How Toxic Is Your Soap – Is It Really Safe?
One of the main ways the body receives nutrients is from the food we consume. The other is through the skin, absorbed into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, the skin absorbs toxic chemicals along with vitamins and minerals. Most importantly, toxic chemicals commonly found in soap can cause serious problems. For example, these include allergies, reproductive issues, disrupt our hormones, increase risk of several cancers and more. With serious side effects like these, it’s important that we pay attention to what we apply to our skin.
by Leslie Blackwell
So, what constitutes a safe, toxic free soap? Those that don’t contain the following:
Parabens in Soap
Parabens are preservatives added to body soap, shampoo, and some cosmetics to prevent the growth of hazardous bacteria and mold. Thus, these are connected to numerous side effects, including endocrine dysfunction, cell damage, and cancer. These chemicals are estrogen mimickers. Thus, means that when they are applied to the skin and enter the bloodstream, the body mistakes them for estrogen. When this happens, the body thinks there’s an unusually high amount of estrogen within the bloodstream. This causes it to react in a variety of ways. For instance, increasing fat deposits, decreasing muscle mass, causes reproductive problems and an early onset of puberty.
Bubbles in Soap
Sulfates are chemicals used to create bubbles and lather in soap. Two of the most common sulfates are sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Therefore, sulfates can cause eye damage and disrupt the skin’s natural oil balance. Sulfates also act as irritants for those with eczema and sensitive skin.
Triclosan is a toxic additive and a common ingredient found in antibacterial soap. Studies show that triclosan encourages the development and growth of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotic cleansers. Moreover, it creates dioxin, a substance that negatively affects thyroid functions and the endocrine system.
Like parabens, formaldehyde is used to protect against the growth of harmful mold and bacteria in shampoo. Most importantly, formaldehyde can damage DNA in a way that could lead to cancer. In addition, this toxic chemical can trigger allergic reactions, including asthma and skin irritation.
Real Fragrance in Soap
If the ingredient used for “fragrance” in soap is vague, it’s most likely hiding something. Thus, the term “fragrance” may very well be a toxic cocktail of chemicals. In most cases, cancer causing toxins and synthetic chemicals. These are used to produce fragrances in soaps and are concealed under that one term. Therefore, constant exposure to fragrances can cause asthma symptoms, trigger allergies, migraines and detrimentally impact the central nervous system. Surprisingly, the FDA doesn’t require manufacturers to provide the breakdown of the ingredients used in fragrances. Why? Because, the chemical substances that create fragrances are considered to be trade secrets.
Coal tar is used in some shampoos to treat dandruff problems. This is because of its ability to relieve scaling, flaking and itching brought on by various skin conditions. The National Toxicology Program classifies coal tar as a carcinogen and research has shown that it can cause neurological damage.
Foaming Agent in Soap
Diethanolamine (DEA) is a foaming agent and emulsifier, making it possible for oil and water-soluble ingredients to blend together. Diethanolamine has been linked to cancer. Another study carried out by the National Toxicology Program found a connection between cancer and diethanolamine in laboratory testing.
Washing our bodies with soap that contains toxic chemical ingredients every day can wreak havoc on our health. Thus, minimal government testing is carried out on these chemicals. Most importantly, it’s up to us to make informed decisions that the soaps and shampoos we use are safe. Improve your overall health by choosing high-quality soaps, body washes and shampoos free of the chemicals listed above. Do your homework – your body will thank you for it!