Toxic soap ingredients are more common then you might think. Since your soap helps you to stay fresh and leaves your skin smelling clean, it is easy to assume that its ingredients will be innocuous or even positively good for you. However, this is often not the case. Unfortunately, many of the chemicals that are added to soaps are capable of seriously damaging the human body (and some of these toxins may even cause death). To avoid these ingredients you should consider using certified organic soap which is free from harsh chemical ingredients that are potentially harmful to your skin. Read on to discover the eight most hazardous chemicals that are commonly added to soap.
Toxic Soap Ingredients
Triclosan is a pesticide that has antibacterial properties. It is often found in soaps because it helps to get rid of potentially dangerous bacteria that have built up on your skin during the day. Unfortunately, it is this antibacterial action that makes triclosan one of the worst contributors to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance (which encourages the evolution of resilient bacteria that are extremely difficult to kill). Another important reason to avoid the toxic soap ingredient triclosan is that it is what is called an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors cause potentially dangerous fluctuations in your hormone levels, and triclosan has been proven to have a particularly strong influence on the female sex hormone estrogen. The hormonal changes caused by triclosan can dramatically increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
Since dioxane is a synthetic derivative of coconut, some people mistakenly assume that it must be an innocuous ingredient in personal care products. However, it is actually a carcinogenic chemical that is also toxic to the brain, liver and kidneys. Like the other toxic soap ingredients in this list, dioxane should be avoided.
3) Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS):
Sodium lauryl sulfate (or SLS) is one of the most common toxic soap ingredients added to soaps and shower gels. When SLS bonds with other common soap ingredients, it becomes a carcinogenic nitrosamine. One of the reasons SLS is so dangerous is that it permeates your skin very easily, and also makes your skin more permeable to all the other chemicals mentioned on this list. Further, tests on animals show that SLS causes skin irritation, leads to organ toxicity, promotes hormonal disruptions and increases your susceptibility to mood disorders.
4) Diethanolamine (or DEA):
Diethanolamine (or DEA) is also extremely easily absorbed through your skin, and it combines with the nitrate preservatives commonly added to soaps to create nitrosodiethanolamine (or NDEA). A wide range of studies have shown that NDEA is a potent carcinogenic, and it is most strongly linked to the development of kidney and liver cancers. In addition, pregnant women should be especially cautious of DEA, as it is capable of interfering with your body’s ability to absorb a nutrient called choline. Unborn children need choline if their brains are to develop properly. All of these concerns are also likely to apply to triethanolamine (or TEA), which is a derivative of DEA. If you are pregnant or nursing you should definitely avoid this and all other toxic soap ingredients on this list.
Formaldehyde is commonly found in soaps, and so are chemicals that release formaldehyde (e.g. diazolidinyl urea). As would be expected from any of the toxic soap ingredients listed here, Formaldehyde is a chemical to avoid. Formaldehyde weakens the immune system, leading to a reduced resistance to disease, and it can also cause respiratory disorders, chronic fatigue, frequent headaches, and an irregular heartbeat.
Parabens (such as methylparaben and propylparaben) are preservatives that are commonly added to bars of soap. However, scientific studies have repeatedly shown that being exposed to parabens boosts a woman’s risk of developing any form of breast cancer (because parabens mimic the action of the hormone estrogen). Further studies have demonstrated that parabens can also cause neurological problems by way of nervous system toxicity. Thankfully, many companies that make soaps and shower gels will now explicitly advertise the fact that they do not use parabens.
Almost all bars of soap contain added fragrances in order to make them more enjoyable to use in the bath or shower. However, printing ‘fragrance’ on a soap label can be extremely misleading, as this often means that up to thousands of different chemicals have been added in order to create the special smell of the soap. Fragrance ingredients increase your risk of developing a wide range of medical problems, including chronic dizziness, nausea, rashes, depression, respiratory distress and severe headaches. On a scale of one to ten, the Environmental Working Group rates fragrance as deserving of an eight.
PEG-6 is another one of these extremely common toxic soap ingredients, and it regularly contains toxic impurities that can cause a wide range of dangerous conditions. Studies show that exposure can cause a large increase in your likelihood of developing breast cancer.
Avoiding these truly nasty toxic soap ingredients is easy. Make sure you read the label before you buy the soap. Also as aforementioned using certified organic soap, such as the soap we offer, is a sure-fire way to avoid these toxins commonly found in soap.