All Natural Soaps & the Toxic Ingredients to Avoid
Consumers are becoming more aware of the toxic and synthetic chemicals in commercial soaps and body care products. Most commercial products have become destructive to our skin and organs and cancer-causing silent killers. From containing hormone disrupting phthalates and poisonous triclosan, to harboring heavy metals and toxic surfactants. I never use any typical commercial soap brand and never use any soap on my face but instead baking soda and oils, see why below.
Below are a few toxin free all natural options and the ingredients to avoid:
I like the liquid peppermint and switch off with that and lavender. Just be sure to dilute them at least 3 to 1 with water.
or this sampler here –
But check out the Dr Bonner Page for all the options
- This is a great soap for your skin and can even help with issues such as acme, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis
- I also like this company’s soap. Here is a sampler, but know that these are small. I would go for the full bar in the link on the right of that. (click photos for links)
Here is a list of all of their soaps. Be mindful of the scents you actually like since essential oils are strong:
Here is the link to the awild soap page
I also like goats milk soap, if you don’t know about it here 4 benefits of using goat’s milk soap.
- Delays signs of skin aging due to its high content of alpha-hydroxy acids such as lactic acid. These acids break down dead skin cell bonds, removing them from the skin’s surface and leaving behind new cells that appear smoother and more youthful as opposed to using harsh chemical acids breaking down dead skin cells. The lasting effect of these chemical acids in most commercial soaps on the skin is more similar to a chemical “burn.”
- Anti-inflammatory properties – Goat’s milk reduces skin inflammation due to its fat molecule content. The cream present in goat’s milk is a moisturizer, soothing dry and damaged skin, possessing an anti-inflammatory effect.
- Goat’s milk is packed full of essential nutrients and vitamins such as D, C, B1, B6, B12, and E, that feed the skin and are absorbed into the body.
- Studies now show that goat’s milk is effective for treating acne and skin conditions. This is primarily because goat’s milk has anti-bacterial properties that delay the growth of microbial organisms that spur the spread of acne.
This is a great resource for more goats milk products:
Goat Milk Soaps
Important Notes on Soap Usage:
Your skin produces a natural fatty acid called sebum. This is a protective layer that is important for your skin. Without it you will not produce vitamin D and your skin will premature age. That being said, the only places you should use soap is under your arms and your groin area. Other than that, I would not use soap on other areas unless you have dirt on them such as your feet.
Never use soap on Your Face
Especially commercial soap! It is known to dry and age your skin. I never wash my face, unless it actually has dirt on it then I will rinse in pure water & baking soda (explained below). What I do instead of soap everyday is cut and use aloe first as shown here, then after that dries I put coconut oil or jojoba oil over that. (Note on coconut oil – at least a third of people’s skin doesn’t go well with coconut oil.)
The only version of soap I use for actually washing my face would be with baking soda and water. Just put a quarter size amount of baking soda in your palm, add about a ½ teaspoon of water, mix and wash it on your face. You can make it pasty or watery, depending on your preference. Baking soda is alkaline, won’t strip your skin and will exfoliate. It does however remove the oils so I will be sure to replace those with the natural oils and aloe mentioned above for protection and to prevent dryness. I do this about 2 or 3 times per week and most especially when shaving as explained in my video on skin care and shaving here. After that I use the toner mentioned in the skin care blog here before the aloe and coconut oil.
Other All Natural Beauty Care Links You Will Like:
- For more healthy skin tips see my blog here on the 17 best tips for healthy skin
- For shaving see my blog here on all natural way to shave
- How to make an all natural deodorant that works great
- To remove make-up naturally see my post here
- For the Best All Natural Soaps click here
- All Natural Shampoo
- Is your Shower Curtain Making you sick?
- How to make your own toothpaste
- All natural tooth-whitener
Ingredients to avoid in soaps, shampoos, and products you put on your skin:
General ingredients/products to avoid:
The following ingredients usually appear in the products we use daily — soaps, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, sunscreen and the like — and general scientific consensus concludes that they’re best avoided:
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS) is a synthetic detergent and foaming agent connected to skin and eye irritation. It’s also linked to the byproduct 1-4 dioxane, a suspected carcinogenic contaminant produced by the ethoxylation process, used to make some ingredients less harsh. (Sodium lauryl sulfate is converted to sodium laureth sulfate, for example.) Ethoxylation is one reason why so many “gentler” products — those with a natural slant or made especially for kids — have turned up surprisingly high levels of toxins.
According to researchers at the Organic Consumers Association, who conducted tests for 1-4 dioxane on hundreds of products from 16 major brands in 2008, only 23 products were found to be free of 1-4 dioxane contamination. Many companies have quit using ethoxylated ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate to avoid 1-4 dioxane contamination as well as allergic reactions, and the standard for the Whole Foods Premium Body Care Seal doesn’t allow it. Look for “-eth” at the end of other ingredient names to detect this process.
Further studies showed that concentrations of 10-30 % of SLS were found to cause severe skin corrosion. The “Household Products Directory” of the National Institutes of Health lists over 80 products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate with concentrations up to 30 percent. These high concentrations not only affect the skin’s outer layers, but are absorbed into the biggest organ in the body, the skin, and stored in tissues.
Sodium laureth is now commonly used in place of sodium lauryl, but it can be even more dangerous. Laureth cannot effectively be removed from the liver. Laureth can be stored stored in tissues and promote toxicity for a person’s entire lifetime, draining them of energy. These chemical soaps are popular mainly because of price, but they aren’t worth the negative, long-term draining of energy. Especially when natural alternatives are even far less expensive.
Parabens are a synthetic preservative and antimicrobial agent commonly found in personal-care products with high water content: shampoo, conditioner, lotion, cleansers and body wash. They also turn up in solid products like deodorant. (learn how to make your own healthy deodorant here) They appear as methyl-, ethyl-, butyl- or propylparaben. Studies have found that parabens mimic estrogen in the body and disrupt normal hormone function, and they have been found in breast-tumor biopsies.
Growing awareness about parabens has inspired a number of manufacturers to banish them in favor of safer preservatives, while some have simply accepted a shorter shelf life as the price of doing healthy business. You can often find personal-care products labeled “paraben free,” which will save you a little squinting in the product aisle. Signers of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics have committed to avoiding their use; you can find the list of these companies at www.safecosmetics.org.
Phthalates are plasticizers that stabilize scent in perfume and color in cosmetics; they also keep nail polish from chipping. You won’t find them listed on most labels, though they can be present in almost every conceivable personal-care item hidden in the ingredient “fragrance.” (Company formulas are legally protected as proprietary information.) Multiple studies have linked phthalates to depression of normal thyroid function and birth defects, mostly affecting the genital development of young boys and sperm counts in adult men.
Two kinds of phthalates commonly found in cosmetics were banned in the EU with its recent cosmetic safety directive, forcing international companies to reformulate their products for the European market. A number of nail polish manufacturers have removed the “toxic trio” — dibutyl phthalate, toluene (a solvent and neurotoxin) and formaldehyde — from their nail polish formulas. Still, it’s smart to view nail polish and products with caution, especially if you’re pregnant. Water-based polishes are the most benign option.
Nanoparticles consist of ultra-tiny particles of common ingredients and are used in everything from sports clothing to car tires. They’re often found in sunscreen, to make it transparent instead of white, and in anti-aging products to help them penetrate deeper skin layers; they can be listed on labels as “microfine particles.” These “penetration enhancers” are worrisome in the company of phthalates and parabens. And, because they’re a new and quite powerful technology, environmental-health experts are also concerned about their impact on the environment once they’re washed into rivers and lakes. While the particles alone have not been implicated in health issues, many experts recommend waiting to use them until more studies have been completed.
Synthetic fragrances can contain as many as 200 ingredients that manufacturers are not required to disclose. A common allergen, “fragrance” on an ingredient label is a reliable indicator that the product contains phthalates, unless it’s clearly indicated that the fragrance contains no synthetics. Higher-potency fragrances are the likeliest suspects for high concentrations of phthalates. Sophie Uliano, natural-beauty expert and author of Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life (HarperCollins, 2008), points out that “fragrance-free” or “unscented” products aren’t always a dependable alternative, since manufacturers sometimes use masking fragrances in place of identifiable scents. Look for products that explicitly say “no synthetic fragrances” or “natural essential oil fragrance only,” or try to buy from companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) are emulsifiers and foaming agents typically found in shampoo and body wash. They can produce allergic reaction as well as, ironically enough, hair and skin dryness. They belong to the category of “nitrosamines” that Uliano cautions against, which studies have shown can be carcinogenic.
Diazolidinyl and Imidazolidinyl Urea are frequently used synthetic preservatives that can cause contact dermatitis and are suspected formaldehyde releasers. They appear in sunscreen, lotion, shampoo — the same places you’ll find parabens.
The number of personal-care ingredients with unknown or suspected health effects is quite long; you can find a comprehensive list at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com.