You Asked, I Answered

Filed under: General Health

Hi Brian,

I was curious to know your opinion/ advice on the whole aluminum in grooming products and its effect on our bodies.  Also, I try to follow your recommendation for avoiding products with fragrance and would like to know which grooming products, shampoo, soap, etc. you use?

This question was in response to my recent post One More Reason to Go Green, and Do Your Research, and it is a good one.  To be completely honest I haven’t really looked into the whole aluminum in grooming products thing thoroughly, though it is certainly on my agenda!  As much I would love to address this here, after some initial digging it requires more research on my part to give a solid answer, if one can even be given.  My initial glance hasn’t found the data convincing in either direction.

As for grooming products such as soap, I personally use Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented, as it is fragrance free.  Many of the chemicals in grooming products go far, far beyond my limited expertise in the area so I would love it if others could chip in with evidence-based thoughts on the topic.

In general I tend to err on the side of caution and believe in the “better safe than sorry” approach, however it is also important to keep in mind that “the poison is in the dose.”   Meaning that occasional exposure to many potentially harmful things is often not something to concern yourself with (unless it is something like airborne asbestos) simply because the amount of exposure is far below what is necessary to cause harm.

Some things that I use around the home that I consider worth it are Seventh Generation hand soaps.  We usually go with the Just Clean option, though they do have some that are scented with essential oils (not “fragrance”), I just find that they seem to dry my hands out a little.  We also use their Free & Clear dishwashing soap.  I steer clear of anti-bacterial soaps as much as I can as triclosan is considered carcinogenic, which is the same reason we do not use Colgate Total toothpaste as that is it’s active ingredient.

Fore more information on healthier products, check out The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database with more than 69,000 products rated for their safety.  For example my soap above gets a score of 2, which is very good.

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Posted on March 16th, 2012 by Brian St. Pierre


  1. Jeff Says:

    I really like the soap works bars. I use the emu oil soap.

  2. alan earl Says:

    Ah – ha! My wife and I have been ” Dove ” devotees for many years. We have never used anything that comes anywhere near as good a result!
    Sorry Brian, unfortunately no evidence based thoughts, just experience of using the product!

  3. Rees Says:

    What do you use for toothpaste?

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