Back again with a risky blog post – Growing a beard: What gets on your goat?
Growing a beard really shouldn’t be an unpleasant experience, but too many guys are suffering due to poor products on the high street. We’ve went after the big boys before, pointing out their shitty products and even worse ingredients and we’ve had to take the blogs down. The truth hurts for even the biggest of companies. Recently, we’ve been focusing on a lot of behind the scenes work, scaling the company up, managing white labeling contracts and developing new products to name but a few.
We’ve also been planning a series of short videos to discuss the issues, problems and general things about having a beard that, well, get on your goat.
That image is actually going to be used within the videos, since I was mentioning the video series in this blog, and the topic of this blog really got on my goat…it made sense to use it as the holding image and the precursor to those vlogs.
So, I’ll try and tread carefully (for legal reasons) but – at the same time, I’ll probably make a few high powered enemies with this one as well. And you know what…who cares. I started this business to provide my son with the future he deserves, not to make friends. I think if you run a business and you don’t make enemies along the way, then you are clearly not standing up for what you believe in enough!!!
So, we have this image of Woody’s 2-in-1 Beard Conditioner, sold in Superdrug stores and on their website. We were sent a message by a customer who said he’d been using it for a week after he was gifted it as a present. His face and beard didn’t react to well to it – so he wanted to see if we could spot any issues/concerns with the ingredients and send him some our findings.
Bawbag legal people of our new best friends (enemies) – Our findings were only sent to him for education purposes only. He was told he should not rely on our information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. We were pretty firm that if he had any concerns or questions about his (beard) (Skin) health, he should always consult with a Basturd Doctor haha
Now that bits out the bloody window. And before I start, if anyone wants to PM me with the old ‘slander’ bollocks…please don’t as its only slander if its not true. The facts I’m about to share about the ingredients ARE TRUE!!! All I’m doing is educating people, and allowing them to use the information to make future buying decisions more safely.
(Me now scared to look at my emails haha)
Anyway…our man in question said that growing a beard was something he’d wanted to do for years but couldn’t due to work. He’s switched careers now but his beard growing journey has sarted off a bit shit, his skin was mega dry, beard was more brittle than normal and he was breaking out in a rash/spots. Here is the list of the ingredients he’s been slapping on his chops:
- Cetyl Alcohol
- Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil
- Behentrimonium Chloride
- Equisetum Arvense Extract
- Hedychium Coronarium Root Extract
- Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract
- Urtica Dioica Extrac
- Yucca Vera Leaf/Root Extract
- Tocopheryl Acetate
- Panthenol Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7
- Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
- Cocos Nucifera Oil
- Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate
- Sorbitan Laurate
- Butylene Glycol
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine
- PPG-1 Trideceth-6
- Polysorbate 20,
- Polyquaternium -37
- Disodium EDTA
- Ethylene Brassylate
- DMDM Hydantoin
- Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
- Titanium Dioxide (CI77891)
Now you will see I’ve highlighted 2 in red, we could have covered much more. I honestly didn’t need to look beyond those 2 in order to go back to our guy with some, quite frankly, shocking information. Information that might help him understand why his skin and beard feels so bad.
Growing a beard that looks healthy: Avoid – Dimethicone
In short, this is a smoothing silicone that exacerbates acne. Will suffocate your skin and give you spots! Fact!
Growing a beard that looks healthy: What are the Concerns for Dimethicone?
The first concern with this ingredient is that it covers the skin. Manufacturers may think that’s a benefit, but we don’t. Imagine having a thin, rubber-like cover over your face all day. Sound healthy? It’s not. Not only are you missing out on truly moisturising ingredients like natural oils, extracts, and shea butter, but you’re interfering with the skin’s natural processes—like sweating, temperature regulating, and sloughing off dead skin cells.
Prolonged exposure can increase skin irritation and create a dependency on the product. Just like petroleum jelly (related blog at the end), dimethicone can actually end up drying your skin the more you use it, as it interferes with the natural hydrating processes – so dude, this could be reason your skin aint breathing too well and your spots are breaking out. Educationally speaking, of course.
Oh, and you’ll all love this. As with the covering and trapping property of dimethicone means that it’s not just trapping moisture, but bacteria, skin oils, sebum, and other impurities. That means those prone to acne or with oily skin are more likely to see increased blackheads and breakouts when using products containing this ingredient.
There is also some concern that dimethicone is hurting the environment. It is non-biodegradable, which means that it can pollute our environment during both the manufacturing process and after it’s used, in the disposable process. growing a beard does not involve silicone I’m afraid.
This stuff (silicone) is hard to spot as companies use other silicones like:
- Phenyl trimethicone
- Dimethicone copolyol
I know lots of people will suffer from breakouts, yet they will keep using their products not knowing about stuff like this…growing a beard that looks healthy is really down to you checking your labels for dodgy chemicals.
Growing a beard that looks healthy: Avoid – Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
Growing a beard that looks healthy: What are the Concerns for Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate?
The first concern with this is ingredient is how heavily it features on the harsh chemicals watch lists all over the world when it comes to cosmetics. This is known as the ‘the Toxic Preservative‘.
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC) is a water-based preservative which—get this—was used originally in the wood and paint industries. It’s now also used in some cosmetics and personal care products. However, even the cosmetic industry admits that this ingredient is toxic, and restrictions have been placed on its use.
If you’re using products with this toxic preservative, you may find yourself scratching irritated skin.
IPBC is a preservative that helps prevent mold, bacteria, and other germs from spreading. It was used for years in paints, primers, and coolants, and only more recently in cosmetic products, as it is effective against a wide variety of microorganisms.
You’re likely to find it in foundations, concealers, bronzers, self-tanners, eye shadows, mascaras, makeup removers, shampoos, conditioners, shaving creams, nappy creams, anti-itch and rash creams, bath soaks, body washes, hair dyes, lip balms, and moisturisers.
(Starting to feel like Will Smith in the Enemy of The State)
Is It Safe?
IPBC is a suspected gastrointestinal and liver toxin, and is thought to present risks to human reproduction and development, having been linked to the potential for reduced fertility and increased risk of pregnancy problems. It’s a suspected teratogen, which means that it may increase the risk of birth defects.
The Environmental Protection Agency notes that there is limited evidence of gastrointestinal and liver toxicity with IPBC, and Japan’s Standards for Cosmetics restrict its use in cosmetics. Even the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has expressed concerns about toxicity with IPBC, and limits the use in cosmetics to concentrations less than or equal to 0.1%. They noted that at concentrations of 0.5% and above, it has the potential to irritate skin.
The European Union goes even further to limit the use of the preservative in cosmetics at a maximum concentration of 0.02% in rinse-off products, and 0.01% in leave-on products, except in deodorant/antiperspirant products, where the limit is even lower—0.0075%.
Growing a beard: The other main problem with IPBC is that it can increase your risk for contact dermatitis—skin allergies!
The other main problem with IPBC is that it can increase your risk for contact dermatitis—skin allergies. According to recent patch-test study, IPBC is one of the new allergens. Back In 2008, British doctors noted allergic dermatitis in cleansing wipes. In a 2002 study, researchers stated that, “As the use of this seemingly safe preservative becomes vast, an increased number of cases of IPBC-induced contact allergy is likely.”
Growing a beard: The problem with testing!
I think the problem lies with the UK being flooded with products being produced in countries who don’t give a damn what’s in them. Have they been tested, are they safe, who tested them – and by what standards have they been tested on, UK, Europe, International or made up standards.
Also, here is another thought. How many cosmetic safety testing labs are owned outright by huge companies who produce the products being tested? Resulting in a conflict of interest. Worth thinking about. Certainly worth talking about. And, have those products been produced and tested in America (we know they don’t take cosmetic safety requirements, compliance, testing and harsh chemicals as seriously as the UK and Canada for example) then sold openly to us on sites and shops like Superdrug.
The point I’m making here is, it may be approved for sale into countries like America, but is it approved for us here in the UK as we have much more strict laws on harsh chemicals. We have also banned more substances that CANNOT be in products full stop.
With all that said, here is an example…Take another ingredient listed above:
- Titanium Dioxide (CI77891)
To cover this quickly, it’s BANNED in Canada. The Canadian Government have classed that substance/chemical as a carcinogen. A carcinogen is a substance that causes a cellular malfunction, causing the cell to become cancerous (Cancer) and can be potentially lethal to the surrounding tissue and ultimately to the body. But by all means come into Superdrug in the UK and rub it on your fucking face! Cheers guys…
See what I mean?! Love a wee word cloud so let’s highlight some from that paragraph.
Banned, carcinogen, cancer, cancerous, lethal, cellular malfunction
Now I know in low amounts in lotions and creams the risk isn’t as high as when its ground up in powder form (ladies take note) and inhaled, but when The International Agency for Research on Cancer tells you to avoid something as it causes cancer, please fucking listen!
That begs a few questions:
- Should companies that pump our products with banned substances in other countries tell us what % levels are, just like how the fat, calories, sugar content on sandwiches are clearly displayed, something like that? If they are FACTUALLY capable of causing cancer in humans, then we think they should!!!
- Why don’t our regulators follow countries like Canada, who let’s face it, seem to be on the ball with this kind of thing. You only need to jump on the Canadian Governments website to see the forward thinking projects they have going on to regulate consumer products, especially their work on prohibited and restricted chemicals.
We all love a bargain, I certainly do! but when we use something every day on our skin…a bargain these days could be harbouring a nasty secret. The companies that sell these products/ingredients to us really should be more transparent about them.
Superdrug is owned by CK Hutchison Holdings Limited which is a Cayman Islands–registered multinational conglomerate headquartered in Hong Kong. Who also own and run:
- The Perfume Shop
- Savers Health & Beauty
A.S. Watson Group (75% owned by CK Hutchison Holdings Limited stated above) is the world’s largest health and beauty retail group, with over 13,900 stores in 24 markets worldwide serving over 28 million customers per week, and over 3 billion customers and members throughout.
The group operates the world’s largest portfolio of retail formats, retail brands and has the largest geographical presence. They are also headquartered in Hong Kong.
Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything, I’m merely pointing out how big the company is that holds the monopoly regarding cosmetics sold on our high streets. Imagine the horribly complex procurement process they have, it would be easy for certain products/ingredients to slip through the net. Just a thought. I just want to point out that when companies get to that size, as recent history has taught us – we get let down big time!
Before anyone jumps in to say in being harsh, I’m not I’m just trying to spark a valid debate and remind everyone that we are not always in safe hands. We have been lied to for years by the giant firms, governments, banks, and supermarkets that we were meant to trust wholeheartedly.
(Still haven’t opened my eyes yet to check emails – too scared! Defo running away to live in a cave after this blog)
- I remember when Tesco promised not to lie to us, then they falsified documents to cover up a £250 million hole in accounts. That scandal lead them to be charged by the Senior Fraud Office. Couple that with the scandal where Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Dunnes Stores were selling us horse meat when you thought it was beef. Cheers guys…pretty sound of you. Clearly can’t be trusted.
- I remember when we used to trust banks not to rip us off. Since the emergence of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008, several large banks were discovered to be committing large-scale malpractice, fraud or miss-selling of bogus financial products. As consumers we couldn’t pay £75.36 in cash into our accounts without a criminal themed Spanish inquisition in the branch, but behind the scenes HSBC bank were deliberately failing to comply with anti-money laundering rules so millions, possibly billions, of dirty money could be laundered. They paid a £2 billion pound fine for letting the American and UK financial system be exposed to drug cartels. Cheers guys…pretty sound of you. Clearly can’t be trusted.
- I remember when the Government promised to not too lie to us or rip us off. In the UK we had the fake suicide scandal in the 70’s, the sale of arms directly to Saddam Hussain in the early 90’s, and the tobacco advertising scandal 1997 where by Tony Blair allowed Bernie Ecclestone to bribe the Government with £1 million pounds for preferential treatment. And let’s not forget the expenses scandal of 2009. MP’s were seriously misusing tax payer’s money to fund their lavish lifestyles, stealing from us while pushing austerity measures and telling us to cut back, work harder and behave. Cheers guys…pretty sound of you. Clearly can’t be trusted.
I’m just hinting that we all need to start thinking for ourselves and start doing some research before you buy from giant companies who , as recent history has shown us, will do anything, to keep the billion dollar/pound dividends rolling in for their CEO’s and shareholders.
Be safe out there guys. When you are growing a beard, or anyone for that matter, and your buying cheap cosmetics, watch out. They could contain ingredients that make your skin condition worse.
Sources: Safe cosmetics.Org (A project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners ) Canadian Goverment, International Agency for Research on Cancer, ARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. (2010), NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (2010) September 12, 2014, Wikipedia. Financial Conduct Authority. Telegraph. BBC News. Financial Times. Bearded Basturds. And many many more.