Archive for the ‘Ingredients to Avoid’ Category

Have you checked the ingredients?

This blog post was written by Nicola Doherty and posted on December 20th, 2014
Posted in Ingredients to Avoid with the tags , ,
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Meet Leah!

Leah came into our Metropolis at Metrotown location to check out the foaming wash, on her way to her favourite store to buy bath and beauty products.

Leah was helped by our Customer Experience Manager, Mary, who went through some of the scents and our products.

Leah wasn’t convinced our scents would match her favourite scents from another store, so took some information that Mary gave her about the Toxin-FREE movement, our Red list (ingredients that we will never use and should be avoided) and went to her favourite stores with our Red List in hand and checked out her favourite products ingredients.

An hour later Leah was back at Rocky Mountain Soap Company and told Mary that she was shocked by what she found. Upon reading the ingredients in her favourite products,  she noticed the toxins that she had no idea were in there.

Thank you Leah for coming back and telling us what you found, and we’re so happy to have you a part of the Toxin-FREE Movement!

       The Lovely Leah                                 1RedList copy

Why Get Informed? Because Your Skin is a Conduit, Not Armour

This blog post was written by Abby-Lynn Knorr and posted on December 15th, 2014
Posted in Healthy Living, Ingredients to Avoid, Natural Ingredients with the tags
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Think for a moment about the number of personal care products and cosmetic items you use in a day. All of which gets sprayed, slathered, rubbed and painted directly onto your largest organ.

Skin absorption studies have shown a wide range of absorption rates when substances are applied. The skin on your face has been found to be much more absorbent than skin elsewhere on your body.

How much of which products ends up in your bloodstream is impossible to tell without extensive blood and urine testing at intervals after application, but you can at least know for certain that stuff does go in. The highest absorption rate ever recorded was ingredient.

We recognize that just because an ingredient is natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe (arsenic and hemlock for instance). However there are a wonderful plethora of natural ingredients that have been used for hundreds if not thousands of years and are known for their therapeutic benefits (lavender and shea butter for example).

According to Gillian Deacon’s ‘There’s Lead in Your Lipstick’, 85% of the more than 85,000 chemicals in use in today’s marketplace have not been tested for long term human health impacts.

This is a call to you to inform yourself. Make educated buying decisions. In an effort to make a gray world a little more black and white, we created a Red List of ingredients we’ll never use. We made a promise to use only 100% natural ingredients. We defined natural, so everyone would know what we meant when we used the word. We also recognize that toxicity is a matter of dose, in extremely large quantities even water is toxic. But to make it easy for people to understand that we don’t use any of the toxins typically found in body care products we refer to our products as Toxin-Free.

There are many resources out there to help you navigate the world of natural. Starting with Gill Deacon’s book mentioned above, ThinkDirty, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and EWG’s Skin Deep Database.

BlogDec15-TF-Skin

1. Robinson et al. The Importance of Exposure Estimation in the Assessment of Skin Sensitization risk. Contact Dermatitis 2000; 42:251-259

Top Ingredients to Avoid When Shopping for Body Care

This blog post was written by Abby-Lynn Knorr and posted on December 2nd, 2014
Posted in Healthy Living, Ingredients to Avoid with the tags , , , ,
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It shouldn’t be stressful to shop for body care. It should be a pleasurable and completely worry-free experience. You shouldn’t have to read labels until you go cross-eyed, you should be able to trust our government and manufacturers to not allow anything toxic into stuff you spread on your skin, soak in, moisturize with or put on your face and lips.

Sadly, this is not the reality we live in. According to Gill Deacon’s research (author of ‘There’s Lead in Your Lipstick’) there are between 85,000 and 100,000 chemicals are used in the marketplace today and 85% of those chemicals have never been tested for human health impacts.

Jaw dropping, isn’t it?

This stat is so not cool with us, and chances are if you’re reading this, it’s not cool with you either.

You, as the consumer, have more power than anyone else to effect change. Every time you choose a toxin-free product over one that contains known toxins, it’s one small butvery important win. Educate yourself bit by bit on the most dangerous ingredients out there. Making change doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just educating yourself on the worst offenders will go a long way towards limiting your exposure.

Here are the top ingredients to avoid when shopping for body care products as well as some links that will help shed more light on why.

Sulfates (sodium or ammonium lauryl/laureth/myreth sulfate)

Foaming agents found in toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, bubble bath – may contain 1,4-Dioxane.
Learn more HERE

Parabens (methyl, propyl, ethyl, butyl)

Preservatives used in lotions, gels, shampoos, toners, deodorants, antiperspirants & sunscreens – mimics estrogen.
Learn more HERE

Petrochemicals / Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)

Elements found in petrolatum,  oil, paraffin, and propylene glycol which which are used in shampoos, conditioners, baby powder, baby moisturizers, lip balm, lip gloss and perfume.

Learn more HERE

Phthalates: Stabilizers used to enhance fragrance in hair products, deodorants, body lotions, perfumes and nail polishes.

NOT REQUIRED TO BE LISTED ON COSMETIC LABELS!

Learn more HERE: 

RMSCJointhetoxinFreemovement

Make It a Phthalate FREE Holiday!

This blog post was written by Abby-Lynn Knorr and posted on November 26th, 2014
Posted in Healthy Living, Ingredients to Avoid, Natural Ingredients with the tags , , , ,
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What is a Phthalate anyway?

Besides being hard to pronounce, a phthalate is a synthetic chemical used to extend the life of a scent and to help a liquid, lotion or cream spreadand absorb easily.

It’s also used in plastics to make them soft and pliable.

You won’t see the word ‘phthalate’ on a label because label regulations do not require it to be listed, but if you see the word ‘Fragrance’ or ‘Parfum’ on a synthetic product, odds are very high that it contains phthalates.

So why the fuss?

Groups such as the Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics have red-flagged phthalates as endocrine disruptors. Our take is that if you don’t need phthalates to make great bath & body products (or toys, or food or the plethora of stuff that phthalates are used in) then why take the risk?

It’s easy to avoid phthalates, just look for ‘Fragrance’ or ‘Parfum’ on the label and steer clear.

 

Make Your Own Vanilla Mint Lip Gloss

This blog post was written by Abby-Lynn Knorr and posted on November 24th, 2014
Posted in Feature Product, Ingredients to Avoid, Natural Ingredients, Skin Care with the tags , , ,
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Feeling like getting festive and crafty in the kitchen this holiday season? Why not whip up a delicious batch of home made Vanilla Mint Lip Gloss! Its easy, moisturizing, smells like heaven, and tastes pretty good too if you add the chocolate chips!

You’ll Need:

1-2 drops of pure peppermint extract

1 drop of pure vanilla extract

1 tsp cocoa butter

1 tsp almond oil

1 tsp coconut oil

3-4 semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

double boiler

sterilized containers (little pots or lip balm containers)

Instructions:

Use a double boiler, or just use a heat-safe bowl placed inside a saucepan with an inch of water in it. Melt all the ingredients slowly until everything is thoroughly melted and blended. When the mixture is smooth, pour the warm gloss into your choice of container and allow to cool down. The gloss will slowly solidify when it reaches room temperature. Store it in your fridge because it will melt if it gets too warm. It should last roughly 6-8 weeks.

Enjoy sweet and glossy lips and give lots of kisses under the mistletoe!

 

Holiday Gift idea? Set of Four Lip Butters from Rocky Mountain Soap Company!

RMSC LipButter Gift Set.

 

What Is An Essential Oil Anyway?

This blog post was written by Abby-Lynn Knorr and posted on November 18th, 2014
Posted in Feature Product, Healthy Living, Ingredients to Avoid, Natural Ingredients with the tags , , ,
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This is the time of year when the air is bursting with holiday scents. Just take a stroll through any mall and you’ll see what we mean. From the favourites that everyone knows and loves like Vanilla, Cinnamon and Peppermint, to the more creatively named perfumes like Frosted Wonderland or Holiday Snowdrops.

 

What are all these scents made of?

 

Natural scents use Essential Oils and compounds of E.O.’s to make these wonderful holiday essences. Essential Oils are 100% natural and are basically a concentrated liquid that contains aroma compounds from plants. A Fragrance Oil could contain Essential Oils but also contains synthetic aroma compounds and a carrier substance such as mineral oil or propylene glycol. If you’re looking to avoid Fragrance Oils just watch labels for the presence of Parfum or Fragrance.

 

If you’d like to learn more about synthetic fragrances and why you might choose to avoid them, check out this article from the David Suzuki Foundation. Fill your house with the delectable and completely Toxin-FREE scents of Essential Oils, they smell absolutely amazing, you can blend your own, and there is no down side whatsoever!

Vanilla Candy Cane

Have a Sulfate FREE Holiday!

This blog post was written by Nicola Doherty and posted on November 13th, 2014
Posted in Feature Product, Healthy Living, Ingredients to Avoid, Natural Ingredients with the tags , ,
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Sulfates are a synthetic foaming agent found in anything that lathers. So soap, body wash, hair care, toothpaste and bubble bath are a few examples of products that may contain Sulfates.

While Sulfates are harsh detergents that have been known to irritate the skin and the eyes, it’s the potential presence of a by-product called 1, 4 Dioxane that is of the most concern. And 1,4 Dioxane wouldn’t be listed on labels. 1, 4 Dioxane has been classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Learn more about 1,4 Dioxane here on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website and from David Suzuki. And watch for Sodium Laureth Sulfate and PEG compounds on labels.

Choose products that use natural foaming agents such as Coconut Oil and keep it a Sulfate FREE holiday season!

RMSC Soap SamplerChristmas 2014

Toxin-Free Your Life: Nano is a No-No

This blog post was written by Abby-Lynn Knorr and posted on June 25th, 2013
Posted in Healthy Living, Ingredients to Avoid with the tags , , , ,
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Freedom is not having to check a label every time I purchase body products.” Karina Birch

Lets talk about very, very small things…something so small that it’s measured in billionths of a meter. No, it’s not the Grinch’s heart. We’re talking about nano-particles. Nano-technology is used in sunscreen to improve skin penetration and a smoother appearance after application. Crushing zinc-oxide or titanium dioxide down until its particles are 100,000 smaller than a hair shaft makes it more transparent once it’s applied. You’ve seen the solid white effect of putting pure zinc on your nose? That’s the look that most folks want to avoid.

However what most people don’t realize is that there are potential health risks involved in using particles of this size because of how easily the particles penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream.

There is pressure being put on the FDA to regulate this technology, and the FDA agrees that nanotechnology has unknown effects on the human body, but until regulation is officially put in place its up to you to outsmart these potentially toxic products. Choose a sunscreen that doesn’t use nano-particles. Depending on the colour of your skin you may notice a light whitening effect, but wouldn’t you rather glow a little than expose yourself to un-tested invisible particulate matter?

If you’re interested in learning more, here are two great articles from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: More Bad News About Sunscreens: Nanopoarticles and Dr. Mike Hart: Is Your Sunscreen Causing Cancer?

A Re-Imagined Store: Now Open in Canmore

This blog post was written by Abby-Lynn Knorr and posted on November 30th, 2012
Posted in Healthy Living, Ingredients to Avoid, Natural Ingredients, Uncategorized
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Toxin-free shopping at its best

In early November, we opened the doors to a whole new concept to retail. The concept of ‘how much old stuff can we pull out of the landfill or from our workshop and reuse to make a funky and fun new store’.

As part of the renovation, we put an extreme objective in place. One we felt was paramount to our core purpose of removing toxins from the world. The vision for this store is that it is a completely toxin-free and earth-friendly environment. In a world full of toxic laquers, paints, finishings and furniture…hows THAT for a challenge?

We made resolution early in the planning stages to avoid a ‘red-list’ of the toxins typically found in the construction of a store. Every material we used is toxin-free and either reusable, reclaimed, recyclable or compostable. We also wanted to make sure that no parts of the store will ever end up in a landfill, after all, we’d literally just pulled some parts of the store OUT of the landfill.

We had fun scrounging up materials such as reclaimed wood from a barn in Manitoba, amber glass beer bottles for light fixtures, and ingredient containers such as tin olive oil cans  and drums which were given new life as eco-chic chandeliers. We searched for antiques to use for cabinetry, and avoided virgin flooring, we just diamond ground the concrete floor that was already there. We also dug a hole down through the store floor and into the soil below to make home for a beautiful fig tree which we’ve affectionately dubbed ‘The Lorax’. American Clay on the walls and the living wall at the rear of the store help to purify the air while the living wall on the store-front adds a festive and natural header with its red berries and evergreen seedlings.

We invite you to come visit this ‘new/old’ store to enjoy a completely worry-free shopping experience. We’ve had some comments that most newly renovated stores have a toxic ‘paint-fumey’ scent, but ours didn’t have a smell at all. That is until we moved in about two million tonnes of soap. We’d so love to hear what you think the next time you’re in for a visit! Write to us at info@rockymountainsoap.com.

Dodging The Toxic Bullet

This blog post was written by Abby-Lynn Knorr and posted on May 3rd, 2010
Posted in Ingredients to Avoid with the tags , ,
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LOST BOYS

We love the David Suzuki Foundation.  Not only is DS the coolest Canadian born this side of 1936 but he and his team at DSF are singing a welcome and familiar tune.  We’ve been saying ‘Chemicals Add Up. Natural Matters‘ and in perfect harmony DSF have now launched their own campaign against toxic chemicals in body care products called ‘What’s Inside That Counts‘.  This campaign is a call out to Canadians to educate themselves about the toxic ingredients used in the body care industry and to participate in a survey that will help bring awareness to the issue.

David Suzuki recently interviewed author David Boyd who wrote ‘Dodging the Toxic Bullet’ which he wrote after a distressing visit to ‘Chemical Valley’ near Sarnia, Ont.  You can read this excellent interview here.

Exerpt:

Suzuki: Why would industry/government allow chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and birth defects as ingredients in the personal care products we use each day?
Boyd:
As for industry, the essential fact to remember is that their over-riding purpose is to make as much money as quickly as possible. Over and over again, industries have disregarded and denied the detrimental health effects of their manufacturing processes and products—including tobacco, lead paint, gasoline, asbestos, benzene, vinyl chloride, beryllium, and chromium.

When it comes to personal care products, what concerns me the most is the widespread use of ingredients that are known or suspected hormone disruptors, including triclosan (found in many anti-bacterial soaps) and phthalates (often disguised as ‘fragrance’ on labels).

You can purchase ‘Dodging the Toxic Bullet’ here.

What we do to our environment, we do to ourselves.