Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble
Dr. Jesse Anderson tells a story about a present his wife received at a business Christmas party last year. It’s a very cute, plastic owl filled with pink bubble bath liquid.
A bubble bath. Doesn’t that sound nice. Candles lined up around the tub and a glass of wine or some other adult beverage? Calgon, take me away…
It seems like a great gift; it smells like Apple Cinnamon even though neither apple or cinnamon is listed in the ingredients. It was even given to her by a nurse! How sweet is that?
Getting a gift is always nice. Giving gifts is fun too. Let’s take a look-see at this particular item.
First of all, let me say, we are not berating the person who gave this gift to Dr. Jesse’s wife. It was a kind and gracious thing to do. We are only looking closely at it to create a teachable moment; most people have no idea what they’re doing to their body in the name of cleanliness or relaxation.
The first ingredient is water (Aqua). No major concerns there, especially considering you’ll be adding it to… water.
The next ingredient is Sodium Laureth Sulphate, also known as SLES. SLES is commonly used in soaps and toothpaste to help them to “foam up.” They are chemically known as surfactants.
What’s so bad about a thick layer of foam in your bubble bath? Isn’t that the point, after all?
It may be the point but, according to Natural Health Information Centre, SLES is a very dangerous and highly irritating chemical that can lead to skin damage, hair follicle damage, eye damage in children and liver toxicity. SLES cannot be metabolized by the liver, allowing the effects to be longer lasting.
SLES is also used to degrease car engines. It also works to dissolve oils on your skin, which can lead to dry skin and denatured skin proteins. This will not only cause irritation in many people, but give environmental contaminants access to more sensitive layers of your skin.
According to Natural Health Information Centre, “the denaturing of skin proteins may even be linked to skin and other cancers.”
Next on the list is Sodium Chloride, which is salt so we’ll let that slide for another day.
The next ingredient listed is Cocamidopropyl Betaine, a chemical derived from coconuts and is also used to make foam. Because it is derived from coconut it would seem natural- and it is used in many personal care products- some people have had negative reactions to it, including irritated skin and rashes. According to Pure-Zing.com cocamidopropyl betaine has also been linked to blistering skin, especially in products with a lot of impurities.
Then we come to PEG 150 Distearate, which the Cosmetic Database calls a “moderate hazard,” but also notes contamination and toxicity concerns. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) is a polymer, a mixture of compounds, polyethylene (the most common form of plastic) and glycol, which becomes a thick and sticky liquid when formed. In cosmetics it functions in three ways: as emollients, emulsifiers and as vehicles to deliver other ingredients deeper into the skin. Based on the other items in the bubble bath, why would you want those ingredients deep in the skin of anyone you care about?
PEG Distearate can contain impurities like Ethylene Oxide which, according to the National Toxicology Program, is known to increase incidences of uterine, breast and brain cancer, as well as leukemia.
CosmeticsInfo.org points out that using PEG 150 Distearate on broken or irritated skin brings its own share of hazards. PEG based antimicrobial creams were used on patients suffering from severe burns, resulting in kidney toxicity.
Try saying Methylchloroisothiazolinone, the next ingredient on the list. Bet you can’t spell it without looking twice. Okay, take three times.
This is a product that in high concentrations can cause chemical burns and cause skin irritation. Earlier this year the Canadian Government included warnings about Methylchloroisothiazolinone. As of June 2016 children’s products with this product in it can no longer be sold in Canada.
The other ingredients are fragrances and dyes. Both groups have been known to be allergens.
Is it any wonder that the bubble bath has this warning on it: “Excessive use or prolonged exposure may cause irritation to skin and urinary tract. Discontinue use if rash, redness or itching occurs.”
This is the warning we like best: “This is not a food. Do not eat.”
Maybe the best thing on the package is the, “Finished product not tested on animals,” disclaimer. We are all gratified to see they chose not to unleash a chemical crap-storm on an unsuspecting animal. So why do they choose to assault us?
Take a closer look at what you’re soaking in. Then, may we recommend these baths that will not attack your skin, your organs or your central nervous system.
While you’re drawing a hot bath add a handful of Epsom salts, half a cup of baking soda and ten drops of an essential oil of your choice- along with some fractionated coconut oil as a carrier. Soak in it for about twenty minutes, then rinse off with a cool shower to wash away the toxins.
Try adding a couple cups of apple cider vinegar to your hot bath and soak for 30 minutes. It’s going to make you sweat a lot, but that’s good, you’re releasing toxins. Keep yourself hydrated before, during and after this bath. And be ready for it to relax you. I recommend you do this one just before bedtime.
Add half a cup of grated ginger to a hot bath and soak in it for 15-20 minutes.
Keep in mind that the apple cider and ginger baths will make you sweat well after the bath is finished. Plan accordingly.
There are other baths that you can find online that will work wonders as well, and they won’t include toxins that do more harm than good.
Take some time and have a look at the products in your house. If it looks or sounds like it was made in a laboratory there is an excellent chance it will not be good for you.
If you are concerned that you may be toxified, contact a Wellness Way clinic in your area. We’d be happy to get you tested and, if need be, teach you how to get these toxins out of your system.