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Standards & Glossary

Natural & Certified Organic Ingredient Standards
Why Go Natural, Organic and or Vegan?
Ingredients to Avoid

 

Natural & Certified Organic Ingredient Standards

Natural & certified organic ingredients are what you will find in the products at Leaf & Bud Naturals.  We look at every ingredient that goes into the products we carry. We analyze them not just for safety but also for quality and effectiveness. You can feel good knowing that the products you choose from our store contain ingredients that are natural and totally safe and non-toxic. If they contain organic ingredients, they are more often than not certified by non biased companies like EcoCERT. It will be clearly stated in the product description & or product features.

At Leaf & Bud Naturals, we think it's unacceptable that many "natural" and "green" products just replace the mainstream "buzzword" harmful ingredients with equally harmful, but not widely known ingredients, and label themselves safe or natural. (An example of this is replacing Parabens with Phenoxyethanol as a preservative.) We don't want you to have to spend all your time looking up and cross referencing ingredients, that's why we've read the ingredients for you!*

In the products we carry here at Leaf & Bud Naturals, you won't find SLS’s (Sodium Laruyl/Laureth Sulfates) or other harsh detergents, parabens, phenoxyethanol or other synthetic preservatives, phthalates, formaldehyde, synthetic fragrances or aromas, harmful synthetic dyes, propylene glycol, mineral oils or any other harmful toxins.

That's not to say we don't want you to look at the ingredients! If you take a peek you'll be impressed with all the nourishing plant extracts and oils that make the quality of the products we carry stand above the rest. While some feel natural products can be pricey, consider that these products are so packed full of organic and natural ingredients that their quality far exceeds what you will find in the lower priced conventional drugstore brands.

* Pregnant and Nursing women should always consult their health care provider for product safety. Product ingredients should always be reviewed for individual allergies & sensitivities. As with all personal care products, always do a skin patch test before widespread use.

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Why Go Natural and Organic?

We want you to be the healthiest and happiest you can be, and a great step toward living a healthier life is switching to natural & organic personal care and beauty products. When you use ingredients from nature, your body is able to balance and heal itself more efficiently and work the way it was created to. We challenge you to make the switch from conventional products to safe natural ones. You’ll be happy you did!

Sceptical? For those of you who say, "Why would something be approved as safe if it's bad for me?" something I'd like you to consider is this: in most cases, an ingredient is approved as safe only at certain concentrations. Fair enough, so a product stays within those limitations and you’re good to go, right? Wrong! Think how many products we use on ourselves everyday. When using conventional personal care products, by the time you’re done brushing your teeth, washing your hair, shaving, using shower gel, applying body cream, putting on deodorant, putting on make-up, etc., you’ve just exposed your self to quite the toxic cocktail! All of a sudden those “safe” concentrations aren’t so low anymore! And most of us apply these products (and more) each and every day! It’s no wonder that so many studies are finding many of the ingredients used in conventional personal care products so harmful to us, considering they are being used at higher concentrations than recommended as “safe” by using multiple products. Don’t think you’re off the hook if you only use a couple of products. You’re still exposing your self to harmful ingredients.

Why risk your health with ingredients that can be carcinogenic, irritating to the skin or affect your nervous system, hormones & organs when there are superior natural alternatives?

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Ingredients in Products to Avoid

Following are ingredients that are found to be harmful and their effects. You will never find any of the following in the products here at Leaf & Bud Naturals.

Cocamides DEA & MEA

Cocamide DEA & MEA are surfactants that are used most often in shampoos, face, hand & body washes and bubble baths as foam boosters. Although they are derived from coconut, these compounds go through far too much chemical synthesis to be natural. DEA is an allergen and can cause contact dermatitis (skin irritation) in those with sensitive skin as well as being bioaccumulative. There are also concerns that both of these ingredients are contaminated with nitrosamines. known carcinogens.

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Fluoride

Fluoride is often found in toothpastes, mouthwash and rinses and even drinking water. There are many studies pointing to many problems and risks assosiated with use of fluoride. From the Green Grandma blog we read:  "According to Dr. William Campbell Douglass of The Douglass Report, The American Dental Association has advised parents not to give fluorinated water to their infants...... The journal Environmental Health Perspectives cites a study that reveals fluoride as a dangerous, brain-destroying toxin....... Here are the health issues that have been linked to toxic poisoning from fluoride (according to Dr. Douglass and ActionPA.org):

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Birth Defects
  • Bone Cancer (and other rare forms of cancer)
  • Brain Damage
  • Dental Fluorosis
  • Early Onset of Puberty
  • Genetic Damage
  • Immune System Alteration
  • Kidney Damage
  • Liver Damage
  • Musculoskeletal Problems
  • Skeletal Fluorosis
  • Thyroid Disfunction

Environmental Groups and Environmental Protection Agency professionals unions have voiced a united opposition to fluoridation and have called for a national moratorium on drinking water fluoridation programs.
Perhaps the most common side-effect children experience from too much fluoride is dental fluorosis, a condition where the teeth become pitted and the tooth enamel is mottled with white, yellow or brown marks. The results can be unsightly and require expensive cosmetic dental work." Written by Hana Haatainen Caye. Read more on the Green Grandma Blog.

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Formaldehyde

In cosmetics, formaldehyde is usually found in nail polishes, nail strengthening treatments, hair colors, bleaches and styling gels. It is mainly used as a preservative. According to the National Cancer Institute, formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Also, because of concerns over the damaging health effects that formaldehyde-as well as dibutyl phthalate and toluene-could pose, the European Union banned all three from use in cosmetics in 2004.


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Parabens

(methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, etc.)

Parabens are used as a preservative for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. Paraben ingredients are a huge concern, especially for pregnant & nursing woman and babies & kids because they are being found to cause developmental/reproductive toxicity and hormonal disruption due to parabens being xenoestrogens (industrially made compounds that have estrogenic effects). Because of this estrogenic activity, there are also links being found to breast cancer tumour growth and use of underarm personal care products that contain parabens. You may also find these preservatives as food additives, but there is not as great a concern because our digestive system breaks parabens down differently then our skin. The compound is changed completely by digestion.

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Phenoxyethanol

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative created by treating phenol with ethylene oxide (a known carcinogen) in an alkaline medium. It is often used by “natural” brands as an alternative to parabens, claiming it is derived from sage oil or other plant derivatives, but it is not related to these ingredients. Many (including us at Leaf & Bud) feel that it is unsafe and unnecessary considering all the truly natural preservatives available like antibacterial and antifungal essential oils. Also, phenoxyethanol isn’t a broad spectrum preservative by itself. It is often combined with other harmful preservatives and sometimes even with parabens! In Japan phenoxyethanol’s use in cosmetic products is restricted. It can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea. In fact, in 2008, a nipple cream containing phenoxyethanol was actually taken off the market because of the potential harm it could cause to nursing infants. (see press report) It is also a known eye irritant, yet it is in many natural eye creams & eye make-up. Other emerging concerns about this ingredient are organ (non-reproductive) toxicity and the contamination concern with the carcinogen ethylene oxide. One of the components, phenol is derived from benzene which is also a known carcinogen. There is too much concern surrounding this ingredient for us to feel comfortable using it or carrying products that contain it.


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Phthalates

Concern over this chemical has led to it being phased out of many products in the United States and European Union over health concerns. It is found in PVC plastics and can easily leach and evaporate into food or the atmosphere. This leaching is especially a concern with nail polish, as we are constantly being exposed to phthalates while we wear most conventional nail polishes. Other common personal care items containing phthalates include perfume, eye shadow, moisturizer, liquid soap, and hair spray where phthalates acts as stabilizers, lubricants, binders, emulsifying agents and suspending agents. The main concern over this ingredient seems to be the disruption it causes to the endocrine system. Studies have been done that show that phthalates interfere with testosterone production making it a concern for pregnant and nursing woman, along with babies and children. Until it is proven otherwise, we should assume that phthalates are reproductively toxic.


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Propylene glycol

Propylene glycol is used mostly in deodorants. It can be a skin and eye irritant and also a lung irritant in aerosol and airborne applications. It is known to be a penetration enhancer which means it penetrates deep into the skin tissue and brings along any other ingredients in the product and binds them there. You can see why this would be a concern when propylene glycol is use in conventional products with other harmful ingredients. Propylene glycol’s use can be controversial, but it has too many emerging concerns for us at Leaf & Bud Naturals to feel comfortable carrying products that contain it. Also, it seems to be accumulating in out environment which is unacceptable. The concerns that are emerging are it's a possible nervous system toxin, a carcinogen and developmental/reproductive toxin to name a few. It is however totally safe as a food additive because our digestive system processes it differently than our skin.


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SLS’s and other Sulfate Cleansers

(the most common are Sodium lauryl sulfate, Sodium laureth sulfate, Sodium myreth sulfate, Ammonium lauryl sulfate and Magnesium laureth sulfate)

These cleansing and foaming agents are made by reacting sulfuric acid with an alcohol and then neutralizing it with a salt. You can find these surfactants at high concentrations in industrial products including engine degreasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. Those facts alone are enough to keep us away! Effects of Sulfate detergents used in personal care items seem to be irritation of the skin and eyes, worsening of skin problems in those with chronic skin hypersensitivity and when used in toothpaste SLS’s may cause canker sores. There are also emerging concerns of SLS’s being cancer causing due to contamination with 1, 4 Dioxane and Ethylene oxide which are know human carcinogens. Don’t be fooled by companies that claim that their SLS’s are naturally derived (ie: from coconut). They have still undergone chemical synthesis and are likely to be contaminated with these carcinogens.


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Toluene

Toluene is a solvent that can be found in nail strengthening treatments, nail polishes, cuticle treatments and hair coloring. It is an Volatile Organic Compound (VOC), meaning it vaporizes readily under normal conditions causing potent fumes. Toluene in particular may cause eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. It is thought to be a nervous system toxin, not to mention high amounts of toluene are being linked to birth defects, developmental abnormalities, along with liver and kidney damage. Because of concerns over the damaging health effects that toluene-as well as formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate-could pose, the European Union banned all three from use in cosmetics in 2004. Also, there are concerns that toluene can be contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen.


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