Have you ever received or even given a gift of hand and body lotions? This is a gift that seems to be the last minute choice from one of those stores in the malls that you can smell when you are hundreds of feet from the entrance of the store. These types of lotions are also available in the big box stores as well. This type of gift is usually given without any thought or consideration of its contents. After all, everybody loves to smell good! After reading this article, we truly hope you will never gift or re-gift another body or hand lotion again -- unless it comes without certain ingredients. What else are you giving your unsuspecting recipient when they receive that Peach- Mango body lotion in the cute container? For starters, most of the ingredients are skin or eye irritants, but some ingredients can also cause more serious problems. Benzyl alcohol is a common ingredient that is also a neurotoxin which can cause allergic reactions, liver damage, coma and death in animals. Dimethicone is derived from petroleum and a known environmental contaminant. Disodium EDTA is a neurotoxin made from formaldehyde. It has been associated with brain damage, liver changes, endocrine damage, fetal damage and birth abnormalities in animals. And finally, methylparaben is an endocrine disruptor that has been linked to breast and ovarian cancer and is also an environmental contaminant. These parabens, which have actually been found in the tissue of women with breast cancer, have lead many scientists to believe they can cause cancer. Triclosan, considered a pesticide is also in many of these lotions. Sadly, it is still in many liquid soaps. A chemical like triclosan that can disrupt hormones and may affect fetal growth and development does not belong in any lotion or soap. It is most dangerous on young teenage girls who are still developing. Tis the season to give thoughtful, safe gifts. We tend to think of gifts that are unsafe as toys with small parts and different electronic gadgets. However, we now know that the toxins used in bath and body soaps, lotions and more are being placed on the largest organ of our bodies. The consistent application of these toxic lotions can spell grave danger to our endocrine system, our hormones, neurological system and much more. If those inexpensive, nice smelling lotions carry such a great cost to our health, wouldn’t we be better off purchasing products whose ingredients carry much less danger? It doesn’t take much searching anymore to find organic, non-toxic bath and body lotions that have oils instead of fragrances that will be healthier for people and for the planet. If our goal is to create a Merry and Healthy Christmas, let’s all do our part to provide our loved ones and friends with the gifts that will create happy memories and positive outcomes.