It's important to remember that anything we put on our skin gets absorbed into the bloodstream. This includes soaps and hand sanitizers which is what I want to discuss here. Of course, we need to wash and clean our hands regularly to keep the germs away, but do you consider any of the ingredients found in many of the soaps and sanitizers out there? So many of them are filled with chemicals, that we really aren't cleansing ourselves as much as we think.
Here are a few toxic ingredients often found that you should look out for on the ingredient labels:
Triclosan is similar to the pesticide Agent Orange and can cause decreased fertility, birth defects, and damage to major body organs
Triclosan can combine with chlorine in our tap water to make chloroform gas. The EPA classifies this gas as a probable human carcinogen
2. Sodium Lauyrl Sulfate
SLS can damage cell membranes and possibly cause hair loss
It is also linked to skin and eye irritation, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicological, and biochemical or cellular changes, and possible mutations and cancer, as reported by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database
Parabens have have hormone-disrupting effects
Parabens can cause diminished muscle mass and extra fat storing
Topical parabens have been detected in human breast tumors
4. Synthetic Colors and Fragrances
Synthetic colors are made from coal tar and contain heavy metal salts that may deposit toxins onto the skin, causing sensitivity and irritation.
Synthetic fragrances often contain phthalates, which are endocrine disrupters that mimic hormones and may alter genital development. Avoid products that list ‘fragrance‘ as an ingredient unless the label states that it’s derived from essentials oils, or look for a phthalate-free label on the packaging
5. Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol)
A common ingredient in hand sanitizer. It is linked to cancer, birth defects, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity
This is not an exhaustive list, but grab your hand sanitizers and soaps and look at the ingredients for yourself.
in addition, studies are showing how some bacteria in our system are becoming more tolerant of these alcohol-based sanitizers, leading to developing of other infections. Read more in this recent article on NPR's website.
Now, there are better solutions available. In my household, I like Nature's Sunshine
Silver Shield Gel®, as an option for hand sanitizer. It's a clear gel product that promotes natural hydration and also provides a moisturizing effect. This product is manufactured with a patented process using Bioavailable Aqua Sol Technology and utilizes only the finest particle-sized colloids to ensure maximum bioavailability and efficiency. Silver Shield Gel® is safe, alcohol-free, and poses no risk of causing heavy metal contamination.
For soaps, I turn to Dr. Bronner and the pure-castille soap. I use the liquid soaps which works great on your face, body, hair and much more. Ingredients include organic oils such as coconut, olive, and hemp.
Remember, there is always an alternative. Start swapping out those toxic solutions for something better for your health!