This is a significant topic of discussion as we've recently noticed an influx of new "Wild Yam Cream" products entering the market.
However, several of these creams contain ingredients that are of concern; we believe it's important that you're aware of this. Not all Wild Yam Creams are created equal, and we emphasize the importance of reading product labels.
Our formula, with a 29-year history, has never had synthetic ingredients added to it, unlike many products labeled as "Natural".
We are acutely aware of the constantly evolving world of research and knowledge. Science, by its very nature, is dynamic, continually changing with each new discovery. This includes new cosmetic ingredients.
However, it seems that scientific advances and even "Natural" options are being driven by cost reduction and mass production, often using ingredients detrimental to us and/or our environment.
We question the logic of using a cream designed to balance hormones that contains ingredients releasing endocrine disruptors into our environment, thereby exacerbating the very problem we're trying to mitigate.
Progesterone Added Wild Yam Cream
Many of the "Top Selling" Wild Yam Creams contain added progesterone. But wait, isn't progesterone something we're trying to increase in our bodies?
Science has shown that when we introduce substances to our bodies, they tend to accumulate, and our bodies may become dependent on their ongoing supply. This is particularly evident with hormones.
These products will often contain the warning "Cancer and Reproductive Harm".
So --- if you see Progesterone or Progesterone, USP or USP Micronized Progesterone --- know what you're getting. This is is the same for any ESTROGEN added products.
Our logic is, try the hormone-free product first before adding hormones.
The actual goal: Aid your body with creating its own progesterone and regulating itself.
This is a substance we use to keep foods, wines, and personal care items from growing molds and yeasts. Tests in a lab environment indicate it could potentially harm our DNA and might weaken our immune system.
We have alternatives to this product to preserve our cosmetics -- avoid if possible.
This ingredient is known to be a xenoestrogen and scientists have been looking at ways to remove it from the environment, which is proving to be difficult. It is manufactured through the reaction of ethylene oxide with phenols and glycol ethers. Chemical phenols are produced using benzene which is a known endocrine disruptor. Synonyms for phenol include carbolic acid, benzophenol and hydroxybenzene.
It is interesting to note that phenols are the main compound used to make the xenoestrogen, bisphenol A (BPA). In fact the single largest market for phenols is for the production of BPA, which by the way is made by combining a phenol with acetone. Ethylene oxide treatment generally creates a by-product called 1,4 Dioxane, which is a known carcinogen and a suspected reproductive toxicant. Glycol ethers are chemical cousins of ethylene glycol, propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol (PEGs). All of which are listed as possible hormone disrupting chemicals with potential negative neurocognitive effects in children due to their ethylene glycol content.
"In 2008, a nipple cream containing phenoxyethanol was recalled. Infants who nursed and ingested the nipple cream had instances of vomiting, diarrhea, and a depressed nervous system. Some babies lost their appetites, exhibited limpness, or showed difficulty in waking up after sleep."
Sadly, this is an ingredient commonly added to even "Paraben Free" and "Non-Toxic" products.. all the time.
A silicone-based polymer, Dimethicone acts as a barrier on the skin, trapping everything underneath it, including bacteria, sebum, and impurities, which can lead to increased breakouts and blackheads.
Notably, Dimethicone is also considered estrogenic. Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone estrogen, and when they interact with our hormone system, they can cause a swath of undesirable effects. Overexposure to these estrogen-mimicking substances may contribute to a host of health issues
Petroleum-Derived Vitamin E Oil (Common "Vitamin E")
Synthetic vitamin E does not come from a natural food source and is generally derived from petroleum products or sometimes, vegetable oils.
Synthetic vitamin E, due to its chemical structure, is only about 12% as potent as natural vitamin E. It is also not as bioavailable (meaning easily used by the body) as its natural counterpart, decreasing overall absorption especially through the skin.
Natural vitamin E is generally labelled d-alpha tocopherol, d-alpha tocopherol acetate, or d-alpha tocopherol succinate but can sometimes appear as mixed tocopherols (mixed tocopherols, contain not only d-alpha tocopherol but natural mixtures of beta, gamma, and delta tocopherols).
Natural vitamin E comes from plant oils instead of petroleum. Due to its molecular structure, natural vitamin E is much better absorbed in the body. Specific transport proteins in the liver tend to bind better to natural vitamin E, allowing it to be transported to other tissues in the body to be used for important functions, including as an antioxidant. With vitamin E, natural is significantly better.
Unfortunately, you may find that most products contain the synthetic version of Vitamin E.
Although it hasn't been released as toxic in "1-3% quantities" for cosmetic use, this ingredient seems harsh as it's also found to be an insecticide. Not to mention the production of how it is made.
The ingredient triethanolamine is made by reacting ethylene oxide, which is derived from the petroleum industry, with ammonia, which is derived from air.
Although no science has presented it "being bad", we are personally looking to avoid petroleum-related ingredients.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas added to cosmetics to prevent microbes from growing. The confusing part is cosmetics may contain formaldehyde without being listed as an active ingredient. That’s because certain preservatives can also release formaldehyde, including Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, bromopol and glyoxal.
We have found sodium hydroxymethylglycinate listed as an ingredient in a couple Wild Yam Creams, but be on the watch for all of these.
Closing Thoughts on "Natural Products"
Just as a general suggestion, we recommend never following the "Marketing" on the front of a container, and always read the ingredients first.
We urge you to be discerning consumers, especially in the wake of the increasing popularity of all-natural products. Many of these products don't live up to their claims. If you encounter a list of ingredients that are difficult to pronounce or spell, it's crucial to spend your money wisely and not be deceived by marketing claims.