Are You Putting Anti-Freeze In Your Body?
I had a good time over the weekend playing with some new ingredients that just came in. It started with my aching back. I was convinced I could make a muscle rub with a bit more sex appeal than what’s out there and that would be more pleasant an experience than say, Tiger Balm (which, by the way, I LOVE for how it feels on my sore muscles, but HATE that it is made with petrolatum). I won’t go near Ben Gay. It makes me gag. But, what if I could make something smooth and moisturizing that also smelled good?
I tried. First batch was a bust. Nice, (warm and tingly) but not the right consistency. It was too thin and oily and nothing close to what I wanted it to be with regard to scent.
I added some thickeners and hardeners and was waiting to see if the texture improved when I happened across an ad for KY Pleasure Gels. They’re warming too. I thought, “Hmm, (The wheels turning in my head.) How fun! What if my concoction could be a massage-that-leads-to-sex oil too?”
Well…it was. And it was hot. But probably not the kind of hot you’re imagining. And here’s why: Warm and tingly on the muscles is flaming, on-fire hot in the nether region.
Curious, and clearly needing to tweak, I looked at the ingredients in KY’s products and was shocked that propylene glycol was listed in almost all of them, and always as one of the first ingredients. Now, I know about propylene glycol for two reasons: 1) Too much CSI and Law & Order where I’ve learned that it happens to be a great way to poison someone - to death. 2) It is anti-freeze mostly, but not only, used in car engines to keep them from freezing.
So okay. I get that there is an analogy to the human body here, one worthy of a Saturday Night Live sketch or Jon Stewart rant, but to actually do it? To actually put, or shall I say, slide, this harsh chemical into our bodies? And think it’s okay? Just because it keeps an engine running in frigid conditions for a car, doesn’t mean it should be used on people, unless of course, again, homicide is the endgame.
Seriously though, who wants such a thing being virtually rubbed back and forth, not just on the skin, but inside their bodies? It was bad enough when I learned it was in “natural” deodorants, knowing that the skin and glands around the armpits is thin and delicate and particularly vulnerable to absorption of topical treatments. But our vaginas?
What’s worse is that propylene glycol is also used as a delivery system, which means it facilitates absorption and helps products penetrate deeper into the skin. So, in other words, substances that shouldn’t be on our skin in the first place, go in faster and deeper as a result of this ingredient.
It made me start to question if it was even possible to get safe personal care products in your average-everyday drugstore. So I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own and learned that while it is possible, it is highly unlikely.
Since I was on the oil and gel kick, I took a walk through Walgreen’s and read the labels of different lubricants – all kinds. My criteria? It had to be applied to, or in, an orifice, one rife with mucus membranes and blood vessels.
First I started with products for dry eyes and nose, to which I can particularly relate with winter underway. Sure enough, propylene glycol was in almost every one of them, and at the top of the list. I kept looking, wondering about products like Preparation H (for hemorrhoids) or Monistat (for yeast infections). Sure enough, it’s in there too.
The next aisle over was oral hygiene. I made my way to the toothpaste and mouthwash and began reading labels. By this point, I can’t say I was surprised that propylene glycol was, in fact, everywhere in these products too, but I was disgusted by the ubiquitous use of this ingredient, in all types of personal care products.
Granted, I’ve heard the justification for this. It is explained away by asserting the poison is in the dose, and while I would agree that the amount in each singular item is likely purged by the body’s natural cleansing process, the accumulation of having it layered in day-after-day is another story entirely, and in my opinion, an unreasonable burden to place on the body. No wonder we have the ailments and disease we have in this country, because of course, it’s not just this one chemical. There are thousands upon thousands.
So, here I go again, back to the drawing board, determined to make products that don’t put undo stress on the body by asking it to pump out, clean out and move out all the crap these chemical companies are determined to put in. In the meantime, I’m sitting here without a muscle rub and without a sexy oil or lubricant… But, what I do have now is a fabulous foot balm!
I hope you'll join us on Facebook :)