One big difference between our soaps and many natural soaps is how they smell. While we make our soaps with all-natural oils, we also add phthalate-free fragrances to ensure an amazing scent. These fragrances may be blended with essential oils for a more natural scent.
Other handmade soap makers prefer scenting their soaps with only essential oils because they’re from nature and not manmade. While these oils may still provide a nicely-scented soap, we at Elemental Blue prefer a more fragrant, beautiful scent, and feel that we can only get that amazing scent from phthalate-free fragrances.
While phthalate-free fragrances aren’t from nature, they’re considered safe for your skin and body.
So what exactly are phthalates and why are they bad?
Phthalates are chemicals, and there are many different kinds, including DEP, DBP, DEHP, DiDP, DnOP and DINP. Some types of phthalates are used as dissolving agents. Other types are used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break.
Many everyday products include phthalates, including cosmetics, detergents, building materials and vinyl flooring. Phthalates can even be found in meat, dairy and fast foods.
While evidence isn’t conclusive that phthalates are bad for people, there are links between phthalates and increasing rates of chronic disease. Tests with lab rats have showed that DPB irritates skin, BBP may cause cancer and DEHP has been confirmed to cause cancer. As a result of these tests, the U.S. banned BBP, DBP and DEHP from toys and products that are intended to help children under the age of three to sleep, eat, teethe or suck. The European Union is playing it safe by banning phthalates from all cosmetics, but that’s not the case here in the good old U.S of A.
What you can do to play it safe
Avoid phthalates as much as you can:
- Look at the ingredients listed on products and avoid products that include phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP, DiDP, DnOP and DINP.
- If “fragrance” is listed as an ingredient and it isn’t specified as a phthalate-free fragrance, it’s best to avoid those products as well. Regulations do not require the listing of individual fragrance ingredients, so it’s not known if phthalates are present.
- Avoid diets high in meat, dairy and fast food.
For more information about phthalates, check out these sources:
Hello. Aren’t parabans just as bad? Do you use parabans? they cause hormone disruption too. Can you tell me the difference?
Hi Stephanie. Thanks for the question. We do not use parabens, sulfates or phthalates in any of our products. In fact, many of us soap artisans started making soap for the pure fact that most store-bought soaps include these ingredients, and we wanted a safe soap for our families.
Parabens are typically added to soaps and shampoos to act as a preservative so that the product’s shelf life is longer. Phthalates are used to bind the fragrance oils together. Sulfates are added to help produce extra lather, which dries out the skin. You are correct in that parabens and phthalates have been identified as disruptive to normal hormone function. Hope this helps answer your questions. We’d love for you to try our soap to see the difference. It smells wonderful. It lathers nicely (thanks to all-natural coconut oil). It doesn’t dry out your skin. And you can feel better knowing it is made with safe ingredients.