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10 Toxic Ingredients to Keep Out of Your Skincare

Parabens - used as a preservative to prevent mold growth. Because of their estrogenic properties, paragons are endocrine disruptors that have been linked to breast cancer 

Artificial Color and Fragrance - have been known to trigger allergies, headache, ADHD and asthma, among other things. They can cause skin irritation and reproductive problems. Many of these ingredients have been banned in the European Union where they have much tighter oversight in the cosmetic industry.

Phthalates - a group of chemicals used in plastic to increase pliability.   The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray. They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues in women.

Triclosan - anti-microbial chemical found in anti-bacterial hand cleaners and other personal care products. While there is little to no evidence that using anti-bacterial sanitizing products is any better than  washing with regular soap and water, there is a concern the the use of this chemical is contributing to the increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria. This chemical is also an endocrine disruptor, specifically harmful to the thyroid and reproductive hormones. 

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) - found in most personal care products, primarily body washes and shampoos. They are known to irritate eyes and skin and cause breathing problems. A major concern with these chemicals is their interaction with other chemicals to become carcinogenic. 


Formaldehyde - a main ingredient in embalming fluid. This preservative has been linked to nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers. It can be a skin irritant and negatively impact the immune system.

Toluene - derived from petroleum products. It appears on labels as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, and methylbenzene.  Used as a solvent in paint thinners, toluene can be found in nail products and hair color/bleaching products.  It can cause skin irritation and nausea.  Pregnant women should stay away from toluene because it can cause fetal damage.

Propylene glycol -   classified as a skin irritant and penetrator. It has been associated with causing dermatitis as well as hives in humans in very small concentrations. It can be found in moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays.

Mineral oil - petroleum distillate. Mineral oil is what is left over from petroleum processing and is considered a hazardous material. It’s cheaper for the oil companies to sell it to the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries to be sanitized and used in their products than it is to pay the disposal fees. Mineral oil is occlusive which means it blocks the absorption of any beneficial ingredients that may be in your skincare. It’s like putting plastic wrap on your skin before applying your skincare products.

adapted from: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/vanessa-cunningham/dangerous-beauty-products_b_4168587.html

The older I get, the more important self-care has become to me. We are only given one body and it is imperative that we take care of it. I teach people how to take care of their bodies from the inside out. Treat your body like a temple...not a tent.

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1 Comment

  1. Jeanine Byers on January 16, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Wow, yes. All of these should be avoided.

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