Shower gels and soaps could contain ‘harmful’ ingredients – 4 to watch out for

Katie Price lathers up with her body wash in steamy shower

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Nada Ward – the founder of Beauty Kin – cautioned that there are “many ingredients” in everyday body washes that could be “harmful”. “It is so, so important to make sure that you’re aware of what exactly is in the products that you are using to wash with,” she said. Bringing attention to “red flag ingredients”, Ward warned of the presence of sulphates.

“Sulphates are commonly used as a foaming agent for when you’re lathering up the product on your skin,” Ward explained.

“Unfortunately, sulphates are actually not great for your skin at all.

“Sulphates are a very common irritant for the skin, and people who have sensitive skin are particularly more prone to irritation from this ingredient.”

Consequently, applying products that contain sulphates could lead to dry, cracked, itchy, and painful skin.

Another ingredient to watch out for is triclosan, which is fairly common in soaps and body washes.

Ideal for preventing the growth of bacteria, “studies have found that overexposure to triclosan is associated with the reduction of some of the hormones that are produced by the thyroid gland”.

Moreover, research suggests that triclosan “can be damaging to gut health”.

Such a conclusion was drawn from an animal study, where an association was found between triclosan and inflammation of the colon within mice.

“Due to these studies, triclosan was banned from being used in products in America; however, the product is not banned here in the UK.”

Ward added that phthalates have been linked to hormonal imbalances within the body.

“These hormonal imbalances have also been linked to potentially causing reproductive and fertility issues later in life,” said Ward.

She also warns against parabens, which are preservatives that extend a product’s shelf life.

Parabens could interfere with hormones in the body, which can lead to skin sensitivity.

“In some cases, [this] may eventually lead to allergic reactions and irritation,” said Ward.

“But it’s not just the skin that parabens can harm, they also have the potential to cause longer-lasting damage below the surface.

“Studies have shown there to be a link between certain parabens elevating the cellular level damage… [linking it] to skin cancer.”

What shower gel or soap should I use?

Ward recommends choosing products that contain natural ingredients.

According to industry experts, sulphates – for example – can be drying for sensitive skin, but are considered safe.

Unilever noted that triclosan – used at a maximum concentration of 0.3 percent in body soaps and gels – is considered safe.

Nada Ward is the founder of solid soap bar brand Beauty Kin.

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