The Dangers Lurking in Your Bathroom

Hidden dangers in your personal care products

Reading the ingredient list on your favorite deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste can be enough to send a person screaming into the night.

When we began homesteading, we wanted to "get back to the basics" and get processed foods and chemical products out of our lives. You too?

Commercial cleaners were the first to go. I tossed them out and made some homemade cleaners instead. I've found them to be just as effective and so much more frugal as well as being less toxic.

In our quest to live a simpler, less-chemical-laden life, we looked at bathroom products next.

So many personal products are made with ingredients that are hard or impossible to pronounce. Personally, my opinion is if I can't pronounce something, it probably shouldn't be slathered on my body.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.


What we call deodorant is often actually an antiperspirant. Humans are meant to perspire; sweating cools our bodies down and keeps us from overheating.

What began as a product to prevent smelling like sweat is now a product that prevents us from sweating at all. Aluminum compounds, parabens, silica, triclosan, talc and propylene glycol are in most antiperspirant and deodorant products, and all of these have been linked to health problems including breast cancer and Alzheimer's.

If you're ready to make a change and avoid these ingredients, you can check the ingredients in all-natural products, or use natural alternatives to deodorant such as coconut oil, witch hazel, baking soda and cornstarch.

I'm not able to use baking soda in homemade deodorants, but magnesium oil works great for me. It doesn't prevent sweating, but it immediately deals with odor. This is the brand I buy from Amazon (affiliate link); but if it's out of stock, order another brand - it should state that it's 100% pure magnesium chloride from the ancient zechstein seabed.


Take a look at the ingredients label on your tube of toothpaste and compare to this list: sodium fluoride, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and hydrated silica. Fluoride alone is enough reason to avoid commercial toothpaste. Did you know it's the main ingredient in rat poison?

These three personal care items can be dangerous to your health.

As a child I used to get really sick with nausea and vomiting in the mornings. I missed school often (and no, I wasn't just trying to get out of going to school). After consulting with my pediatrician and my dentist, my mother realized I was swallowing the toothpaste.

I'm sure the dentist didn't tell my mother that I was ingesting rat poison, but I remember as though it were yesterday how she told me I had to be very careful not to swallow the toothpaste, that it wasn't good for me and that's why I was feeling sick.

Recipes for homemade tooth powders and even toothpaste can be found online. A simple alternative to toothpaste is baking soda. I used it for years, although currently I purchase this one from Amazon (affiliate link); I love the taste and fragrance of the cloves and it is soothing if you have sore teeth or gums. At my twice-a-year checkups, my dentist always says "keep doing what you're doing."


Some sources claim there are as many as twelve toxic ingredients in shampoo products. The most suspicious are sulfates, parabens, triclosan, polyethylene glycol. Many of these disrupt our hormones.

It's easy to make your own shampoo, either liquid or solid. I make my own shampoo bars (here's a primer on how to use them). I have friends who use baking soda mixed with water to wash their hair, then rinse with vinegar and water.

Healthier Living

I like knowing what's in my personal care products. The natural alternatives we use are healthier and usually more frugal as well.

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6 Ways Homesteading Keeps You Healthy

These three personal care products are dangerous to our health.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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  1. I detoxed my home back in 2005 this was before farm life when we lived in the suburbs. One of the best things I ever did because people just don't realized the harsh chemicals that companies like J&J use in their products. I'm not making my own but I did find an awesome health and wellness company to provide our home with awesome products that are free from harsh chemicals. Also a lot of those harsh chemicals like formaldehyde is covered by trade names so if you're not aware of these details you wouldn't be able to spot it. Great post and it's awesome that you shared it.

    Now if others only knew what is lurking in their kitchen and laundry products that would really get others running. There's a reason why the those aisles in the store smell so bad..

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

    1. Carole, I admire you for detoxing your household all at once, and that you've been chemical-free for so many years too. Good job!

    2. I have replaced as well sinve August even the laundry and cleaning house products by natural ones. They clean very well and desinfect clithes and house.

  2. I am gradually detoxing our house and try to use as few man-made products as possible anyway. I never wear make-up or dye my hair and elbow grease with some vinegar and bicarb make great cleaning agents!

    1. You and your family will be so much healthier!

  3. I can proudly say that I have ditched all these products. It is amazing the amount of toxins that are in the average person life and then they wonder why people have cancer, allergies and all kinds of physical aliments. I have made my house as safe as possible in every room. Thanks for sharing. Tweeting & Pinning!

    1. Good for you, Marla! And thank you for sharing this post so that others will know too.

  4. ugh, I didn't know that about toothpaste. I do however make my own deodorant and use a lovely shampoo bar and facial soap (no chemicals) I buy online. The real challenge in my family is getting everyone else on board, especially my husband. I don't see that happening anytime soon!

    1. Getting the husband on board is a common problem, even in my house, Laurie.

  5. I'm curious, when you quit swallowing the toothpaste did you start feeling better?

    1. I did! Although I don't remember if it was right away or if it took a few days - that was a long time ago - but it definitely was the cause of my problem.


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