In today’s day and age there are so many chemicals and toxins placed not only in our food but also other products we use such as toothpastes, antiperspirants, skincare products and the like. As consumers I believe it’s really important to be aware of the types of things we are, well, consuming! We have one body and we should all be treating our body with respect.
The following are three substances found in most hygiene and cosmetic products and why it’s important to be mindful of them.
The reason I emphasize Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is that I do experience dermatitis around the mouth area and regular toothpastes and shampoos (that contain SLS) can cause inflammation for me – SLS is a known skin irritant and is a harsh sulphate. Anecdotally speaking, if you experience any form of dermatitis around the mouth (perioral dermatitis) or eczema, you should probably avoid products that contain SLS.
In 2010, The Journal of the American Dental Association1 concluded that fluoride is bad for your teeth. This is still an ongoing debate, but I personally prefer to use toothpastes that don’t contain fluoride. Think of it this way – why else are we advised to not swallow toothpaste unless there are toxic properties in the material? We already ingest low-dose fluoride through tap water in Australia, which occurs over a long period of time, so why not limit the excess fluoride amounts that come in toothpaste? Keep in mind that there are ways for fluoride to still pass through membranes even if you don’t ingest it.
Parabens, like SLS, can be found in things like toothpastes, soaps and shampoos, etc. They are known to interfere with hormone function. If you experience things such as PCOS, it is good to be mindful of properties that may play around with your hormone levels. A study published in The Journal of Applied Toxicology2 mentioned that they found a concentrated amount of parabens in human breast tumors. Although the study may not imply causality between parabens and cancer, it does present some level of correlation and thus a reason for us to be mindful when using products containing parabens. For anyone interested in why parabens are used, the FDA mentions “parabens are preservatives that prevent growth of potentially harmful bacteria that could live in some cosmetic products”.
1Levy, S. M., Broffitt, B., Marshall, T. A., Eichenberger-Gilmore, J. M., & Warren, J. J. (2010). Associations between fluorosis of permanent incisors and fluoride intake from infant formula, other dietary sources and dentifrice during early childhood. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 141(10), 1190-1201.
2 Darbre, P. D., Aljarrah, A., Miller, W. R., Coldham, N. G., Sauer, M. J., & Pope, G. S. (2004). Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours. Journal of applied toxicology, 24(1), 5-13.