Debunking Myths and Things That Don’t Exist Part II



Nontoxic= gentle, “tear- free”

I can’t count how many times a customer assumed that their nontoxic body wash purchased at the store was by definition “tear-free”.


I’m usually at bat to burst the bubble of indoctrination by deceptive marketing schemes by professing that “tear-free” is, in fact, a hoax. I don’t ever recommend allowing soap in a baby’s eye, or in anyone’s eye for that matter. Yes, I understand that soap will inevitably make its way into a writhing toddler’s pupils during bath-time, and some washes will hurt more than others, but I resign to calling anything tear-free. According to Gimme the Good Stuff, anything labelled “tear-free” is usually contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a known carcinogen that won’t ever make its way into an ingredient list because of its status as a by-product of ethylization.

Bottom line, I’m not calling anything tear-free, but there is definitely a scale of irritation that a product can cause. Castile soap is at the top of that list, and a mild wash like Pleni Naturals would be at the bottom.  See here for more info about how shampoos get their freeness from tears. 

Nontoxic= natural

This one’s all about the semantics. “Nontoxic” means just that- the ingredients used in the product are at no detectable level of toxicity. “Natural” is a heavy term, dubiously misused in every industry from furniture to cars,

but basically refers to something having come from the Earth. Since everything comes from the Earth in some form or another (matter can’t be created or destroyed, remember?), but when it comes to skincare, the idea is that these are raw ingredients from the planet-NOT man-made in a factory.

HOWEVER: man-made or synthetic ingredients are sometimes necessary. And synthetic DOES NOT MEAN TOXIC! So for example, if I was making a water-based cream, I’d want it to be safely preserved from possible mold contamination, and sometimes a natural preservative (like citric acid) doesn’t cut it. So using a synthetic, nontoxic preservative like dehydroacetic acid is not technically “natural,” but is in my better interest.

See more about the need for (safe!) preservatives in cosmetics here


Nontoxic Skincare= No Pimples Ever

Pimples are just a fact of life. Diet, lifestyle, stress, hormones, environmental factors, and of course, proper skin care are all contributors to one’s complexion. Pimples can be a sign of a hormonal shift, a dirty pillowcase, an acidic pH on your face, or a pizza and beer weekend. When facing a breakout, evaluate all of these areas to determine what’s causing it.  Either way, skincare CAN help prevent or gently rid of already exiting zits. Proper cleansing, toning, moisturizing and treating will always give you a leg up when it comes to combating unwanted blemishes– and changing your routines based on what your skin is doing is also a must. Feeling dry? dry an oil cleanser. Too oily? Foam instead.

Why use nontoxic, then? Generally, nontoxic products are gentler, made with less allergens, irritants, and harsh alcohols, which can exacerbate symptoms of acne (Remember Clean&Clear Spot Treatments? My pimple would disappear, but the area around it was always red and peeling. and the pimples always came back.)  Also, who wants neurotoxins, possible carcinogens and endocrine disruptors as part of your morning routine? Not me.




All Chemicals Are Bad

A chemical is literally anything that consists of matter. Which is literally anything. Usually, when referring to chemicals in the negative sense, it means those chemicals which are toxic or harmful to the human body, animals, or the Earth. Oftentimes I’ll hear “this is mad with no chemicals” in reference to just about anything, and I laugh. I know what they mean, but its just not accurate. There are natural chemicals, and man-made chemicals. Bottom line: Nothing is NOT made of chemicals.

You are a prisoner of the Matrix.

Read this article to learn more.



Till next time!





Meme game was strong tonight. Who agrees?

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