The efficacy of organic products like soap, detergents and shampoo is a hotly debated topic. Proponents argue that they are much better for our health and the environment. Opponents on the other hand suggest that the whole organic movement is a con and is just a marketing scam. As consumers, this puts us in a awkward position. Who is correct? What should we do?
In the case of cosmetics and in particular, organic shampoos on sale today, there do seem to be some compelling arguments as to why this type of hair care product is better than regular shampoos. Some of the supposed improvements of organics over normal shampoos include:
- No synthetic colors or fragrance
- 100% Vegetarian ingredients
- No animal testing
- No parabens or other harsh preservatives
- No sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate
- No phthalates
If we take a closer look at some of these points, you too may feel that using an organic hair care product is a good idea.
Contained within a wide range of conventional cosmetic products are a group of chemicals known as parabens. These chemicals can be absorbed into the human body through our skin. There is ongoing scientific investigation into the potential harmful effects of parabens. Some organizations are concerned about a possible link with breast cancer. The FDA is keen to stress that this has not yet been confirmed. However for health conscious consumers, the fact that it is being discussed as a possibility is worrying enough and justification for purchasing organic shampoo.
Another group of chemicals that evidence is beginning to suggest are harmful is phthalates. In animal testing, prenatal phthalate exposure impairs testicular function and shortens anogenital distance in male rodents. This is significant as it can actually result in infertility. Again, more studies are required to prove conclusively whether this group of chemicals are certainly to blame. But from the small studies that have been conducted so far, it appears that phthalates are to blame. It may well be a safer option to use an organic shampoo.