Raising the Bar on Soap

With all the talk around hand washing and sanitizing we thought it was important to update you on the truth about the soaps we are using and the harmful chemicals they can contain, as well as the harmful effects they have on our skin and the environment.

Why use Nourish Soaps?

Nourish soaps contain none of the below ingredients, kind and gentle on your skin, and on the environment

All the Nourish Vegan, Cruelty-Free products include 100% biodegradable formulations and recyclable packaging.

Nourish only uses pure, natural oils and steers away from preservatives and chemicals that are harsh on skin.

Each soap is personally handcrafted and packaged

Made with love and attention and that is evident each time you use them!

5% of each soap is trimmed off in the manufacturing process.  Buckets of these soap shavings are passed on to a local community initiative allowing you to share the love with every purchase you make.

Keeping it pure and simple and local is the way to go.

Unfortunately, the hand soaps we use to try to stay healthy commonly contain toxic substances that can harm our health. Even hand soaps labelled as “natural” commonly contain toxic ingredients because there are no regulations stipulating criteria for personal care products labelled as “natural”.

That means even hand soaps that seem to be innocent enough with their flowers & fruits often still contain chemicals associated with health risks like:

  • hormone disruption
  • organ, developmental & neurotoxicity
  • allergies & asthma

The good news is that it’s actually fairly easy to choose a safer, toxic chemical free hand soap. We’re getting you started with your handy hitlist of the top 6 chemicals to avoid.

Most commercial soaps will have the following chemicals added to them,

FRAGRANCES

Most hand soaps contain fragrances. You can see the word “fragrance” listed on product labels, but it is impossible to know what that means because the fragrance industry isn’t required to disclose the ingredients used in their products. 

This means there could be hundreds of ingredients in one fragrance.

Why should you be concerned? Fragrances are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream where they pose health risks including endocrine disruption, organ toxicity, allergies, asthma, neurotoxicity and cancer.

Fragrances also frequently contain phthalates (which won’t be listed on labels), which are associated with hormone disruption, birth defects and developmental toxicity.

PARABENS

Parabens are preservatives that are used in a wide array of different personal care products, including hand soaps. They mimic the behavior of oestrogen in the body and are associated with endocrine disruption, cancer, and developmental toxicity. They are also toxic to the environment. To avoid parabens, avoid hand soap containing ingredients ending in –paraben.

SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES)

Sodium Laureth Sulphate is used as a surfactant and emulsifier to add foaming & sudsing benefits in hand soaps. The health concerns with this are organ system toxicity and irritation of the skin, eyes, and lungs. Even more concerning is the contaminant that can form as a by-product of the manufacturing process called 1,4-dioxane. This nasty chemical is a known carcinogen.

SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS)

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is also a surfactant common in hand soaps, meaning it helps reduce surface tension and increases foaming power. Health concerns with this one includes irritation to the eyes, lungs, and skin. Studies have shown concerns about non-reproductive organ system toxicity.

Aerosolized products that contain sodium lauryl sulphate or that are used around the eyes and skin have been classified as human irritants by Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments, and some studies have linked sodium lauryl sulphate with developmental, endocrine, or reproductive issues. The CDC lists several negative health effects that can occur as a result of exposure to sodium lauryl sulphate depending on the type of exposure. When this ingredient is inhaled, it can cause coughing and a sore throat.

Contact with the skin or eyes can cause redness or pain. Ingesting sodium lauryl sulphate can lead to nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea.  It’s hazardous to the environment, particularly aquatic life. We think those suds and foam that make hand soaps prettier to look at aren’t worth the risks and that skipping them can be a big step towards a toxic chemical free hand soap.

METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE & METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE

Methylisothiazolinone & methylchloroisothiazolinone are preservatives used to inhibit bacteria growth in lots of personal care products including hand soaps. Some of the health risks associated with these preservatives include skin irritation, lung and respiratory issues and neurotoxicity. When you’re searching for toxic chemical free hand soaps, make sure to check for this common preservative, as sometimes they are used in more “natural” products to replace other nasty preservatives, like parabens.

COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE

Cocamidopropyl betaine is a synthetic detergent and surfactant that is used to increase the foaming action of cleansing products and moderate the viscosity of liquids. As a synthetic surfactant, cocamidopropyl betaine is found in a number of personal hygiene products including hand soaps. Health concerns around cocamidopropyl betaine include allergic skin reaction, contact dermatitis and environmental toxicity. Increasing rates of sensitization in the population led to cocamidopropyl betaine being named Allergen of the Year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

This one can show up under different names so to avoid it, look for a toxic chemical free hand soap that doesn’t have these ingredients listed: CADG, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Cocamidopropyl dimethyl glycine, Cocoamphocarboxypropionate, Cocoamphodiproprionate, and Disodium cocoamphodipropionate.

TRICLOSAN

is a substance that’s used as an antibacterial agent in hand soaps. You’ve probably read that the FDA finally banned this nasty one in Sept 2016 and gave manufacturers 1 year to either re-formulate or pull their product using this chemical from the market. Risks are that it can accumulate over time in the body and cause hormonal imbalances and organ system toxicity.

For more information on our new natural range, please mail us on info@healthnutrition.co.za or buy any of our natural soaps online