Written by Dr. Syl Corbett - July 14, 2020
Ask Dr. Syl: What are common and harmful ingredients in soap to avoid?
Do you know what ingredients are used in your soap? With the recent push for increased hand and face hygiene, sometimes the best of intentions are lost in the wash. Recommendations for frequent hand washing and face coverings may present harsh conditions for your skin without appropriate due diligence. Don’t let misleading packaging fool you into thinking a product is wholesome. Our skin is a semipermeable organ therefore transdermal application of any substance may eventually end up circulating in your bloodstream. Some of the most common ingredients in soap may actually be detrimental to your health.
‘Fragrance’ listed as an ingredient is troublesome for its obscurity, let alone its physical effects. These chemical cocktails give a product a scent, however, the price to be paid by exposure to these ingredients may be costly. Adverse effects may include allergic reactions and even hormone disruption. Conversely, other natural oils, such as lavender, could be health-promoting. The best approach when choosing your skin care products is to avoid anything that isn’t 100% transparent in its list of ingredients.
1. What are Parabens?
Parabens are preservatives regrettably often used in cosmetics. These substances are believed to wreak havoc on hormone balance by mimicking estrogen and subsequently increasing cancer-risk.
Parabens have also been found in marine life indicating our sewage may be environmentally destructive. With several natural preservatives available, there is no justifiable reason to use these injurious chemicals.
2. What are Triclosan?
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal harmful ingredient in soap. Problematic is the development of antibiotic-resistance by exposed bacteria. This phenomenon has the potential to cause widespread antibiotic resistance. Triclosan has been found in blood plasma, urine and human breast milk. Our use of this toxic chemical may also accumulate in our soil and surface water negatively impacting the environment.
3. What are Sulfates?
Sulfates are included in soap to create bubbles and aid in lathering. These compounds are known as skin, mouth and eye irritants. Often the testing of the irritation level is performed on animals.
In addition, the manufacturing process of sulfates poses a risk of contamination, which has been reported to cause cancer during testing. Further to this, toxic accumulation from our wastewater may occur in aquatic animals, contributing to more environmental damage.
We strongly support current guidelines regarding hand and face washing, however not at the expense of your health & the environment. WOSH mineral bars are free of parabens, triclosan, and sulfates. Don’t just wash, WOSH!