Have you ever wondered what toxic ingredients are hiding in your home? Whether you’re already reading the ingredient labels of products you bring into your home or are new to the idea, unnecessary, toxic ingredients are added to hundreds of thousands of products we bring into our homes every single day. Even those that claim to be “green” or “natural”.
We kicked off our 7th anniversary with a Clean Living Contest where we encouraged you to start reading the labels of products they use in their home, toss the products that had toxic ingredients in them, and take a solid step towards clean living. It was a hit, and we want to thank everyone who participated in this movement! It was so exciting to see how many people took us up on the challenge to read the labels on the skincare, cleaning, and other products they use and to toss out products that contain toxic ingredients! There were tons of conversations that resulted from all the posts and lots of you expressed how shocked you were to find toxins in what you thought were “trusted” name brand products.
We picked 7 winners (see the announcement on our Facebook Page) who will each receive a Deluxe Home Set Up Gift Basket filled with over $100+ worth of clean products from Bend Soap Company.
But the Clean Living Contest left us with one major question: What types of toxins did people end up finding in their homes?
Common Toxic Ingredients to Avoid
As a quick recap from our How to Live a Healthy, Toxin-Free Life blog post, here are a few common toxic ingredients we told our audience to be on the lookout for when reading ingredient labels:
- Propylparaben: Parabens have characteristics similar to estrogen hormones (known as being “estrogenic”) and can disrupt your body’s normal hormonal balance. Through their research, these scientists came to the conclusion that exposure to propylparabens (which are used as a preservative) may lead to diminished ovarian reserve and contribute to ovarian aging among women.
- Phthalates: You’ll spot this ingredient in plastics, lubricating oils, detergents, adhesives, and, yes, everyday personal care products like soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, and nail polishes. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break.
- Triclosan: This ingredient has been shown to alter the way hormones work in the body while some studies have even raised the possibility of this ingredient contributing to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Found in many skin care products (think along the lines of shampoos, body washes, soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, and bubble bath products) you’ll also find this ingredient in household cleaning products as well as engine de-greasers. Used as a detergent that can help products produce a lather they wouldn’t otherwise naturally have, these ingredients are widely available and inexpensive to use in product formulas which makes them attractive to many big-name brand companies despite the fact that they have been known to cause skin irritations and trigger different allergies in individuals.
- Fragrance: Spotted on the labels of thousands of perfumes, skin, hair, makeup, and household products, fragrance resides in a space cosmetic chemistry refers to as a “fragrance loophole” meaning that it can mask different ingredients within its single “fragrance” listing.
- Petroleum: Commonly found in skin and hair care products, this ingredient has been used in everything from lotions to baby products and is noted for its ability to create a protective barrier on the skin while holding in moisture. Downsides of this ingredient are that it has been known to block pores and lock in things like dirt and bacteria. Even heat can be locked in using this ingredient, which is why it’s always recommended to avoid using on sunburns.
The Most Common Toxins People Found in Their Homes
After looking through some of the video submissions people left us, here’s what they found and decided to toss.
We hope that the Clean Living Contest motivated you to seek out the products you trust and use in your home, read the ingredients on the labels, and become educated about what’s really inside the products you’re using. With green-washing on the rise, there’s never been a better — or easier — time to start reading ingredient labels and replace toxic products that reside in so many people’s homes with natural alternatives.
Whether it’s your body wash or lotion, laundry detergent or dish soap, toxic ingredients are out there, and we must be our own advocates in deciding what products are safe and healthy to use in our homes, on our bodies, and with our families.
Back to You
What toxic ingredients did you find in your home? Check out the list of common ingredients to consider avoiding in our How to Live a Healthy, Toxin-Free Life blog post, compare them to the ingredients on the products you tossed, and leave us a comment below sharing what you tossed and what toxic ingredients were inside.
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