In order to understand emulsifiers, it is best to think of them as a “glue” or “binding” that allows two substances to hold together that naturally separate. A good example of this is the separation that occurs in a mix of oil and vinegar. Of all additives in our food emulsifiers are the most frequently used. A commercial mixture of oil and vinegar (bottled salad dressing) will contain an emulsifier which will keep the dressing looking uniform.
They also contribute to a longer shelf, desired texture and appearance of many processed foods in the grocery store. They are heavily used in low- fat products and other products that have been processed or altered from their natural state such as low- fat peanut butter.
Their use branches into your bathroom cabinet as well. Most lotions, soaps, toothpastes and make ups contain emulsifiers that allow the product to maintain a particular look and feel.
While some may feel that what we put on the outside of our body isn’t all that important, it is critical to understand that a large portion of the things we put on our skin make their way directly into our blood stream.
Heavy metals, carcinogenic compounds and petrochemical gases are among some of the emulsifying agents that many of us use on our bodies daily without knowing. Some opponents of these things assert that allergic reactions, kidney damage and even cancer can be caused by their use. In addition, many argue that these things aren’t completely necessary in order to have an effective product.
Alternative emulsifiers that are drawn from nature and do not cause bodily harm include vegetable glycerine, jojoba, bees wax, xanthan gum, rice bran wax, and candelilla. It is simple to find products that use safe materials.
The o2living natural and organic skin care line has an array of products from thick night creams, body butters, exfoliants, soaps and bath bombs for both women and men. The ingredients we use are all vegetarian and free from synthetic preservatives, chemicals and GM ingredients. Check the labels and you are sure to see ingredients that you recognize (and can probably find in your kitchen as well) such as virgin coconut oil, orange blossom water, shea butter, olive oil, witch hazel, and essential oils of orange, lemon, rosemary, tea tree and sage. At our wellness center in Cross River, New York, in addition to a raw live food café and yoga studios we have a health spa. We offer luxurious treatments that use only safe and pure ingredients. After a treatment you can enjoy a fresh, cold pressed organic juice in our café (all free of emulsifiers!)