Just as you need to watch the ingredients in your food, is is imperative to review the ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care items. This is one are not many people think of when they embark on a whole foods or Paleo journey. Furthermore, it is all the more important for those with autoimmunity as chemical ingredients can affect our bodies in positive or negative ways just as much as food can.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are common in many plastics. They are typically difficult to avoid completely, but they certainly shouldn’t be used in personal care products or cosmetics as they are another hormone disruptor and can cause toxicity in the body, and especially should be avoided by pregnant women as it can cause motor and language development issues after birth.
phthalates can be identified by the use of the number 3 or 7 on the plastic, but it is best practice to avoid plastic whenever possible.
They can also trigger allergic reactions and flare asthma.
Phthalates are also common in synthetic fragrances. This is one of the main reasons I use essential oils in all of my products.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a common ingredient in shampoos and soaps. SLS is added to boost the lather and bubbles in your shampoo and while it may make your bath or shower bubbly fun, it can cause skin rashes, contact dermatitis, strips skin of its natural oils and contributes to hair loss.
Parabens are a groups of synthetic chemicals that are used as a preservative in a wide range of health, beauty and personal care products. Parabens are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben listed in the ingredients label of products. They should be avoided because they disrupt hormones in the body and mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells.
Parabens are common in shampoos, conditioners, lotions, body washes and many other wash off and leave on products. The higher the water content in a product, the more likely they are to contain parabens.
Wise Oak Soapery does not use parabens in any products. Since our soaps, shampoos, conditioners and body scrubs are handmade from scratch, we have formulated each and every one without the use of parabens.
- Polyethylene Glycol
Polyethylene Glycol is used in personal care products and cosmetics as a thickener. It often includes ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen (a substance that can cause cancer), and Dioxane which causes respiratory problems and is banned in some countries.
- Coal Tar Dye
Coal Tar Dye is derived from petroleum is used as a colorant in many hair dyes, dandruff shampoos and other darker colored personal care products. It can cause allergic reactions or sensitization that may result in skin irritation and hair loss. People can develop sensitivities with repeated exposure.
It is also often contaminated with aluminum which should also be avoided as it is toxic to the brain. It is a known carcinogen (cancer) and can cause dermatitis, trigger asthma attacks.
Let’s not forget what happened to Pauly Perrette. She had dyed her hair black for 20 years and was hospitalized after she developed a severe allergic reaction to the dye.
So what can you do?
- Start by ditching commercial personal care products
- Read each and every label before making a purchase
- Change to all natural handmade products
- Consider making your own products
Keep in mind that even fragrance free options such as laundry detergents and soaps still contain chemicals and detergents that should be avoided and not safe for the skin.
Shop our selection of all-natural handmade shampoo bars that are made without the use of toxic ingredients, such as those above.