Have you ever noticed that women often appear to place a greater emphasis on natural hair, face and body care solutions than men do? This may be partly due to cultural factors, as well as the fact that most articles about safe, non-toxic personal care typically address ladies and their needs, rather than men.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average American woman uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics per day, containing as many as 168 different chemicals. And while men traditionally use fewer products, typically between three and six, they may still be exposed to 85 questionable chemicals daily. One might argue that they deserve smart, safe alternatives too!
It should also be noted that, while there are differences between male and female skin—men have a thicker epidermis than women, for example—human skin in general soaks up much of what we apply to it, around 60 percent. So, while women may be more likely to insist on toxin-free personal care products, men are increasingly catching up in this area.
Personal Care Tips for Men
And indeed, once guys do become aware of the numerous safe alternatives now available−even if their wives or girlfriends help guide them towards those options−more than a few may wonder why they ever settled for less. Here are just a few of the potentially hazardous chemicals commonly found in mass-market products targeting men:
Diethyl phthalate (DEP) – This common culprit in cologne, deodorant, shaving cream, aftershave and shampoo−items with “fragrance” or “parfum” listed on the label−has been shown in several studies to potentially impair normal sperm production and reproductive health in men and boys.
Triclosan – Most often found in antibacterial soaps, as well as deodorants and anti-perspirants, triclosan is a hormone disruptor and also appears to increase antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Triethanolamine – Often used in lotions, shampoo, and other personal care products, this chemical has been shown to have detrimental effects on human skin and the immune system and has been classified as a respiratory toxicant. Clinical tests suggest that high doses may cause liver, bladder, and testicular cancer in laboratory animals.1
Propylene glycol – Commonly found in a variety of men’s personal care products, this additive has been linked to a number of health ailments, from eczema and asthma, to kidney problems and skin allergies.
Now for some good news! It’s currently easier than ever to craft an effective, affordable personal care regimen for both men and boys consisting of solutions−in all product categories−that are free of unhealthy additives like those discussed above. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Safe, beneficial options for this daily necessity range from a refreshing cedar and citrus liquid soap, to this sea buckthorn and shea bar soap, to this charcoal-infused daily cleanser. Or maybe a two-in-one solution with this cool organic shaving soap?
This unscented shave cream is ideal for sensitive skin. You could also pamper him with this velvety, bergamot-lavender option (you’ll want to steal it!) Or a refreshing tea tree & mint shave cream for all skin types.
SPF face lotion
A must for men of all ages, especially those who play golf, or who work and/or exercise outdoors. This emollient face cream protects with SPF 40. And here’s a great unscented body lotion. Superb value too!
Skip the aluminum and other dubious additives with this natural deodorant stick, available in five gentleman-friendly scents.
As you can see, there’s a plethora of safe, effective options for the lads, including cool multi-product kits featuring natural shave cream, lotion, facial cleanser and body wash, or this grooming kit for the bearded chaps. You may even want to assemble a Men’s Personal Care gift basket for Valentine’s Day. Here’s to his health!