Discover real, non-toxic skin and home care products.
Celebrating Mother Earth with a reassessment of the personal care and home care products that we use is right this year. Nowadays, it is well known that the choice of skin care and home cleaning products that we do affects our planet. We do not live in isolation.
Skin care products flush your runoff to local waterways, eventually ending up in aquatic ecosystems. What accumulates in the environment affects life, fish, dirt, animals – and ultimately returns to our families in the form of the water we drink and the food we eat.
Some of the least environmentally friendly personal care products include products made from synthetic fragrances and antibacterial ingredients such as phthalates.
What are phthalates in skin care products and at home?
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in artificial flavors that help improve it and prolong its life. Phthalates are used "in hundreds of products," including body lotions and body wash with a scent,
according to FDA. In fact, when you see the “flavor” specified as an ingredient, it potentially contains phthalates. The most commonly used phthalate in personal care products is diethyl phthalate (DEP).
How to find out if your skin care products have phthalates?
The FDA regulates cosmetic products sold to consumers and prescribes labeling of ingredients. The FDA recommends consumers read the ingredient labels. But they keep saying:
However, the rules do not require listing of individual flavor ingredients; therefore, the consumer will not be able to determine from the ingredient declaration whether phthalates are present in the fragrance … Consumers who do not want to buy cosmetics containing DEP can select products that do not include “Flavor” in the list of ingredients.
Think about how much your personal hygiene and household cleaning products contain some kind of ambiguous “fragrance”. Most of them are artificial, and the components do not have a clear definition – you cannot imagine whether this fragrance contains phthalates, and it is impossible to say.
Why are phthalates bad?
- They are known endocrine disrupters and are associated with development and reproductive toxicity and cancer according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
- Phthalates are commonly found in human urine samples.
- They wash away our skin and enter sewage treatment plants, where they are difficult to remove, and thus get into the environment, and then fall back into the drinking water and food chain.
- They are banned from personal care products in the EU, but still allowed – and in abundance – in the US.
What is the best way to avoid the use of phthalates in skin care products and at home?
The best way to avoid phthalates is to avoid products with an artificial flavor. The double benefit is that the scent is a common skin allergen, so avoiding it is twofold and really smart!
Choose fragrance-free products for personal hygiene and reduce the effects of phthalates on your body and environment. If you want to add flavor to your life, use natural products that contain a very low concentration of natural essential oil for fragrance. Essential oils can also be skin allergens, so choose one fragrance that you like and use it very sparingly in very diluted quantities.
You need to understand the difference in terminology between odorless flavors, because they are confusing.
What is the difference between aroma and odorless?
- According to EPA“No Flavors” means that no flavoring ingredients are added to the product.
- Odorless products may contain masking chemicals to hide the smell of the basic formulation of the product.
Choose products without fragrances when you go shopping for skin care and cleaning products. Or chose products flavored with natural essential oils.
Tips for reducing the effects of phthalates in skin care products and homemade cleansers.
Start with the personal care products your family uses, and replace them with products that you know do not contain phthalates. High volume products subject most of your skin surface to phthalates. They also flush large amounts of product down the drain into the ecosystem. A typical household uses a large amount:
- shower gel:
- body and face lotion: and
They also flush large amounts of product down the drain into the ecosystem. A typical household uses a large amount:
You also use a lot of liquid and aerosol household cleaners, so you should also replace them to reduce the effects of phthalates.
For these products, there are perfectly good alternatives that do not contain phthalates, and the exchange is easily performed. This is how I do it.
A phthalate-free dermatologist, truly natural skin care is safe and non-toxic for you, your entire home, and the entire planet. Made from organic ingredients.
I am obsessed, picky and the ideal specialist to get non-toxic skin care that is really hypo-allergenic. Ban dubious things, replenish supplies and drastically reduce phthalates and allergens.
Natural foaming hand soap for every sink where you wash your hands often.
Choose from completely flavored, or lightly scented with lavender. Lavender fragrance is 100% natural lavender essential oil. I add it at a concentration below the threshold, which, as I know the dermatologist, scoffs at skin allergies. Yes, with essential oils you can always be allergic, but I made sure that the risk was low for those who like a real fragrance, like me.
Natural shower gel for every soul.
Choose from a completely odorless, or my invigorating aroma of natural mint essential oil – again made with a concentration below that easily teases allergic reactions.
Moisturizers: keep a great moisturizer where you come out of the bath or shower.
You need it where you wash your face. Do not forget about the kitchen sink.
Natural face and body lotion: let the whole family use it from head to toe, and it even goes well with hairy skin!
Natural cream for face and body: try a richer formula for moisturizing skin.
Facial Booster Oils: Use them individually or add a few drops to increase the amount of therapeutic vegetable oil in your moisturizer.
Choose from ultra-hypoallergenic or omega-enriched, which contains a mixture of natural cypress essential oil, sea buckthorn and borage oil. I love omega-enriched booster oil as a beard conditioner that fights beards.
Natural lip balm: certified organic and truly hypoallergenic to prevent addiction to lip balm (it’s also an allergic reaction to lip balm that makes your lips even more dry).
Keep it in the bathroom, in your purse, on the table, in your backpack, etc. Often use lip balm to protect and heal tender lips.
Natural Home Spray Cleaner: test zero VOC vapor to keep your home non-toxic. It also kills ants! Go figure it out.
Natural Home Cleaner Concentrate is a non-detergent hypoallergenic cleaning concentrate when you need some water for cleaning.
This is an excellent gentle washing soap for delicate fabrics. As a dermatologist, I know that hypoallergenic laundry soap is important for preventing dermatitis during washing. This is especially true for underwear, which is worn in sweaty places, where the remnants of washing soap are easily absorbed into the skin, causing allergic rashes – and who also need phthalates ?!
Celebrate Earth Day by ditching phthalates. Your body, local aquatic ecosystems and drinking water will benefit.
To learn more about the products listed on this page, and to celebrate Earth Day for your skin, click here!
about the author
Dr. Bailey Skin Care