Sunday, 10 June 2018

Avoiding the three P's - Parabens, Phthalates and Plastic shampoo bottles

There are lots of reasons to stop using commercial shampoos. Buying one less item in a plastic bottle is just one of them.  I had read that commercial shampoos contain lots of chemicals and additives that quite honestly I don’t want on my body, absorbed through my skin into my body or washed down the plughole back to the rivers.  As I had just started to dip my toes in the craft bath of home soapmaking I decided to have a go at making my own shampoo bars.

I found a recipe from the Nerdy Farm Wife for Rosemary and Mint shampoo bars. Using the cold processed method I substituted the plain olive oil for extra virgin olive oil infused with rosemary picked fresh from my garden and used sweet almond oil in place of sunflower. I also added peppermint essential oil and a few drops of tea tree.

So far I’m quite pleased with how it’s turned out. It’s less bubbly than hand soap, it feels more lotion-y which I guess is due to the castor oil content.  I know the source of and can pronounce every ingredient and it leaves my hair and scalp feeling clean.

I was already undergoing treatment for breast cancer so giving up commercial shampoo was a no brainer. I wanted to avoid parabens (linked to higher oestrogen levels) and phthalates (plastic softeners and fragrance enhancers linked to all sorts of health concerns including breast cancer). I was also hoping that the ingredients in my homemade shampoo bars might help the bald patches caused by the treatment grow back quicker. I’ll have to report back on its efficacy in a few months’ time.

If you are interested you can read more about the chemicals in your shampoo in this article from the Guardian. What's in your shampoo 

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