Why you should avoid these four cleaning chemicals that cause skin problems
Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and painful dry skin can be caused by the chemicals in your home. Soaps, cleaning chemicals, and fragrances can irritate skin, causing a variety of painful and frustrating symptoms. The following four chemicals are known to cause skin problems in animals, children, and adults.
Sodium lauryl sulfate
This chemical is commonly found in cleaning products, detergents, and cleaners. It’s a surfactant, designed to break down surface tension to allow a better clean of the area. It is known to be a skin irritant and the advice from many health agencies is to avoid it. Read the ingredients list and find something without SLS. Polysorbate 20 or cocoabetaine are eco-friendly replacements that are not irritants.
This group of chemicals are used to alter the structure of the product. Found in many cleaning products, the health risks run far beyond just skin irritation. Xanthum gum is a safe thickening agent that can be used in place of phthalates.
A generic term, these mixes could contain a number of things and they have been linked to allergies and dermatitis. Luckily, this group of harmful chemicals are easily avoided by using essential oils to fragrance your home. (And, as a bonus, often essential oils have health benefits!).
Quarternary ammonium compounds and triclosan are the main culprits here, and both are completely not needed. As well as providing no real benefit over soap and water, they risk creating ‘super-bugs’ that are antibiotic resistant. They irritate skin, and can dry it out and cause flaking and scaly patches. With plenty of natural antibiotics such as cinnamon, Manuka, and lemongrass, there are other ways to gain this quality without the harm to skin.
‘Greenwashing’ your products
When you’re next at the supermarket, take a look at the packaging. Many products will proclaim it’s ‘green’ or ‘natural’, but very few are. Read the ingredients label and if they have the chemicals listed above, be aware they may not be what they claim to be.