I’ve got some extra spending money this week, so I thought I’d go shopping at FoodBabe.com.1 I want to be extra careful though, and not buy anything that might harm my body. So I’m going to use Vani Hari (the Food Babe)’s excellent article, “Be a Drug Store Beauty Dropout”2 as a reference, and closely examine the ingredients of any product I might buy.
Come with me, won’t you? It’ll be fun!
One warning that particularly stands out in chemistry expert Hari’s thought-provoking piece is the following, where she says we must avoid:
“Siloxanes. Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter [SIC] and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.”2
OK. Avoid anything ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone”. Got it. Let’s go shopping!
Mmmm… that Borage Dry Skin Therapy lotion looks wonderful. The cold winter weather does have me feeling a bit chapped in the old nether regions. And the highlighted Amazon.com affiliate ID tells me that Food Babe earns a sales commission from every purchase. This means I’m helping further this woman’s vitally important work. What’s not to love?
But wait… don’t click the “buy” button just yet!
Following the sage advice of Food Babe, we need to take a close look at the ingredients in this skin therapy lotion. We wouldn’t want to find anything harmful in there! Thankfully Borage gives us a nice ingredient list on Amazon.3 You can click the following image to enlarge it, or I’ll zoom in for you momentarily:
Help me out here: Food Babe said that we’re supposed to avoid ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone”! Damn my eyes, but doesn’t “dimethicone” end in “-methicone”?
Maybe the Babe just made a mistake. She’s a fully qualified researcher, but she’s also human, after all! This could just be a case of mistaken identity. Let’s see if we can find a more commonly used name for dimethicone by heading over to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubChem database:3
Oops! Octamethyltrisiloxane. That ends in “-siloxane”!
This isn’t going very well. I’d better pull up that Food Babe reference again and make sure I read what she wrote correctly, because she clearly told me to avoid:
“Siloxanes. Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter [SIC] and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.” 2
What the hell? In addition to her inability to spell “disruptor”, is Food Babe also trying to sell me a skin care product that’s going to mess with my endocrine system, screw up my reproductive organs, and–as an afterthought–kill my pet fish?
I want my money back!
If you’ve read any of the other articles in this series, you know that this is where I usually debunk Vani Hari’s claims that the ingredient in question (in this case, octamethyltrisiloxane) is really dangerous.
It’s getting old. I’ve written about a dozen of these pieces now, and have already once shot down the -siloxane/-methicone garbage here. I just don’t have the energy to do it all again. Why reinforce the negative impact of Food Babe’s ridiculous claims by going on and on about the safety? Psychiatrists call this the “backfire effect”, and I’m loathe to do it. Borage Dry Skin Lotion is completely safe.
However, if you’re curious and would like to hear what experts say about octamethyltrisiloxane (dimethicone, the ingredient in the skin lotion), you’re welcome to read the toxicity summary at PubChem and see that Food Babe’s been pulling the wool over your eyes.
On the other hand, if you believe Food Babe and think that octamethyltrisiloxane (dimethicone) is toxic, then head over to her Facebook page and ask her why she’s selling a product laced with it. I can guarantee that your comment will be deleted and you’ll be banned… never allowed to comment again.
I’m out of here. I’m going to go buy some Borage skin lotion. I’m just not going to buy it from Food Babe.
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The Food Babe Ban List
Octamethyltrisiloxane courtesy USNLM PubChem, which does not necessarily agree with the views expressed by the author.
Amazon.com and Borage product, and Food Babe screen snapshots are used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.
(1) “For Your Beauty” (Shopping on FoodBabe.com)
(2) Be a Drug Store Beauty Dropout!
(3) Borage Dry Skin Therapy Product Page on Amazon.com
(4) PubChem Summary for Compound CID #24705 (Trisiloxane, aka dimethicone)