One of the main ways your body acquires nutrients, other than eating, is through the skin. Your skin is your largest organ and most of the substances you put on it are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. Our skin absorbs the good, the bad and the ugly ingredients that you put on it. It can't discern what is good or bad, that is left up to you.
Chemicals in common soaps can disrupt our hormones, cause allergies, lead to reproductive issues and increase risk of some cancers. With serious side effects like these, we need to be particular about what we put on our skin.
1) Triclosan -
Triclosan is a pesticide that has antibacterial properties. It is found in soaps because it helps to get rid of potentially dangerous bacteria that have built up on your skin during the day. Overexposure to antibacterial products can cause an immunity to them. Another important reason to avoid triclosan is that it is considered an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors cause potentially dangerous fluctuations in your hormone levels which in turn can lead to hormonal problems.
2) Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS):
A common ingredient in personal care products, sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, is an additive that allows cleansing products to foam. According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, SLS is a "moderate hazard" that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption. SLS is in almost all shampoos and soaps. Check your labels and be informed. SLS goes by many different names, some of which include sodium dodecyl sulfate, sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, sodium salt sulfuric acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate, aquarex me or aquarex methyl, reports the EWG.
Almost all bars of soap contain added fragrances in order to make them more enjoyable to use in the bath or shower. However, printing ‘fragrance’ on a soap label can be extremely misleading, as this often means that thousands of different chemicals have been added in order to create the special smell of the soap.
The FDA doesn’t require companies to disclose the breakdown of a fragrance’s ingredients to consumers because the chemicals that produce fragrance are considered “trade secrets.” Most of the time, synthetic chemicals and cancer-causing toxins are hiding under that one sneaky term. Constant exposure to fragrances has been shown to negatively impact the central nervous system and can trigger allergies, migraines and asthma symptoms.
These ingredients are estrogen mimickers—meaning that once applied to the skin, they enter the bloodstream, and the body mistakes them for estrogen. Further studies have demonstrated that parabens can also cause neurological problems by way of nervous system toxicity.
So, if we are washing our bodies with soap that contains harmful ingredients every single day, think of what a lifetime of doing this could do to your health
Government testing on these chemicals is minimal, so it is up to you to make informed decisions about what goes on your skin and what doesn't.
What's in your shower?
Have you taken the time to read the ingredient list on the products you use everyday? Most of the time you will find you can't even pronounce them, let alone begin to know what they are.
I challenge you to begin anew. Go through your shower products, your soaps, shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, read the ingredients and choose to make the switch to a more natural product. Start with one if you can't afford to change everything at once, but choose to start. Here are some of the ingredients likely found in your shampoo.
Common Ingredients in Shampoo you should Avoid
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), is a harsh detergent, it is the ingredient in many shampoos that causes that foaming lather we all love. Exposing your hair to this chemical actually strips it of the natural oils your scalp needs to stay healthy.
Polyethelyne Glycol. Also called PEG/Polyethelyne or Polyoxyethelyne, this ingredient is included in shampoos as a thickening agent. It strips hair and skin of their natural moisture. Might be why I always needed to follow up my shampoo with a conditioner when I used bottle shampoo.
Parabens. Used to prolong shelf life of an average hair-care product, parabens like methylparaben and propylparaben are chemicals that are known for their toxic nature. Parabens not only irritate the skin, but they can also affect your hormonal balance.
Alcohol. Almost all hair-care products contain some form of alcohol, which can be drying for your hair.
Synthetic Fragrance or Parfum. This usually represents a complex mixture of dozens of chemicals, none of which are natural. Many people have sensitivities to fragrances and don't even realize it, they can be irritating to the scalp and show up in the form of itchy scalp, redness, etc..
Propylene Glycol. Also known as the antifreeze you put in your car, propylene glycol is a common ingredient in shampoos and other personal care products to keep the product from freezing during shipping and storage. Why would you want this in your shampoo, imagine what it could be doing to your hair and scalp!
Dimethicone. Dimethicone is a synthetic polymer and a form of silicone with two methyl groups attached (hence the name Di-methicone). It is usually used as a surface sealant in skin and hair products to coat surfaces in order to seal in moisture. It is also known to clog pores and seal in oils and bacteria, by not allowing our skin to breathe. As with all of the above chemicals, there are reports of people who react to this silicone derivative, resulting in skin rashes, burning and itching.This is not a complete list, but should give you enough information to think about. Why would you want to put this kind of stuff in your hair or on your skin?