While the majority of the population may not be aware of this fact, many people are poisoning themselves daily, not through their digestive tract but through the largest organ of their body, the skin.
The skin absorbs, to some degree, whatever is rubbed on it or comes in contact with it. Therefore any chemicals contained in your skin care products, your shampoo and conditioner, your cosmetics, your hair dye and even your soap, can be absorbed into the body and have an effect on your health.
Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to foam up. Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen. Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, it cannot be metabolised by the liver and its effects are therefore much longer-lasting.
Shampoos are among the most frequently reported products to the FDA. Reports include eye irritation, scalp irritation, tangled hair, swelling of the hands, face and arms and split and fuzzy hair. The main cause of these problems is sodium lauryl sulfate.
So why is a dangerous chemical like sodium lauryl sulfate used in our soaps and shampoos?
The answer is simple – it is cheap. The sodium lauryl sulfate found in our soaps is exactly the same as you would find in a car wash or even a garage, where it is used to degrease car engines.
In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, sodium lauryl sulfate also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.
Perhaps most worryingly, SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of sodium lauryl sulfate is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved.
Herbalife’s shampoo and conditioners do not contain these harmful chemicals and are absolutely safe for regular usage.
And what about the safety of skin care products?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids are commonly used in products advertised to remove wrinkles, blemishes, blotches and acne scars. With consumer complaints of burning, swelling and pain associated with AHA and BHA flooding into the FDA, the regulatory body began conducting its own research about 15 years ago. The findings linked the use of AHA and BHA with a doubling of UV-induced skin damage and a potential increased risk of skin cancer.
Phthalates are industrial plasticizers widely used in personal care products to moisturize and soften skin, impart flexibility to nail polish after it dries and enhance the fragrances used in most products. Studies indicate that phthalates cause a wide range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairments, targeting every organ in the male reproductive system and causing problems ranging from low sperm count to serious genital deformities that can lead to an increased risk of cancer.
Herbalife’s complete range of skin care products such as the NouriFusion range and the Radiant C products contain absolutely no harmful ingredients and are totally safe to use.