Problematic Ingredients Hidden in Typical Soaps

Toxic Soap Ingredients

In the United States, companies are not required to list ingredients on a standard bar of soap unless the manufacturer makes a cosmetic or medicinal claim. Most companies prefer that customers remain ignorant of the ingredients in their soap.

Evidence is mounting that anti-bacterial soaps (76% of soaps sold) offer no extra protection. Meanwhile, there is growing concern that their overuse is a contributing factor in health and environmental issues.


Sodium Tallowate
Semi synthetic compound. Surfactant made from animal fats.
Reported to be comedogenic (acne promoting). May cause contact eczema.

A mixture of many synthetic and natural fragrance chemicals, often dissolved in a carrier solvent, e.g., ethanol.
May cause contact dermatitis and contact allergies.

Stearic Acid
Semi synthetic or synthetic compound. A fatty acid obtained from animal of vegetable fats.
Linked to skin allergies.

A humectant obtained as a by-product from animal and vegetable fats during the soap-making process. Most of the glycerin produced during manufacture should be removed from the soap, otherwise, it absorbs too much water, becomes mushy, and disappears rapidly. However, there must be a small amount of glycerine present in the soap to prevent it from drying.
Skin irritant in some people.

Tetrasodium EDTA
Synthetic compound. Chelating agent used to prevent calcium and magnesium ions present in hard water from combining with the soap and forming soap scum.

Tetrasodium Etidronate
Synthetic compound. Preservative. This is currently the most commonly used preservative in bars of toilet soap. It is restricted to 0.2% when used in soap.
Skin and mucous membrane irritant for some individuals.

CI 74260
Synthetic green dye related to chlorophyll.
Harmful to the eyes and not allowed in any product that is intended for use on or near the eyes.

3 comments to “Problematic Ingredients Hidden in Typical Soaps”
  1. Note that most of the chemical listed above are still consider okay by the FDA…

    FDA Bans 19 Chemicals Used In Antibacterial Soaps

    Iodine complex (ammonium ether sulfate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate)
    Iodine complex (phosphate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol)
    Nonylphenoxypoly (ethyleneoxy) ethanoliodine
    Poloxamer-iodine complex
    Povidone-iodine 5 to 10 percent
    Undecoylium chloride iodine complex
    Methylbenzethonium chloride
    Phenol (greater than 1.5 percent)
    Phenol (less than 1.5 percent) 16
    Secondary amyltricresols
    Sodium oxychlorosene
    Triple dye

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