Barium sulfide is a form of an inorganic chemical compound. That means that it is a combination of at least two other chemicals that are mixed in a specific proportion. Because of this chemical characteristic, it is used in many different ways.
First, barium sulfide is a vital precursor. It is used to produce other substances with the barium. This alkaline compound has found its way in the medical field and is considered to be a short-wavelength emitter that can show up on scans and Xrays. As a result, it helps to produce clear images of the body’s soft tissues.
Barium sulfide is also very popular in the cosmetics industry. Barium sulfide is one of the active and most used ingredients used in depilatory creams to remove hair. It’s normally used in conjunction with other active ingredients for hair removal. The use of this chemical compound has been around for more than 90 years!
- 1 Depilatory Creams and Barium Sulfide
- 2 Barium Sulfide For Hair Removal
- 3 How Barium Sulfide Chemically Acts
- 4 Preparation for Hair Removal
- 5 Dangers of Barium Sulfide to the Body
- 6 Other Dangers
- 7 The Carcinogenic Effect of Barium Sulfide
- 8 Caution
Depilatory Creams and Barium Sulfide
The use of depilatory creams started around the 1920s. Note that this is the period when the design of clothes began to change. People started wearing clothes that showed more skin. As a result, they began to get interested in hair removal techniques. With the introduction of shorter and sleeveless clothing, people became interested in removing body hair from areas such as the armpits, upper arm, and shoulders.
The first type of depilatory creams contained natural arsenic trisulphide and slaked lime. They used to be combined with water. However, arsenic trisulphide is not safe, and it’s considered to be poisonous. So, barium sulfide was introduced because it’s much safer. It was the apparent safety of barium sulfide that helped it enter the cosmetic industry.
Barium Sulfide For Hair Removal
The inorganic compound of barium sulfide is part of the ingredients of most shaving and depilatory creams. This chemical can break hair down. As a result, it makes the removal process of body hair easier. You need to apply the cream over the skin and wait for the chemical agent in this compound to start working. Once the hairs’ protein structure dissolves, you can easily remove the hair. Note that this process can take 10 minutes or more, depending on hair growth.
How Barium Sulfide Chemically Acts
This inorganic compound disintegrates the body’s natural hair, creating an amorphous mass. This makes it easy for you to rinse, wipe, or scrape it off your skin.
But how does this process occur?
Hair contains keratin protein. This protein is the main component that makes up the body’s hair shaft. When you apply a cosmetic product that contains barium sulfide, it mainly acts on this protein.
Keratin contains cysteine amino-acids with disulfide bonds. These bonds are responsible for giving keratin its strength as well as elasticity. And although these bonds are incredibly strong, it’s also easy to break them down. One of the best compounds to break these bonds are alkaline reducing agents.
So, using a depilatory with barium sulfide can act as a great hair removal solution as it helps to break down the disulfide bonds. As a result, they alter the hairs’ natural chemistry. This chemical effect is the reason why depilatories are the best products for quick and long-lasting hair removal of body hair.
Preparation for Hair Removal
Wash the area in which you want to remove the body hair. Use a mild cleanser and warm water then pat it dry. If you are using a Barium Sulfide product for the first time, you need to apply it on a small patch of skin. This helps to determine your skin’s sensitivity and reaction to the chemical compound. Note that you need to wait for a few hours before you can proceed with the application process in case you notice that’s it’s safe to use it.
Note that the level of concentration also plays a crucial role in determining the effectiveness of the Barium Sulfide depilatory. If you are going to choose a product with this chemical, ensure it contains a glycol such glycerin. This helps to reduce the chances of skin irritability. Besides that, the coarseness of your body hair. The finer it is, the less time the sulfide will act on it.
Dangers of Barium Sulfide to the Body
Using barium sulfide to remove body hair is great. It acts quickly and the results are usually good. However, this inorganic compound is a very powerful chemical. This means that its application can result in allergies and skin irritations. So, using large amounts if this alkaline substance can lead to severe skin burns.
This chemical is normally used with topical products. However, it can accidentally find its way into the body via inhalation or ingestion. So, what dangers does it pose to the body?
Acute inhalation of this chemical can result in a burning sensation. Besides that, it can make you feel like you are chocking. This is because it destroys the mucous membranes which are found on the throat and nose. On the other hand, chronic inhalation can cause throat and nose irritation. In case you notice any of these effects after using or coming into contact with his sulfide, make sure that you consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
You may accidentally touch your eyes after using a product with barium sulfide. Note that acute eye contact can make your eyes painful. You may end up even tearing. This occurs because the chemical interferes with the normal functions of the eye’s cornea. When eye contact is chronic, you will end up tearing and feeling irritation. This effect may also result in corneal opacity.
Hair removal products with barium are meant to be applied to the skin. However, the skin also contains protein, just like hair. Besides that, there are some instances where the skin is broken or burned hence its opened. So, when the barium ions penetrate through the open skin cells, it may cause severe irritation. Its alkaline PH interferes with the skin’s natural PH balance. However, the irritation is usually extreme when you over-expose your skin to this chemical.
Like it’s stated above, barium sulfide has an alkaline nature. So, if you accidentally ingest it, it may interfere with the acidic nature of the digestive system. The alkaline PH can easily destroy the stomach’s lining. In case you ingest high amounts of this chemical, you may end up with alkali burns which are painful.
The digestive effect of this inorganic compound is severe abdominal pain in addition to purging with bloody or watery stool. Some people may also end up vomiting or feeling nauseous. However, these side effects normally disappear after the body eliminates the excess barium content. This mainly happens via feces.
Other notable side effects include muscle twitching which may also involve muscle paralysis. Note that if you inhale extremely high amounts of this compound, you may end up with respiratory muscle paralysis. This is a serious condition that may be fatal. Others end up with headaches, confusion, and dizziness. Well, these serious side effects occur only when there is over-exposure to Barium Sulfide.
The Carcinogenic Effect of Barium Sulfide
Normally, depilatory creams with Barium Sulfide are designed for topical use. You need to apply them on the skin. So, can it result in skin cancer? Well, there is no evidence at the moment that suggests so. Neither sulfide nor barium has been found to be carcinogenic.
It’s clear now that Barium Sulfide is harmful when inhaled and ingested. It interferes with the respiratory functions and may cause eye damage. So, do not taste, inhale, or ingest it! You need to wash your hands thoroughly after touching any product that contains Barium Sulfide. When applying this compound, make sure that the room is well-ventilated.
In case you orally consume Barium Sulfide, drink lots of water or milk as soon as you can. Besides that, you can drink water that contains dissolved Glauber’s salt or Epsom salts. Avoid inducing vomiting not unless you have been directed to do so by professional medical personnel. In case this chemical compound comes into contact with your eyes, wash them with water and then seek medical help immediately.
The use of Barium Sulfide in depilatories for hair removal is great. It perfectly removes hair and leaves your skin feeling fresh and smoother for longer. Note that Barium Sulfide works by dissolving body hair. So, this means when new hair grows back, it will be more tapered. Additionally, it will be less coarse.
However, be careful when using a product with Barium Sulfide in certain areas such as the private region and armpits. These areas have coarser hair and sensitive skin. So, ensure that you don’t over-expose them to this chemical compound as it may cause unwanted reactions.