How to Avoid Chemical Contamination in Body Care Products: Know Your Products

Ammonium laureth and laurel sulfate, mercury, isopropyl alcohol, and polyethylene glycol. Ignorance isn’t always bliss. If you are using skin care products and makeup that contain these toxins, your skin is absorbing these day after day. This continual exposure to toxins is how your body becomes allergic and resists further exposure by exhibiting signs and symptoms such as an itchy rash, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and localized skin irritation. A common allergy is to ammonium lauryl sulfate found in commercially prepared shampoos. Fortunately, there are health conscious grocers who stock ammonium laureth sulfate free shampoo and other sulfate free products.  Another source for sulfate free shampoo is hair salons. You owe it to yourself to end using sulfate shampoos or risk developing an allergy. This is a small change with extensive results.

I remember when I developed an allergy to ammonium laureth sulfate. I asked my hair stylist why my scalp was reacting to my shampoo. She carefully explained that my symptoms were an allergic response to ammonium laureth sulfate, suggested an ammonium laureth sulfate-free shampoo that they carried, and I haven’t looked back. My scalp settled down and now I know to look for ammonium laureth sulfate-free shampoo at health-conscious grocers and hair salons. Was I born with the allergy? No. I acquired it by unknowingly using shampoos that contained this toxic chemical. Would I have changed to ammonium laureth sulfate-free shampoo had I understood the consequences? Yes, but manufacturers and many distributors don’t provide that information to consumers. It is up to the consumer to know what toxic chemicals are, what they are in, and how to avoid them. It truly is a consumer beware marketplace.

What are the Clues to Safe Products?

Search out certified organic products, learn the names of brands that you can trust, and that do not include toxic chemicals in their products. If the product ingredient list includes certified organic, you’ve found a safe product to apply to your skin. The product, not the store you are in, should prove to you that it’s a safe product. Safe brands are Alba (one my favorites), Avalon, Jason, Kiss My Face, 365, and Whole Foods Premium Body Care. In fact, Whole Foods has a 9 page list of 400 ingredients that are unacceptable for body care products on their web site.  It is easier to know the safe brands than memorize an exhausting long list of toxins found in many body care products. Manufacturers are not required to provide health care studies or pre-market testing of personal care products prior to manufacturing products and putting them on the shelves for consumers. Whole Foods has devised a logo for safe body care products that meet their Premium Body Care standards. Research skin care products for women, shop informed, and avoid complications from over exposure to toxic chemicals.

Non-Toxic Home Recipes

People have been making their own natural ingredient body care products for a very long time. The Internet makes it even easier to find, collect, and share personal care recipes. One convenient source is Pinterest where subscribers share, build pages of collected recipes, and follow other like-minded Pinterest subscribers. There are many options available to you. Treat your body with care.

About the Author:

Ashley Monroe is a freelance writer and mother of two young girls. She loves writing and teaching and has written on topics from skin care to dentistry.  While researching for an article she came across a sensitive skin cleanser from  and now uses it for tips on taking care of your skin.

About Arlene Martell

Arlene Martell is the publisher of and the author of Getting Adam Back – A Mother's triumph over Epilepsy and Autism. She resides in a seaside suburb on Vancouver BC Canada with her husband James and their four children Adam, Justin, Shelby and Victoria.