Many of you know that I am a little bit of a freak about toxins. I am not a fan of man made chemicals. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that as a species humans have had the time needed to evolve to the chemical environment we call earth. Mad made chemicals have been around for about 100 years or so and as the number and quantity of them have increased so has the rate of illness in our species. While some chemicals have been proven in the last 30 years to be harmful, others haven’t so we keep slathering them on our bodies, putting them into the air, and eating them so they coat our digestive systems useless rendering our bodies starving for nutritious real food.
A few years ago (like 15) I began making my own body care products. I have a hard time slathering foreign substances all over the largest organ of my body, the ski. Over the years I have developed some awesome recipes,,,, and a shortage of time. In recent years I have become a bit lazy and have started purchasing stuff from brands I trust. So I thought every Wednesday I would go through and evaluate one of the products I am currently using to decide if I need to find a more natural solution or go back to my homemade option.
This week on the potential chopping block; Doterra Verage Skin Care Line, which includes a face wash, toner, serum and moisturizer. I love the way this stuff feels on my skin, but lets see if it stands up to my all natural standards.
After spending entirely too much time looking up what each of these ingredients are, my head was about to explode and looked like this inside.
I finally with only a few ingredients had to stop the insanity and began day dreaming about this, and I’m not talking about the curtains or that ridiculous shirt:
But then I changed my mind because I really do care about this topic, however, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer. Below you will find a list of all the ingredients in the Veráge Cleanser, what they are and what they do. I found it interesting that all of the ingredients are naturally occurring, not containing any synthetic chemicals. The thing that struck me as odd is that these naturally occurring chemicals are almost all altered in a laboratory, so the chemical is extracted from the plant and then combined with other organic plant molecules, or stripped of something. The further I went down the rabbit hole I noticed that the reasons that these naturally occurring substances are being altered in the cosmetic industry is so that they lather better, or have a more slippery texture or that with some of the molecules removed they can be used as a thickener, instead of for health reasons, like your body absorbs it easier or it without this molecule your body can use it to improve elasticity. Almost the whole way the processing was driven by textural or appearance reasons instead of health ones . I just wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about it. On one hand just as doterra is promising, it is all plant based, organic material. On the other, it has been altered in a laboratory in order to make it more appealing to the masses, which right away makes it less appealing to me.
During the time it was taking me to write this and come to grips with what I was finding out about my beloved facial regime two things happened, I watched a documentary and I met an esthetician. The esthetician told me that it doesn’t matter what you buy, nothing is natural unless you make it yourself, and that the best thing you can do is to find the smartest Dr.s and rely on their knowledge,,,, ummm not in my world. The documentary on the other hand talked about how when you alter things that are naturally occurring in nature you are essentially telling whoever or whatever you think created or organized the earth (god, jesus, mother earth, source energy, green martians.) that it didn’t do a good enough job creating the things that we need. Interesting thought, but I question if that entity, whoever it was ever dreamed that we could fuck up the earth this bad. And if evolution is the answer, then there’s no way this was predicted. I believe we do need a little extra help, especially in the wrinkle department. I like to be healthy, but I’m also a little vain.
Ultimately I talked to my friend that is doing some research on the nutritional value of rice bran when the bran is not removed, vs the nutritional value of rice with the bran removed. To me this is a prime example of the same principle because ultimately, I am trying to nourish my skin.
So I have made the decision to eliminate the doterra skin care line and make my own using extra virgin cold pressed oils.
This may be temporary, and is not because I think that the doterra line is bad. Instead I believe that most of the time using/eating whole ingredients is always the best option. The FDA has said that every ingredient in the doterra line is safe, but they really say a lot of things are safe, more than I believe in them, I believe in doterra as a company and I know that they do everything in their power to ensure they have great healthy products. I know this to be true not only because it falls within their coorporate culture and they are a great, compassionate company that really cares about customers, but also because most of the founders of doterra are mormon and you know how much the mormans want huge families to get to a higher level of heaven, they can’t have their people dying from cancer and preventing them from getting to the penthouse in the sky… Just saying
Anyway, my point is that if you do not have time to make your own stuff, with ingredients you can whip up in your kitchen, I think doterra is probably the best product out there in terms of everything being organic and plant based without any synthetics. However if you can order some stuff online and spend a little time each week making stuff using ingredients you may already have in your kitchen, I think that might be the way to go.
Soooo now I have the challenge of figuring out what products to use. Thank god I have the complete book of essential oils and aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood, which is like a 600 page bible of essential oils and all things related. So stay tuned while I dig through the mountain of information that is available in that book and online and i’ll post recipes when I get them resolved.
What a long way to come to that conclusion, but I couldn’t throw out all of this work, so here is a list of most of the ingredients and what they do:
Verage Cleanser Ingredient List: Aqua, Decyl glucoside, laurel glucoside, glycerin, sodium olivoyl/cocoyl aminoacids fructoside, xanthum gum, polyglyceryl-4 caprate, citrus sinensis (wild orange) peel oil expressed, Ocimum basilicum (Basil) herb oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Melaleuca)Leaf Oil, Coco-glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Absorbic Acid, Tacopherol Sodium Levulinate, Citric Acid, Sodium Anisate, Citrus Aurantium Amara Fruit Extract, Citrus Reticulata fruit Extract, Citrus Sinesis Peel Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Lactic Acit, Sodium Phytate.
That sounds like an awful lot of words that I can’t pronounce, and I love doterra products, so I really hope this is up to snuff.
Decyl glucoside is a mild non-ionic surfactant used in cosmetic formularies including baby shampoo and in products for individuals with a sensitive skin. Many natural personal care companies use this cleanser because it is plant-derived, biodegradable, and gentle for all hair types. Decyl glucoside is produced by the reaction of glucose from corn starch with the fatty alcohol decanol which is derived from coconut.
My concern with decanol is that it can be extracted from coconut or palm kernel oil, but it can also be created using the ziegler process a quick google of the ziegler process yields this information:
The Ziegler alcohol synthesis involves oligomerization of ethylene using triethylaluminium followed by oxidation.1 The triethylaluminium, the Ziegler catalyst, is synthesized by action of aluminum, ethylene, and hydrogen gas. In the production process, two-thirds of the triethylaluminium produced is recycled back into the reactor, and only one-third is used to produce the fatty alcohols.1 The recycling step is used to produce triethylaluminium at a higher yield and with less time, making the overall process more efficient. Triethylaluminium reacts with ethylene to form higher molecular weight trialkylaluminium. The number of equivalents of ethylene n equals the total number of monomer units being grown on the initial ethylene chains, where (n = x + y + z), and x, y, and z are the number of ethylene units per chain. Trialkylaluminium is oxidized with air to form aluminum alkoxides, and finally hydrolyzed to aluminum hydroxide and the desired alcohols.
- Al+3ethylene+1.4H2 → Al(C2H5)3
- Al(C2H5)3 n-ethylene → Al((CH2CH2)nCH2CH3)3
- Al((CH2CH2)nCH2CH3)3+ O2 → Al(O(CH2CH2)nCH2CH3)3
- Al(O(CH2CH2)nCH2CH3)3 → Al(OH)3 + CH3CH2(CH2C2)mOH
The temperature of the reaction influences the molecular weight of alcohol growth. Temperatures in the range of 60-120⁰C form higher molecular weight trialkylaluminium while higher temperatures (e.g., 120-150 °C) cause thermal displacement reactions that afford α-olefin chains. Above 150 °C, dimerization of the α-olefins occurs.
laurel glucoside: Well, at pure levels it causes irritation to the skin, but then so can many plants. It is derived from the coconut plant naturally and this study published on pub med shows that it reduces the harmfull effects of sodium laurel/laureth sulfates https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24617572
Xanthan Gum: This ingredient is a carbohydrate made through fermentation. Manufacturers use sugar from soy, wheat, dairy, or corn, and add a particular type of bacteria called Xanthomonas campetris. The result is a slimy substance that helps to thicken and emulsify skin care formulas. Yum!!!!!
Glycerin: is a byproduct of soap making. When the fats (animal or vegetable) are mixed with lye, glyceerin chemically separates from the mixture. Small soap makers will leave the glycerine in the mix and pour the soap because it is a great humectant (attracts moisture to it when it is on the skin) but commercial soap makers will add salt to they can extract the soap solids, and take the glycerine for their more profitable lotions and moisturizers. Often times in an effort to make glycerine colorless and pure it is filtered and bleached to enhance appearance.
sodium olivoyl/cocoyl aminoacids fructoside: A molecule that is pressed from olives then attached to a sugar molecule to be a very mild surfactant and moisturizer.
polyglyceryl-4 caprate is 4 compounds that are attached to a glycerine molecule. So again plant extraction attached to a byproduct of soap making process to attain a separate compound where each individual part is naturally occurring, but they are combined in a way to create something new. This chemical is very safe, mild and deemed safe by ECOCERT
citrus sinensis (wild orange) peel oil expressed, Ocimum basilicum (Basil) herb oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Melaleuca)Leaf Oil are all essential oils and naturally occurring.
Coco-glucoside: is an non-ionic surfactant that can be used as a foaming, cleansing, conditioning, and thickening agent to liquid cleansers and shampoos. It is derived from renewable raw materials such as coconut oil and corn and fruit sugars, and is completely biodegradable.
Glyceryl Oleate: is the ester of glycerin and oleic acid. It is produced from oils that contain high concentrations of oleic acid, such as olive oil, peanut oil, teaseed oil or pecan oil.
Absorbic Acid: is vitamin c, although it can be synthetically produced, it is from plants in the Verage Facial Cleanser.
Tocopherol: is a form of Vitamin E typically derived from vegetable oils.
Sodium Levulinate: is the sodium salt of levulinic acid, and levulinic acid, or 4-oxopentanoic acid, is produced from by-products of the sugar industry. It is the precursor to a large number of products, including pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, flavours and fragrances, personal care products, food additives, resins and coatings, plasticisers, solvents, fuel additives and biofuels. So far, levulinic acid was available on the market, but in insufficient quantities and produced by a process that had trouble to meet environmental standards.
Citric Acid: Naturally occuring in citrus fruits, sourced from plants in this product.
OMG, I can’t keep doing this!!!
P.S. I before I got my wholesale account with doterra I thought that the company being run by mormons would bother me because although mormons have always been nice to me, I have never really understood or taken the time to study the religion and to be honest, I’ve always thought they were a little weird and borderline cultish. I almost didn’t sign up with doterra because of it. Then I realized that it was really a positive thing. A lot of mormons use use doterra on their families which pretty much guarantees quality. They don’t even drink caffeine, they are going to try everything they can to keep their products pure. See there’s always a silver lining, and it turns out that it hasn’t been a factor at all. I’ve had a really positive experience other than the fact that they all talk waaaayyy too much about having babies.