Are your everyday products like soap, shampoo, makeup and lotion exposing you to harmful chemicals? What you put on your skin may be an even greater risk for toxin exposure than what you put in your mouth! Check out what you are using! Read the labels!
We talk a lot about minimizing exposure to toxins from food, whether by choosing organic, avoiding certain ingredients, or even changing your cookware.
But what you put on your skin might be an even greater risk for toxin exposure than what you put in your mouth.
Think about all the other stuff you put on your skin that you might not want to be absorbed – soap, sunscreen, make-up, deodorant, lotion…the list goes on. You wouldn’t eat this stuff, so why would you put it on your skin?
Chemicals in some of the most commonly used personal care products: soap, shampoo, and lotion, and makeup can be toxic! One of the reasons I use and recommend Younique Makeup and Skin care is because they are free from toxins! I also use organic soaps on my children and homemade goat or shea butter soaps! My shampoos are chemical free too! None of the below toxins are in my daily routine! I want you to be aware so you can make better choices (if you haven’t already) as to what you are putting on your body daily!
YOUR SKIN ABSORBS TOXINS IN THE BLOOD STREAM in
Here are some common chemicals found in your daily soaps, shampoos, makeup, lotions, etc!
Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent often added to soap, shampoo, and other personal care products. It can be absorbed through the skin, and has been detected in human urine, serum, and breast milk. (1)
With the recent focus on the importance of our microbiome and the growing threat of superbugs, people are beginning to question its widespread use, especially in antibacterial soap. Studies as early as 2006 have expressed concern over bacterial resistance to triclosan, as well as the greater fear of triclosan-induced resistance to clinically important antimicrobial drugs. (2)
Triclosan came under fire back in November when a study was released linking triclosan exposure to liver cancer in mice. (3) In the study, triclosan acted as a cancer promoter, which means it didn’t cause cancer on its own, but it increased susceptibility to cancer and accelerated tumor formation after long-term exposure.
Triclosan has also been suspected as an endocrine disruptor, although a recent review of the literature concludes that triclosan exposure through the use of personal care products is unlikely to adversely affect endocrine function in humans. (4) Unfortunately, this review was funded by the Colgate-Palmolive Company, and although there’s limited or no evidence that triclosan exposure through personal care products has harmful effects in humans, several studies have shown triclosan to adversely affect thyroid and reproductive function in rats.
To top it all off, triclosan-containing soaps don’t appear to provide any benefit over regular soap for preventing the spread of disease, so there’s really no reason to use it. (5) I suggest avoiding tricolsan completely.
Phthalates and Parabens
Like triclosan, phthalates and parabens are found in a variety of personal care products, although phthalates are more common in lotions because they act as moisturizers and enhance skin penetration of other compounds. (6) Parabens can be absorbed intact through the skin, and both chemicals have been detected in breast milk, urine, and plasma. (7)
A big concern over phthalates and parabens is increased risk for breast cancer. One study found that an increased concentration of phthalate metabolites in the urine was associated with an increased risk for breast cancer, and intact parabens have been detected in breast cancer tissue. (8, 9) Phthalates have also been implicated in reproductive and endocrine disruption, although like triclosan, the evidence is preliminary and may not be relevant in humans at normal levels of exposure. (10)
And although personal care products represent only a small portion of total environmental exposure to phthalates, they are the main mode of exposure for parabens, indicating significant levels of absorption through the skin. (11, 12)
Sulfates, Propylene Glycols, and Fragrances
Other chemicals you’ll find in soaps and lotions include sulfates, such as sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, fragrances, and petroleum by-products such as propylene glycol.
Propylene glycol isn’t absorbed through the skin in large amounts, and the only reports of toxicity in humans have been in cases of extreme exposure through IV medication or through repeated application to second- and third-degree burns over a large area of the skin. (13, 14) Sodium lauryl sulfate, however, does penetrate the skin, at least in rat models, and can cause skin irritation. (15, 16)
The category of “fragrances” is so vast and non-specific that it’s difficult to evaluate them, but they’re a common cause of contact dermatitis. (17) One big problem with “fragrances” is that they’re poorly regulated, and “fragrance” on an ingredient label could mean just about anything. For this reason, it’s best to avoid them.
Further, there could be more chemicals in skin care products than those actually listed on the bottle. Analysis of shampoo and similar products has found contamination by 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen, and phthalates have been detected in products that don’t have them listed as ingredients. (18, 19)
Like many of the chemicals we’re exposed to from food and our environment, most of the chemicals allowed in our skin care products don’t show overt toxicity in humans, but may have concerning preliminary evidence linking them to cancer or endocrine disruption. Apparently this doesn’t warrant removing these chemicals from products, but considering how easy it is to switch to more natural products, there is reason enough to avoid using them.
Non-toxic alternatives to conventional soap, shampoo, and lotion
The great thing about soap is that it’s incredibly easy to find a natural alternative. Dr. Bronner’s castile soap is a popular choice, but there are tons of other options. Just look for soap that only contains oils and other recognizable ingredients. If you want to get a little fancier, here’s an easy recipe for non-toxic foaming hand soap.
Lotion is another easy one. Oils like coconut, jojoba, and even olive oil are great for your skin and widely available. And unlike petroleum-based lotions, they’ll actually moisturize your skin instead of drying it out!
Since I am helping you clean your insides, it’s important that we clean your outsides!! What you put on your skin and head are super important! Why I sell products in my practice is to provide the best I can for you!! Contact me with any needs or questions! My passion is to educate and help others!
Thanks to Kris Kesser for his review on this too!