Toxic Toiletries

This research turned out to be a little trickier than I had thought when I set out. There are so many chemicals that I don’t even think the geniuses that create them can remember them. I did my research as thoroughly as I could. I’m sure there is something I’ve missed, but I checked as many resources as I could to make sure that I provide you with accurate information. Due to the excessive amount of information I found, I won’t be posting the recipes for these toiletries until tomorrow. I’ve decided to also have Shampoos, Conditioners and other hair products in a separate post that I might have ready next week. With that being said, this is what I found.

Cosmetics and toiletries in everyday use contain chemicals that threaten human health and the environment. Most popular shampoos, shower gels, moisturizers and perfumes are complex mixtures of synthetic chemicals which pose a range of risks. Even products marketed as ‘organic’, ‘herbal’ or ‘natural’ may contain only a trace of a natural essence added to a synthetic formula.

Here is list of eco-friendly soaps and list of ingredients (I checked some the ingredients in these that sounded kind of suspicious and most of them checked out. Some of the soaps have preservatives and fragrance. Some preservatives and fragrances are natural and some are synthetic, they don’t specify, so depending on your standards I might avoid those. Titanium Dioxide has posed some health concerns this is the information I found so you can decide for yourself)

List of fragrance side effects.

List of ingredients to avoid in toiletries.

When I researched deodorant I got some very interesting results. First, I’d like to point out that Antiperspirants reduce sweating. The active ingredients in these products are thought to work by temporarily plugging the sweat ducts in your armpits. Sweat does not stink; it’s the combination of sweat and bacteria that produces bad body odor. This brings me to explain that Deodorants mask body odor smells with perfume or eliminate them with antimicrobial agents.

I tend to like to read comments at the end of the article because I always like to know what certain people think about certain things. What comments I found after articles about deodorant were quite interesting. Some people found it unnecessary to shower everyday or where deodorant every day. In my personal experience, when I don’t shower I feel disgusting and my hair feels disgusting. When I don’t wash my hair everyday then my hair feels greasy, stiff and it’s hard to manage. At the time that I decided to try not washing my hair every day I was straightening my hair everyday and it’s possible that if I tried scrunching it on the second day it might work better. When I don’t wear deodorant, which is usually because I forgot and that’s rare, then I stink. It’s possible it’s because I sweat a lot. I’m always nervous and I’m always hot. If I wasn’t 19 I would swear I’ve already hit menopause or something. The point is that in my experience, I don’t like the effects of not washing daily. I think I might try it again for my own personal reference, probably not not going without deodorant, but the other stuff.  If you want to try it then more power to you and I applaud your efforts.

Aluminum is used in most antiperspirants and it may be also listed as aluminum chlorohydrate, ammonium aluminum sulfate, potassium aluminum sulfate, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly. Deodorants are more healthy than antispirants because they don’t interfere with perspiration, but many conventional brands contain harsh, potentially toxic ingredients that should be avoided.

Deodorant ingredients to avoid include parabens, all forms of aluminum, and the following substances:

• Propylene glycol: a penetration enhancer that absorbs quickly through the skin and which has not been fully investigated for carcinogenic potential.

• Talc: classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer if it contains asbestiform fibers, which are unregulated in cosmetic grade talc.

• Steareth-n: (‘n’ may be any number, say 100), may be vegetable derived but is processed with ethylene oxide (ethoxylated), a known human carcinogen.

• Triclosan: an antibacterial found in deodorants and soaps. It has an astounding ability to create resistant bacteria.

Showering washes our deodorants and antiperspirants down the drain, introducing known or suspected toxins into our nation’s waterways. Octoxynol compounds, otherwise known as alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), are found in deodorants, antiperspirants, and bodies of water. These chemicals are slow to break down and have been shown to disrupt the endocrine systems of fish, birds, and mammals.

The process of mining aluminum used in antiperspirants destroys the landscape, pollutes water, and consumes vast amounts of electricity.

According to Lester Brown’s Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth, each year the aluminum industry consumes as much electricity as the entire continent of Africa.

It’s up to you, conscious consumer, to choose the best and safest product for your body. Before you buy any deodorant or product that goes on your skin, always read the ingredients. Eschew conventional antiperspirants altogether and opt instead for hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and aluminum-free deodorant.

Choose deodorants with ingredients like:

• Vegetable glycerin

• Charcoal

• Vinegar

• Baking soda

• Algae extracts

• Green tea

• Aloe vera gel

• Natural preservatives like bioflavanoids and lichen

• Essential oils

Now let’s talk about toothpaste. This should be fun.

Over 300 people in Panama died in early 2007 due to toothpaste tainted by substance called diethylene glycol which is a chemical used in anti-freeze. Ingestion causes kidney failure, paralysis and often death. In late May 2007, a retailer in New South Wales Australia noticed a box of toothpaste on his shelves also containing that chemical.

The diethylene glycol issue is somewhat extreme, but it raises many questions about many everyday products we use. I find it odd that brushing teeth plays such a vital role in our health, yet there doesn’t seem to be anything in the stuff that isn’t poisonous.

The only ingredients listed on toothpaste boxes or dispensers are Fluoride, at least on mine anyways. From what I have read Fluoride seems to be rather poisonous. Seeing that it is supposed to go into your mouth and can be easily swallowed, I don’t consider that a good sign for us.

A visit to the toothpaste manufacturer’s web site doesn’t reveal any further ingredient information. The only way you get information is to call a special number – no email, no postal address to receive something back in writing. From various searches I found any/all of the following ingredients may be in my toothpaste; and probably quite a few others not mentioned in this list:


Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)

Detergents Binding agents


Artificial flavoring

Artificial colors

Preservatives such as Methylparaben and Ethylparaben


Potassium nitrate

Lauryl sarcosinate

Polyethylene glycol

Polypropylene glycol Sodium saccharin/aspartame

Triclosan is a registered pesticide, used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent and can destroy fragile aquatic ecosystems.

Potassium nitrate is also an aquatic environmental nasty, parabens can disrupt the hormones in animals and I could write enough about these other things to fill a book. The artificial flavors and sweeteners (more toxic chemicals) are there to cover up the taste of the other chemicals.

Aubrey OrganicsWeleda Desert EssenceEarth Essentials are so companies that supply ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ toiletries of various kinds. I checked through some, not all, of their products to make sure the source I got them from was accurate. From what I saw, these companies do use organic or natural ingredients in their products. If you do decide to use any of the products listed above I would still encourage you to check and research the ingredients. For some finding the resources will be sort of difficult, but you should be able to find something for most of them. Jasön, Pure and Natural, Kiss My Face, Terra Naturals, Burt’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine are some other popular brands.

There are lots of ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ companies out there, but do your research before taking their word for it.


One response to “Toxic Toiletries

  1. Pingback: Not So Healthy Hair Products « serendipitousscavenger

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