Secrets to Safer Summer Products

IMG_4631As the new Personal Care and Cosmetics Researcher, I’ve spent the past several months learning about the many toxic chemicals that may be hiding in our favorite products. I couldn’t help myself from scouring through my family’s and my own collection of various personal care products, only to find it extremely discouraging. For one thing, I couldn’t even pronounce many of the “Active Ingredients” listed on the back of some of my favorite products. Out of growing frustration, I decided to look into finding safer alternatives for two of my most important summer personal care items; deodorant and sunscreen.


There’s a lot of great things to love about summer, but the heat and humidity can be a struggle at times. And if you’re like me, finding a good deodorant is key! However, many popular deodorant brands contain the active ingredients aluminum and triclosan. These chemicals are poorly regulated and widespread. For instance, the FDA advises us to apply deodorant only once a day and not to apply deodorant to “broken” skin. But seriously… who only applies it once a day in this hot summer heat?

Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor, which means it can mimic estrogen and lead to breast cancer by sending off mixed or erroneous signals in our bodies. According to a PubMed study, aluminium is also capable of endocrine disruption. To avoid these toxic chemicals, make sure to check the ingredient label on your deodorant. Your safest bet is to opt for a USDA certified organic option!


One of my favorite things about summer is being able to relax outside in the sun by the pool or at the beach with my friends. I’m sure you know as well as I do that sunscreen is a must in order to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. Unfortunately, we also need to protect ourselves from the toxic chemicals in certain sunscreen products.

Oxybenzone is an endocrine disrupter and an active ingredient in most conventional sunscreens. As I mentioned above, endocrine disruptors have been shown to cause breast cancer by disrupting our hormone processes. Isn’t it ironic to think that products we use to protect our skin from harm can actually end up causing our bodies more damage in the long run?

My guess is that some of you may be a bit overwhelmed after reading this, but don’t fret too much! You can use the Environmental Working Group’s Skin DeepⓇ app on your phone or online to find safer options for deodorant and other personal care items. Also, click here to browse through EWG’s safer summer sunscreen tips so that you can choose a safe and affordable sunscreen for yourself, your family, and your friends!


“Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.

“Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database | EWG.” Skin Deep Home Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.

“Triclosan – Safe Cosmetics.” Safe Cosmetics. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.

Comments are closed.