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Published September 2019

The truth about harmful chemicals in personal health products

There has been a lot of press coverage in recent years surrounding various chemicals used in the beauty, health and wellbeing industries and as a result, growth in natural and organic product has seen an unprecedented surge. The Soil Association reports that from a survey of 1,000 participants, when shown supposed ‘organic’ products, 76% said they felt misled when they found out that the product was not certified and would not meet organic standards. However, this is a common practice when it comes to skincare products. The term ‘greenwashing’ is used to describe brands making claims that cannot be substantiated in order to encourage people to choose their product, and this is prime evidence of its impact.

When it comes to skincare, we truly believe that customers deserve to be au fait with acceptable and unacceptable ingredients. Consumers merit the right to understand how specific ingredients can react differently with the skin depending on whether a product is applied internally or externally, and whether a product is designed to be washed off or left on the skin. But in terms of clarity of information, the skincare industry can be extremely opaque.

In terms of personal health products, we have identified a list of three repeat offenders that are found in a number of lubricants, moisturisers and intimate washes…

Parabens

A word you hear a lot, but might actually not know a lot about, right? First prominent in the 1950s, parabens were used en masse as preservatives for health and beauty products. They prevent the growth of bacteria and mould, thus substantially prolonging the shelf life of products containing them. However, a number of studies suggest that parabens’ presence can be a cause for concern regarding breast cancer (Alternative Medicine Review, 2010). Though such claims have not been proven, we prefer to stay safe and use alternative ingredients to preserve all YES products.

Glycerine

The dark horse. Valued as an ingredient in soaps and shower gels for its moisturising purposes, it’s a surprise that this substance can even put a foot wrong. But when used in intimacy products, which unfortunately is often the case, it really can. When used in low concentrations, glycerine is a nutrient for thrush, whilst in higher concentrations, it damages the mucus membranes (Cosmetics Unmasked, Dr. Stephen & Gina Antczak). So in order to steer clear of unpleasant side effects such as UTIs and yeast infections, make sure to drop glycerine based lubricants like a bad habit.

Silicone Oils

Unlike other intimate health brands, we make sure to avoid the use of any form of silicone oils in YES products. Whilst silicone receives notable amounts of praise for durability, it’s certainly worth stating that much like petroleum by-products, this oil coats the skin and restricts its ability to breathe. Moreover, there is a wide array of information regarding unwanted side-effects as a result of the use of silicone in shampoos and conditioners. Due to its lack of affinity with our skin and hair, such oils are extremely difficult to wash out, and can cause long-term dryness (Green People, 2017). Search ‘silicone toxicity’ on Google and there’s an abundance of information on this topic.. So it would seem in general, this is a substance best to avoid.

The Round Up

Since being founded in 2006, all YES products have been certified organic by the Soil Association. The certification marks the unrivalled purity of our ingredients, and our pledge to act sustainably in an industry where many other companies cut corners. Whilst for our customers, our ingredients policy earns their trust; avoiding the use of chemicals reassures all YES customers that there is no risk of nasty reactions to any of our products. Moreover, YES products can be extremely helpful for women post-menopause that are seeking a natural alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). If you take one thing away from this blog, let it be this: your skin is the largest organ in the body and your vagina is one of the most sensitive areas. By checking the label on any products that you plan to use, you are doing yourself a world of favours. Make sure to stick to lubricants and moisturisers that include certified pure, natural ingredients that don’t pose a threat to the delicate vaginal environment.

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