Are Soaps Really Safe?

Exercise is one of the best ways of losing weight. Together with a healthy chemical free diet it is how to get fit and stay fit. There is nothing like a shower after a brisk jog to make you feel all is right with the world. Or you do until you read the back of the soap packet.

Then you find there are more chemicals in a bar of soap than in a fast food take away and you have just put them on your skin. It is easy to think of soap as a healthy pleasant product. It was at one time when soap was made from natural ingredients, but now much of what we use in the shower owes more to the laboratory than to nature. Soap bought from our local store can only loosely be described as soap.

These are some common ingredients.


A high proportion of liquid soap and a third of bar soap contains triclosan for its anti bacteriological qualities. The US Environmental Protection Agency classes this chemical as a pesticide which could harm the environment. It is bad news for bacteria but also bad news for humans as is it suspected of causing cancer.

Artificial scent:

It would be nice to think our soap is naturally scented, but it is not. Scents in most of the soap we buy come from petroleum based synthetic compounds. These can trigger allergic reactions and reproductive problems in humans.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS):

This is used as a foaming agent. Concentrations as low as 0.5 percent can cause skin irritation. Some soaps have concentrations of up to 30 percent. Shampoos containing SLS have been reported as causing scalp and eye irritation, problems with hair and facial swelling.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):

This is milder than SLS and is used for the same purpose, SLES can cause damage to hair and skin and cause eye damage in children. It cannot be metabolised by the liver and so stays in the body longer than SLS. These are not the only potentially dangerous chemicals in artificial soap products, but they should be enough to make us worry about what we are using every day.

These chemicals are not only found in adult soap, some also occur in baby soaps and shampoos. Of course millions of people use these products without problems, and the manufacturers say they are safe. But do you really want to wash your baby’s hair with Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which is commonly found in baby products?

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There are alternatives to using artificial soaps, natural soap made from healthy products is available as are herbal shampoos and shower gels. It is no surprise that natural soap is more expensive than artificial soap, but you may think it money well spent for peace of mind.

Read the small print on the packet, some soap sold as natural or organic still contains the chemicals we are trying to avoid. So how safe is soap? Some is not as safe as you may have thought. But there are healthy soap products available; it is for you to decide if you need to use them.

Consequences For Not Eating Healthily?

Eating healthily is becoming more and more significant in society today. People are more knowledgeable on the subject, and there is more help and advice on hand for someone who wants to eat healthily than there has ever been before.  Also well-known are the range of health risks posed to those who don’t eat healthily.

Research undertaken by health bodies and scientists has proved that regularly eating the wrong things can have serious negative effects on the body. If people are not getting the right amount of nutrients, vitamins and enough of the other vital food groups, they are putting themselves at risk of health problems, both now and in their later life.

Here, we discuss just some of the health risks associated with having a poor diet.


Eating too much of the wrong kinds of food and drink, such as processed foods, alcohol and those that are high in fat or sugar, can contribute to the gradual development of obesity. Obesity rates in the UK are the highest of anywhere in Europe, and the USA has the highest rates of anywhere in the world. In the UK, this figure has increased dramatically in the past few years, to the stage now where more than 20 per cent of the populations are now classed as obese – that is more than one in every five people. Obesity puts stress on all parts of a person’s body, increasing the risk of developing other major health problems.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can be caused by both obesity and unstable blood sugar levels. When an individual consumes a lot of refined grains and foods rich in sugar, their glucose levels “spike” and “drop” repeatedly and, over time, this can lead to insulin resistance, characterised by a decreased sensitivity to insulin. Then, if left uncorrected, this condition can advance to Type 2 diabetes.  According to the NHS: “approximately 2.9 million people are affected by diabetes” in the UK, with “around 850,000” thought to be undiagnosed. (NHS, 2013)

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Nutritional deficiencies

The problem in many people who eat unhealthily is the fact that they are overfed but undernourished. In simple terms, this means that plenty of food is consumed, but what they are eating has been stripped of nutrients and is not offering them anything positive health-wise. While these foods may keep someone full in the short-term, they do not provide the nutrients needed for a person to stay healthy.  Most of the necessary vitamins and minerals are found in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and lean meats.

Heart disease

Unhealthy foods are high in things like sodium, sugar, cholesterol and ‘bad’ fats. When eaten on a regular basis, these increase a person’s blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, both of which put a huge amount of strain on the heart over time. This can mean an increase in the risk of heart attack, strokes and coronary artery disease.


7 Hardest Drugs To Kick

When casual substance use reaches the point of physical dependence and addiction, regardless of the drug, or drugs, of choice, quitting is not easy. Certain chemical compositions do make the process even harder though.

Here are the 7 hardest drugs to kick:

1. Heroin

The opiate is made from opium taken from the poppy plant. It is either smoked, snorted, or injected and rarely remains a casually used drug. A person’s first exposure to heroin can create the pain-free, euphoric high that is then chased after with each subsequent heroin use.One taste of the high and you have to feel it again. The trouble is, the first high is the best high. Have you ever heard the term “chasing the dragon”? The desire for that first high is like chasing after a mythical, non-existent creature.

2. Vicodin (and other pharmaceutical painkillers)

Created to mimic the painkilling effects of heroin, man made opiates are right up there with heroin in the difficulty it takes to quit. In what may have started as medical treatment for pain, can quickly spiral to daily abuse and addiction. The physical, emotional, and psychological desire to kill all pain is not easily abandoned, so like heroin, we see lots of pharmaceutical opiate overdose deaths.

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3. Alcohol

Although legal, this drug will take over your life. For millions of people, drinking is a part of daily life that is justified by stress reduction, being social, or the fact that it is legal. A sign of addiction is how the body and brain react when the drug is not used, and quitting the use of alcohol most certainly yields palpable withdrawal symptoms. Since alcohol manipulates the brain’s reward system, the person craves the drug and when the craving is not satisfied, withdrawal can actually be fatal.

4. Crack Cocaine (and cocaine)

The smokable form of cocaine creates an intense rush that leaves the user constantly wanting more. Crack is one of the most addictive drugs available, and is definitely one of the hardest to quit.While we could name a celebrity who struggles with each drug on the list, the most recent news is that Lamar Odom, former Lakers basketball player married to Khloe Kardashian, is addicted to crack cocaine. His life is falling apart because of the drug, which shows just how hard it is to stop using crack once dependence has developed.

5. Methamphetamine/Amphetamines

Crystal meth is intensely addictive and difficult to quit, and so are the pharmaceutical versions of amphetamines that millions of people are taking everyday. Adderall and Ritalin are over-prescribed to people of all ages who claim Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.These drugs teach the brain to want them more and more. The brain thinks that crystal meth is both dopamine and norepinephrine, so the happiness and excitement felt is unlike anything experienced before, making it extremely hard to quit.

6. Benzodiazepines

Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin are the most well-known versions of these anxiety-reducing drugs. When used to treat anxiety and then stopped, anxiety returns tenfold and the person feels overly irritable and can experience intense panic attacks. The best solution? Taking another benzo. It is difficult to quit the drug that stops your anxiety.

7. Nicotine

Quite simply, nicotine mimics neurotransmitter that make you feel relaxed. Once physical dependence to nicotine has occurred, it is difficult to break. This explains why people still smoke cigarettes even though one in every five deaths in the United States is the result of smoking. This guest post was contributed by Kate Green. She is a drug recovery specialist, learn more about her work in addiction treatment with Balboa Horizons.