Our culture is obsessed with cleanliness.
But that is a topic for another day…
Today’s topic is related though because it’s about shampoo and our (mostly) daily use of it.
Shampoo and most of the other personal care products we use everyday are full of toxins.
And guess what?
The toxic chemicals in shampoos and many personal care products are not regulated by the FDA.
This means manufacturers can put in anything they want to, including cheap toxic chemicals with highly harmful effects into these products which can, of course, end up in our bodies since we are using them DAILY.
Not to mention that anything you inhale or scrub into your skin (like shampoo and soap!) will enter your body just as surely as if you had swallowed it–like nicotine patches or any other drug delivered through the skin.
And entering your body is especially possible while taking a hot shower when your pores are nice and open (I mean, who doesn’t love a hot shower?).
Lots of info below in general on the types of toxins in personal care products. Good knowledge to have so you make an informed decision.
At the very bottom, I give a great alternative shampoo product made with a unique combination of plant extracts and essential oils of wild orange and lime.
It smells delicious and works as well (and in my opinion maybe better) than the toxic soup shampoo you are probably using every day.
You have to start somewhere and I think shampoo is an obvious first choice.
Here are 5 of the worst offenders in the personal care products we all use every day:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
- SLS is an very cheap detergent and surfactant (a compound that lowers the surface tension between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid) and is commonly used in shampoo, body wash, shaving cream, toothpaste, and other personal care products. An American College of Toxicology study revealed that SLS easily penetrates the skin due to it’s ability to break down cell walls and can circulate in the body for up to five days. SLS can also strip moisture and oils from the hair and skin, causing rashes, hair loss, and a condition similar to dandruff (ask my husband, he used to have a serious problem with this until switching to Cypress essential oil and doTERRA shampoo). A Journal of Investigative Dermatology revealed that SLS produces skin and hair damage, including cracking. Another older study found that SLS damages DNA in cells. SLS can penetrate your eyes and other tissues. In a study performed by the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical College of GA, they found that SLS can penetrate into your eyes and other tissues such as your brain, heart, and liver. According to Dr. Green, lead author of the study:
Four findings have ensued: first, SLS is rapidly taken up and accumulated by eye tissues. SLS is retained for up to five days in most eye tissues.
Second, SLS uptake is greater in younger rabbits with decreasing amounts with increasing age.
Third, SLS causes changes in the amounts of some proteins of eye tissues whether they are treated in the living animal or tissues are bathed in SLS while in tissue culture.
Fourth, SLS treatment extends the healing time of the corneal epithelium (the cellular surface layer of your cornea) up to 10 days, far beyond the normal two days.
Our findings lead us to call for more judicious use of detergents such as SLS by both manufacturers and users of soaps and shampoos. This is particularly true when possible accidental exposure to SLS could occur in infants…
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
- SLES is a close relative of SLS and also able to irritate skin and eyes. But even worse it often contains 1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of the ethylation oxide used to make petrolum-based ingredients more gentle on the skin. It is a known carcinogen and suspected of causing kidney damage. Dioxane is not on the list of ingredients on your shampoo bottle because it is a byproduct and not part of the formulation. It has a long life in the body, primarily because the liver cannot metabolize it effectively.
- These are chemical preservatives used in shampoo and other personal care products. Even at very low doses, parabens have been linked to reproductive damage and organ toxicity. An analysis of breast tissue of women who had undergone mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer found one or more of the parabens in 99% of the women, suggesting there is a link between these chemicals and breast cancer. All five members of the paragon group of chemicals were found in 60% of the samples. Parabens have similar properties as estrogen, and have previously been linked with cancers fueled by excessive unbalanced estrogen.
- Fragrance used in shampoo and other personal care products comes from the more than 3,100 chemicals the fragrance industry uses in the products it produces. These are all generally highly toxic and can result in liver toxicity, damage to the central nervous system, allergies, brain fog, obesity, asthma, headache, contact dermatitis, organ toxicity, and cancer. They are made from petrochemicals and phthalates, and have been linked to learning disabilities and other developmental abnormalities in children whose mothers had high levels in their bodies during gestation. Byproducts from the production of fragrances include dioxin and formaldehyde. The average fragrance product tested by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a consumer watchdog group, was a cocktail of 14 secret chemicals. These don’t have to be disclosed because they are considered trade secrets. EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database lists 11,000 products containing fragrance chemicals and rates them as highly hazardous.
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
- PEG is petroleum-based, commonly used to create a creamy texture and may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, another known carcinogen. California has classified polyethylene glycol as a developmental toxicant that may interfere with human development. PEG has shown evidence of genotoxicity, and it can cause irritation and systemic toxicity if used on broken skin.
It’s bad enough that these chemicals are so commonly used in products made for us adults, but the real tragedy is they are also very commonly used in products made for infants and children.
Children are at highest risk from chemicals in personal care products because they are still growing and due to their under-developed detoxification capabilities and highly porous skin.
So back to shampoo–if you want to take a step in the right direction (which is what this course is all about), replace your current shampoo with Essential Oils Protecting Shampoo (there is also a shampoo and conditioner combo option).
If you’d like to get started using essential oils, contact Marcia today for a free consultation.
XO — Marcia