Your Dirty Bathroom

No, this article is not about fecal matter particles or mold growth in your bathroom. Rather, it is about the toxins hidden in items that we clean and pamper ourselves with.

Did you know, that body washing liquids and shampoos we use to clean ourselves contain toxins. The lotions and moisturizers we slather our skin with can lead to all kinds of chronic diseases, and the perfumes and colognes we use to feel fresh and smell great can be contributing to infertility. If you are surprised, then you definitely need to read on…

Sodium Lauryl sulphate

This chemical is found in body washes, shampoos, face washes. It serves as a foaming agent. It is easily absorbed into the skin, and can deposit onto organs such as our heart, kidneys and brain, which can lead to developmental issues if found in children. When combined with other chemicals (also found in the body washes, shampoos, and face washes), can form nitroamines, which are carcinogenic. Sodium lauryl sulphate itself is a mutagen, which in turn can also lead to cancer.

Mineral Oil & Petroleum jelly
This is found in the vast majority of moisturizers and lotions and lipbalms and lipsticks. Mineral oil is extracted from petroleum, therefore can contain traces of impurities such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This compound is also found in tar used to pave roads and driveways. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Most concerning of all, mineral oil is the base of baby oils.


Fragrances, whether they are found in colognes, perfumes, shower gel or lotions, consist of a long list (over 3000) chemicals, many of which pose health hazards. Phthalates, octoxynols and nonoxynols are only some examples. Phthalates act as hormone disruptors in the body, and the latter to can be metabolized to by-products that have similar effects on the body.

This white powder is found in baby powders, and a large number of cosmetic products such as face powder, eye shadow, blush etc. Talc can be contaminated with asbestos, which when inhaled can lead to respiratory concerns and when used for babies during diaper changes can be absorbed from the baby’s genital area into the body increasing ovarian cancer risk.
According to the Environmental Working Group… “Nearly 80 percent of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, the industry’s own public research organization, the FDA or any publicly accountable institution.”

This Spring, while you do a detox from the inside (be it dietary or herbal), be sure to also detoxify from the outside too! Replace your chemical ridden lotions, shampoos, creams and make-up products with ones that are chemical free!

For products that are much more health-friendly, check out:


Lei Gu,  BSc ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Scarborough Naturopathic Clinic
(416) 546-3527
1585 Markham Rd, Suite 211
Scarborough, ON M1B 2W1

Active Natural Health
(905) 425-2888
71 Baldwin St. N.
Brooklin, ON L1M 1A3