Phthalates are everywhere... Except in our products!

Does it ever feel like your technology knows a little too much about you? Those devices in our pockets and around our house are always listening, and your computer is watching your browsing and search habits. It’s why you start to see ads for products or news stories about topics that you’ve searched for start to pop up all over the place. Some people see it as an invasion of privacy; I say if you don’t have anything to hide, don’t worry. I’ll gladly pay a little of my privacy to magically receive recipes after the Google machine hears me say, “What am I going to do with all this butternut squash?”

As I’m sure you could guess, here at Sally B’s HQ a lot of our internet activity is centered around skin care. A lot of the time this means that ours “news” feed is full of makeup tutorials from influencers, but occasionally it also means that Google thinks we might be interested in an article like this one: Chemicals in shampoo and makeup are linked to early death, study finds.

Apparently, researchers in the US have been doing some tests, and it turns out premature death can be linked to exposure to phthalates -- man-made chemicals, sometimes referred to as “everywhere chemicals” due to being in, well, pretty much every product you can think of. The article also mentions that phthalates have been linked in studies to heart disease, developmental issues, reproductive issues, neurological and immune issues, obesity and diabetes.

Our response to this study here at Sally B’s is simple: duh. Scientists and experts have known much of this for decades. It’s why the European Union banned several phthalates from use in personal care products in 2004. And more a decade later. And again in 2017. 2018. 2019. You get the picture.

So if so many phthalates are all banned in Europe, why are they still in so many products sold to US markets? You can blame Jevon’s Paradox, commonly referred to in economics classrooms as induced demand. This phenomenon was first observed in the 1800s in regards to coal, and is currently being talked about regarding expanding traffic lanes. So what is induced demand?

Here’s the most basic explanation: if a resource is cheap, manufacturers will use it. If it’s cheap enough, manufacturers will not only use it, but seek out additional ways to use it. Guess what? Phthalates are cheap. They’re cheap enough that large-scale manufacturers already put them in products from perfume to packaging, and they’re so cheap that these manufacturers are constantly looking for new uses. Cheap production means more profit, and that’s the only thing many multinational corporations are interested in.

It goes without saying, but we want to reassure you that Sally B’s products contain no phthalates. We use natural ingredients that mimic their properties (perhaps it would be more accurate to say that phthalates mimic the effects of our natural ingredients!). These ingredients are more expensive and may result in a slightly shorter shelf life or a bit less intense fragrance. But at Sally B’s, we prioritize your health over profits. That’s why we’re one of the few skincare companies to earn EWG certification. 

Two of the most common personal care items that typically contain phthalates are soap and body lotion. Make sure to check your labels on these products, and when you’re ready to replace them pick up our Foaming Hand Soap, which is phthalate-free and comes in a variety of scents, along with some Eco Body Lotion to keep your skin moisturized and healthy!

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