Showering is part of your everyday routine to keep your body clean, fresh, and smelling good. What if this simple habit was exposing you to harsh and potentially dangerous ingredients or chemicals?
Using a non-toxic body wash is essential if you are looking to avoid letting toxic ingredients into your body. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and absorbs anything that you put onto it. Have you thought about what is in your skin products, like your body wash?
Often these products can contain chemicals and other ingredients that have been linked to cancer, asthma, fertility problems, birth defects, and many other unpleasant side effects.
In this article, we will discuss the dangers of the chemicals hiding in the ingredient lists of some of your favorite body washes. We will also help you to know what ingredients you should avoid and which ones are the best for your particular skin type.
We even did the hard work for you and created a list of the best non-toxic body washes; you’re welcome. Whether you are just starting your journey to natural beauty or you just want to learn more, keep reading to dive deeper.
Why You Should Use Non-Toxic Body Wash?
You may be thinking “is it really necessary to switch to a non-toxic body wash?” Well, that answer is up to you. Do you want to use products that are filled with potentially dangerous ingredients?
Chemicals and fragrances that are found in some body washes have been linked to multiple issues including, irregular periods, asthma, allergic reactions and even cancer.
The accumulation of exposure to chemicals that can be found in artificial skincare can also result in hormone imbalances. This is due to certain ingredients that act like or affect hormones inside the body, known as hormone disruptors. This can cause weight gain, mood swings, and loss of sleep.
These chemicals can also negatively affect the endocrine system and impact a woman’s menstrual cycle and fertility. Hormone levels in men can also be affected.
Ingredients that affect your endocrine system are known as endocrine disruptors. These ingredients resemble natural estrogen so similarly that they can fit into the same receptors. They can either bind to the receptors, which stops hormones from working correctly or travel directly to a cell’s nucleus, where it can negatively affect the chromosomes or DNA. If you want to learn more about hormone and endocrine disruptors, check out this article from safecosmetics.org.
Want to make your own non-toxic body wash? Check out this video here
Ingredients to Avoid
When looking at the ingredients list of your body wash, a good rule to follow is if you wouldn’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your body. Here are some ingredients to avoid:
Parabens are used as preservatives in many different personal care and cosmetic items. It can disrupt the endocrine system. Parabens may also lead to breast cancer, early puberty, and decreased sperm levels. This ingredient can be hidden as methylparaben, propylparaben, and ethylparaben.
Sulfates are the ingredients in your body wash and other cleansers that cause them to have lavish bubbles. According to the EWG, Environmental Working Group, Sulfates are a “moderate hazard.” They have been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation, and endocrine disruption. There are many variations of sulfates and they are usually found on the ingredients list as sodium lauryl sulfate, SLS.
Fragrances should be avoided when looking at the ingredients list. When the word “fragrance” is used, it is usually code for “added chemicals” instead of listing out each chemical.
Choose a fragrance-free formula and use essential oils to make your body wash smell as beautiful as you would like. Even if a body wash claims to be “naturally scented” the fragrance may be masking other dangerous ingredients.
Hidden Ingredient Phthalates are found in fragrances to make them last longer. This is one of the ingredients you will usually not see on the ingredient list because it is hidden in the term “fragrances” or other scented terminology. According to the CDC, this chemical has been proven to affect the reproductive systems of laboratory animals. The national toxicology program called it “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”. Phthalates have been banned in the E.U. due to the potential risks and other toxic effects.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine is used to create the suds and bubbles that your shower gel or body wash produce. This chemical compound can cause allergic reactions and skin irritations. In fact, in 2004 it was allergen of the year as it became more and more popular in products.
Retinyl Acetate is a form of vitamin A that is used as a moisturizer. It can be toxic in high doses to pregnant and lactating women. Retinyl Acetate can also cause cellular changes to the body and organ toxicity. It can hide on the ingredient list as vitamin acetate or acetic acid.
It is even more difficult to know which products are non-toxic in the United States as these products are not regulated by the FDA. These regulations are very lax when compared to other countries.
What Makes A Product Non-Toxic
Although in other countries around the world ingredients that are allowed in personal care products are better regulated, in the United States there are not as many restrictions. It is very easy for companies to introduce new products to the market due to the lack of regulations. 90% of cosmetic and other skincare products have not been evaluated by the FDA, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, or any other publicly accountable institution.
The E.U. has banned over 1,300 ingredients that are used in personal care products. The United States has only 11 ingredients that they have banned.
The lack of federal regulation is why organizations, such as the EWG, have taken it upon themselves to track the safety of personal care products to ensure that they are safe and free of harmful ingredients. In order for a product to be EWG certified, they ensure that the companies divulge all of their ingredients, including any chemicals that may have been listed as just “fragrances.” The EWG has a team of scientists, toxicologists, chemists, and entomologists, to ensure that every product is fully analyzed.
To learn more about the EWG, check out their website here.
Packaging of Products
If you really want to protect yourself from toxins, think about what your products come in as well. The packaging of your personal care products is important to ensure that you are not being exposed to any toxic ingredients. Look for glass when possible. There is no danger of any toxins latching onto the product from glass packaging.
Plastics can sometimes hold on to dangerous toxins that can affect the endocrine system. Although this is something more difficult with body washes when using plastic packaging keep in mind the type of plastic you are using. For example, is the plastic BPA free?
Natural Ingredients That Are Great for Each Skin Type
Now that you know what to look for, you still want to take care of your unique skin type. Oily skin will still need different products than those needed for dry skin. There are certain ingredients to look for in natural and organic products to keep your skin balanced and beautiful.
For those with dry skin, try coconut oil. This is a nourishing natural oil that helps to moisturize your skin. Coconut oil contains natural fats that mimic the skin’s natural lipids.
If you suffer from body acne, look for products with tea tree oil. It helps to treat breakouts without being overly drying.
Dry skin will also benefit from avocado oil, due to the fatty acids it contains. It also has vitamins A, D, and E. This oil moisturizes boosts collagen production and can help reduce age spots.
Argan oil is another oil rich in vitamins A and E. It also has antioxidants and omega 6 fatty acids to moisturize, without clogging pores.
Aloe vera is great for those with sensitive skin. It soothes the skin and can help prevent itching, while also providing moisture.
Other oils that are great for dry skin are jojoba, shea, and almond oil. They are rich in antioxidants and reduce flaking of dry skin. These are great to look for in the colder winter months.
Best Non-Toxic Body Washes (2021)
When choosing a shower gel, it is important to look at the ingredient list and choose a non-toxic formula to ensure that you are not exposing yourself to any harmful elements. Finding a truly all-natural body wash can sometimes be more difficult than just running to your local pharmacy and picking up what is on sale. That’s why we’ve put this list together.
Here are six of our top picks for the best non-toxic body washes.
Finding the best non-toxic body wash for you may be just the beginning of your healthy beauty routine or just another addition. Whatever the case may be, now you have a lot of wonderful products to choose from.
If you want to still look for others, use the tips above and remember it is important to read the labels thoroughly. Keep in mind that in the United States there are not many regulations on what brands can claim as organic or natural.
It is important to do your research. Use your resources and see if products are EWG verified. That is a sure-fire way to know that a product is safe, natural, organic, and non-toxic.