WHY NO SULFATES?
Sulfates get a lot of flack, but the truth of the matter is that for the dirtiest, grimiest and most build-up packed situations, sulfates do have strong cleansing properties. The most common sulfates found in your cosmetic products are likely sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) which are strong cleansing agents that help break apart oils, water and other liquids so that they can be lifted from hair and skin—similar to dish soap.
At face value, it makes sense why some companies use SLS, SLES and ALS in their products. However, the caveat is that they are also known irritants for scalp and skin, are overly drying, and while they strip hair and skin from dirt and product build-up, they also strip hair and skin from its natural moisturizing oils. If you use a lot of product on your hair, it may actually be a good idea to use sulfate shampoos sparingly a few times a year for a deep cleanse. However, prolonged and repetitive use of SLS and SLES can lead to long term damage including dull, dry, brittle, irritated and/or flaking hair and skin, split ends, and frizz! #notworthit
WHY NO SILICONES?
If you purchase a duo of shampoo and conditioner, it is often the case that your shampoo will contain sulfates while your conditioner will contain silicones. Similar to sulfates, silcones also have their pros and cons. Silicones come from silicon, a common element found in minerals. Silicone's appeal to the world of cosmetics is its smooth, luxurious feel on hair and skin, transforming virtually any product into what feels like liquid silk. Silicone coats the hair, shielding it from the outside world, smooths over damaged hair and skin, and improves product application.
While silcone does bring some instant benefits to the table, the major problem with silicone is it is often difficult to remove, which eventually smothers scalp, skin and hair causing product build-up. It is true that some silicones are water-soluable, meaning they cleanse out of hair and skin quite easily. However, water soluable and lighter silicones are usually far more expensive, making those products less affordable and often times, less potent (manufacturers will use less of the expensive silicones in their products to reduce costs). The few cleansing agents that can effectively remove silicones are sulfates, including SLS, SLES, and ALS. Sound familiar? Sulfates aren't very good for your scalp, hair and skin either! To avoid build up and to keep our market prices in check, we opt out of silicones and use water soluable alternative instead.
WHY NO PARABENS?
Parabens have been used as preservatives in cosmetics for decades. They are added to formulas at low quantities to reduce the growth of fungus, germs and bacteria that tend to flourish in damp areas such as the bathroom where cosmetic products are often stored. Parabens have stayed under the radar until fairly recently, when their potential causal link to cancer was discovered.
Though it's never been officially confirmed that the absorption of parabens through skin and hair is a direct cause of cancer, it has been found present in cancerous tumors in the past. Researchers believe that the potential link to cancer might be because of paraben's ability to mimic estrogen, and estrogen exposure has been known to be a factor in the development of breast cancer. So even though the verdict is on the fence, and it is uncertain whether parabens are in fact carcinogenic or safe, we'd rather not take the risk! This is why we opt for gentler, plant-based alternatives for preservation purposes.
WHY NO MINERAL OIL?
Mineral oil has been used in cosmetics for is smooth, lubricant properties and because it is very accessible and inexpensive. Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum that undergoes several stages of purification and refinement before it is shelf ready and added to a vast number of cosmetic products. The reason why mineral oil is so common is mostly because it is cheap. We don't feel as though the benefit of mineral oil, which is essentially lubrication, outweighs its potential adverse effects and potential toxins.
Similar to silicone, mineral oil coats skin, hair and scalp and provides an instant smooth feel. However, while it can help prevent moisture from getting out, it also prevents moisture from getting in! If applied directly on scalp and skin, it can also block pores and smother hair follicles potential stunting hair growth and not allowing your skin to breathe. While mineral oil is by no means the end all and be all villain of cosmetics, we prefer to use safer and more effective alternatives with similar lubricating properties instead.
WHY NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS?
Espinache products are 100% vegan for somewhat more obvious reasons. We don't want to partake in animal cruelty, especially not when it comes to something like cosmetics which are not absolute necessities like clothing or food—although, we always suggest cutting out animal products from your lifestyle in general when and where you can! We test our products only on ourselves so no animals are harmed in our formulation processes.
All in all, we use natural ingredients avoiding harsh chemicals whenever we can and opting for gentler alternatives when we can't. We genuinly love our (spin)body line and hope you do, too!