moisture Shampoo
- [A'kin] Avocado & Calendula Re-Moisturising Conditioner
- [A'kin] Macadamia & Wheat Protein Treatment Conditioner
- [A'kin] Lavender & Anthyllis, 24-Hour Intensive Moisture Leave-In-Conditioner
- [A'kin] Ginkgo & Jojoba, Intensive Moisture Vitamin Hair Masque
11) DO YOUR PRODUCTS HAVE AN EXPIRY DATE?
[A’kin] products have a minimum shelf life of 3 years and once opened the products should be used within 12 months.
If your questions have not been answered, please contact us on 01737 222563.