Soap and facial cleansers are used with the goal of cleaning away dirt and impurities from the skin. Sounds simple enough. Unfortunately, some soaps and skincare products are made with ingredients that can irritate your skin and be harmful once absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Consider using organic soaps and skincare products that are free from harsh chemicals.
Grab your soap box, we are going to make sure your product is actually healthy for your skin.
Sulfates: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are common chemical agents used for creating a rich lather in soaps and is also found in toothpastes, liquid soap and shampoos. These sulfates are harmful to the skin and scalp, since they strip the natural oils and damage cell membranes causing hair loss. These sulfates have been linked to skin irritations and even cancer. People with eczema and sensitive skin should avoid sulfates.
Parabens: Once absorbed into the skin, parabens mimick estrogen. This means that once the product is absorbed into the skin and bloodstream, parabens are recognized as estrogen causing various issues in both men and women. There are many parabens such as proplyparaben, methylparaben and butylparaben. Parabens were banned in Europe in 2003.
DEA: Diethanolamine is commonly used as a preservative in soap, bubble baths and facial cleansers. It absorbs easily into the skin and is known to cause liver and kidney concerns. MEA (mono), DEA, and TEA (tri) are three chemicals that should be avoided.
Sodium Tallow: Popular for being inexpensive, tallow is derived from beef and pork fats. The fats are mixed with lye and the process turns the oils into soap.
Triclosan: This is commonly found in anti-bacterial soaps. Triclosan is a pesticide that when absorbed in the skin causes imbalances in the thyroid, carcinogens in breast milk, and decrease fertility. Triclosan stays on the skin for long periods of time encouraging the growth of more resilient bacteria. Consider using Dr. Bonner's Liquid Castile Soap to refill your liquid hand soap dispensers. Add a few drops of tea tree oil for anti-bacterial benefits.
Tetrasodium EDTA: This a common preservative used in many soaps. This preservative is made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. Formaldehyde can cause headaches and other symptoms.
Dyes: Soaps, scrubs, bath bombs carry much wow factor yet when made with synthetic colors can cause irritations. Synthetic colors are made from coal tar and is known to cause irritations and skin sensitivity. Look for natural colorants from herbs, spices and clay.
Other ingredients to avoid
Isopropyl Alcohol: Is used in lotions, hair color rinses, aftershaves and many other skincare products. Isopropyl alcohol destroys intestinal flora which prevents the body from fighting off infections and radicals.
Ethyl Alcohol: This common in hand sanitizers yet we need to be cautious when using. You can purchase hand sanitizer at Whole Foods, local health food store and Clean Well products here.ss
F.Y.I. (For Your Information)
Fragrance: The FDA doesn't require full disclosure of ingredients used to make fragrances. Many fragrances are not phthalate-free. Phthalates help the scent last longer and can mimic hormones when absorbed. Fragrances can be made with up to 200 different chemicals and since it is synthetic can be patented. Fragrances are known triggers for asthma symptoms, allergies, headaches and other serious concerns. Check the label and look for 'fragrance' that is derived from essential oils and phthalate-free.
Make sure to read your labels and discover alternative, healthier products to meet your family's daily needs. As mentioned, consider using organic products such as the products sold in the shop. Be proactive and make sure the products you use regularly,keeps the skin healthy and radiant.