It is hard to select the best ingredients and products.  There are so many different lines of products and it can be very confusing.  We do know that 60% of what we put on our skin will be absorbed into our body.  Some of these ingredients (below) are questionable and some are known to cause health problems.  You have to start somewhere, so first become familiar with these ingredients and what they do.

Parabens:  (methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl) – Used as a preservative to inhibit microbial growth and extend product life shelf.   Avoid because they can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes.

DEA (diethanolamine) and TEA (triethanolamine) –  Used as foaming agents.  Avoid because they are toxic if absorbed into the body over long periods of time and are associated with cancer in lab animals.

Sodium Lauryl/Laueth SulfateUsed as a cheap, harsh detergent in many soaps and shampoos for its ability to cleanse and foam. Avoid because it causes eye irritation, dry scalp, skin rashes and strips the skin of its natural oils.  Be on the lookout for pseudo-natural products that list this ingredient with the phrase “comes from coconuts.”  It is still not good.

Petrolatum  (Petroleum jelly)Used as an inexpensive skin softner and moisturizer.   Avoid because this is a mineral oil derivative that leaves a film on your skin preventing it from breathing, sweating and releasing toxins properly.

Propylene GlycolUsed to enhance the skin’s absorption of other ingredients in a product.   Avoid because it has been known to cause hives, eczema and may interfere with reproductive health.  Beware of related chemicals labeled PEG and PPG.

Synthetic fragrances (labeled fragrance) –  Used to mask the undesirable odor of a product or to make the product smell like it contains a natural ingredient such as lavendar.   Avoid because there is no way to tell what chemicals are actually involved in the fragrance.  Reactions include headaches, dizziness, rashes and respiratory problems.

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