Our skin is our largest organ, so doesn’t it makes sense to protect it? Normally we think of sunscreen and lotion as the best defense to protect our skin. Fact: choosing safe body soap is one of the most important ways to protect your skin and health. Since most of us bath daily it is the one constant product we are exposing our skin to each day. The big issue? Many of today’s skin products are loaded with toxic chemicals, chemicals that have been linked to increase risk of cancer and other childhood illnesses. So how harmful is rubbing toxic chemicals over your skin each day?
Very harmful! In the past two decades, autism has increased 1500%, ADHD 400%, asthma 300% (with asthma deaths increasing by 56%) and allergies 400%. Chemicals seem to be a common link to all of these illnesses, as well as childhood cancer. When we hear the word chemicals many of us do not think of body soap. The fact is it is one of our daily products we use that can contain dangerous chemicals. It is important to choose safe soap for your family to help limit their exposure to dangerous chemicals. The following are some of the harmful chemicals that may be in your body soap that you should avoid.
Fragrances – fragrances are not tested and are full of dangerous chemicals so unless the scent is listed as an actual fruit or vegetable it has the potential for all kinds of harmful chemicals
Parabens: (butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparapen) – these are preservatives that researches are concerned with their link to breast cancer and as an endocrine disruptor in children. (products that contain GSE, grapefruit seed extract, are much safer)
Methylene Glycol – a “formaldehyde in solution” and since the FDA has formaldehyde listed as a carcinogen this should be taken seriously!
DMDM Hydantoin – An allergen that has the ability to form cancer causing chemicals and also concerns for this chemical as a skin irritant, especially important for those with sensitive skin
Other chemicals to limit exposure when possible are:
Diazolidinyl Urea or Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
Cocamidopropyl Betaine – skin irritant
(To read more on these chemicals visit one of the links below)
My advice is to check your bottles and make the switch if the chemicals above were in your soap. Use your stores website to check out new products to see what ingredients are listed. If you are a member of the EWG, the Skin Deep website can be beneficial to helping for those products that do not have their ingredients listed and also gives a rating on how safe the products are. Avoiding all these chemicals is always a plus but if you at least reduce your exposure it is a start. Each chemical you eliminate is one less in your child’s body. Believe it or not there are safe products at most of the normal places we shop at, Walmart,Target, etc. You just have to learn what is safe!
My favorites are, Johnson & Johnson’s Natural Kids 3 in 1 Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Wash for my kids and Eco Store Body Wash and
Aveeno Soap Bars for me! Switching back to soap bars with no fragrance, no dyes and no parabens is a good start. You will be amazed once you start shopping that there are quite a few products that actually state NO Parabens, No Dyes, No Fragrance right on the label!
These pages offer an extensive look at many chemicals in our personal products if you wish to read on! http://www.lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp?fetch=personal