There is a large assortment of bath and body products on the market today. While this gives consumers more choices than ever before, it is important to realize that not all these products are created equally and some contain materials which the human body should not be exposed to. When shopping for soap and essential oils read the labels, and watch for the following ingredients.


Oxybenzone is a compound which is organic, and which may prove toxic for symbiotic algae. While it isn’t a threat to humans directly, it can damage coral reefs and other forms of marine life, which may cause problems for humans and other animals indirectly. Therefore, when buying sunscreen look for brands that contain ingredients such as zinc oxide as an alternative.


Triclosan is an agent which is antimicrobial in nature. While its ability to kill harmful bacteria is a good thing, it is sometimes used as an ingredient in hand soap or toothpaste, but has recently become the target of FDA scrutiny since there isn’t sufficient data regarding its efficiency or safety. Until more info is available, it is best for consumers to steer clear of products that use it as an ingredient.


Both of these ingredients are synthetic preservatives which are often associated with carrier oils. The main reason why companies incorporate these ingredients, even though no data has been found to support their safety, is because of lower costs. In high quality bath and body products, preservatives will not be used in any form. Instead the manufacturer will make use of ingredients which have been derived naturally, such as pH regulators, plant extracts and essential oils. Look for coconut oil that is BHA free, while finding bath products that use citric acid as opposed to boric acid.

Sulfates And TEA

Sulfates are a type of cleaning agent which is synthetic, and as such are not found in bath or body products which are all natural. TEA stands for triethanolamine and it is a standard ingredient used in many of the detergents that you will find in supermarkets, but there is insufficient data available on its safety and as such many manufacturers refuse to add it as an ingredient in their bath products.

Formaldehyde And Nano Particulates

Most people know of formaldehyde due to its usage in embalming fluid (which is used when preparing the deceased for burial), and it has also been used as an ingredient in cigarettes. Therefore, it may seem strange to see it as an ingredient in lotions, baby wipes and cosmetics. Studies show that when human skin repeatedly comes into contact with formaldehyde, skin sensitivity may result.

But perhaps one of the most controversial ingredients to be used in bath products is nano particulates. It is frequently found in sunscreen, and the particles are popular due to their reactivity but are a source for concern due to their small size, unpredictability, and ability to enter cell membranes into the human bloodstream.