10 Feb What’s in your Soap? 4 Ingredients to Avoid.
Did you know that many of our skin products such as soaps, facial cleansers and body washes might actually be doing us more harm than good?
One of the main ways your body acquires nutrients, other than eating, is absorbed through the skin. Your skin is your largest organ—22 square feet on average—and 60 percent of the substances you put on it are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream. This semipermeable membrane allows us to absorb vitamins and minerals, but, unfortunately, it absorbs harmful chemicals we put on it, too.
Unfortunately, chemicals can be found in many soaps which can have lots of harmful effects on the body such as disrupt hormones, flare allergies, lead to reproductive issues and increase risk of some cancers. With serious side effects like these, we need to be particular about what we put on our skin.
Here are four chemicals to watch out for when buying soap:
Tip: If the ingredient is vague, it’s probably hiding something. For example if the soap ingredients lists “Fragrance” and nothing further, it could actually be a cocktail of chemicals and you’d never know it. Most of the time, synthetic chemicals and cancer-causing toxins (like phthalates, used to make fragrances last longer) are hiding under that one sneaky term. Constant exposure to fragrances has been shown to negatively impact the central nervous system and can trigger allergies, migraines and asthma symptoms.
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.
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.
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.
Washing our bodies with soap that contains harmful ingredients every single day can inflict harm on our health. Fortunately there are many natural and chemical free skin products that are great for the skin. For a start, our handmade soaps contain no chemicals or artificial preservatives. Made from natural ingredients including Coconut Oil, Pharmaceutical Grade Salt, Water, Olive Oil, Sodium Hydroxide and Essential Oils, it is cleansing, moisturising and gentle on the most sensitive skin, leaving it refreshed and revitalised, whilst giving the natural benefits of salt minerals.
So next time you go to buy soap, make sure you check the ingredients!