Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
16 Jul

5 Chemicals in Cosmetics You Should Avoid

CosmeticsHave you ever wondered just what’s in all those products you slather, spray, spritz, apply, and rub onto your body? I mean, who hasn’t tried to kill time in the shower by hunkering down with a good shampoo bottle ingredient list? It’s a laundry list of unpronounceable words separated by dozens of hyphens. In short, it all appears to be a big bottle of chemicals. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a “chemical.” Most everything can be called a chemical; ever heard of dihydrogen monoxide? But not all chemicals are benign, particularly the manmade, industrial ones created to fulfill a specific purpose in a product. They likely do their intended job very, very well, but it’s difficult to impossible to account for any other effects a chemical might have on an organism.

That’s where I come in. I don’t use a ton of cosmetics – which, for today’s purposes, I’ll define as any product you apply to your body to clean, moisturize, beautify, or cover up or improve an odor – but many of my readers do, and they want to know the effects of what they’re putting on and into their bodies. Today, I’ll discuss some of the most common and problematic cosmetic ingredients, both from a personal and environmental health standpoint.


Although parabens are sometimes used as food preservatives, the majority of urinary parabens derives from nondietary sources like cosmetics, primarily, where they are used to extend shelf life. We now know beyond a doubt that humans can absorb parabens from makeup through the skin. Okay, so parabens are absorbed transdermally and show up in your urine. Does that actually matter? Well, the blogs of conventional skincare apologists would have you believe that the presence of parabens in urine means that the body is doing its job and fully eliminating toxins. Recent human studies, on the other hand, suggest a link between urinary paraben levels and certain health conditions, such as sensitivities to airborne and food allergieselevated stress hormones in pregnant mothers and their newborn children (who, by the way, are showing up with parabens in their first urine!), and DNA damage to sperm.

Furthermore, not all parabens are eliminated through the urine (contrary to the apologists’ claims). Some is retained in plasma, and these plasma parabens are far more stable than urinary parabens, even when stored at 37 degrees celsius for 30 days. It seems clear that urinary paraben levels offer an incomplete picture. Even scarier, parabens have estrogenic activity and show up in the vast majority of breast cancer tumors. That’s not proof of guilt – recall the presence of cholesterol in atherosclerotic plaque being used as “proof” of cholesterol’s causative role in heart disease – but it’s intriguing evidence, however circumstantial (plus, whereas cholesterol is manufactured by the body, parabens are not and therefore deserve far more scrutiny).

Where to find them: Shampoos, conditioners, makeup, toothpaste, lubricant, shaving gel, moisturizers, sunscreens.

Other names: Just look for any word with “paraben” as the suffix in the ingredient list. It’s pretty much everywhere.


Being plasticizers, phthalates are most abundantly found in plastics, but they also show up in most cosmetics, especially nail polish (to keep the polish from becoming brittle on the nail) and synthetic fragrance (as a preservative). Like most other plastic compounds, phthalates are endocrine disruptors with the ability to negatively affect a whole host of physiological functions. In animal studies, phthalates have anti-androgenic effects (they counter “male” sex hormones) and affect fetal development, particularly of male sexual function. The biggest effects are seen in utero, when the fetus is most vulnerable.

Human studies are primarily observational. One recent study found that women with the highest levels of certain cosmetics-related phthalates in their blood were at an elevated risk for diabetes. Another discovered a link between phthalate blood levels and obesity in children. They have also been linked to ADHD, altered thyroid function, breast cancerdecreased motor and mental development in children, and “less male-typical play behaviour in boys.”

The combination of observational studies coupled with potential physiological mechanisms (endocrine disruption) make me pretty suspicious of phthalates. Of course, much of our exposure to the chemicals comes from plastics and the ambient environment, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t limit exposure through cosmetics, too.

Where to find them: Nail polish, fragrance, hair spray, deodorant.

Other names: Fragrance almost always contains phthalates. Sometimes, ingredient names will have the suffix “phthalate,” but you can’t always rely on that. Acronyms of some phthalates used in cosmetics include DEP, DBP, and BzBP. You know what? Just be wary of that “phth” (how the heck do you even pronounce that?) because it shows up in the middle of words, too.


Triclosan is essentially an antibiotic. Although it’s being phased out, it still appears in some hand sanitizers. Yes, triclosan does kill bacteria and fungus. Yes, it’s even been shown to be better at that than soap and water. But that comes at a big cost.

A recent French paper put it nicely: triclosan is a resilient chemical, making it off our bodies, down our drains, and into our lakes, rivers, oceans, and even drinking water. Fish and people alike have it in their bodies, and triclosan also reacts with chlorine and ozone to form toxic dioxins. Most importantly, like any antibiotic that’s used flagrantly, there’s evidence that it contributes to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The fact that people tend to use it to ward off disease-causing bacteria means that those disease-causing bacteria are developing resistance. Triclosan trains them.

This is pretty clear cut. Just use soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Where to find them: Hand sanitizers, deodorants, certain toothpastes.

Other names: Irgasan DP-300, Lexol 300, Ster-Zac, cloxifenolum.


Fragrances are exactly what they sound like: synthetic compounds added to products to make them “smell good.” I put that in quote marks because fragrances can be truly overpowering and downright unpleasant, in my opinion. Let’s just say that they “add odors” to products.

The real problem with fragrance, other than, well, the smell, is that fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets. This means companies don’t have to disclose the chemicals contained in a particular fragrance. They can just add “fragrance” to the ingredients list and go on their merry way. Unfortunately, most synthetic fragrances contain pthalates, which I’ve already covered, and synthetic musks, which have been shown to impair endogenous cellular defense mechanisms. In other words, synthetic musks may hamper our cells’ ability to detoxify, thereby leading to excessive exposure to otherwise easily detoxified toxicants. They’re persistent bastards, too, as musk residues show up in the ocean, in blood, in breast milk, and in babies. American breast milk, for example, almost invariably contains fragrances, up to five times as much as breast milk from Germany or Denmark. Many fragrance ingredients are also allergens, making fragrance one of the most common triggers for people with allergies (PDF).

Where to find them: Obviously, you’ve got your colognes and perfumes. If a cosmetic is scented, it also likely contains a fragrance. That goes for soaps, lotions, deodorants, and laundry detergent.

Other names: Parfum (classy, eh?) or aroma.

UV-filtering chemicals

Many sunscreens use UV-filters like benzophenone and oxybenzone for their UV-blocking properties, but they also possess a hidden feature: endocrine disruption. Certain forms of benzophenone, for example, inhibit the action of thyroid peroxidase, an enzyme necessary for the production of thyroid hormone. Another study showed that application of sunscreen containing benzophenone-2 for five days lowered T4 and T3 thyroid hormones in rats. Later, researchers examined the estrogenic effects of another UV-filter used in sunscreen – octyl-methoxycinnamate – and found that typical amounts were enough to disrupt hormonal function and exert other, non-endocrine health effects when applied to rat skin. That might not a problem if UV-filters in sunscreen weren’t designed to be absorbed into the skin, and therefore the body, nor if every expert weren’t telling us to slather a quarter cup full all over our bodies at the first hint of sunlight.

It’s also worth mentioning that UV-filtering chemicals often have even more drastic effects on wildlife, like the zebrafish, in whom low amounts of oxybenzone exert multigenerational effects at the gene transcription level.

The best part of all this? It’s not even effective against the development of melanoma! In fact, one study found a positive association between sunscreen usage and melanoma incidence.

Where to find them: Anything containing sunscreen.

Other names: Benzophenone, oxybenzone (benzophenone-3), octyl-methoxycinnamate, para-amino benzoic acid (PABA), 3-benzylidene camphor (3-BC), 3-(4-methyl-benzylidene) camphor (4-MBC), 2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxy cinnamate (OMC), homosalate (HMS), 2-ethylhexyl 4-dimethylaminobenzoate (OD-PABA). These are different chemicals with similar effects.

There are other potentially harmful cosmetics chemicals, like the “dirty dozen of cosmetics,” but I found these five to have the most evidence of serious harm and cast the widest net of influence across the sexes. I hesitate to ask you to lose sleep over every little chemical that might do us harm when we have much bigger fish to fry in the path toward health, including food, fitness, sleep, stress, sun, and community. These five deserve scrutiny, though.

Three major problems with most of these chemicals exist, as I see it:

1. They tend to accumulate in the body. Some gets excreted, but not all.

2. We use them frequently, oftentimes every single day. Small, one-time amounts of some of them might be okay. When you continuously slather it all over you, day in and day out, the problem compounds. Short term studies can’t account for that.

3. They often have external effects, whether it be drug resistance of bacteria, environmental accumulation, or developmental effects in unborn fetuses.

So, what about you guys? Have you been paying attention to what you put on your body? Have you noticed anything from being more selective with your cosmetics? Have you shunned them altogether? Let me know!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. My son has blonde hair and blue eyes. We’ve always watched his sun exposure because of that. One day someone was trying to be helpful and sprayed on some sunscreen (SPF above 50 I think) and I didn’t get a chance to stop it. It was the WORST chemical burn. Poor guy, he was red, burned and it seemed as though there was sand under his skin, it was painful for days. Our neighbor just found out the hard way that her son will do the same.
    So my son just has a natural tan as his sunscreen now. If we are careful there are no burns, just a bit of pink here and there.

    2Rae wrote on July 16th, 2013
  2. I am trying no ‘poo. On day 5 or so. Hoping it works.

    Molly wrote on July 16th, 2013
  3. Sunscreens are a huge problem for me. My fair complexion combined with my mostly indoor job means I don’t get tan, and I don’t know how else not to get burned.

    Miller wrote on July 16th, 2013
  4. Sanex zero and dove extra sensitive don’t have phtalates or parabens. Also the body shop doesn’t use phtalates in their products or bottles, and some of their products are also para ben free

    Callum wrote on July 16th, 2013
  5. This post is wonderfully relevant to me right now. Thanks for the great info, Mark!

    For a while now, I’ve been working on transitioning everything we use over to more natural alternatives. The only soap I’ve been using for about a year now is Dr. Bronner’s castile soap, which is 100% natural. Wonderful stuff — I highly recommend!

    We recently replaced our conventional toothpaste and mouthwash with “The Natural Dentist” brand. It still has a few ingredients in it I’m not sure of, but at least it doesn’t have the really nasty stuff in it (like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, artificial flavorings, etc.). Our teeth are so much cleaner and whiter since we’ve switched! And my fiancé, who always has pain and swelling in his gums, reports that they’re doing much better.

    I’m still trying to find a good alternative for conventional shampoo/conditioner. I tried the baking soda + tea tree oil thing a while back and it dried my hair out to the point that it felt like straw. So in the meantime, while I continue my search, I’m using conventional junk. I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week, though.

    I was also in a similar jam with deodorant, but thanks to an earlier commenter in this thread, I’ve found an alternative I’m interested in and might try out next time I’m at the store.

    Can’t figure out an alternative for sunscreen either. The last time I went out in the sun, I wore conventional sunscreen and ended my day with second-degree sunburns. Hmph! :/

    I’ve thrown away every moisturizing lotion I have and use coconut oil instead. I got rid of shaving gel and just use warm water and castile soap when I shave. Perfume-loaded bubble baths have been replaced by unscented epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils. Overall, I feel really good with the direction we’re going, though we’ve still got a lot of work to do. It’s hard weeding out all the toxic crap when toxins are in literally everything around us!

    Jessie wrote on July 16th, 2013
    • I feel like you wrote that for me – ive made all the same changes as you – even trying the ‘no-poo’ but after 2 weeks of greasy hair and causing dandruff – i reverted back to ‘normal’ shampoo – must try another route!

      For deodorant can i suggest just plain bicarbonate of soda – its like talc powder – i don’t sweat or smell – 1 ingredient and does the job a treat!

      Joanne wrote on July 16th, 2013
    • Devita makes an excellent lotion/suncreen. They use zinc oxide and it’s all natural. “Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30”. There is one for the body and the face.

      Sheri wrote on July 17th, 2013
  6. I recommend products from Rocky Mountain Soap Company including their 100% natural sunscreen. They only use natural ingredients:

    Laura wrote on July 16th, 2013
  7. My husband and I quit using shampoo about 6 weeks ago. Just water. It was rough the first two weeks or so, but now my hair looks just fine. Also, I was putting product in my hair to get it to look like it does naturally now.

    We also gave up soap except for hand washing before food prep. I clean my face with coconut oil or water. It’s a lot cheaper than the expensive organic cleaner and moisturizer I was using before, and my skin looks great.

    Andrea wrote on July 16th, 2013
    • Us Too!! We must have read the same blog that day. No soap is GREAT. Our skin is so soft and the body smells naturally good. I just use a wash-cloth and water in the shower.

      Sheri wrote on July 17th, 2013
  8. I love this topic, and my friends make fun of me because they say my answer to everything is “coconut oil.” Honestly, though, I’ve replaced all of my beauty products with natural products and, combined with a primal diet, look as good as my peers in nyc who spend a fortune on their face. I now use the following:

    – Shower gel / soap: Dr. Bronners tea tree variety
    – Shampoo: Dr. Bronners tea tree (I tend to get dandruff)
    – Conditoner: Apple cider vinegar rinse a few times a week (dilute; leave on for a few seconds; rise off – this also helps with the dandruff.)
    – Shaving gel: same Dr. Bronners as above.
    – Exfoliant in the shower: a salt bar (I order from Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve) or just mix sea salt with olive oil.
    – Body moisturizer: coconut oil; this also prevents razor burn.
    – Face moisturizer: coconut oil; only a tiny bit! (apparently this is also a sunscreen, which I didn’t even know)
    – Makeup: Natural mineral makeup (Erth minerals) – foundation & bronzer.
    (I have ‘problem’ skin and if I’m going out, I’ll use a concealer / eyeliner / mascara that doesn’t have parabens, but I try not to use too much. Not to mention they are super expensive so why waste that on work mates?)
    *Makeup secret*: The key to a ‘put together look’ is a flattering haircut and defined brows. Spend more time on filling in your brows; spend less time putting gunk on your eyes. Similarly, spend time/money finding a good stylist and less buying overpriced skin products that hurt your skin rather than help it.
    – Makeup remover & face cleanser: coconut oil. Put on; rub off with a rag; good as new.
    – Toner (usually not needed): Mix equal parts green tea and apple cider vinegar
    – Deodorant: the salt rock; works great and lasts forever
    – Toothpaste: Toms without flouride

    I could go on about this topic forever, as there is a whole world out there with essential oils. But for the purpose of this comment, yes, the answer to nearly everything is coconut oil.

    Amy wrote on July 16th, 2013
    • Great tips…I use equal parts honey and sea salt to wash my face and my skin looks better than it ever looked using expensive prescription acne products.

      Kimberly Browning wrote on July 16th, 2013
      • Ooh, that’s a good one! A great mask is raw honey and coconut oil; you can leave it on as long as you’d like and if some falls in your mouth, well, yum.

        Amy wrote on July 16th, 2013
        • +1! If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. Either way, it ends up in your body. This is my product test. Coconut (and jojoba) oils to the rescue!

          Joanne wrote on July 16th, 2013
  9. i make my own deodorant and it works as well as the industrial strength stuff i used to use. 2 parts organic cornstarch to 1 part baking soda. i put it in a shaker jar i got from the dollar store. that’s it. i have mixed it with a little aloe gel at times and kept it in a jar if you prefer a cream to a powder.

    allison wrote on July 16th, 2013
  10. Ear eczema (inside and out) plagued my husband for years, all creams and drugs and shampoos failed to cure it. Finally he tried using no shampoo at all. Within a week or so his ears were pink and smooth with no more flaking at all. That was about three years ago … problem solved by using NOTHING.

    Becky wrote on July 16th, 2013
  11. About 5 years ago I gave up ALL products. I just use water and Bicarbonate of Soda.

    Julian Richardson wrote on July 17th, 2013
  12. Love this website!

    Wow, we’re obviously really spoiled in Australia, because it’s pretty easy to find good quality, affordable, biodegradable and earth-friendly (also human-friendly) products.

    Don’t know if you can buy Sukin in the US (or elsewhere) but have a wonderful range of safe products. Also carbon-neutral. I don’t know if all the ingredients could be EATEN, but it’s definitely the best thing I’ve found.

    I use a biodegradable eucalyptus based laundry powder which leaves everything so fresh and the washing machine is sparkling inside (and doesn’t get mold around the door seals). When I’ve been hand washing I find pure soap-flakes and a tablespoon of eucalyptus oil are magic. Leaves everything soft, smells wonderful, doesn’t irritate even my dogs’ noses after I wash their bed covers.

    Actually, I’ve found my dogs to be very useful “mine canaries” and now judge whether something’s ok to wear or have around based on whether they sneeze or not.

    I started making my own mineral makeup a couple of years ago, and even though I was previously buying “natural” makeup, I noticed a massive difference after making my own and controlling exactly what was in it. sell all the ingredients I buy (and cheap!). Everyone comments on my lovely makeup.

    I only use Jojoba oil as moisturiser now, and even though I’m fair with fragile skin, I look better now at 32 than I did at 26 when I used conventional beauty products. I have actually been asked twice now if I use Botox! (I wish I had the kind of money that costs, but I’d use it for other things!!)

    This is a fantastic blog and I really enjoy reading the extremely informative articles, with good sources and scientific data to support assertions made. I’m still working on trying to bring my parents around to the primal way of looking at the world, but they’re from the “fat = heart disease” generation and think I’m STARK RAVING MAD for eating meat fat and coconut oil and eschewing bread.

    I can’t wait til summer now to test this saturated fat/sun protection theory! The sun is incredibly harsh in Australia, and I’ve always burned if I don’t wear sunscreen, but with all the other amazingly positive changes I’ve noticed in myself from eating more saturated fat, I am confident there might be an improvement! I would love a healthy glow…

    Georgie wrote on July 17th, 2013
  13. Thank you for this Mark. People need to realise how important it is to watch what you use and put in your body.

    Maxine wrote on July 17th, 2013
  14. About 8 months after I changed eating habits, I started looking into other aspects of my life and when I found out what was really going on in my cosmetics and personal care products, I purged my bathroom and cosmetics. I never wore much in the way of makeup to begin with but there were still things that were harmful. I moved not much later and the bag full of products that I purged from my apartment ended up going in the trash. Somehow, even when I know there are people who don’t pay much attention to these issues, I can’t bring myself to give these things away because it seems wrong to give someone something I know isn’t good for them. I no longer wear any nail polish and on the rare occasion that I do wear makeup, I’ve done my research and bought makeup that feels safer. Basically, changing how I eat has changed my approach to just about everything else in life. It’s a nice domino effect.

    Koritt wrote on July 17th, 2013
  15. This issue is one that would benefit from the same 90/10 or 80/20 rule that Mark suggests for eating. I’m a 100%-er in the diet department, have fair skin, try to get my Vit D from the sun and have certainly not had the same experience as those of you who have reported that you no longer burn.

    I just got a sunburn by being an idiot (I’m not really in the sun, it’s cloudy, it’s not that long. . . . ) and I do not think the burn and the risks associated with it esp with family history of skin cancer is worth the tradeoff of not using a sunscreen. The immediate changes in my skin are horrifying let alone what I’ve done to it (again) for the long term.

    I use a ton of coconut oil and have eliminated a lot of the aforementioned chemicals from my life but risking a bad sunburn is one area of my life where I’m willing to go for “better living through chemicals.”

    My choice. Having the information about risk is very useful. I may never eat wheat or sugar again but I will wear sunscreen.

    Juli wrote on July 17th, 2013
  16. One thing that was left off the list was soaps with the little plastic scrubbers in them. While they may not be harmful for your body all those tiny plastic beads get washed down the drain and end up on the beach or in your lake water or ocean water.

    Matt wrote on July 17th, 2013
  17. Haven’t used soap on body for last 3 years and wash long hair once a week with shampoo from Handmade Naturals (a UK company) and teeth are cleaned with bicarbonate of soda. Stopped using moisturisers and after initial couple of months dryness, don’t feel I need them anymore.

    Tracy wrote on July 17th, 2013
  18. I am one of those who’ve also given up commercial products and gone “crunchy!” I make my own deodorant, body lotion, and scents from natural ingredients (and essential oils). But lately I’ve been viewing the oil I use to clean my face with distrust. It’s grapeseed oil, and though I now know that it’s a big over-processed no-no to eat, what is your take, fellow Paleo people, on putting that on the skin? Do I need to throw out this big bottle of oil and go for a olive oil/castor oil? (I hate wasting stuff, but…)

    Jenn Jenn wrote on July 17th, 2013
  19. I like Griffin Remedy shampoo and conditioner only a few times per week. Conditioner is great for shaving too. Rinse hair with cold water for more shine. Take luke warm showeres, less drying to skin. Alba Botanica unscented body lotion(works as facial moisturizer and eye makeup remover. Essential oil scents. I do a facial massage with olive oil and then cover with a steamy cloth for a few minutes and wash with my body car soap One With Nature Shea soap.

    Kerry wrote on July 17th, 2013
    • oops… body BAR soap that is.

      Kerry wrote on July 17th, 2013
    • Also, stopped using deoderant. You might be stinky for a few days or so but if you use soap without the bad stuff your skin pH and natural bacterial flora rebalances without the deo and its not so bad. Use a little baking soda dissolved in water for any slight odor.

      Kerry wrote on July 17th, 2013
  20. Love this post!

    A couple of months ago I started changing my household products for homemade natural products (Using oils, essential oils and so on) I don’t buy soap, cleaning products or much makeup anymore. I make whatever I can.

    I love the products I use now and wouldn’t go back to using store bought products!

    ClassickQC wrote on July 17th, 2013
  21. I bought some product from an expo I went to in Vegas. The products were all natural and had organic ingredients including dead sea minerals which is exactly why I purchased them.I can’t really give a accurate review as to the effects seeing as how I’ve only been using the products for a two days but my skins does feel a lot better. Here’s there site.


    Megan H. wrote on July 17th, 2013
  22. This is actually something I started doing long before I went Primal. The only commercially produced toiletry item I actually use is toothpaste (I tried various homemade alternatives and they either didn’t work or made my teeth hurt). Everything else is various combinations of baking soda, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and simple castile soap. No shampoo, no deodorant, and no suspicious ingredients.

    Same for my home cleaning products, which also can find their way into people’s bodies. I don’t want to be breathing suspicious fumes from God-only-knows-what. Baking soda, vinegar, and soap.

    LVM wrote on July 17th, 2013
  23. Since going primal last November, I have no problems with the sun anymore. Before I got burned easily (blond, blue eyes, fair skin), I really had to avoid direct sunlight. I got a migraine immediately I looked into the sun without shades. Now I can spend much more time in the sun, got a nice bronze suntan and don’t need sun glasses any more. I find any sort of sun cream disgusting on my skin, rather prefer protective clothing, if I have to spend several hours in the sun.

    Margit wrote on July 19th, 2013
  24. I hope this post doesn’t offend anyone but this needs to be mentioned: phthalates are commonly used in plastic/”jelly” sex toys, as a softening agent in the plastic.

    This is worrying because these kinds of products usually come into contact with mucous membranes, which are highly permeable, and in close proximity to one’s reproductive organs.

    Neither the FDA nor any other nation’s health agency does any kind of check on these products, so there’s nobody policing what goes into these things, or what kind of effect phthalates might have on human health when exposure is from this kind of thing.

    So, if you use or are thinking of buying adult toys, be wary – some marketed as “silicone” and sold by major retailers have an odour (which signifies particles being constantly given off) or even flavour, which means they’re giving off a lot of chemical residue.

    There’s more info online if you search the term “phthalates” and whatever type of sex toy you might be interested in. There are also safety issues with some cheaper glass toys from China being re-marked as Made In the USA and described as annealed boro-silicate glass, so if you’re looking to buy something like that, do a lot of research, because nobody in government, at least neither in the USA nor Europe, is looking out for you here, it’s a terribly unregulated market.

    Patrick wrote on July 19th, 2013
  25. Just thought I’d share which toothpaste I use, for those not interested in trying to make their own.

    I use Redmond brand Earthpaste. No fluoride, no SLS, no glycerin. A limited number of simple ingredients. It has xylitol, but I am unaware of this sugar alcohol being an issue and I think it actually is beneficial in preventing cavities.

    I’ve only tried peppermint, which I love, so I cannot vouch for any of the other flavors offered. I buy it at Whole Foods but my local co-op has said they can special order it since they already carry Redmond’s Real Salt, so I will be giving my money to them instead of WF when I need to buy more.

    CathrnB wrote on July 19th, 2013
  26. Very interesting info, though I think we would benefit quite a lot from a list of things that could replace those problematic chemicals. That is, “safe” soaps, deodorants, perfumes and so on. It’s all nice and dandy, until it gets to good body odor, we just can’t give that up.

    Guy wrote on July 19th, 2013
  27. Not because it comes from a plant, then it is safe to slap onto your skin.

    I can name a dozen of plants whose juice is poisonous just through skin contact, and that are just the most evident (I mean, you go to hospital, that’s quite evident).

    The side effect of many other plants that are considered a natural remedy could be discovered in decades from now (remember, we ate wheat for ten millennia before somebody decided to challenge it).

    Primal Alex wrote on July 21st, 2013
  28. This is brilliant…I just wish there was a way to stay in the sun for us fair-of-face, arms, legs and torso people without getting fried. It’s hard to surf or paddle board without something.

    Renata wrote on July 31st, 2013
  29. Thanks Mark….I totally agree.

    My question: Why aren’t our primary care doctors and the medical field in general up-to-speed on all these UNHEALTHY chemicals found in so many consumer products and even our drinking water and food?

    My primary care physician keeps telling my teenage daughter there is NO scientific evidence that finger nail polish or many sunscreen products, shampoos, and skin moisturizers contain harmful ingredients….that are harmful over time (common sense if not solid scientific evidence).

    I’m at the point of thinking it’s time to find a new primary care doctor…..cancer runs in both sides of our family and one would think a good doctor would want to help us minimize any exposure to known carcinogens. But no, our Doc says all these consumer products (like most finger nail polish) are not harmful. How the heck does she know that. It’s like things are upside down…..everything is safe until we find out later it’s not….remember DDT! Time for right side up…..prove it is safe before it’s allowed on the market.

    It seems the medical profession is chasing the cure (expensive research and drugs) for illnesses such as cancer…..and not focusing at all on the possible cause. Cancer is the #1 killer in the United States now….surpassing heart disease by a wide margin now. I wonder….could it be about making money that is corrupting the thinking in the medical field and influencing their priorities?

    Steve wrote on August 18th, 2013

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