May 18, 2024
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May 18, 2024
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How to Choose Safe Consumer Products

This past week it was announced that certain Banana Boat sunscreens have been recalled due to traces of benzene, which is a cancer-causing chemical. Similarly, last year, Coppertone announced a nationwide recall after benzene was also found in five of their sunscreen products. These product recalls may lead you to believe that the presence of cancer-causing substances in sunscreens or other personal-care products is unusual; however, this is not the case. On a daily basis, the average woman is exposed to 168 toxic chemicals each day, and babies are born with 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in their umbilical cord blood. Unfortunately, many of these toxins and chemicals are cancer causing or lead to other ill effects in the body.



With the number of personal care and household products on the market, how do you know which products are truly safe for your family? One might think that it would be enough to buy products that contain terms like organic, natural and green. Unfortunately, many products use misleading language, leading consumers to become victims of “greenwashing.” Greenwashing is when companies use language and even ingredients that lead the consumer to believe that their products are truly clean and safe, but still contain a long list of harmful substances. Sadly, many people are paying much more money for these unsafe “greenwashed” products.


Danger in Your Products

Your skin is your largest organ, and toxins and chemicals are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through your skin. Some of these chemicals can be stored in your body for many years. Many of these chemicals disrupt your hormones or cause cancer, nerve damage/ neurotoxicity or skin irritation, and some increase the incidence of childhood asthma, eczema and allergies.


Toxins and Chemicals Affect the Gut

The gut microbiome is also significantly affected by chemicals and toxins. As discussed in my previous articles, the gut microbiome is critical for the functioning of our immune system, brain and many other functions in the body. Disruptions of the gut microbiome can lead to serious consequences in the body such as leaky gut syndrome, contributing to the development of inflammation and autoimmune diseases. In addition, disruption of the microbiome may even contribute to the development of diabetes, allergies, obesity and gastrointestinal disorders.


Choosing Safe Products For Your Family

Twenty-five years ago, the option to choose safe products was more limited. Now, there are many more safe options to purchase and educational resources to help you find these safe products. Here are two websites and a documentary that are excellent resources to guide you when searching for non-toxic products:


Environmental Working Group:

The Documentary Toxic Beauty:


Harmful Ingredients to Avoid

When shopping, here is a basic, though not comprehensive, list of ingredients to avoid:

When taking on any lifestyle changes, whether it be dietary, exercise or managing stress, go slowly. Healthy living is not all or nothing. Start by exploring a safe shampoo or try one new household cleaning product. Then gradually over time, such as once a month, swap a product for a safer option. You may be surprised when you see a lingering health condition improve or disappear with one simple change. Wishing you much health and wellness wherever you may be on your health journey.



Found in:


Fragrance (Parfum)

Detergents, cleaning products, shampoo

Phthalates: breast cancer, ADHD, diabetes


Skin & hair care, cosmetics

Endocrine disruptors

Triclosan (pesticide)

Anti-bacterial soaps

Endocrine disruptor, allergies, asthma, eczema,

affects heart

Oxybenzone & Octinoxate


Creates free radicals, endocrine disruptor


Skin care, shampoos

Linked to cancer, neurotoxicity

Synthetic colors/dyes

Makeup, hair products

Brain toxins, cancer


Cosmetics, creams

Endocrine disruptors, may affect fertility


Cosmetics, creams

Immune system toxicant, endocrine disruptor

Sodium lauryl sulfate

Sodium laureth sulfate

Products that make suds like soap

Carcinogenic, eats away at skin, hair loss

Retinyl palmitate

Skin-care products

In sunlight, enhances cancer skin lesions

Aluminum & Metals

Anti-perspirant deodorants

Neurotoxin, accumulates in body


Gel, mousse, shaving creams

May be carcinogenic

Jill Friedbauer has been working in the field of health and wellness for 20 years. She is a national board certified health and wellness coach, licensed physical therapist; author of the book “Heal Your Soul, Heal Your Gut”; and has a podcast, “Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Soul” on Spotify. Jill is available for one-on-one health coaching, family health coaching and speaking engagements. Jill is now working with Dr. Leat Kuzniar at Your Natural Path to Health Clinic. To book a free consultation, contact the office manager at 201-757-5558.

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