Dirty Dozen Ingredients in Bath and Body Products

We Need An Alternative

Red Bird Natural Soap was created to give customers a safer choice when purchasing bath and body products.  Our products are made only with high quality ingredients you can recognize.  

We recommend you read your labels when purchasing any product, not just bath and body products.   Below are just a few of the chemicals being used in conventional bath and body products that you will NEVER find in our all natural, hand made products.  

Ethanolamines (DEA/MEA/TEA)

Diethanolamine (DEA) is easily absorbed through the skin, and combines with the nitrate preservatives commonly added to soaps to create nitrosodiethanolamine (or NDEA). NDEA is a potent carcinogenic, and it is most strongly linked to the development of kidney and liver cancers. Pregnant women should be especially cautious of DEA, as it interferes with the body’s ability to absorb choline, which unborn children need for proper brain development. This also applies to triethanolamine (or TEA), which is a derivative of DEA. If you are pregnant or nursing you should definitely avoid this and all other toxic soap ingredients on this list.


Triclosan is a pesticide and antibacterial agent that is commonly added to hand soaps and shower gels, but it’s been implicated as one of the main contributors to the growing issue of antibiotic resistance. Triclosan is also capable of changing the levels of the female sex hormone estrogen, and this is a risk factor for the development of breast cancer in women.


Formaldehyde is often found in shampoos, shower gels and soaps (as are chemicals that release formaldehyde, such as diazolidinyl urea). Exposure can cause respiratory disorders like asthma, promote chronic fatigue, lead to an irregular heartbeat or frequent headaches, result in sleep problems like insomnia and negatively impacting your immune system.


The FDA does not require 1,4-dioxane to be listed as an ingredient on product labels because the chemical is a contaminant produced during manufacturing.  It is readily absorbed by the skin and is known to cause cancer and it’s also toxic to the nervous system, liver, kidneys and brain and may cause birth defects. Avoid ingredients such as SLS, PEG compounds, chemicals that include the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate (or SLS) is an emulsifier and a detergent, and it is one of the most common dangerous ingredients added to cosmetics and other personal care products. It is also found in industrial cleaners and engine degreasers. When SLS combines with other common ingredients in personal hygiene products, it becomes something called a nitrosamine, which has carcinogenic properties.


Parabens (propylparaben, methylparaben) are extremely common preservatives in hand soaps and shower gels, but a range of scientific studies have shown that there is a link between paraben exposure and breast cancer, because parabens are capable of mimicking the female sex hormone estrogen. They are also connected with neurological disorders due to nervous system toxicity, and can cause severe skin irritation (including painful rashes and local swelling).


‘Fragrance’ on product labels is misleading due to the fact that it is acceptable to print this one word no matter how many chemicals are actually added to create the distinctive smell of a product. Some fragrance ingredients cause irritating but relatively minor problems such as skin rashes, but others are linked to mood disorders, migraines, and severe dizziness. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEGs)

PEGs are petroleum-based compounds that are commonly used in creams, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioners, moisturizers, deodorants. PEGs are usually contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. PEGs are often formulated for greater absorption into the skin & hair which strips the natural protective barrier and makes you vulnerable to many toxins.


These silicone-based compounds are used in moisturizers and facial treatments to soften, smooth and moisten. They make hair products dry more quickly and deodorant creams slide on more easily. Studies have found that they interfere with human hormone function and possibly impair human fertility. They can also influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system.

Coal Tar Dyes (p-phenylenediamine and colors listed as “CI”)

Used extensively in cosmetics and hair dyes.  Coal tar is recognized as a carcinogen and some may contain heavy metals which are toxic to the brain.  Studies found that women who used hair dyes – especially over extended periods – had an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system).

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

BHA and BHT are closely related synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservatives. They can induce allergic reactions, are a possibly a carcinogen, and could interfere with hormone function.