What’s In Your Shower?

Everyone these days is striving to keep up with cleanliness. We need to remember that what we put on our bodies is absorbed onto our skin and directly into our cells and can affect our health. Overtime, toxic chemicals can build up causing irreparable damage. All this could be happening in your very own shower. It’s time to take a look at shampoo and soap companies dirty little secrets hiding in their ingredients list on the back of their bottles. Many companies rely on our lack of knowledge to this large vocabulary of chemical names. First, let’s take a look at the harmful chemicals inside body wash, soap and shower gel. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is contaminated with 1,4-dioxane which is a hormone disruptor linked to breast cancer. SLES can allow other chemicals to penetrate skin and enter your bloodstream. Propylene Glycol causes respiratory toxicity and skin or sense organ toxicity. Cocamidopropyl Betaine causes immunotoxicity. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is similar to Sodium Laureth Sulfate but it does take the body longer to break down residue and can permanently damage eye tissue. DMDM Hydantoin exposure may lead to formaldehyde allergy and immunotoxicity. Triclosan is linked to the development of allergies in children. If combined with chlorine in tap water it can form to chloroform, a probable carcinogen. Let’s not forget the synthetic fragrances we need to avoid such as; Citral which can be associated with allergies and contact dermatitis. Hydroxycitronellal which is produced synthetically from naturally occurring scent chemical, Citronellal. Limonene when exposed to air and sunlight, can degrade into a large amount of oxidation products that act as skin and respiratory system irritants and sensitizers. Geraniol which is found in essential oils such as rose and citronella. Eugenol is associated with allergies and contact dermatitis (found inside clove oil). Also, make sure to avoid artificial colors by choosing soaps without the following; Blue 1 which has been linked to cancer and affection to neurons which causes allergic reactions, Red 33 causes thyroid tumors, Yellow 5 gives allergy-like hypersensitivity and ADHD syndrome in children and Titanium Dioxide can put you at risk for developing cancer if used too much. I went ahead and researched the brands with the most harmful ingredients and the safest ingredients in soaps/body washes for everyone in the following list.A child taking a bubble bath.

Most harmful soap/body wash companies:

  • Aveeno
  • Philosophy
  • Bath and Body Works
  • St. Ives
  • Dial
  • Olay
  • Dove
  • Nivea
  • Irish Spring
  • Love, Beauty and Planet

Least harmful soap/body wash companies:

  • Burts Bees
  • Tom’s
  • Hemp Seed
  • Attitude
  • Shea Moisture
  • Be Green Bath and Body
  • Schmidt’s
  • Kirkland
  • Pure Haven
  • CerVe

Not only are there harsh chemicals in our soaps but also in our shampoos and conditioners! Dangerous shampoo chemicals can leave your hair stripped of natural oils, causing dryness. Fragrance found in many hair cleaning products has phthalates that are linked to reproductive and developmental damage and synthetic fragrances are known to accumulate in our bodies causing hormone disruption. Preservatives are commonly used in our shampoos to prevent the growth of yeast, mold and bacteria; causing a range of toxicity problems in our bodies. Surfactants can cause serious irritation and it is really harmful to the aquatic life as well.

The following is a list I have compiled of the most harmful ingredient brands and least harmful ingredient brands of shampoo/conditioner companies:

Most harmful shampoo/conditioner companies:

  • Herbal Essences
  • Bed Head
  • Aussie
  • John Frieda
  • Axe
  • Pantene
  • Suave
  • Garnier
  • Nexxus
  • Redken

Least harmful shampoo/conditioner companies:

  • Honest Company
  • Burts Bees
  • Lulu Organics
  • Dessert Essence
  • Hairfood
  • Earth Science
  • Derma E
  • 100 Percent
  • Euforia
  • Pacifica

Remember to most rely on natural ingredients like essential oils, argon oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil, aloe vera and Shea butter to not only look beautiful but to also feel safe and healthy with your shower products.

4 Responses to “What’s In Your Shower?”

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  1. Diane says:

    Great articles. Thanks

  2. Laura Barnett says:

    I love your research – great information Lexi!!
    Sadly, I thought Nexxus was super high end.

  3. Cynthia Swanston says:

    Thank you so much for the lists! Often when I am in a store I struggle when I am buying hair products. Companies try to promote their products as “natural” and their labels can be misleading and confusing. I will use the lists above the next time I’m in a store and it will make it so much easier to decide what to buy! Also, I want to support the companies that are not putting all of these harmful ingredients in their products!

  4. Scott Stuller says:

    Wow! This is great info. Thank you so much for this article. You rock. 🙂

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