Most people don’t think of dish washing liquid as being a cosmetic, but when you really think about it, our hands are ALWAYS being bathed in it. Soaps, body washes and gels are considered to be cosmetic, so why not detergents? After all, we spend a lot of time together.

Being an ECO wise consumer, I like to purchase safe, enviro friendly detergents to wash my dishes in.

Boy, did I get caught off guard. My head was buried again.

I was in a grocery store, out of province, and therefore not familiar with all of the detergent brands. Rather than taking the time to peruse the labels, I quickly grabbed the one with a GREEN name and a beautiful, fresh yellow daisy.

I later found myself at the kitchen sink happily drowning in soap bubbles. “Hmmmm...too much soap lather for an eco friendly soap.”, I thought. I grabbed the detergent bottle and sure enough, the ingredient label read ‘sodium laurel sulphate’. SLS is the lather maker. SLS is toxic. Why was I not surprised?

But I was also angry, at myself and the manufacturer. I was easily deceived, taken in by the deceptive label, by the wording, the colors, the design, the marketing brilliance.

I read my cosmetic labels. I SHOULD HAVE READ THE LABEL on my detergent.

Sleuth that I am, I checked out the manufacturer’s website. This disturbed me even more.
This detergent manufacturer gives a glowing review of all the ‘natural’ ingredients in the detergent, right down to the enticing ingredient pictures of a leaf, mandarin, coconut, and corn. Looks good enough to eat.

Beside the pretty leaf it says: ‘contains no phosphorus or bleach’. This is good, but what does the picture of a leaf mean?

Beside the pretty mandarin it says: ‘essential oils’. But no specific oils are listed. ( Essential oils can be good, depending on the quality of the oil, and the purity. But many essential oils are diluted in other ‘not so good’ oils. Many also contain hidden chemical preservatives.)

Beside the pretty coconut it says: ‘coconut based cleaning agents’ where ‘sodium laurel sulphate’ is mentioned, among a list of other culprits. This is not good. SLS is toxic

Beside the pretty corn picture it says: ‘corn based ethanol’. This is not good. Ethanol is alcohol, drying and irritating on the skin.

And that’s not all, folks! 
There is a picture of pretty blue and yellow balls beside which it says” ‘blue and yellow colorant’. and yellow makes the pretty green color. Unfortunately, these dyes are TOXIC. 

Then there is a picture of a beaker and liquid which reads ‘biodegradable preservative’. The preservative itself is NOT named, therefore one might deduce it is a dangerous chemical preservative, or the manufacturer would have been more than happy to name it, don’t you think? But maybe the reader is not supposed to get past the term, ‘biodegradable’?

Need I go on?

The detergent I purchased is toxic. I was misled. If I suffered from eczema on my hands I may have discovered its toxicity on my own, without even reading the label. The hands would have reacted badly, just like they do to the toxins in cosmetics.

Dear Cosmetic World, and Detergent world. What happened to ‘honest advertising’? Or is this an oxymoron?


Thanks again for pointing out the 'not so obvious'. With so many corporations jumping on the 'green bandwagon' we, as consumers, have to be extra careful. Whoever manufactured that dishsoap was quite clever in how they listed their ingredients. I'm sure the majority of people will be deceived into thinking they have a natural product. We should not only read but use all our senses to determine what kind of product we are using. Thanks ETB for opening my eyes a little wider.