Each week, I will be giving you a peek into my shopping basket from my grocery trips and online shopping sprees. Not a week goes by that I don’t buy something worthy of sharing with you – something better for our bodies, homes or families. Tune in each week to find out my new favorites, perhaps some regrettable purchases, and my reliable go to’s.
Clear Conscience: Multi Purpose Solution For Soft Contact Lenses
I never thought to look for a “healthier” contact solution. I didn’t think such a thing existed so I settled on the idea that I’d be using the mainstream stuff forever. A random Amazon search brought me to find Clear Conscience’s contact solution. Clear Conscience is cruelty-free, thimerosal-free, and chlorhexidine-free. Plus, it is sterilized by filtration without the use of radiation.
What does that mean? I wasn’t so sure either when I first found out about it.
Cruelty-free: Did you know that the majority of contact solutions undergo animal testing to study irritability and possible allergic reactions? If you are an animal lover or vegan, this is a huge consideration. According to PETA, Clear Conscience and Lobob Laboratories are two brands that are cruelty-free.
Thimerosal-free: Thimerosal is a mercury based preservative (antibacterial agent) that was previously widely used in contact solutions. Because it was found to be linked to allergies and irritations, many companies have chosen to exclude it from their products. If it is thimerosal free, the package will clearly state it. According to the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, “thimerosal is the fifth most common allergen (source).” Thimerosal can be found in some vaccines, eye drops and nasal sprays. Be sure to read ingredient lists to look for its other names: sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate, merthiolate, thiomersal (in Europe), merfamin, merthiolate sodium, mertorgan, merzonin, merzonin sodium, timerosal, thimerosalate, and thiomersalate (in Europe).
Chlorhexidine-free: Chlorhexidine is a very common disinfectant. In studies, soft contact lenses soaked in solutions with chlorhexidine were found to cause corneal damage on rabbit eyes (those poor bunnies!), and it’s been shown to cause a build up of materials on contacts making them opaque (source). Many of the mainstream solutions have removed chlorhexidine from their formulas, but you can still find chlorhexidine in creams, toothpaste, deodorants, antiperspirants, eye drops, and antiseptic mouthwashes.
Sterilized by filtration instead of radiation: Now this is definitely something I’ve never thought about before – how products are sterilized. The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers clear descriptions of sterilization by radiation and filtration. There are a couple of forms of radiation with x-rays the most commonly by laymen like you and me. Sterilization using radiation kills bacteria in the solution where as filtration does exactly as it sounds, separating out contaminants of a particular size. This likely falls in line with Clear Conscience’s cruelty-free objective. Radiation can also be a controversial method since it can damage cells
While I have already been using a thimerosal and chlorhexidine free solution, I like that Clear Conscience’s ingredients all score a 0 on the Environmental Working Group’s database. Their ingredients are sterile(via filtration) isotonic solution that contains poloxamer, sodium phosphate buffer, sodium chloride and disodium edetate; preserved with polyhexanide 0.0001%. Plus, users on Amazon and other sites say that it either works just as well as their previous brand or even better and they’ve experienced less dry eyes. I’m excited to support a company that is using less toxic ingredients and not conducting animal testing – a total win-win. I’ll be sure to update this article with my experience.
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