If you make an effort to source and prepare meals made with fresh, whole ingredients for your family and are still purchasing most of your personal care items from the supermarket or drugstore, let this article serve as the motivation to make a positive change in 2014. 

Fact: We absorb an average of 64% of the total contaminants that we put on our skin (source: University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health). When it comes to the thin, delicate skin of the armpits and genitalia, the 64% absorbency can go as high as 100% (Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2005).

This is particularly true with synthetic fragrances, a key ingredient of personal care items, which can be absorbed at close to 100% (Contact Dermatitis 2000). Hormone disrupting phthalates are commonly hidden and labeled as fragrances as well.

Even more sobering is the fact that what is absorbed via the skin can potentially be far more damaging than what we put in our mouths!  This is because enzymes in saliva and stomach acid help break down the chemicals and flush them out via the excretory system. When you put something on your skin, however, the toxic substances that are absorbed go straight into the blood to the vital organs with no breakdown or filtering whatsoever!

Don’t forget your hair either! It is very important to avoid chemicals on your hair as these toxins easily migrate to your skin or pillowcase! Tip: one easy way to style hair naturally is using this flaxseed gel recipe.

Are these personal care chemicals truly harming us?

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC),

More than 80,000 chemicals permitted in the United States have never been fully assessed for toxic impacts on human health and the environment. Under the current law, it is almost  impossible for the EPA to take regulatory action against dangerous chemicals, even those that are known to cause cancer or other serious health effects.

Ok, so the bottom line is that we’re absorbing all these chemicals and no one really knows the extent of the damage it is causing us?

That’s comforting!


It only seems to make sense based on this information to switch to personal care items that are safe and nontoxic once you realize the precarious situation you are putting yourself in health-wise if you continue using commercial brands. The good news is that there are now products out there that are effective as well as safe to use so nothing is sacrificed when transitioning from commercially produced personal care items to nontoxic products produced in small batches with quality ingredients.

Go Primal With Your Personal Care!

Once you make the decision to no longer use commercial personal care items and to opt for something safer, the first products to change are the ones you use in your underarm and nether areas.  This is because the skin tissue is so thin and delicate in these areas and is subject to a higher absorption of toxins – up to 100%!

To save you some time and money in experimenting with some of the green products out there (many of which don’t work so well), let me personally recommend that you look into the line of effective underarm deodorants, lip balms, body whip and body powder from the company Go Primal.

I’ve known Jimmy and Amy Cazin, owners of Go Primal, for a long time — ever since I met Jimmy through his sister Laura who used to coach one of my children’s soccer teams. Jimmy and Amy are big advocates of Traditional Diet and are longtime members of the food buying club I’ve coordinated in our community since 2006.

Jimmy and Amy’s personal passion in building Go Primal is to help make our world a better and less toxic place for our children and grandchildren. The knowledge Amy has gained about healthy eating in recent years is what helped her segue to an in depth knowledge of the ingredients of personal care items and developing recipes that are both highly effective and completely safe and nontoxic.

The flagship brand of Go Primal is their Primal Pit Paste line of underarm deodorants including:

  • Primal Stick  (spice, lavender, unscented, thyme and lemongrass)
  • Pit Paste Regular (lavender, unscented, patchouli (woodsy), or thyme and lemongrass)
  • Pit Paste Strong  (lavender, unscented, thyme and lemongrass)
  • Pit Paste Kids (orange creamsickle or lemonade)

New Additions! Body Whip, Lip Balm and Body Powder

Jimmy and Amy have added three new products to the lineup including a heavenly smelling lavender orange body whip, thyme & lemongrass body powder, and two lip balms (orange creamsickle and vanilla peppermint flavors).

My kids absolutely love the lip balms and I enjoy slathering on the body whip after a long soak in an epsom salt bath!  The body powder would be a safe (talc free) product to use for diapering baby’s bottom or for extra absorption and protection from body odor whenever you might need it.

It used to be years ago that switching to nontoxic personal care products was extremely problematic due to the scarcity of available items and the poor effectiveness and lack of appeal of the natural ones.

Now, this is no longer the case. With a line of intimate personal care items like Go Primal, effectiveness, appeal, and safety are all combined in one!

More Information on Healthy Personal Care Habits

Homemade Hair Gel 

Why Store Deodorant Stinks

Want Babies in your 30’s or 40’s? Lose the Makeup


National Resources Defense Council

Absorption and evaporation of N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide from human skin

The importance of exposure estimation in the assessment of skin sensitization risk

What Toxic Chemicals Is Your Body Absorbing

How Much Skin Care Do You Absorb Into Your Skin

Breast Cancer Fund:  Phthalates


Disclosure: The Healthy Home Economist received a promotional fee and free product for this post.