Clean It Up: The 11 Toxins to Avoid

By Kris Ash

Toxic ingredients in our soaps? Seems hard to imagine, and yet with the FDA minimally regulating the cosmetic/skincare industry, companies are putting a plethora of ingredients in our cleansing products that are proving to be natural irritants, disruptors to our hormone & endocrine systems, and even carcinogenic. It’s not a wonder that people with conditions of eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, acne, or just plain and simple severely dehydrated skin are desperate for a “cure”.

My first question is always, “With what do you wash your face and body?”

Although we were taught as children to wash the day’s grime off our bodies, my generation was never taught that whatever we put on our skin is readily absorbed into our bloodstream where it can potentially cause serious damage to our bodies. And, if you’re dealing with a problematic skin condition, the primary cause can sometimes be as simple as the soap or shampoo you use. Thus, it is imperative that you choose cleansers that have simple basic formulas and ones that are free of chemical toxins. The simpler, the better!

When choosing a soap, cleanser, or shampoo, read the label and avoid the following ingredients commonly found in most commercially made cleansing products:

  1. Diethanolamine (or DEA), nitrosodiethanolamine, triethanolamine (a derivative of DEA) – carcinogenic
  2. Dioxane – carcinogenic; toxic to brain, liver and kidneys
  3. Formaldehyde – weakens immune system
  4. Fragrance – mystery ingredient that could include anything
  5. Parabens (methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben) – hormone disruptors
  6. PEG-6 – carcinogenic
  7. Phthalates – endocrine disruptor; carcinogenic
  8. Propylene glycol – causes systematic kidney and liver damage
  9. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) – skin irritants; potentially carcinogenic
  10. Triclosan – skin irritant; endocrine disruptor
  11. Ureas (Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl, DMDM hydantoin, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate ) – weakened immune system; contact dermatitis

I always suggest a fragrance free, cold-processed handmade soap for problems like contact dermatitis. If you want to splurge with a scented skincare product, try to stick with ones that are fragranced by natural essential oils….leaving the products made with synthetic fragrances either completely out of your cleansing regiment or an infrequent dalliance.

Last, but not least, after you’ve tackled the business of “cleaning up” what you use to cleanse the outside of your body, the next step will be to look at what you put INSIDE your body, and create a cleaner, more organic dietary regimen.

For more information please contact Kris Ash, owner of KARMA~NATURALS, 126 S. Central Ave., Eureka, MO 63025, 636-549-3635.