Sulfates & Phthalates: READ THE LABEL CHALLENGE

Join the READ THE LABEL CHALLENGE with me and begin to discover what is in your daily products.



I want to raise awareness of the toxic overload we have been experiencing. Most woman come into contact with over one hundred chemicals just before leaving the house in the morning. They are majorly found in things we use every day such as personal care products, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, perfume, etc.  It only takes seconds for some chemicals to enter your bloodstream after applying it to your body. Our skin is our largest organ and we absorb what we apply to it. Many toxic chemicals in our products are known to be skin and respiratory irritants and hormone disruptors. 


Although we don’t have the power to avoid 100% of the toxins we come into contact with daily, we do have a choice on the toxins we decide to use personally, on our bodies and in our home. Our bodies work really really hard at keeping natural immunity, but when we are constantly coming into contact with harmful chemicals by the things we apply on our skin, the foods we choose to eat, and the environmental toxins we are surrounded by, it has no choice but to start showing symptoms and go into toxic overload. We simply were not designed to take in so much toxicity.


While joining me with READ THE LABEL CHALLENGE you may feel overwhelmed and not sure what to look for and what it all means. That's ok, we will take baby steps!! 


FIRST let's start with Sulfates and Phthalates. 


I encourage you to read the label of ingredients on EVERY product you own and look for just these two chemicals. If you go to the store, read the label on the packages there and begin to become aware of what are those long list of ingredients. Ask yourself what they mean and are they serving my body any purpose? You will discover many products containing them, but luckily now there are many brands that provide sulfate and phthalate free products. 


There are still many other chemicals to be aware of besides sulfates and phthalates and if you suffer from chronic allergies, irritating skin conditions and such then you will want to take your "read the label challenge" a step further. If you experience itchy skin or scalp after using a body wash or shampoo with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) in it then try a product without this ingredient and see if you feel a difference.


Start to next acknowledge other hidden chemicals. If it has a super long word you cannot pronounce, it is most likely synthetically man made. You can plug that product or ingredient into the site and it will give you feedback about that product and on a scale of how toxic it is to the body and environment. The sneakiest ingredient I have found is always synthetic fragrance. It is hidden in almost everything, even the "natural" products. 


It takes a while to get this all down, but it was all worth my time. We are responsible for our own health and although some of these synthetic chemicals may be rated "safe"... they may no longer be safe after applying them several times through different products throughout the day. 


When I first started my own read the label challenge years ago I was furious! I am guilty of cussing in grocery stores while reading the back of products. So happy label reading to you...or angry label reading... either way I am excited to start this movement!


Check out these articles below for more information:


“SLS is the sodium salt of lauryl sulfate, and is classified by the EWG Cosmetics Database as a "denaturant, surfactant cleansing agent, emulsifier and foamer," rated as a "moderate hazard." Similar to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is sodium laureth sulfate (short for sodium lauryl ether sulfate, or SLES), a yellow detergent with higher foaming ability. SLES is considered to be slightly less irritating than SLS. Ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) is another surfactant variation commonly put into cosmetics and cleansers to make them foam. ALS is similar to SLS, with similar risks.” 



SLS goes by other names, including:

Sodium dodecyl sulfate


Sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt

Akyposal SDS

Sodium salt sulfuric acid

Aquarex ME

Monododecyl ester sodium salt sulfuric acid

Aquarex methyl




“Phthalates (pronounced "thah-lates") are chemical plasticizers that have been widely used since the 1950s to soften plastics that would otherwise be brittle and crack when bent. Because phthalates are not chemically bound to the plastics they're added to, they're continuously released into the air or food or liquid. Did you ever notice how plastic sometimes hardens over time? That's because the phthalates have leached out of it.

Phthalates are found in an amazing array of products. In personal care items, they're used to help lubricate other substances, help lotions penetrate and soften the skin, and help fragrances last longer. They're also used in toys, electronics (such as personal computers), car-care products, insecticides, and many household products, including adhesives, plastic wrap, plastic containers, flooring, furniture, wallpaper, shower curtains, and other things made of vinyl or PVC.”



Here's a list of the most common phthalates, which may come in handy for checking labels:

DBP (dibutyl phthalate)
DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate)
DiNP (diisononyl phthalate)
DEP (diethyl phthalate)
BBzP (benzyl butyl phthalate)
DEHP (di 2-ethylhexl phthalate)
DiDP (diisodecyl phthalate)
DnHP (di-n-hexyl phthalate)
DMP (dimethyl phthalate)
DnOP (di-n-octylphthalate)
Bisphenol A (BPA) is another plasticizer.




"Phthalates are hormone disrupters, and some may cause male reproductive problems such as infertility, sperm damage and damage to the testicles.[4] They have been linked to changes in the timing of puberty in girls.[5] The Consumer Product Safety Commission has banned six phthalates in children's toys, and in bottles, cups and pacifiers for children 3 years old and under. The European Union has banned certain phthalates in cosmetics, toys and child care articles. The CDC has found two breakdown products of phthalates in more than 90 percent of Americans tested."




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