Friday, December 12, 2008

6 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid

Awhile back, we talked about soap ... and in response to a kind reader's comment, I promised to do some investigation into ingredients commonly found on labels. What I thought would be a simple task turned out to be overwhelming. There are thousands of toxic substances in our body products, cleansers and even food. These chemicals are harmful ... to us ... to the environment.

The following list contains the more widely known chemicals in soap. It is a partial list from a wonderful site called Pure Zing. To read their entire article, which includes chemicals found in foods, nail polishes and more, click HERE. When reading labels, look for these ingredients ... and avoid them:

  1. DEA: Diethanolamine

    A chemical used as a wetting or thickening agent in shampoos, soaps, hairsprays and sunscreens, blocks absorption of the nutrient choline, which is essential to brain development in a fetus.

  2. Polypropylene

    Possible carcinogen. Found in lipstick, mascara, baby soap, eye shadow.

  3. Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate

    Potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in facial moisturizer, facial cleanser, facial treatments, skin fading and lightening products, anti-aging products, eye makeup remover, concealer, makeup remover, around eye cream, acne treatment, shampoo, conditioner, styling lotion and gel, styling mousse and foam, hair spray, hair relaxer, tanning oil and sunscreen, after tanning products, body cleanser and wash, bodyexfoliants, body firming lotion, baby soap, baby lotion, baby wipes, baby bubble bath, pain and wound products, hand sanitizer.

  4. SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate)

    Builds up in heart, lungs, brain and liver from skin contact and may cause damage to these organs. Corrodes hair follicles and may cause hair to fall out. Damages immune system. Contain endocrinedisruptors and estrogen mimics. Impairs proper structural formation of young eyes. May contain carcinogenic nitrosamines . This is a detergent derived from coconut oil and may be labeled natural or even organic. Found in toothpaste, soap, shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, facial cleansers.

  5. SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)

    Ether mixtures may contain carcinogenic nitrosamines. Avoid ethoxylated compounds as a precaution. May form 1.4 dioxane, a potential carcinogen, endocrine disruptor and estrogen mimic. Allows other chemicals to penetrate skin more deeply and enter bloodstream. May cause hair loss when applied to scalp. Found in shampoo, toothpaste, bubble bath, body wash, soap.

  6. Triclosan

    Found in a lot of antimicrobial soaps and toothpaste products, it can react with chlorine in the tap water to create Chloroform. This is a toxic chemical that can give you cancer. If you breathe enough chloroform, you will die. When you wash your hands with antibacterial soap that contains Triclosan, you are getting the fumes emitted from this chemical reaction.

These are just a few of the toxic chemicals one may find in soap. The best options are products with all natural ingredients ... things you recognize and feel comfortable with (for example: soaps with olive oil, oatmeal, etc.). And always let your common sense participate in any decision ... any product that smells bad, feels bad, makes one dizzy or light headed or causes a skin rash should be avoided. If the label has a lot of words you've never heard of, can't pronounce ... or are way too small to read ... I'd reconsider.

As always ... I'd love to hear from you!