5 Ingredients to Avoid in Bar Soap

Perry Hunt
Dec 3, 2019 · 3 min read

Ever wonder about soap? There are so many different ones to choose from, but what are we actually putting on our body. Turns out, a lot of toxic things. Luckily there are a lot of natural brands out there! It’s important to shop intelligently!

Check out my article 7 Ethical Soap Companies here!

Here are the top 5 ingredients to avoid in soap.


So, turns out parabens are everywhere. Everything from food to beauty products contains many different types of parabens.

Try not to freak out, but extended use of products containing parabens have been linked to the development of breast cancer and reproductive issues. This is due to the fact that parabens mimic estrogen and studies have found that higher levels of estrogen can activate cancer cells.

The most common parabens to look out for are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben. Soap, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, body lotion, and makeup have been known to contain these parabens.


Triclosan is used to reduce bacteria. According to the FDA, there is not enough evidence to prove that it is effective in doing just that. They only have found that it’s effective in preventing gingivitis. Triclosan, however, has been proven to potentially lead to skin cancer, but all of these studies are fairly new and have not been completed.

On top of this, triclosan is known as a powerful pesticide and just god awful for the environment! It is harmful to aquatic life and because of its resistance to bacteria can lead to bacterial resistance.

Overall, it sounds like triclosan can only lead to negative things and there are soaps without it!


Whew! Who named that? Probably science. There’s not a whole lot out there about our dear friend methylisothiazolinone. What I could find wasn’t looking too good, but also not looking to bad. It’s used as a common preservative and anti-microbial agent with links to possible neuro-toxicity, lung toxicity, and allergic reaction. It’s been restricted in Canada and Japan has set concentration limits in products.

Still plenty of options without methylisothiazolinone!


So, it’s not all that bad. Sodium lauryl sulfate is an additive in a lot of things and usually exists in small amounts in soap products as a foaming agent. Studies have shown that if left on the skin it can be a mind irritant, but most products are washed away quickly enough that for most people it’s not a problem.

Do you trust Lush? They break it down in a great way. Yes, sodium lauryl sulfate has some potential problematic aspects, but it’s a very small part of soaps.

If you want to go without it, there are plenty of options that are SLS free!

Overall, modern soap has been processed and processed with chemicals that no longer serve our purposes and lives. Check out my suggestions for affordable and ethical options without these ingredients!

Perry Hunt

Written by

Millennial sustainability blogger. The process isn’t perfect. Let’s learn together! Read more at thesustainablemillennial.com

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