Natural Products - Debate

Discussion in 'General Shaving' started by Looney12345, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Looney12345

    Looney12345 Forum GOD!

    I am currently trying to cut down on the products I used that have chemical ingredients )Parabens, DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA, BHA & BHT, Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Petrol derived ingredients etc etc)

    I'm not crazy obsessed by it, I still use some products that contain them, but wherever possible I am trying to cut down on using these products and to not buy products that contain those kind of ingredients. I have also taken to making my own products, like a moisturiser made from Shea butter, coconut oil and almond oil or using completely natural products, like Argan Oil.

    I wanted to start a thread asking you guys for recommendations on natural products, but I wanted the thread to be ONLY recommendations, not a debate on any benefits or drawbacks to using natural or chemical products. As we have a propensity on here to debate everything (rightly so), I thought the best way to do this would be to create two threads... one where we can discuss this topic and another where we make only recommendations. Hope you guys like the idea and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
    Shave to the grave likes this.
  2. Shave to the grave

    Shave to the grave Guru

    Yes, it's an interesting topic & something I have been looking into as well. You can't completely ignore the chemicals but as you say, try to eliminate them as much as possible. I think some of the worst culprits are found in the post shave products so I've got mine down to Bello Bay Rum a/s(completely natural) & Argan oil which I've used for a while now. I also use DR Harris Bay Rum a/s which isn't too evil.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
    Billyfergie likes this.
  3. Looney12345

    Looney12345 Forum GOD!

    When you start looking at the ingredients list, it is quite amazing just how many manufacturers are using them. It's very easy to say, feck it and not bother, but I personally think it's worth persevering. I have been getting good if not better results with the natural stuff and I know there isn't too much crap in them!

    The thing I found most surprising when I started looking into it, is the really high end products are also using the ingredients that I'm trying to avoid, Molton Brown, Clinique, ADP, basically, the majority of mass producers for cosmetic products, regardless of price are using these ingredients. I'm finding I'd rather spend the money on the natural stuff. It just takes more hunting around and/or effort on my part, especially if making my own stuff.

    Again, I'm not obsessed by it, but am trying to start introducing it into more things in life (cleaning products, washing up products, laundry products etc). Just taking it a little at a time. To switchover completely would be very difficult and overwhelming, you do need to do a bit of research and the time to make your own products (which is the best way to be sure of the ingredients list) can be prohibitive.
    Shave to the grave likes this.
  4. Shave to the grave

    Shave to the grave Guru

    I was involved with a similar dicussion on another forum a while ago after I began researching exactly what goes into the products we use. It was an eye opener to say the least! I ended up binning my aftershaves & balms straight away!
    slapo and Looney12345 like this.
  5. Looney12345

    Looney12345 Forum GOD!

    I'm lucky I don't have many "chemical" products to bin to be honest. Not shaving related ones anyway... Nice to know there are others who are looking at this sort of stuff too.
    Shave to the grave likes this.
  6. Dipesh

    Dipesh Forum GOD! Staff Member

    Tried to cut out SLS after hearing that they are the devils work over the pond.

    Made jack all difference. As a result, I don't care. As long as it works well, I'm happy.
    Redd, Rowlers and Looney12345 like this.
  7. Looney12345

    Looney12345 Forum GOD!

    Fair enough, my thinking is that it's not something you can visibly or in the immediate term, physically, notice a difference on, but using the chemical ingredients over and over for a long period of time can lead to issues further down the line.

    Agree 100% though, whatever makes you happy and there are far worse things in life that you can do which are much more detrimental to your health. I still eat crap and do stuff that isn't great for me, but you only live once. This is just one aspect on life, for whatever reason, that I am happy to start making more of an effort to "improve" on :D
    Dipesh likes this.
  8. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    We spend a LOT of time looking at what we eat and drink, and we know we're doing it wrong ... we drink too much and we don't eat anything like a natural or evolutionary accordant diet. Likely, we can't ... but if most don't, a few of us can. I know that sounds selfish, but life is about taking advantage of opportunity.

    What we don't spend a lot of time doing is looking at everything else ...

    Central heating. I grew up without central heating, in fact I was well into my teens before we had a house with central heating. Do we need it? Is it actually good for us? Yeah, Canada is going to introduce fines for folks who burn wood (because of the carbon thing which seems all the rage at the moment), but in a closed system the tree dying and rotting releases the same amount of carbon. That, and if we go too far the earth with perform some positive bio-feedback, wipe out a third of the population and hey-presto! job sorted. Why over-complicate?

    Washing. Do we really need to bathe every day? With all those products? Once a week with a good strip wash in cold water with natural soap every day will surely do just fine. We do need to re-think clothing.

    Energy consumption. Do we need lights on? Can we go with candles? Not soya oil candles, naturally, as that's poison ... do we need to power the things we do? Can we do something else? Cast iron wood burner, cooking on top as well as heating the main room/house. Do we need to run the washing machine so frequently? Can clothes hang dry? Can't people just wash up themselves? What's a microwave oven? < Never had one, myself.

    Cars, exercise, activity, disposable products, re-using, re-appropriating, "hacking", co-operation, local teamwork, community action. Get started because the fabric of society is thin and it's getting threadbare.

    ^ Yeah, the inevitable: the apocalypse is coming. Prepare.

    But no, take something to the nth degree and on the journey you'll find out a lot more about yourself, the people who matter to you, what you need, what they need, why minimalism is healthy, why having some precious things, home comforts and surrounding yourself with them is healthy (hygge), why abstinence is good, why feasting is good.

    In many respects, it's good to just turn the clock back and ask yourself: what did people do before x, y or z was discovered/invented/incentivised?
    Len, Rowlers, dowsing and 2 others like this.
  9. Looney12345

    Looney12345 Forum GOD!

    Blimey, that was a deep and philosophical post... And there was me just asking about some potentially dodgey chemicals in the stuff I stick on my face and body :o_o::D
    Rowlers and Shave to the grave like this.
  10. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    Haha! In the end we're just animals ... same as the rest of 'em. Our needs are: food, clothing and shelter. Reproduction of the species is an imperative, having a mate is a comfort, family seems to work in a way. Loose social arrangements with other humans seems to work.

    Beyond that, yes, we have all sorts of needs way above and beyond "mere animals". We're highly developed and there's no going back - we have all manner of psychological needs as well as those base Hegelian requirements.

    Largely, it comes back to simplification - resolve the crisis by regressing. Psychological issues are also sorted by looking to de-stress through calm, meditation, tai chi, playful combat. We've come so far away from what we are, we are practically at a crisis.

    Papering over the cracks with a few changes here and there, when fundamentally we're still doing it wrong, will only go so far. Yes, I applaud you for looking into it, but encourage you to go much further with it. Having "gone caveman" at various times of my life through choice and misadventure, where I am now is an enlightened fool: I do things wrong, but I know I'm doing it wrong. If for most of the time I do things right (say, 80/20) I think that's a good enough place to be without introducing the additional stress of having a lifestyle.

    There is NO evolutionary imperative for smearing chemicals over our bodies.

    It's wrong, it does untold harm to us and our (future) descendants and in the end, we're being lied to when it comes to safe usage. They don't care. Thankfully, history does keep a note of what works and what doesn't - processing is not new, but the addition of chemicals, stabilisers, preservatives and so on is. Soap is as old as the Pharoahs. Hexadexytricomethylbutylpropanal, or whatever is a new thing. The last two seconds of the clock. Regress just an instant and there's a very good and healthy life there ... but it is about sleeping well, eating well, working hard, doing something meaningful, loving and being loved.

    As an aside, I had a bloody good sneer at an eCig seller in town today. It's healthy. My arse! Humans have NEVER done this before - take all the crap out of cigs, throw away the tobacco and smoke what was left. What a crock! Sure, there was glue-sniffing in the '70s but come on ... it's like taking a Fray Bentos, chucking out all the food and claiming what's left is healthy and good to live on.

    That's an aside, but take that notion and see if it applies to other areas - when you slap an aftershave on, it's much the same thing.
    Missoni and Looney12345 like this.
  11. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK
    Practicalities ...

    I've talked about one or two items which I've kept, despite "breaking the rules", because I really enjoy them.

    How about flip your question around?

    Look at what you have and pick one, just one (okay, two) of each type that you absolutely adore. Use it once a week. The rest of the time, go proper pure - pure soap, alum, witch hazel, distilled perfume, coconut oil and soda bicarb to brush your teeth. On your day off, pamper with your Sunday Best or Saturday Night Treat.

    You can do the same with food, with drink, have a day without the car.
    Looney12345 likes this.
  12. Missoni

    Missoni Fellow Traveller

    Lots of Places
    ...some great signposting...agree wholeheartedly of the many benefits of minimalism and keeping it simple...
  13. Len

    Len Guru

    I'm not saying synthetic chemicals are good or healthy, and I agree, very largely, with nearly everything @pjgh has said on that and on other matters. (I've also experimented with cave man/more primitive type lifestyles and their corresponding philosophies.)

    However, allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment, if only for the sake of allowing us to near more to the objective truth.

    While it is true that we did not evolve to be surrounded and bathe in modern, synthetic chemicals, it is also true that evolution doesn't work that way, as it works forwards, not backwards. Evolution adapts humans and animals to current and shifting environments. In this example, a test of the truth of evolutionary theory would be to suppose that after mankind uses synthetic chemicals in it's environment after "X" generations, these same synthetic chemicals would be benign, and possibly beneficial to the race. In other words, we, and our descendants, should theoretically adapt quite well to synthetic chemicals in an evolutionary manner.

    At one point in human history, mankind did not have soap (or fire, or synthetic living shelters, etc.). Over "X" generations, we and our ancestors adapted to these things (see our mostly hairless bodies, bipedal gait, opposable thumbs, and evolved neurological receptors for specific drugs and chemicals). If evolution has done all of this, why would it not continue with our use of synthetic chemicals? And if it does so, why would this not be a positive result for our descendants?

    Minimalism, and it's adjunct, primitivism, may teach us about our roots and what we really need. I don't think there is any denying that a study and further connection to these roots would better ground and improve our physical, mental, emotional, and societal health. However, what about evolution? What about the future, and what it has in store for us? It is clear that mankind tends towards continually higher levels of complexity, higher levels of civilization. This, too, is a natural process, no? If nature affords us the means to use her tools to create something she does not make herself, isn't that also natural? In other words, nature creates mankind, and nature uses us to create something new again entirely, just as the bee creates honey. From this perspective, nothing is 'unnatural'. There is only 'harmful' and 'beneficial' for the time being, while 'evolution' adapts environmental objects from one to the other (harmful to beneficial, and vice-versa).

    If the above is true, all synthetic chemicals may not be harmful, and may be even beneficial to us and our descendants. Some might, some might not be, depending upon what we want for ourselves. To discover harm or benefit in each specific case, will require use of nature's gift of discernment, and the long hard plod of evolutionary trial and error.
    Burgundy, Billyfergie and Looney12345 like this.
  14. Looney12345

    Looney12345 Forum GOD!

    Interesting and eloquently written read
    Billyfergie and Len like this.
  15. pjgh

    pjgh Forum GOD!

    Halifax, UK

    But ...

    You knew there was a "but" :D

    For me, it's a matter of trust. Large scale chemical corporations do not give one iota of thought to the wellbeing of the end customer. The product is formulated to outperform, outlast and outlive its competitor. All manner of formulation goes in to ensure that, and that alone.

    We have the tobacco industry as our prime example here. I think it is now universally accepted that smoking cigarettes is not a good thing to do. I won't say "tobacco" because I just don't know, but I will say "cigarettes" as they are formulated specifically to addict and specifically to invest the addictive qualities the most successfully - it is about nicotine delivery.

    Hold nicotine in mind and take our other favourite drug: caffeine. Caffeine is administered more traditionally. Huge business is made upon the delivery of caffeine into the body and in many cases, these drinks are formulated for instant reward ensuring repeat business; ensured excessive consumption is a boon for these guys. Sound familiar? Now, take that a step on ... 'Relentless' and the like. Simple, straight-up sugary sweet over-dosed delivery of caffeine. Ha! The eCig of the caffeine world.

    Now, we know there are benefits to drinking coffee, drinking tea, even chemically there are benefits from ingesting caffeine. There may well be for nicotine, but when we get the corporations involved it becomes nothing more than unit shifting - how much x can we get the customer to purchase and how do we ensure their continued purchase?

    If it's scurrilous in the tobacco industry, we can assume it is in the caffeine delivery industry; we know it is in pharmaceuticals and we can take make a broad presumption that it is in the cosmetics industry.

    It's a matter of trust ...

    ... and I just don't trust corporations to be on the level, not with me as a customer and certainly not with me as a human. I am here to consume and make them money. In a world where practically everything is formulated, there is plausible denial in every case for every producer - prove your cancer came from aspartame in Cola not from parabens in shaving products, because I don't see me on Soft Drink forums, but Coca Cola's lawyers did find me posting with abandon on shaving forums. That's how it will play out.

    Wanna take a chance?

    Well, we do ...

    We do because there is pleasure in it. We drink, we smoke, we eat junk food, we drive, we sunbathe, we put our trust in suncream, pop pills without a second thought, trust our Doc (drug peddler) and the drugs he prescribes, we lather up with 50 year old soap that has long lost its ingredient list, slap aftershave on, smear attars on our wrists with no ingredient list, smear creams, lotions and potions all over our bodies, our hair, our mucosal membranes and then tell everyone on the internet how good it is. Viral.

    We can ...

    Reduce, limit and even remove. Step away from corporations, perhaps. Deal only with single trader and small business where you can get a sense of the production, talk to real people who make the product and even participate in development of the product.

    With an internet at the end of our fingers, we have a world out there that we can pick from and a world which will, quite literally, give you anything you want. It is easy to get products with comprehensible ingredient lists and products which do not contain whatever it is you don't want in, for whatever reason that is.

    You can take this as far as you want. You can take is a slow as you want.
    Looney12345 likes this.
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