I noticed something weird. Most of our everyday products, such as lotions, washing liquids, etc. are full of fragrances, stabilizers, and other compounds that you do not actually need (or want) in stuff you put on your skin or use to clean your clothes. Or god forbid, eat. We could talk about the horrible bread you can buy in supermarkets, but the worst example is in your salami. Nitrate salts are incredibly bad for your health and most processed meat products contain them. Which makes eating those products unhealthy, making this example the worst case of this trend.
So how much extra chemicals do we put on ourselves? Here’s a commercial baby lotion’s list of ingredients:
Water, Propylene Glycol/Myristyl Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate/Stearic Acid/Oleic Acid, Polysorbate 61, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sorbitan Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Synthetic Beeswax, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Palmitate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Carbomer, Fragrance, BHT, Sodium Hydroxide, Red 33
Mind you, “chemical” does not mean “bad” automatically, just as “natural” does not mean “good” (just try to eat grains contaminated by natural aflatoxins when they are not treated with chemical fungicides…
I am not a tree-hugging vegan hippie; I’m a biologist. Most of the above stuff is harmless or not dangerous in the low concentration you apply it in. But still, I do have a minimalist approach: I want only what is absolutely necessary. I don’t want extra fragrance in my shampoo (which I wash off in 20 second anyhow), and I do not want extra stuff in my bread, either.
So let’s take a look at the handmade version’s list
cocoa butter, coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil, Lavender essential oil
There are options, though. You don’t have to make your own toothpaste if you are unhappy with the commercial ones. You can opt to buy products that have fewer ingredients… and surprise, these products are actually more expensive than the ones filled with different compounds derived from crude oil.
(I’m being a bit of a demagogue here. Obviously for a commercial product the cost of production, shelf life and batch-by-batch consistency are very important, but a lot of the stuff going into these cremes, lotions and whatnot are still unnecessary and are there to make the product more appealing for customers.)
The whole point of this post is the following. I was looking for baby wipes; and even those are laced with all sorts of chemicals which may not harm the baby, but I still feel that it is completely unnecessary to put them onto the bum of an infant.
Except for one. This wipe has wipes made out of cotton and pure water packed into the usual self-dispensing package.
Guess how much it costs.
If you guessed double the price of the others, you guessed right. Apparently you can sell pure water for more than a mixture of ten different chemicals. Which may make sense from a market point of view (people want the scented/disinfecting/colored stuff so you can sell more of that), but it is absolutely insane. In this case you can’t argue about production costs and consistency. You literally leave 2/3rd of your ingredients out of a product and double the price.