Is Your Shower Really Making You Clean?

There are many things that you don’t know about your body wash. For starters, many body washes actually leave residue on your skin. This residue simply masks the smell of body odor, is supposed to “prevent” future body odors, and block dirt and bacteria from environmental exposure. In addition, these body washes contain harmful chemicals that your skin absorbs, allowing it to enter into the bloodstream! You may be wondering, “What kinds of ingredients and chemicals should I be avoiding when I read the back of the label?” Well, today I am going to tell you. I will be discussing what to look out for when purchasing your body wash and soap to make sure you are really clean when you get out of the shower! 

There are many ways to ensure that you are getting what you’re paying for. You will soon know how to do your part as the consumer by reading the ingredients list on the back of the label. Knowing which ingredients to look for and which ingredients to avoid is the key! Here is a list of 5 ingredients that you should AVOID when shopping for your body wash. 

  1. Fragrances and Perfumes: This is what I like to refer to as an “umbrella ingredient.” To be honest, you never know what kinds of chemicals are being hidden by the term “fragrance” or “perfume” because companies are not required to disclose ingredients in their fragrances. They usually hide ingredients like phthalates, synthetic musks, and more. For more information on how fragrances are harmful in your skincare, click here
  2. Contaminants, PEGs, and Any Ingredients That Ends in -eth: These chemicals are created through ethoxylation -- a heating, cooling, or mixing process often leading to an unintended chemical reaction. Think chemistry; sometimes, during the preparation process, especially common in big Cosmo brands, the methods or sources used to produce these products cause the ingredients to undergo a conversion which causes the creation of harmful chemicals. If you see ingredients such as sodium laureth sulfate, it has gone through the process of ethoxylation, and you should put it right back on the shelf!  
  3. Harmful Surfactants: Surfactants are the ingredients that cause your body wash and soap to be bubbly and sudsy. These chemicals also commonly undergo ethoxylation, as mentioned in the previous section, and are also extremely harmful to aquatic life. Surfactants are chemicals that tend to be held on the skin until in water. It is essential to avoid these if you frequently swim around marine life, care about your skin, or care about chemicals entering your bloodstream
  4. Toxic Preservatives and Parabens: Preservatives and parabens are crucial to avoid because, over time, studies have shown correlations between these ingredients and breast cancer, reproductive harm, and hormone disruption. Preservatives are designed to kill everything, good or bad. These ingredients can be disguised in many forms as well! Some examples include: ethylparaben, isopropylparaben, quaternium-15, glyoxal, and more.
  5. Soap Residue Causing Additives: Soap residue is caused by calcium stearate, magnesium stearate, and alkali metal derivatives from the fatty acids or moisturizers that are added to the soap. When these ingredients mix with minerals found in water like calcium, iron, and magnesium, these ingredients thicken to cause the hard, white residue on the skin, which feels sticky, slimy, or even dry. This also prevents the skin from being able to breathe.

As you can see, it is incredibly challenging to find a body wash that checks all of the boxes. Some simple tips for shopping include looking for products where the ingredients are recognizable to you. This even includes how the company scents its products! If you see essential oils, that is an excellent sign because many people’s skin on their body is naturally dry due to the hot moisture of their shower extracting their body’s natural oils. Another tip is to keep this list close! Go through the ingredients list on the back of the bottle or bar! If you are doubtful about one of the ingredients in your body wash or bar of soap, it is most likely not safe for your usage. 

If you have read through this blog and are now concerned about what ingredients you should avoid when shopping for your skincare products, I have the solution for you! You can click here to learn how to read your skincare label in 5 easy steps! 

Looking for a gentle, cleansing soap with the seal of ingredients approval? Primal Life Organics is the perfect place to start with a certified organic, Body Wash Bar. This bar of soap checks all the boxes that I’ve mentioned in this blog AND comes in two different plant-based scented flavors! 


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