Did you know that your skin is your largest most permeable organ? Everyday we smear and spray our skin with all kinds of creams, lotions, soaps, perfumes etc. The chemicals (including ones that can cause cancer) from personal care products are easily absorbed into your skin and transported to every organ in your body. Most people assume these products are safe. Unfortunately due to an unregulated cosmetics industry this is not the case.

This isn’t a list of all the different toxins in personal care products. I don’t have a degree in toxins, there are plenty of other places you can find lists of toxins and their specific harms. Instead I’ll share with you what our family uses in our goal of having a less toxic lifestyle. This will give you some ideas and goals on cleaning up your own personal care routine.

This post may contain affiliate links, you can read my affiliate disclosure here.

Personal Care Products

  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Body Wash and Soap Bars
  • Body Lotion
  • Makeup
  • Deodorant
  • Mouthwash and Toothpaste

Interested in learning how these toxic chemicals end up in our personal care products? Watch this short video!

How to find Non-Toxic Personal Care Products

  1. Go through your house and check for anything that is close to running out such as shampoo, body wash etc.
  2. Go to the EWG skindeep website and check the rating of what you currently use.
  3. Either look through the list of safe alternative products on the website, or next time you go to the store check the aisle to see whats available. If you have a smartphone you can use the app to scan the products at the store.
  4. REPEAT until you have a non-toxic personal care routine.


Think Dirty App

EWG’s Healthy Living App

Options + What our family uses


I have a hard time finding a non toxic shampoo that works and feels the same as the “regular” shampoos. Especially for the kids.

The Ugly Truth About Baby Shampoo

Shampoo bar

Another option is something called a “shampoo bar”. I’m a big fan of shampoo bars and I prefer them to regular shampoo

My first experience wasn’t good. I bought a shampoo bar on Etsy that came with a lathering bag that really didn’t work that well. I ordered from a different Etsy shop and I had a different experience. It lathered well and it was a big bar that lasted forever. Now I order my shampoo bars from Aquarian Bath.

TIP – when switching to a more natural shampoo you may need to specially clean your hair to get the old soap residues out.

Soap Bars

I’ve always preferred to use soap bars rather than body wash. We’ve been using all natural soap bars from Whole Foods.

Hand Soap

Every bathroom in the house needs hand soap.

I currently don’t have a favorite hand soap brand, but we’ve been trying a few different ones rated highly on EWG

Avoid antibacterial

My number one suggestion is to avoid antibacterial soaps.

  • Studies show they are no more effective than regular soap and water at reducing the spread of germs.
  • It contributes to the overuse of antibiotics, which is making them useless over time.

DIY Hand Soap

Try a Do It Yourself recipe. It’s easy and will save money.

DIY Homemade Hand Soap


Lotion is a a bit tricky. I haven’t found a non toxic brand that works for me. I have considered using lotion bars, but I haven’t found one that I like.

Looking for non-toxic lotion? Find the Best & Worst Non-Toxic Body Lotions.


I’ve been through a few different deodorants looking for something that works. Tom’s Of Maine was ok, Schmidt’s was better, but stopped working after a while. Now I’m using Native and it’s working ok so far.

TIP – when switching to a more natural deodorant you may need to do an armpit detox otherwise you may think your new deodorant isn’t working. Your body may also need some time to adjust.

Antiperspirant vs deodorant

There is a difference between an antiperspirant and deodorant

Antiperspirant blocks your pores so that you don’t sweat at all. This goes against what your body is designed/wants to do. Often the active ingredient is aluminum which studies have shown can disrupt hormones or worse be carcinogenic.

Deodorant won’t make you stop sweating, but you won’t smell.


I haven’t tried, but making homemade deodorant is always an option. There are tons of recipes on google.


Personally I don’t care to use mouthwash however my husband likes to use Listerine.

I tried making a homemade version for my husband. Unfortunately he wasn’t a fan of the recipe I tried.

A Brief History

  • Listerine wasn’t originally meant to go in your mouth.
  • When Joseph Lawrence invented the alcohol-based liquid in 1879, he created it as disinfectant for surgery.
  • The liquid was then sold as a general disinfectant with a whole range of uses from treating dandruff to insect bites.
  • The idea of “halitosis” or bad breath took off.
  • “Listerine” was advertised as something YOU needed to get rid of your bad breath that was holding you back.
  • Read the full article “How “Clean” Was Sold to America with Fake Science


Toothpaste an everyday essential.

Gone are the days when we argued over which toothpaste we liked better “colgate” or “crest”. These are not the best brands when it comes to non-toxic toothpaste.

My husband and I use Tom’s of Maine. I’m not 100% convinced that it is the best toothpaste, but it’s better than others. I did not like it as a kid, but now I prefer it. It does take some getting used to if switching from other toothpastes.

The kids now use Dr. Brite Berrylicious which is EWG Verified.

We tried Earth Paste, but I just wasn’t happy with it and felt our teeth were not getting clean.

I personally haven’t tried making homemade toothpaste, but it is definitely an option.


I highly recommend avoiding fluoride.

  • Fluoride is controversial, so I prefer to avoid it.
  • The Harvard School of Public Health reported that fluoride “adversely affects cognitive development in children,” causing as much as a 7-point lower IQ.

Take Aways

  • We should be concerned about the thousands of chemicals in products that we absorb through our skin daily.
  • Some of them are even carcinogenic, but safety is essentially regulated by the companies that sell the products.
  • Use an app such as EWG’s Healthy Living App or Think Dirty App to find less toxic shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste etc.
  • Choose products with the fewest ingredients and chemicals, and avoid chemical fragrances altogether.
  • Instead of becoming overwhelmed and doing nothing take it one small step at time – one product at time.
  • You don’t need to immediately ditch everything in your bathroom cabinet. Even one change can make a difference.

photo: pixabay

4 Comments on Cancer Causing Chemicals in Shampoo? Here’s How to Ditch Them

  1. Thank you very much for sharing these ideas on personal care products. I really appreciate your efforts for creating this exceptional content, you have helped me find new ideas. Great post!!

  2. Dude these articles have been great. Thank you writing about toxins in personal care products, I will be searching for some safe shampoo for myself..

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