Tips for Personal Care

Every time we lather our hair with shampoo, brush our teeth, or rub moisturizer on our skin, we come into contact with dozens of chemicals, many of which can have harmful effects on the body.

taking a showerPersonal care products include toiletries like soaps, conditioners, and toothpaste, as well as cosmetics, styling, fragrances, and intimate products. Many of these products contain chemicals that are associated with asthma, allergies, hormone disruption, and even cancer. A person easily uses between 10 and 20 different products each day and most of the chemicals in products have not been adequately tested for a complete range of health effects. Here are some tips to consider for taking care with your personal care.

Top 10 tips

1. Avoid toothpaste, deodorant, and other products containing triclosan or triclocarban.

2. Try simple alternatives to commercial products, like safflower oil for moisturizer or coconut oil for conditioner.

3. Look for paraben-, phthalate-, and fragrance-free products.

4. Look for products without chemical sunscreens like benzophenone or octyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate).

5. Look for plant-based products. The USDA Organic label or "Made with organic ingredients" indicate products mostly made of plants.

6. Use long sleeves and CDC-approved lemon eucalyptus oil (OLE or PMD) to keep bugs at bay. If you use DEET, use products with 20-30% DEET.

7. Avoid soaps and scrubs containing microbeads.

8. Count how many products you use on your hair and skin each day, then look for one or more products you can live without.

9. Get rid of expired and unused personal care products.

10. Avoid buying moisturizers or other skin treatments promising younger skin.