6 Big, Fat Reasons to Detox Your Shower
(or Bath) Routine
The makeup bag—tied intrinsically to vanity as it is—is often the first place we look when trying to detoxify our daily beauty routines. But the shower (and bath, and the body products we often use afterwards) exposes us more directly to toxins in a number of ways, and is often the biggest culprit in terms of potential hormone disrupting, cancer-causing, unregulated (and often-unlabeled), toxic compounds. Whether you’re worried about parabens, phthalates, colorants, fragrances, preservatives, irritants, or even just plain old pollutants (this stuff does go down the drain, after all), conventional bath and body products—and especially hair products—are serious offenders. The level of exposure depends on how often you shower or bath, and the number of products you use, but it adds up quickly; the conventional beauty industry’s argument that “the dose makes the poison” seems especially weak in this space, since the dose—often daily, involving multiple products used all over the body—is pretty significant. Here, six reasons why the shower is the best place to start a clean beauty swap, plus our favorite clean, non-toxic options to start the new year with.
In a shower, your skin is wet; as any dermatologist will tell you, wet skin absorbs significantly more of whatever you put on it—and absorbs it deeper into skin. (That’s the reason behind the advice to smooth on body cream while your skin’s still damp, for instance.)
Heat, the harsh surfactants that make shampoo, soap, and body wash foam up, and exfoliants—from scrubs to a plain old washcloth—all further open up skin to even deeper absorption.
You’re also breathing in steam infused with whatever you’re washing/conditioning yourself with, so you absorb through your lungs and nasal passageway as well.
A face cream or a bronzing stick might contain ingredients you want to avoid, but the amount you apply is far, far less than body wash, lotion, or even shampoo.
Think of the way most people shop for a shampoo, body wash, or even plain old soap: They open it up and smell it. Hence, most products in this space are heavily fragranced. Not only can the fragrances be irritating (to both skin and lungs) in and of themselves, a beauty-industry loophole allows companies to hide any ingredients they’d rather not tell you about inside the ingredient “fragrance.” If you see “fragrance” or “parfum” in the ingredient list, and the company doesn’t break out what’s in that ingredient, you don’t know what chemicals you’re exposing yourself to—at all.
The warm, wet environment of a shower is a prime breeding ground for bacteria—so beauty companies fortify products that sometimes sit, opened, for months in that environment, with serious (and often potentially toxic) preservatives. Clean beauty companies preserve hair and body products, too, but with non-toxic alternatives. Why haven’t the conventional companies switched?
A goop Shower Detox: goop Favorites
Go beyond Kondo and reduce your daily exposure to toxic chemicals—replacing them with these clean, moisturizing, incredible-smelling, beautifully textured, healthy alternatives:
Avoid razors with added moisturizers, shaving creams, soaps, smoothing agents—basically added anything. The OG Venus—just brilliant blades and nothing else.
The mold that builds up inside showerheads can have serious health consequences; this easy-to-switch-out showerhead ingeniously clicks open, so the showerhead dries easily, totally discouraging mold growth so your war stays healthy and pure.
*It also happens to look fantastic with practically any decor.