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The Slippery Slope of Soap Ingredients

By Sara Butler

You use soap every single day. After all, handwashing is your first line of defense against disease and is done by everyone multiple times daily. Though washing your hands and your body are healthy, some of the ingredients in the soap you’re using may not be. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for when it comes to the soap you use so you can avoid these ingredients at all costs!

Parabens

Any ingredient that ends in the word “paraben” is a no-no. This includes:

  • Propylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Butylparaben

These ingredients are what are referred to as xenoestrogens, meaning they mimic the hormone estrogen in your body when they are absorbed through your skin. While there has been no direct link found between parabens and breast cancer, parabens have been found in tumors taken out of the breast – so it’s probably best to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to this ingredient.

Phthalates

This ingredient is found in a plethora of things around your home, from toys to aftershave to flooring. In soap, you’re most likely to find a phthalate called diethylphthalate (DEP), often used in things with fragrance added.

Phthalates have been associated with many different health issues, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Allergies
  • Male infertility
  • Asthma

To avoid this ingredient, it’s probably going to be best to avoid anything with fragrance on the label.

Sodium Sulfates

Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) are surfactants. This means they help your soap to foam so you can really get that lather going. As far as your health goes, they may cause allergies but they’re not a huge health concern. The concern with these ingredients is environmental since they are made from petroleum. Opt instead for soaps made with coconut or palm kernel oil – they can really lather up too, but without contributing to environmental issues.

Triclosan

As of September 2016, this ingredient has been banned in commercial soaps. But this antibacterial agent is bad for your body and the environment, so make sure you’re on the lookout for it even though you’re unlikely to find it outside of a medical setting for now. It’s best to avoid any antibacterial products even if they don’t contain this ingredient.

Paying attention to the products you buy in stores is very important to your overall health, so educate yourself!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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