The 4 Ps – Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Parabens, and Paraffin

By Megan Vick

 

The 4 Ps seem to be ever present in our world. Whether they are in our food, cosmetics, furniture, or clothing, they have become nearly inescapable. Once used with good intentions for the improvement of our society and quality of life, now the 4 Ps evoke fear and people avoid them like the plague.

 

Petrochemicals

These suckers are everywhere. A petrochemical is any product derived from oil (petroleum) or a manufacturing process using petroleum or a byproduct. Some petroleum derived products are plastics – we certainly can’t live without those. Although plastics have made things possible, it’s also increased our ability to be a “disposable society.” Each time we throw away a plastic product, it ends up in a landfill where all of the harmful chemicals are broken down over time and leech out into the soil and ground water. These plastics even include the plastic trash bag you use!

You can also find petrochemicals in the manufacturing process of cosmetics, furniture, automobiles, and food. See? They really are nearly inescapable. Regardless of the ever-present nature of petrochemicals, we’re not here to demonize the industry which created them. We simply believe that they have no place on one’s skin or body. Our products will always be petrochemical free and we go to great lengths to ensure our finished product does not contain any and that our ingredients are not processed using petrochemicals.

 

Phthalates

Phthalates are interesting and have only recently popped up on the radars of customers. Introduced in the 1920s as a plasticizer, phthalates replaced natural plasticizers like Castor oil and Camphor and thus, the PVC industry was born.

Now, phthalates are used as emulsifiers, lubricants, gelling agents, stabilizers, and dispersants. They can be found in everything from eye shadow, hairspray, and perfumes to vinyl upholstery, fishing lures, caulk, and floor tiles. The main problem with phthalates is that they lack the needed bond to adhere to the plastics when mixed together. This causes the phthalates to release easily when the item is heated, or as it breaks down with age. This is why you shouldn’t microwave your plastic storage containers.

As scary as it sounds, phthalates are (thankfully) being phased out of many products due to customer demand. Because phthalates are used to make things more flexible (solids into liquids), we insist on only using phthalate-free ingredients in our creations.

 

Parabens

Parabens are tricky little boogers. Like phthalates, they are also in many everyday products including food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Parabens are estrogen-mimicking and have been found in breast cancer tumors. However, there is no definitive (I use that word lightly) proof that parabens have a causal link to cancers.

There are 5 types of commonly used parabens: methylparaben, ethylparaben, heptylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Methyl and ethyl are the most common in the skin care industries. Several studies have found that if methylparaben is applied to the skin and the skin is exposed to the sun’s rays, it can increase skin aging and DNA damage. Since the scientific data is limited, we’ve chosen to avoid concern and controversy completely by never using parabens in our products.

 

Paraffin

Paraffin is most commonly known as paraffin wax, which is a petrochemical. Paraffin is the byproduct of oil refining and this byproduct has many useful properties in electrical wiring, metal casting, and as an industrial lubricant. Another common use of this wax is for candles and as an additive to chewing gum. Like other byproducts of the petroleum industry, paraffin has many wonderful uses, but we don’t believe it should be melted and diffused into the air. Our candles are made with GMO-free soy wax and we don’t use any paraffin in any personal care products either.

 

At the end of the day, we want to offer the best, purest products for everyone. We work hard to use top quality, organic ingredients in every product so you never have to worry about your personal care routine. There’s a lot of scary stuff in this world, and sadly, most of it can be classified as vegan. Our products are vegan AND made with beautiful, plant-based ingredients. No fillers and no junk.

 

Namaste.

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