Your house cleaner gets on your skin and in your lungs. Droplets of aerosol also rain down on your face. This means that what you clean your house with matters very much.
Most home cleaning products are full of allergens, fragrance, preservatives, dyes and other chemicals. As a dermatologist, I see the rashes regularly. You may even have one right now.
Rashes from cleaning products show up as chronically dry patches of skin, hand rashes, or itchy rashes the move around on exposed skin where the chemicals come into skin contact. Patients typically come in frustrated and confused about the uncomfortable and sporadic, itchy/sore skin. They usually try to first figure out which of their personal care products is the culprit. We finally determine the cause by bringing in and examining all the products used in the home. Home cleaning products are the offender.
A Hypoallergenic Solution
The solution is to use truly hypoallergenic products for home cleaning. The benefit is that these are also entirely non-toxic. Truly hypoallergenic products are difficult to find. Even the many seductive products labeled as natural are not so benign, hypoallergenic, or non-toxic. Many ‘natural’ products that have aimed to avoid ‘toxic’ chemicals often replace chemicals with botanical allergens like citrus essential oil.
Here’s an example from my cleaning cupboard.
Product 1) Anonymous laundry product that claims: “Made with plant-derived ingredients, natural essential oils, stain-fighting enzymes. Made without parabens & phthalates, optical brighteners, chlorine & formaldehyde, artificial colors.”
But on the back ingredient label, it reads: Laureth-7, Lauryl glucoside, sodium methyl 2-sulfolaurate, methylisothiazolinone, benzisothiazolinone. It earned a ‘F’ grade from the Environmental Working Group. Methylisothiazolinone was named 2013 Contact Dermatitis Allergen of the year! It is such a powerful allergen and potent irritant that it can create a rash just from airborne contact. This is a widely popular product in stores.
Product 2) Another anonymous product for general house cleaning claims “non-toxic & biodegradable.” The ingredients are not on the product and a click on the Environmental Working Group site shows me the product is listed under a ‘F’ grade. I’ve used it for years as an all-purpose cleanser around the house and garden!
Both of these home cleaning products are marketed as ‘natural’ products with ‘feel good’ claims. Both are also full of fragrance and neither would be my first choice for patients with sensitive skin. We all fall for this – I’m not immune. When I’m shopping, I read labels but not always. I’ve made some mistakes, the remanents of which are still in my cleaning cupboard.
I’ve now created truly natural, non-toxic options for home cleaning. These 2 products can be used from dishes and surfaces to laundry. Choose from my All-purpose Convenient Spray Cleaner or my Liquid Concentrate.
Important points about these truly natural cleaning options. They are:
- Fragrance free.
- Certified to USDA standards as organic.
- Made with plant-based ingredients you’ll understand:
Organic Coconut, Olive and Jojoba Oils, Rosemary Extract, Organic Aloe Vera all turned into soap by the (natural) time-honored saponification process.This is all that’s in them and they work! Here’s your liberation from allergens and chemicals.