EWW. YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US.
Never will you ever find any of these ingredients on (or in) a tube, bottle, or sachet of George. These are the skin-scalp-and-nature-wreckers that have flown under the radar for far too long. As long as you have George, you'll have no need to invite these baddies into your bathroom again.
OK, let’s get one thing straight. Silicones aren’t harmful in that they don’t affect your physical health. What they are responsible for though is creating something akin to a false layer – one that leaves your hair feeling nice and smooth but doesn’t actually help your hair in the long run – in fact, it sort of builds up and makes your hair a little manky, while preventing moisture and nutrients from permeating the hair, to truly improve its health. Conventional conditioners, filled with silicone, demand more frequent hair washing and, seriously(!), who’s got time for that? The build up is hard to break down which is pretty annoying, so we’re leaving it out.
Are preservatives used to ensure products can have a long shelf life (like 6+ months). Parabens are often linked to issues like dryness, irritable scalp, making your colour fade way quicker than it should, and hair loss. The super scary thing about parabens is they’ve been found to be linked to cancers and tumours, so best to avoid them.
Are what make hygiene and beauty products froth and foam – but unfortunately, beyond the bubbles, they’re bad news. They’re basically chemical detergents (this explains why some products make our scalps so dry and irritable!), which force the scalp to overcompensate and produce way more oil than needed. To get rid of the oil, we feel compelled to wash our hair, thus continuing this icky cycle. You’ll get used to the lack of lather, we promise. It’ll do you and our waterways good.
Sometimes appear on ingredient lists as ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’. Pretty sneaky! Phthalates are described as gelling agents. Their job is to ensure a product’s scent and colour last for an unnaturally long time. That mellowy shiny colour that comes from most commercially-produced shampoo maintains its fragrance and scent for aaaaages thanks to this ingredient. These guys have been linked to nasty health issues, like hormone disruption and infertility. In terms of hair health, they’re likely to damage your scalp first, by wreaking havoc on your pores. Avoid, avoid, avoid!
Is commonly added to personal care products, like toothpaste, deodorant and shaving products, to prevent bacterial contamination. That’s a good thing, right? Bah-bow! Like its pal above, Triclosan is known for some pretty bad stuff, like disrupting your hormones and messing with cellular reproduction (read: slows down hair growth). George no likey.
Is a mixed bag… of bad. It’s a key player in Team Foam and Lather – a tricky ploy to make your hair feel squeaky clean. To be fair, it’s deemed safe for skin application, but on the flip side, it’s also linked to cancer. DEA also messes with the environment and is considered toxic to waterways and our aquatic pals. If you haven’t been pro ‘save the dolphins’ until now, surely this will make you pro ‘save the dolphins’, right?
Also a member of Team Foam and Lather, EDTA has been known to be a goodie for people who have to wash their hair in hard water. It’s also known to be good for cleaning hair after a swim at the beach or pool. It makes hair cuticles shrink, temporarily, making hair appear shinier. Keyword: temporarily. EDTA is a chemical preservative, curbing bacteria and extending the shelf-life of products. Folks with sensitive skin should keep an eye out for this one, and definitely don’t ingest it (it’ll make you extremely ill).
Is a synthetic petrochemical and emollient – added to hair and beauty products to make your hair (or skin) feel silky smooth. A known carcinogen that can penetrate the skin, PEG is especially bad news for those with sensitive or damaged skin.
Research has found that 95% of ingredients used in artificial fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. Many of them are toxic and linked to cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions and… just bad news for your insides. Strong fragrances can also mess with your respiratory system and cause annoying, sometimes dangerous, side effects. George products are filled to the brim with luscious ingredients from nature, so we have no need to mask any weird chemical smells with even more toxic petrochemicals.