Hidden Ingredient: 1,4-Dioxane and Ethylene Oxide

Hidden Ingredient: 1,4-Dioxane and Ethylene Oxide

1,4-Dioxane and Ethylene Oxide are ingredients you probably don't see on your personal care product labels often, so why should you care about them? 

1,4 Dioxane and Ethylene Oxide are often hidden ingredients in every day products. Surfactants are ingredients that make products create bubbles or foam. Most synthetic surfactants are really harsh on our skin so chemists use a process called ethoxylation, where ethylene oxide is added to the surfactant to try to make it less harsh. Unfortunately, the surfactants can still strip our skin of natural oils, and the process leaves a byproduct called 1,4-dioxane behind. Both 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide are carcinogenic, meaning, they can cause cancer. 

What types of products usually have this hidden ingredient?

  • shampoo and hair care products
  • liquid soap
  • toothpaste
  • laundry detergent
  • cleaning supplies
  • body wash

Using products with these ingredients occasionally, most likely won’t cause any issues. Even though they permeate the skin easily and are absorbed in our bodies, the amount is usually small enough that our natural defenses can make them essentially harmless. The real problem becomes repeated, and long term exposure. These are products we use every day. If you give yourself a small dose when you brush your teeth and again when you shampoo your hair and then again when you wash your body and again when the chemical residue on your clothes absorbs through your skin, you can see how the exposure can quickly add up. 

So how do you avoid it? Try to avoid products that contain:

  • PEG compounds
  • Polysorbates
  • Ingredients that end in "oxynol" or "eth"
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Polyoxyethylene

Want to make it easy? At Simply Sage, we are carefully looking at the ingredients in every product we sell. We do everything we can to keep these contaminated ingredients and more off our shelves. Any time you can keep harmful ingredients out of your body, you’re reducing the overall body burden that we all carry. The lower your body burden, the better your chances are of having long term health.

Learn more about these ingredients and many more at: https://www.safecosmetics.org/chemicals/ethoxylated-ingredients/#:~:text=Ethoxylation%20is%20the%20process%20of,ethylene%20oxide%20in%20the%20product. 


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