top of page
  • Dr. Lesa Lawson

Things We Use That Harm Us

Arsenic Complexion Wafers. source:

Once upon a time, there was a face soap for women called Dr. Campbell’s Safe Arsenic Soap.

It was touted for giving a lovely complexion. Of course, when the women fell dead after using it for a time, death did tend to erase all previous facial problems. We would be quick to say, ‘how horrifying;’ however, we use others that are just as deadly.

Let us look at some harmful products, by category, for which we need to find substitutes:

Men, Women, and Children

Face and body washes; shampoos and conditioners – avoid sodium lauryl sulfate which causes these products to foam or form suds. Avoid parabens, also. Look for shampoos, toothpastes and other personal care products marked "SLS free."

Use shampoos made with essential oils. You can also wash your hair with baking soda.

Toothpaste – avoid fluoride. Use fluoride-free toothpaste or brush with baking soda and diluted food-grade hydrogen peroxide (not the ones in the pharmacy and supermarket)

Lotions – avoid parabens and added colors and dyes (see note, below)

Deodorants – avoid products with aluminum and artificial colors. Use aluminum-free or make your own with essential oils and coconut oil.

Artificial Colors and Dyes

These are found in soaps, lotions, shaving gels, toothpaste, shampoos, styling creams, face creams, toners, cleansers, bath gels, and other products.

Many dyes are made of coal tar and may contain heavy metal salts like arsenic and lead that are toxic to the skin. They may also be absorbed into your body where they can cause additional harm to cells and tissues.

[From] Here are some of the most common food dyes used today, according to the Food Freedom Network:

  • Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue)

An unpublished study suggested the possibility that Blue 1 caused kidney tumors in mice. What it's in:

Baked goods, beverages, desert powders, candies, cereal, drugs, and other products.

  • Blue #2 (Indigo Carmine)

Causes a statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats. What it's in: Colored beverages, candies, pet food, & other food and drugs.

  • Citrus Red #2

It's toxic to rodents at modest levels and caused tumors of the urinary bladder and possibly other organs. What it's in: Skins of Florida oranges.

  • Green #3 (Fast Green)

Caused significant increases in bladder and testes tumors in male rats. What it's in: Drugs, personal care products, cosmetic products except in eye area, candies, beverages, ice cream, sorbet, ingested drugs, lipsticks, and externally applied cosmetics.

  • Red #3 (Erythrosine)

Recognized in 1990 by the FDA as a thyroid carcinogen in animals and is banned in cosmetics and externally applied drugs. What it's in: Sausage casings, oral medication, maraschino cherries, baked goods, and candies.

  • Red #40 (Allura Red)

This is the most-widely used and consumed dye. It may accelerate the appearance of immune system tumors in mice. It also causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in some consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children. What it's in: Beverages, bakery goods, dessert powders, candies, cereals, foods, drugs, and cosmetics.

  • Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)

Yellow 5 causes sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in children. What it's in: Pet foods, numerous bakery goods, beverages, dessert powders, candies, cereals, gelatin desserts, and many other foods, as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

  • Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow)

Caused adrenal tumors in animals and occasionally causes severe hypersensitivity reactions. What it's in: Color bakery goods, cereals, beverages, dessert powders, candies, gelatin deserts, sausage, cosmetics, and drugs. [Source:]


Sanitary PadsUse biodegradable pads and chemical-free pads. Find them in health food stores or order online. Cherish pads will also be available in May. Contact me for more information.

Tampons – There is no substitute for these. Do not use them. They cause much harm, using the body's internal heat to activate toxins. Researchers are now revealing that glyphosate, the toxic ingredient in Roundup weedkiller, is also in tampons. [Source:]

Cosmetics – too many toxins to name but many that are strong enough to cause nerve and reproductive damage. Do your research. Just because it reads, ‘natural’ doesn’t mean that you accept it without researching it.

Shaving lotions and creams – Use a mild soap like Dr. Bonner’s and moisturize your legs, underarms and genital area with a little olive oil. Use aloe Vera if you’re going to be home for a while, after shaving.


Shaving soap - (see notes above). Make your own (see recipe, here)

Aftershave – artificial dyes, parabens, etc.


Pots and pans – Aluminum is so harmful. The non-stick ones add toxicity, as well. Your ideal pots, pans, and baking tins should be made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel.

Plastic cookware – you can’t see it but that plastic spoon that you just used to stir your pot of soup has actually melted a little…into your soup. Heat and plastic don’t mix. Over time plastic leaches into your water and food

Pantry - anything that has high fructose corn syrup or any of its 50 other names

Artificial dyes and colors (mentioned above) are also found in the following:

Sodas, ‘fruit’ and sugary drinks - dyes, corn syrup and other sugars in disguise

Veggies in sealed plastic bags – see note on plastics, above

Processed foods (chips, cookies, etc.) – this requires a full class to explain what happens to these items once they have been processed.

Look for wholesome foods with colors from plants and herbs.


Pain killersWhite Willow bark (Salix alba) is great for pain. If you are allergic to aspirin, do not use it, as you might have a similar reaction.

Other herbs and roots for pain and inflammation include:

  • Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)

  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

  • Red Pepper (Capsicum spp.)

  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

  • Wild Lettuce (Lactuca virosa)

Glass cleaner, disinfectants and other household cleaners - toxins in abundance. Inhaling all of those chemicals and having them on and under your skin – no more. Use vinegar or plain soap and water.

Anti-bacterial hand soap – Toxic ingredient, Triclosan, can be found not only in soap but also toothpaste, and body washes. Animal studies have shown that the ingredient can alter how hormones affect the body. Laboratory studies have raised the possibility that Triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Use plain soap and water or make your own hand wash with essential oils

Air-freshener sprays (aerosol cans, included) – make your own freshener with essential oils


Candles - Most candles are made of paraffin wax. Paraffin wax creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens or cancer-forming agents). If you love candles, you can make your own without these harmful substances.


Round-up and other weed killers – Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is a terrible toxin that’s worse than arsenic. Scientific American is quoted as saying,

“Used in gardens, farms, and parks around the world, the weed killer Roundup contains an ingredient that can suffocate human cells in a laboratory, researchers say.” [Source:]

Remember that while spraying it, liberally, in your garden or on your lawn, you are getting residue on your clothing and your body and, let’s not forget, you are inhaling it. Even with a face mask, the chemicals will be in the air for a while, so you are still ingesting it. If the grass is damp, it seeps into your shoes. When it rains, the water runs with the chemical into the drain and into rivers and seas. If you live in countries where water from drains and sewers is recycled (the United States is one such country), then you are adding to the toxicity of the water with which you cook, bathe, and drink. You might be able to withstand the effects for a longer time (think arsenic soap) but your children’s bodies cannot.

Use undiluted white vinegar on weeds.

What natural recipes are you using to maintain great health? Do share.

34 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page