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Breaking Soap Norms

March 6, 2015

Ever seen an ingredients list like the one here??  I remember feeling SO overwhelmed when I first began changing over to chemical free toiletries and such.  But once you get a few general facts down, you’ll be a pro and know exactly what to avoid when at the store.  Plus, there’s a plethora of online stores that sell great natural products with awesome deals (& free shipping) and your pocket-book will thank you too!  🙂

I’d like to give a general summary regarding the top ingredients you want steer clear of when shopping for toiletries, soaps, and in general.  A long while ago I touched on this subject regarding ‘Top Ingredients to Avoid‘ but since have learned loads more!  The only hard thing is that there are so many long, hard to pronounce words to remember.  So I’m going to try my hardest to make it easier for you…

Top Toxic Chemicals to Avoid Parabens



PEG Ceteareth

Polyethylene compounds

PEG # or -eth in the middle)

DMDM hydantoin

Diazolinyl urea

Benzalkonium chloride

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Diethanolamine (DEA)

Here’s a very general definition of a few popular ingredients without over doing it.  All info has been provided by – which is the encyclopedias of all things regarding ingredients and beyond!

  • Polyethylene Glycol – PEG – widely used in conditioners, moisturizers, deodorants, etc.  Also used in pharmaceuticals as laxatives.  Can be contaminated with 1, 4-dioxane, which can cause cancer.
  • Parabens – which as used as a preservative.  Any word ending in “paraben” ie. Methylparaben.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) – a pH balancer, contaminate, and non-reproductive organ concerns.  DEA compounds are used mainly to make things look creamier or sudsier.
  • Triethanolamine (TREA) – surfactant, pH adjusting chemical.
  • DMDM Hydantoin – formaldehyde releaser
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) – may be contaminated with potentially toxic manufacturing impurities, such as 1, 4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – (SLES) – in products that foam such as shampoo, cleansers, bubble bath, etc.
  • Triclosan – popular antibacterial agent and preservative; possible endocrine toxins.
  • Triclocarban – a deodorant agent, preservative and possible endocrine disruptor

-> See Environmental Working Group @ for further information about anything you ever wanted to know about products, chemicals and much more.

–> Make your first, easy, cheap, and chemical free change with your very own laundry detergent, which I’ve written about here. {Homemade Cleaning Products – Part II}

To Make Laundry Detergent

I am always about my bottom dollar – so when it comes to organic or not, natural or not, I have my own decisioning list to help me.  When it comes to personal toiletry products and other health items, I will glance at my local store(s) then I’ll see whether can beat the price or not.  Nine times out of ten, Vitacost wins.  Plus, Vitacost has uber quick delivery (like Amazon quick) and you can easily get various discount codes, free shipping, etc….I love it!  Plus, their brand has great ratings so a lot of the times I’ll same more by choosing their brand instead.

Anyways, save the shortened list above of some of the ‘top toxic chemicals to avoid’ when searching for products.  Even better: Save it to a notes app on your phone – to have easy access when you’re at the store.  Then soon enough, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can spot such ingredients from the top 12 list of ingredients and beyond.  You’ll also be able to decipher which prices/products are better for your dollar and health.

With that being said, remember the shorter the list the better in more ways than one!  🙂


Here’s a few of my favorite go-to places, brands, and beyond:

Mountain Rose Herbs – Organic herbs, and much more! Excellent suggestion – split with friends to save on their shipping costs!

DoTerra Essential Oils & Young Living Essential Oils


Vitacost – my personal favorites ordering list of all my top used toiletries (not paid for mentioning):

Nubian Heritage – shea butter, bar soap, lotion, etc.

Burt’s Bees



Dr. Bronner’s

Vitamins – Vitacost Brand and lots of others sold; great prices!

Probiotics – which even come with ice packs to keep cool and fresh! 

Don’t forget Amazon too!  As much as I research various places before purchasing, I always make sure to check Amazon too.

At the end of the day, you’re not going to keel over because of the soap you used yesterday, but empowering yourself to make better choices one less ingredient at a time is empowering in itself.

So go empower yourself to make better choices for you, your family, and beyond!

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