There are bacteria and germs everywhere. Therefore, the importance of personal hygiene such as taking showers regularly and washing our hands cannot be overstated. Ultimately, soap is equally essential when maintaining a clean and healthy body.
Since soap is typically used daily by most people and acts as the first line of defense against those germs, you may have wondered at some point whether there are harmful chemicals in soap that might not be good for your body.
Some soaps can be bad for the skin. Several commercial brand soaps and body washes that appear to be beneficial, for example, may contain components that are detrimental to the skin.
To shield your skin and overall health, here are the most toxic ingredients to watch for when buying soaps.
Synthetic Fragrances or Flavors
The majority of synthetic scents are created using substances derived from petroleum which are known to be hazardous to human health. These include phthalates and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) which are recognized endocrine disruptors and benzophenone, a possible carcinogen that can trigger allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.
In addition, prolonged exposure to those fragrances can also cause negative effects on the central nervous system which can lead to asthma symptoms and migraines. People that deal with sensitive skin are commonly advised to apply fragrance-free products as they contain no artificial fragrances or any potentially irritating elements.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Almost all soap in today’s market entails sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS, a kind of surfactant that produces foam and lessens skin tension. However, SLS can be a source of lung and eye irritation or skin allergies.
Furthermore, SLS can also result in health complications like organ failure and hair loss, despite accomplishing its job. Although some risk may be involved with soaps containing SLS, it is generally intended to be washed off after use, making the risk small except for those who have sensitive skin.
Soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, and even shaving products come with paraben. It is a preservative to extend the life of these personal care products and refrain bacteria from developing.
Despite being effective in that area, it can pose some health issues. Parabens can increase your body’s estrogen levels to rise and the breast cell in your body will multiply when absorbed through the skin and cause breast cancer as a result.
Propylene glycol is a synthetic compound that is usually added to various commercial soap manufacturers. Even though organic alcohol can nourish the skin, it can also make certain people break out in dermatitis or hives and can potentially be harmful to internal organs and destroy cells.
Nevertheless, Propylene Glycol is recognized as impervious and acceptable to use according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Still, those with delicate skin or eczema should consult their dermatologist before using a product that contains these ingredients.
Triclosan is another harmful chemical in soap that you should look out for. It is popularly used as an antimicrobial agent and a pesticide with antifungal attributes in everyday products. It can hinder endocrine function resulting in reproductive problems and organ toxicity.
Lye is a corrosive chemical commonly used in soap production even for natural and commercially available soaps. A large percentage of body washes, body soaps, detergents, and shampoos have it as their primary constituent.
Lye is a perilous substance that might cause serious injuries such as burns and irritated skin when it comes into contact.
But when performed properly, the chemical process referred to as saponification culminates in the combination of lye and other chemicals to produce soap that should be completely safe. This is due to the utilization of natural oils and fats rather than artificial components.
The skin’s natural moisturizing factor carries Urea as a key ingredient. It is particularly helpful in moisturizers and body cleansers since it absorbs water from the environment to nurture a healthy and hydrated skin barrier.
But, there are instances where urea might result in a slight burning or stinging sensation or skin irritation. An allergic reaction may cause more severe symptoms like hives or intense itching. Joint soreness, abnormal heartbeat, and other risks are also potential impacts because of Urea.
1,4-Dioxane is extremely dangerous. Both short-term and long-term exposures can lead to kidney or liver damage, cancer, eye and eyelid irritation, and throat and renal discomfort. It is also reported that this ingredient can cross a mother’s breast milk.
1,4-Dioxane is a compound added that is not listed on labels. This component is formed during the method of ethoxylation which incorporates the addition of ethylene oxide to other tough chemicals to make them less harsh. The skin-harming substance, sodium lauryl sulfate is converted into sodium laureth sulfate which is less hazardous.
To prevent irritability and allergic reactions, especially for those who have fragile skin types, make a habit of reading labels and ingredient lists before buying soap or other personal hygiene skin care.
Organic soap, non-chemical cleansers, and other natural soap substitutes can be a great and soothing cleaner for your body. Plus, all of them are made with totally natural ingredients. Applying glycerin soap is a safe alternative as well to traditional soap that is created by harsh chemicals.
Taking steps to eradicate unhealthy options from your skin care products is a solid start toward achieving a healthier life. Switching to cleaner alternatives such as organic products and natural alternatives should be in place of conventional soaps that contain harmful elements.