Are Your Personal Care Products “Simply Real?”

Simply Real Personal Care Products

Cleaning up your personal care products is just as important as cleaning up the food in your kitchen. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and can absorb 60% of what you put on it topically. Laboratory tests reveal that chemicals commonly used in personal care and cosmetic products can be found in our blood supply for a time period ranging from a few hours to decades. The products you put on your skin do matter! Here are some of the most common nasty ingredients you will find in commercial personal care products that you might want to reconsider.

5 Ingredients to Avoid

  1. Parabens
    Used mostly to extend shelf life, parabens have been found in urine samples after repeated topical use. They have been shown to disrupt endocrine function and can be linked to certain types of cancers. The label will read: Look for the word paraben as the suffix in the ingredient list.
  2. Phthalates
    The purpose of phthalates is to increase the flexibility in plastics, but has also been used in personal care products such as nail polish (to reduce cracking), in hair spray (to help avoid stiffness) and as a fixative in fragrances. They have been linked to breast cancer, reproductive birth defects, and endocrine disruption. The label will read: Fragrance almost always contains phthalates. You may see it listed as DEP, DBP, or DMP. The “phth” may show up in the middle of a word too.
  3. Synthetic Fragrance
    Synthetic compounds are added to products to make them smell good. The most synthetic compounds contain phthalates (which we mentioned above) and can hinder our cells ability to detoxify. Many fragrance ingredients are allergens and can show up in breast milk, in oceans, blood, and in babies. The label will read: Fragrance, perfume, parfum.
  4. Triclosan
    Used in many hand sanitizers, antiperspirants/deodorants, and soaps as an antibacterial agent, scientists say it may affect human liver, blood, and reproductive systems. There are also concerns that triclosan may add to the growing problem of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. It’s so bad that the state of Minnesota recently banned the use and purchase of products with triclosan. Hopefully more states will be following in their footsteps. The label will read: Triclosan, or Irgasan DP-300, Lexol 300, Ster-Zac, Cloxifenolum.
  5. Sulfates
    Widely used as a foaming agent to break down dirt, sulfates can be found in shampoos, toothpastes, hair color, bleaching agents, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents, and bath oils/bath salts. YIKES! They can be linked to eye irritation, cancers, organ toxicity, and reproductive issues. The label will read: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), or Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS)

The Simply Real Solution

A few years ago I started to make many of my own personal care products. I think we all deserve to use the most natural ingredients on our skin. So, lucky for you, you can now purchase all of my homemade products including deodorant, sugar scrubs, bath salts, foaming hand soap, and hand sanitizer on our Simply Real Etsy page.

Simply Real Etsy All of our products are free of any nasty ingredients yet work better than the store bought versions! All products are 100% natural and I use organic ingredients whenever possible. They make wonderful gifts for teachers, friends, family, and co-workers. Order now and items can be shipped directly to your door both nationally and internationally.

Come and check out the Simply Real Facebook page for updates on new products, sale items, and events that we will be attending.

Until next time, keep it real.

Are Your Cosmetics Safe?


Are Your Cosmetics SafeUpon waking in the morning, we start to get ready for school or work by beginning our morning beauty routine. Most of us will use shampoo, conditioner, bath soap, moisturizer, eye cream, body lotion, deodorant, cosmetics for your face, cheeks, eyes, lips and nails, toothpaste and mouthwash. Before you know it, we will come in contact with 200 or more chemicals before we’ve even had breakfast!

Have you ever read the ingredient labels on your favorite products? Can you even pronounce the names of common ingredients in a “natural” shampoo such as: Cocomide Mea, Ammonium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Tetrasodium Edta, Dmdm Hydantoin, Ammonium Xylenesulfonate, Propylene Glycol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone? I have to ask, what are these chemicals and what are they doing to us?


Most people assume cosmetics and personal care products are tested for safety before being stocked on store shelves. In fact, the personal care product and cosmetic industry is one of the LEAST regulated industries. In the United States, cosmetics are regulated by the FDA. While they require that cosmetics be safe, they do not have the authority to require companies to test their products for safety before they go to market. The safety of the products going to market is in the hands of the very cosmetic companies that make them and are only evaluated through a voluntary program known as the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) process. The CIR has only evaluated 20% of the estimated 12,000 chemicals used. 

The fact is, cosmetic companies may use any ingredient without government review with the exception of color additives and approximately 8 chemicals which are prohibited ingredients. Whereas the European Union has banned 1000 different ingredients from use. It reminds me of the GMO debate in which 65 other countries come from a “wait and see” approach that bans or requires labels on GMOs rather than the “try and see” approach we use here in the US. I’m starting to detect a pattern here.


“All natural” or “organic” aren’t just buzzwords used in food. Many personal care products slap fancy words on the front of their packages hoping you won’t turn it over to read the ingredient label. These products often contain synthetic ingredients and aren’t truly risk-free. Since the market is unregulated, there are no requirements to back up claims. These words have no true meaning on a package and can still contain ingredients that are known hormone disruptors, cancer promoters, carcinogens and neurotoxins.


We are exposed to chemicals in different ways such as breathing in sprays or powders, swallowing them on the or absorbing them through our skin. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and can absorb 60% of what you put on it topically. Laboratory tests reveal that chemicals commonly used in personal care and cosmetic products can be found in our blood supply for a time period ranging from a few hours to decades.


Use the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database to find out how your personal care products and cosmetics stack up. Enter the product name or search products by a certain company. The EWG then rates the individual products based on the hazard of the ingredients and data available on each ingredient. A low hazard rating + a high data availability score = good score on the product. I try and use products that score between a 0-2, indicating a low hazard.

If you can’t find your product on the EWG, use some common sense. If the product contains a lot of ingredients you cannot pronounce, it’s a good indication you should not be using it. Reduce the amount of products you use and even try making your own from scratch. Remember, being real isn’t just about what goes IN your body, but what goes ON your body is just as significant.

Check out this video for more information on cosmetics:

Until next time, keep it real.

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