Monday, November 8, 2010

Thoughtful Living Tuesday

Portrait of a Baby in a Bath Holding a Rubber Duck
What's in your bath products?!?
I never thought that petroleum-based chemicals, possible carcinogens (lauryl/laureth sulphates), and preservatives that mimic estrogen (parabens) could be found in my body wash! And just because a product is labeled "natural" shouldn't provide quick acceptance because that product might just have one natural ingredient, thus giving the company the opportunity to label the entire product "natural." The world of marketing is simply amazing in how it can mislead consumers.

The following list in bold is taken from, and I did some side research at various sites and also at

Toxic petrochemicals - overexposure to petrochemicals can contribute to health problems like skin irritations, eczema, allergies, weakened immune system (children with developing immune systems can be even more susceptible), chronic fatigue, endocrine system upsets and even cancer

Synthetic perfumes or dyes - are almost always made from petroleum.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate - imparts foam and viscosity; it’s also a strong detergent to remove soiling. It strips oils and fats efficiently;if SLS is absorbed through the skin then penetration can include systemic tissues such as the brain, heart, spleen and liver.

TEA, DEA or MEA -(Triethanolamine, Diethanolamine or Monoethanolamine) thought to have hormone disrupting effects and are possibly carcinogenic when combined with nitrates present in other products

Parabens - chemical preservatives used in skin care, hair care and cosmetics to stop mould by preventing normal biological activity. Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl and Butyl parabens were found to be mildly oestrogenic which means they have the ability to mimic female hormones in your body when applied to the skin. Parabens occur in so many products that they could have a cumulative effect

It's a start to learn more about these chemicals which are in products I use, more often than not, and figure out how to replace them with healthier options so that my life and health (and that of my family) won't be so easily compromised. Instead of trying to eliminate every cleaning and bath solution with 100% organic products, which would probably eliminate my checking account also, I'm first going to evaluate which is worth investing in a 100% organic product and which I can provide a viable (and economical) homemade remedy. I think I will have to throw some of my smelly body washes and lotions away -- didn't know my shower would be so insightful today. I know vinegar has several uses for cleaning and deodorizing, and with the addition of essential oils can be quite delightful too. And sometimes, simple water can do the trick -- for example, I cut down use of store bought baby wipes (or even the homemade option with baby shampoo) and just wet some cloth with water to wipe the baby (after she's gone number one -- number two is definitely a disposable wipe situation for me).

There so much more to dig into, and I know some of my favorite bath products are huge abusers of the chemicals. So it will take time and some disconnect for me to learn about these chemicals and fragrances, and say good bye to some of my smelly bath washes!

(Stay tuned for a review of products with "No nasty chemicals!")


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