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What Chemicals are in My Shave Cream?

Posted on 11 February 2014 by Henley Grove

A quick look at the ingredients in your standard can of supermarket shaving cream can give you the feeling that you are reading a biochemistry text. Our general rule of thumb at Sundala Health Centre is that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.

What Chemicals Are In My Shave Cream?

Sound simple? Here is the some of the main chemicals that you want to avoid when choosing a shave cream or gel:

Parabens are used as preservatives to protect from bacterial growth. Parabens are easily absorbed though our skin and can contribute to disorders of the endocrine or hormone regulating system and may also cause rashes or skin irritation.

Propylene glycol acts as a ‘penetration enhancer’, allowing other chemicals in the shave cream to be quickly absorbed through the skin. Possible side effects include skin irritation and respiratory defects; it is also believed to be associated with problems of the nervous, endocrine and immune systems.  Oh! And it is also used in antifreeze and brake fluid.

Mineral oils are a by-product of petroleum manufacture and create a seal on your skin, locking in moisture, blocking skin pores and preventing your skin from functioning normally. Mineral oils can cause dryness, skin irritation & blocked skin pores.

Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) are two skincare ingredients that make a great lather, but they also have a number of health implications. Both SLS & SLES can be easily absorbed through the skin and have the potential to cause issues with hormones and can be classified as carcinogens.

Triethanolamine (TEA) is an emulsifying agent (helps keep the oil and water from separating) that is a very controversial ingredient in the cosmetic industry because not only is it a skin irritant, but many formulas containing TEA are found to be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are linked to cancer.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is used as a lubricant, binding agent and stabiliser which may be contaminated with carcinogen 1,4-dioxane. Side effects associated with PEGs include skin and eye irritation, kidney defects and immunotoxicity.

    At Sundala Health we do our best to source the most natural and organic men’s skincare and shaving products that do not contain any parabens, propylene glycol, SLS, SLES, artificial fragrances or any other nasties that are no good for us. Check out our great range of men's shaving products including natural and organic shave cream, shave gel and after shave lotions and creams – we also have loads more in store.



    Henley Grove

    About the Author

    Henley is a photographer with a passion for natural beauty and uniqueness only found in the imperfection of nature. He openly admits to being a fan of acid jazz music, loves vegan food and lavishes a good natural men's skin care product. Just don't mention the word 'hipster' and all will be well.


    The content of this website and any provided materials, research, or communications are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified health practitioner with any questions you may have regarding your health condition.


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