Bath and body products such as shampoos, body washes and facial cleansers are supposed to get you clean. Others such as bubble bath, bath bombs and oils help you relax.
And then there are those products which give you a boost of extra confidence such as wrinkle creams, aftershaves and makeup.
But one thing I bet you never bargained for when picking up a bottle of your favorite shampoo is that it could also make you sick.
Yet that’s exactly what may happen if you choose the wrong one. Because the truth is, the products we use on our skin can put us at risk without us even knowing it.
Ban bath and body products with these nasty ingredients
Following are five of the worst ingredients that could be lurking in any one of your bath and body products.
Fragrance certainly sounds innocent enough. After all, what’s wrong with a lotion or bottle of bubble bath smelling nice? That’s what we use them for, right?
But the truth is when you see fragrance on a label it’s far from innocent. In fact chances are that word is hiding something pretty nasty. Because the FDA has left a loophole that allows companies to not have to reveal the individual ingredients they use to create an aroma.
And that means some toxic ingredients you’d never want to use on your skin could be hiding under the word fragrance in your favorite bath and body products.
- Benzene derivatives, which are believed to be hormone disruptors, and are known carcinogens
- Phthalates, which mess with your hormone levels and have been linked to several cancers
- Aldehydes, which are associated with liver disease
If the label says “fragrance” on it, put it back on the shelf. Look for a product that uses recognizable and natural sources for their good smells, such as peppermint oil or vanilla.
2. DMDM hydantoin:
If you don’t see DMDM hydantoin on the label of your favorite products, don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. Companies use a handful of other names for this creepy chemical. You’ll need look for diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, or sodium hydroxymethylglycinate on those labels too.
And if those names sound scary, they should. Because they’re all basically the same thing: formaldehyde. One of the chemicals funeral homes use to embalm us after we die.
Companies use formaldehyde to kill bacteria. But studies, published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, have concluded the chemical may also cause several types of cancer.
Diethanolamine or DEA helps make your lotions and shampoos feel silky and creamy. Unfortunately, in early tests researchers have found it can cause skin lesions. And it may be associated with liver cancer. Until we know more, if you spot it on a label pick another product.
Triclosan first appeared in surgical antibacterial soaps. But over the years, it made its way into countless consumer products from hand soaps to toothpaste.
The trouble is triclosan is an endocrine disruptor. Which means it messes your hormones and could cause tumors, neurological issues and immune system problems. And high doses of triclosan are associated with a drop in certain thyroid hormones, according to the FDA.
But the bad news doesn’t end there. Triclosan also contributes to the bacterial resistance problem that fuels dangerous superbugs.
The FDA finally banned triclosan in some antibacterial soaps and hand and body washes. But certain products including some toothpastes and hand sanitizers still contain the chemical. Read labels carefully to be sure your bath and body products don’t.
5. Sodium laureth sulfate:
Sodium laureth sulfate, or SLS is a detergent used in countless cosmetic and bath products. Experts say it can irritate the skin and may be an endocrine disruptor. But even worse is the contaminant it often picks up during processing called 1,4-dioxane, a known human carcinogen.
Companies use coconuts to make SLS. Which means since 1,4-dioxane isn’t technically an ingredient, SLS can legally be used in products labeled all-natural and even organic.
But there’s no way to tell if the SLS used in your favorite bath and body products is contaminated. So to be on the safe side be sure to read the labels on ALL of your products, even the organic ones. If you spot SLS, or any ingredients that ends in -xynol, -ceteareth or -oleath, consider switching brands.
Your skin is your body’s biggest organ. And the chemicals you put on it eventually end up being absorbed into your blood stream. So you need to be extra careful about what bath and body products you choose to use.
Don’t let bath time turn into a science experiment, with you as the lab rat. Read ingredient labels carefully and avoid products that contain any of these creepy chemicals.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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