Put down the pump and back away from that bar — there may be harmful chemicals lurking in your hand and body soap that could be potentially perilous for both you and the environment. Take a peek at the ingredient list of your favorite soap or body wash to see if it contains any of the following:
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): A common ingredient in many soaps, shampoos and toothpastes, SLS is responsible for the bubbling lather we all love. Unfortunately, it’s also a potentially harsh chemical compound that can cause skin irritation, dryness and damage.
Diethanolomine (DEA): Used as a wetting and lathering agent, DEA may irritate the skin, as well as the nose and throat if inhaled.
Triclosan: Found in most antibacterial soaps, triclosan is used to kill bacteria. Overuse of products containing triclosan can be a problem because it may eventually lead to new, resistant strains of “bad” bacteria. Triclosan may also be an endocrine disrupter and can produce potentially harmful byproducts when combined with hot, chlorinated water.
Synthetic fragrance or dye: The pleasant scent or colorful appearance of your soap may be the result of hundreds of combined chemicals. Because specific ingredients in a fragrance or dye are not required to be listed, there’s no way of knowing exactly what makes your soap smell or look so good and whether or not the chemicals used may be harmful.
Obviously, you need to keep your hands and body clean, so you can’t really stay away from soap altogether! For safer suds, check out these natural products:
- Tom’s of Maine Unscented Beauty Bar: If you have sensitive skin, this bar is your best bet. Unlike other soaps that strip away your skin’s natural oils, this unscented soap is made with soothing chamomile, hydrating olive oil and protective vitamin E, to lock in long-lasting moisture. Plus, it contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients.
- Acure Organics Argan Oil Castile Soap – Peppermint: Made with skin-nourishing organic argan, sunflower and coconut oils, this liquid soap is free of sulfates, parabens and animal ingredients. It’s cleansing, soothing, moisturizing and incredibly refreshing, especially after a long day. Use as a body wash or hand soap.
- Dr. Bonner’s Magic Soaps All-One Hemp Pure Castile Soap – Lavender: This bar is made with fair-trade, organic oils (hemp, coconut, olive, jojoba and palm) to envelop your skin in natural moisture, plus natural lavender oil to soothe and calm your senses.
- Shikai Borage Bar: If you already have dry, itchy skin, typical bar soaps only exacerbate the problem. The Borage Bar is the best soap to combat irritation, flaky skin and annoying itchiness. But here’s the kicker – it’s not actually a traditional soap; it’s a pH balanced blend of moisturizing and cleansing ingredients (like borage oil) formulated to help save your skin from further damage.