Continuing with last week’s Movember theme, Gerry, whose moustache journey we documented, took me to the Movember gala on December 2 and it was so much fun!
Many guys had already shaved by then but I was delighted to see how many got into the spirit of the moustache and came in character – there were cops, highway patrolmen, firefighters, a gang of bootleggers, general Mo freaks, and a very dashing French revolutionary soldier complete with bicorn hat and period uniform. Gerry had his Mo reshaped one more time and we did him up as though he were striding onto his yacht, so I matched his costume and we both had a look of nostalgic glam.
Mo-goers were given bags o’ swag containing men’s grooming products – deodorant, shave gel, and a 5 – yes, 5-blade razor. I put my swag away with the rest of my men’s grooming stuff when I got home and didn’t think about it.
Then I started noticing something. When I walked into my living room, I could smell something odd, something I couldn’t identify. I decided that someone walked past my door wearing too much cologne. However, each time I walked into my living room, I could smell it again, so I hunted around and discovered that it was my bag of swag from the gala that was causing the stink! I was able to distinguish which grooming product was giving off the strong scent – the culprit was Mennen Speed Stick. Welcome to today’s topic.
Now, I want you to understand some things before I continue, readers: 1. I don’t want to sound like an ingrate because I appreciate that large companies are sponsoring Movember and promoting the fight against prostate cancer, and 2. I only use natural and unscented grooming products on my skin, therefore, I am highly sensitive to chemical fragrances, thus my picking up on the swag smell.
Ingredients: salt and gas
I’m going to share some of the research I have done on common men’s grooming products with you so as to educate you on the products you’re applying to your skin because whether you realize it or not, your skin is absorbing it. Some of these ingredients may cause you to question the products you use because the ingredients themselves are questionable.
Because I have taken from different sources, the ingredients listed below may or may not be present in the 2011 version of Speed Stick:
- Cyclomethicone: silicone oil
- Denatured Ethanol: ethanol with chemical additives
- Tripropylene Glycol: colourless, viscous liquid derived from petroleum
- Dimethicone: anti-foaming and emollient agent, suspected environmental toxin
- Propylene Glycol: colourless viscous liquid derived from natural gas
- Phenyl Trimethicone: derived from silica, a natural component of quartz and opal
- FDC Blue #1, FDC Yellow #5 : synthetic dye produced from petroleum
- Sodium Carbonate: sodium salt of carbonic acid
- Sodium Chloride: salt
- Sodium Stearate: salt of stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid and cleansing agent (surfactant)
- Sodium Sulfate: sodium salt of sulfuric acid
- Tetrasodium EDTA: used to decrease reactivity of metal ions that may be present in a product
- Stearyl Alcohol: compound produced from stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid; stabilizer, surfactant, fragrance
- Dimethicone Copolyol: silicon-derived, used as a low-odor ingredient to mask other scents
- Fragrance: not listed – more trouble ahead
Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms. In laboratory experiments, individual fragrance ingredients have been associated with cancer and neurotoxicity among other adverse health effects. – David Suzuki Foundation