Here at NINI Organics we are a big advocator of using only natural ingredients borrowed from nature. Many people don’t realise how detrimental some ingredients are to our aquatic life, we know plastic is getting out of control and polluting their water like never before but what about all the other ingredients you find in your everyday beauty products? How well do you know all the ingredients? Here are just a few that we need to stay away from to help preserve marine life.
- Exfoliating Microbeads
Many of today’s exfoliating face and body washes use polyethylene-a plastic substance-to create scrubbing beads. Unfortunately, unlike natural and organic products that use sea salts and other natural ingredients to exfoliate, these products give you the illusion of natural exfoliation while polluting our rivers and lakes.
According to a scientific survey, the tiny bits of plastic found in cosmetic products are gathering in Lake Erie, Lake Superior, and more, and are considered one of the newest and most concerning environmental dangers. You’ll find them not only in your body and face washes, but also in toothpaste, sunscreen, lip gloss, eyeliner, shampoo, deodorant, and soaps. They are not only used for exfoliating the skin. They can also make products feel creamy on the skin, and help fill in wrinkles. Estimates are that one facial cleanser tube contains 350,000 beads.
The problem with these beads is that not only are they polluting our waterways, they are also being eaten by fish and other wildlife-which harms the animals’ digestive tracts. Worse, when animals eat them, that means we may eventually end up eating them, too.
Look for the following on the labels:
- Contains microbeads
- With microabrasives
We seriously don’t have to keep saying this, DO NOT USE PLASTIC BEADS, it’s so simple. We’re glad they are finally being banned but some products still contain some plastic in them so just avoid at all cost.
- BHA and BHT
These are popular preservatives often used in moisturizers and makeup. In addition to being suspected hormone disruptors, they are both linked to potential environmental harm. BHA is listed as a chemical of potential concern by the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, because of its tendency to bioaccumulate and because it’s toxic to aquatic organisms. Studies have found that it causes genetic mutations in amphibians. BHT also has a moderate to high potential for bioaccumulation in aquatic species.
Some BHA’s are absolutely fine, the ones that are in question above are synthetically made chemical peels, however BHA is naturally found in some herbs to gently exfoliate the skin, just be aware if its stated in the ingredients list as a BHA then avoid.
- Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)
One of the plasticizing chemicals called “phthalates,” DBP is often found in nail polishes to prevent them from becoming brittle. In addition to being a potential hormone disruptor, it’s very toxic to aquatic life. It accumulates in the environment and has been linked to problems in fish, including altered behavior, genetics, growth and development.
Fish do not need nail varnish in their lives and they would thank you if you would never wash any kind of nail polish or phthalates down the drain again.
Used in most antibacterial products like hand cleansers and sanitizers, deodorants, and laundry detergent, triclosan is linked to an increase in antibiotic resistant organisms, which have increased the risk that infections can be deadly.
In addition, when triclosan is washed down the sink, it can change the biochemistry of amphibians, fish, and aquatic plants. The European Union classifies this ingredient as having the potential to cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment. It doesn’t degrade quickly, tends to accumulate in the environment, and reacts with other chemicals in waterways to form dioxins, which are toxic. Just stay well away from that one, the name even sounds nasty hey!.
- Synthetic Fragrances
You may already know that fragrances are one of the most “sensitizing” ingredients in cosmetics, which mean they most often lead to reactions and irritation. They are made up of a cocktail of chemicals and manufacturers are not required to reveal them under “trade secret” laws.
Synthetic fragrances are commonly added to perfumes, shampoos, soaps, cleansers, creams, moisturizers, sunscreens, and more. According to a 2005 study, these ingredients are proving harmful to the marine environment. Wastewater treatment plants don’t break them down, which means they slip into the rivers and oceans via sewage discharge.
The National Geographic reported that they “compromise a cell defense mechanism that normally prevents toxins from entering cells.” That means that even if they don’t harm organisms on their own, they can reduce the organism’s ability to protect itself from other toxins.
Fragrance chemicals persist in the environment, and accumulate in the tissues of fish and other invertebrates.
So unfortunately your favourite bath bomb that smells amazing is most probably laced with synthetic fragrances, not only can this cause a reaction to your own skin but once again our amazing sea life love the smell of their ocean and not the smell of your new product. If and when you see FRAGRANCE/PERFUME in a product’s ingredients list, pop it down and find the alternative, there are plenty of them out there 🙂
- Chemical Sunscreens
Studies have reported that chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone are toxic to coral and are contributing to the decline of reefs around the world. In one recent study, for instance, researchers reported “oxybenzone is an emerging contaminant of concern in marine environments.”
They found high concentrations of the chemical around coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean, where it alters coral DNA and acts as an endocrine disruptor, causing baby coral “to encase itself in its own skeleton and die,” according to an article in The Guardian about the study. The damage occurred even at low levels-equivalent to one drop of water in six-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools-yet between 6,000 and 14,000 metric tons of sunscreen lotions end up in coral reef areas each year.
Although we all need to protect our skin to sun exposure and realistically staying out of the sun between 11-3 is hard! So next time you are packing for your trip away try a more organic sun cream like The Green People or Living Libations.
- Siloxanes (Silicones)
Used in anti-aging products, creams, lotions, makeup, hair care products, and more, siloxanes (like cyclomethicone and cyclotetrasiloxane) are seeping into our environment. In 2005, Norwegian Institute for Air Research and the Swedish Environmental Research Institute reported that high levels of siloxanes were found in samples taken from several locations in the Nordic countries. Detectable levels were also found within fish, raising alarm about the bioaccumulation of these chemicals.
Further studies found that siloxanes accumulated in aquatic life in Nordic lakes and in Lake Erie in Canada and Lake Pepin in the U.S., even higher up in the food chain, raising risks of people consuming them. Studies have also shown that siloxanes that we apply to our bodies can volatilize-which means they can become released into the air as well as contaminate our waterways.
In 2015, the American Chemical Society reported that scientists had found traces of these compounds in soil, plants, phytoplankton, and krill all the way down in Antarctica.
Next time you are shopping for your face wash, makeup or shampoo please read the ingredient list and familiarise yourself with all the harmful ingredients that are hidden in these beautifully packaged sea bombs! one absolute nightmare of ours is the amount of unnecessary synthetic bath products on the market, we have created a truly organic & unique bathing experience for that conscious bath time lover, when you take a bath with a NINI bath product you know you are getting 100% quality every single time. There are more and more natural and organic brands being born so forget the mass-produced junk and shop in the niche where you will find passionate people selling honest products.
When creating NINI Organics one of our main goals and promises was to always source the best of the best, you get what you pay for and it’s our responsibility to make sure it is the best. We also loved the idea of borrowing from nature only to give back, meaning all the ingredients within our range are not spoilt by anything lab made, therefore we keep complete quality control over what goes back down the drains and back into nature, we love that cycle unspoilt beauty, beauty made by real people for real skin. And we won’t ever change that promise. Just think what you are washing down your sink next time and see if you can switch it to something cleaner.