In honor of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to identify a particularly harmful and yet popular body care ingredient that has been strongly linked to this serious disease.  This ingredient is, petroleum (petrolatum); and yet, many commercialized and surprisingly popular soaps use petroleum based surfactants (the part of the soap that breaks up the oils on your skin) and other petrochemicals.

Despite the fact that petroleum based surfactants (sodium myreth sulfate) are widely used in many commercialized soaps, body washes and body care products, it truly is one of those “no-no” ingredients that women (and their families) seeking a healthy, clean soap should avoid.  Not only does it strip the skin of its natural oils; but it is usually combined with other harmful ingredients (such as parabens/preservatives, synthetic fillers, artificial colorings and synthetic fragrances).  Petrochemicals are known carcinogens and in particular studies, they have been found in elevated levels in the breast tissue of women diagnosed with breast cancer (when compared to the breast tissue of women without breast cancer).

So what can you do? It is important that women (and every member of the family) use all-natural, naturally saponified soaps.  Seek out soaps that are comprised of simple cleansing and moisturizing ingredients such as: natural coconut, olive, castor bean and jojoba oils.  Ensure that there are no synthetic colors, fragrances, or preservatives (100% paraben free); and as we’ve discussed, make sure that the liquid soap does not use a petroleum based surfactant. In fact if it does it’s not really a soap but a “detergent”.  In an effort to make their products sound “greener” many manufacturers are using the term “vegetable based”. In reality chemists are formulating the same harsh detergents and surfactants from plant oils.

If you’re seeking an all-natural soap but don’t know where to start, G.B. Proudfoot’s Natural Body Care offers all-natural liquid soaps that are suitable for every purpose; everything from a good ol’ fashioned hand washing to your baby’s bath.  Their family of liquid soaps includes: Eucalyptus & Tea Tree, Southwest Citrus, Fisherman’s Favorite, Rosemary & Mint, and Gentle Unscented. All are available in 8 or 16 ounce pump bottles (