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Which ingredients should I avoid in my soap?


Artificial fragrance. Bottom line: If the ingredient is vague and doesn't state natural fragrance or essential oil, it’s probably hiding something. If not listed under ingredients, ask. Look for all fragrances to be listed as natural or essential oils.


Parabens. These ingredients are estrogen mimickers—meaning that once applied to the skin, they enter the bloodstream, and the body mistakes them for estrogen. When the body thinks there is an abnormally high amount of estrogen present in the bloodstream due to the presence of these hormone disrupters, it reacts in various ways: decreasing muscle mass, increasing fat deposits, causing early onset of puberty and spurring reproductive difficulties in both men and women.


Sulfates. These chemicals are used to produce lather and bubbles in soap. Some common sulfates are SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). Sulfates strip the skin of its natural oils and increase penetration of the skin’s surface. They are also irritants for people with sensitive skin or eczema. Sulfates are a cheaper way of creating lather. A good soap maker will use oils to create bubbles and lather.


Triclosan. This chemical is most often found in antibacterial soap. Recent studies have found that triclosan actually promotes the emergence and growth of bacteria resistant to antibiotic cleansers. It also creates dioxin, a carcinogen that has been found in high levels in human breast milk. Dioxins have disruptive effects on the endocrine system and negatively affect thyroid functions. And here’s a fun fact: dioxin is the primary toxic component of Agent Orange!

Think about it. If we are washing our bodies with soap that contains harmful ingredients every single day, this adds up over a lifetime to wreak havoc on our health. 

With minimal government testing on these chemicals, it becomes up to us, as smart consumers, to make informed decisions as to what does and doesn’t go on our skin.

Improve your overall health by choosing high-quality soap and body wash free of these toxic additives. Make the switch and both your skin and your body will be thanking you.

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