Soap-That-Saves-GreenIt can be so easy in the hustle and bustle of life to ignore the labels on products, or to neglect engaging in a really close investigation of the ingredients that are often found in our food, our cleaning supplies, and perhaps especially our personal hygiene products. After all, the products are designed to help keep us clean and healthy. Well, that may be true – in a sense – but it’s also true that your idea of what is clean and healthy for you and your family may differ from what some of the companies out there think is clean and healthy.

6 Toxic Soap Ingredients

Here is a list of 6 common soap ingredients to be on the lookout for. It may surprise you just how common these ingredients really are. Next time you are stocking up on your soap, shampoo, and body washes pay special attention to avoid products that contain any of the following ingredients.

1. Dioxane: Though it seems innocent enough as a synthetic derivative of coconut, dioxane is actually a known carcinogen. It is a chemical that is also toxic to many human organs, including the brain, the liver, and the kidneys.
2. Antibacterial Cleansers (Triclosan, Bensethonium Chloride): The Mayo Clinic has stated that recent studies have demonstrated that triclosan “alters hormone regulation in animals, might contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs [and] might be harmful to the immune system. It is also known that triclosan can be absorbed through the skin.
3. Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde can often be found in soaps, but so can chemicals that release formaldehyde (such as diazolidinyl urea, monosodium salt, and quaternium-15 to name a few). As of 2011, the National Toxicology Program – a program of the Department of Health and Human Services, added formaldehyde to the list of known human carcinogens. Though much is known about short-term exposure to formaldehyde, little is known about long-term effects.
4. Parabens (methylparaben, polyparaben, ethylparaben, etc.): Though they primarily function as a preservative, studies have shown that exposure to parabens have increased a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer (as parabens mimic the hormone estrogen). Parabens have also been shown to cause neurological problems. Though most companies now avoid the use of parabens, it is an ingredient that may still be found on store or closet shelves.
5. Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS): SLS is perhaps the most common toxic ingredient found in soaps and shower gels. SLS is especially dangerous because of its ability to permeate skin very easily, which in turn makes it easier for other chemicals to permeate your skin.
6. PEG-6 (or PEG-8, or PEG-40, etc.): Used primarily as a detergent and foaming agent, PEG-6 is a very toxic ingredient often used in soaps. Some studies have shown that, like parabens, it can increase your chance of breast cancer. Some studies have also suggested that PEG-6 is also a kidney and skin toxin.


To ease your mind, Osana’s all natural mosquito repellent soap does not include any of these 🙂



Mayo Clinic 

Botanic Skin Essentials 

Government Public Health