I live quite close to a Lush shop in Toronto, a company that touts “Fresh Handmade Cosmetics” many of which are vegan and not tested on animals.  Lush is seemingly perfect right?  Wrong.

While Lush’s products are not food, I think it’s important to feature them on Busted because they are certainly healthwashed.

For example, Lush’s Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly.

Sure it’s got a cute name, sweet smell and is wobbly.  But what the heck is this stuff made of?

The ingredients list is as follows:

Glycerine, Cherry Infusion (Prunus cerasus), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coconut Infusion (Cocos nucifera), Propylene Glycol, Carrageenan Extract (Chondrus crispus), Perfume, Bergamot Oil (Citrus bergamia), Cassis Absolute (Ribes nigrum), Cypress Oil (Cupressus sempervirens), *Limonene, *Linalool, Iridescent Glitter (Polyethylene terephthalate and Acrylates copolymer), Snowflake Lustre (Potassium Silicate & Titanium Dioxide), FD&C Blue No. 1, D&C Red No. 33, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

The breakdown…

Sodium Laureth Sulfate – This is an ingredient that makes products foam.  Health Canada classifies Sodium Laureth Sulfate as a “moderate human health priority” and flagged it for future assessment under the government’s Chemicals Management Plan.1

Snowflake Lustre (Potassium Silicate & Titanium Dioxide) – It’s weird when ingredients have ingredients right?  Titanium Dioxide (Ti02) is a chemical that is part of this “Snowflake Lustre.”  In a study done by UCLA, Ti02 nanoparticles induced single and double-strand DNA breaks, chromosomal damage and inflammation, all which increase the risk for cancer.2  Not something I would want in my shower cleanser.

FD&C Blue No. 1 – This is a synthetic dye made from petroleum aka coal tar.  Coal tar is recognized as a human carcinogen and the main concern with individual coal tar colours is their potential to cause cancer as well as contamination with low levels of heavy metals.3 

Methylparaben and Propylparaben – Parabens are synthetic compounds that act as preservatives and prevent the growth of molds, yeasts and other microbes.4  When parabens are applied to the skin and absorbed, they bypass the metabolic process and enter the blood stream and body organs intact.5  They are stored in the body’s fatty tissues and cannot be flushed out with water, so they accumulate over the years and affect menstruation, reproduction and even fat metabolism.6

So while Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly is going to make you sparkly, do you really want all these ingredients on your skin as your trying to get clean?  I don’t think so.

References

1. “Sodium Laureth Sulfate.”  David Suzuki Foundation, n.d.  Website.  25 Sep. 2011.  <http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics—sodium-laureth-sulfate/>
2. University of California – Los Angeles. "Nanoparticles used in common household items cause genetic damage in mice." ScienceDaily, 17 Nov. 2009. Web. 25 Sep. 2011. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116165739.htm>
3. “Coal Tar Dyes.”  David Suzuki Foundation, n.d. Website. 25 Sep. 2011. <http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics—coal-tar-dyes/>
4. Haas, Elson M.  Staying Healthy With Nutrition.  New York: Celestial Arts, 1992. p469.
5. “Parabens.”  David Suzuki Foundation, n.d. Website. 25 Sep. 2011. <http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics—parabens/>
6. Deacon, G.  There’s Lead In Your Lipstick.  Toronto: Penguin, 2011. p84.

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