Did you know the United States has only banned 8 toxic chemicals and restricted 3??? For comparison, the European Union has banned almost 1,400 toxic chemicals!! There are so many toxic chemicals in products we use every day that cause anything from allergies and skin irritation, to cancer! How is that even legal??!!!
The FDA does not regulate cosmetics. According to the FDA, cosmetics products do not need FDA premarket approval and companies are the ones who should be ensuring their products are safe for consumers. The problem with that is the FDA does not require them to submit any data proving their products are safe. So it’s just us taking cosmetics companies’ word that their products are safe. (Most companies don’t do any third party testing. If they’re not getting their products tested by anyone outside of the company, what are they hiding?)
Clearly, just because a product is sold on shelves at the store DOES NOT mean it’s safe or that it’s been through any safety testing! Again, HOW IS THIS NOT ILLEGAL??!!!
This is exactly why we consumers need to take our health and safety into our own hands and really research products and ingredients to make sure we’re using safe products that won’t cause us long term harm.
Lucky for you there’s people like me who LOVE to research products and ingredients, so we’ve done the leg work for you! Even though there are THOUSANDS of toxic chemicals you should be avoiding, I’ve narrowed today’s list down to 10 super common chemicals that are found in many makeup, skincare, and other cosmetics products which you should NEVER put on your skin! The skin is our largest organ and it absorbs everything…also, what our skin absorbs goes straight to our blood stream, unlike food where our liver filters out a lot of toxins.
This is why we need to be extremely aware of what goes on our skin!
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES):
These 2 ingredients are very similar. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is the parent chemical of Sodium Laureth Sulfate. They are commonly used in soap, facewash, shampoo, and toothpaste. These chemicals are what creates a lather and suds. These chemicals can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide which are carcinogenic. On top of that, they are extremely pore clogging (which is ironic as they are found in many acne face washes…) and they strip the skin of its natural moisture leaving it feeling dry and irritated.
Parabens (and other hormone disrupting chemicals):
Most people have heard of parabens, but a lot of people don’t know why they’re bad. Parabens are the most well-known, common preservative in cosmetics. They’re also hormone disruptors. They can lead to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, and really any type of hormonal cancers. Parabens mimic estrogen so they can even make PMS symptoms like period cramps and hormonal acne worse! Also these (and other hormone disrupting chemicals) can even lead to early puberty in girls! Stay away!
When highly corrosive phenol reacts with cancer causing ethylene oxide, you get phenoxyethanol. Phenoxyethanol is unfortunately commonly found in many “natural” and “toxin free” products as it’s a preservative that isn’t parabens. Phenoxyethanol causes skin irritation in concentrations as low as 1%…(if you don’t know what that means, it means it barely takes any phenoxyethanol to cause a reaction.) My TOXIN FREE MASTER LIST is full of products WITHOUT phenoxyethanol (and every ingredient on this list.)
PEG’s are also known as polyethylene glycol. PEG’s are harmful because they are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane which, as we know from SLS/SLES, is a carcinogen. This one is usually super easy to spot on an ingredient label as it’s usually labeled PEG-number. Just stay away from this one!
Mineral Oil is made from petroleum oil and contains PAH’s which are carcinogenic. This ingredient can cause skin cancer! Unfortunately, I’ve seen it in a lot of skincare products including products from my dermatologist. (And people really think Big Pharma and the medical industry is out to help us and it’s not just a big money making business that keeps people sick for profit…but I digress *sigh*.)
This is another chemical that is in a lot of skincare products, especially products prescribed from dermatologists. Again, this chemical can cause skin cancer! Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate are vitamin A and they have anti-aging properties which is why they’re in skincare products (including sunscreen.) When this chemicals reacts with the sunlight, it mutates and can cause melanoma! What the heck??!! Get this stuff out of skincare products please!
Fragrance can cause so many issues. It’s just a big pool of up to 3,000 chemicals which aren’t required to be listed on the ingredients label. These 3,000 chemicals just hide behind the word “fragrance.” Many of these chemicals are toxic and can cause anything from allergies and skin irritation, to organ toxicity and cancer. Since every one of these chemicals hides behind “fragrance”, there’s no way to know whether the fragrance in your products contains these toxic chemicals (but it probably does since it’s a great way for companies to sneak super toxic chemicals in a product and not have to disclose them. And if you question the company, they come back with “it’s a proprietary blend, so we can’t tell you, but we assure you it’s safe! Yeah right!)
Mainly imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea however, just look for the word Urea on an ingredient label…that’s an easy way for me to remember and spot these ones. These chemicals release FORMALDEHYDE! You know, that stuff they inject into dead bodies to preserve them and that stuff those animals you dissected in biology are soaking in. Yes the same formaldehyde… As most people know, formaldehyde is extremely toxic and cancerous! The longer the product sits on a shelf (or in your bathroom, or wherever), the more formaldehyde it contains. Seriously, stay away from all these toxic chemicals, but especially this one!
Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder was talc and fragrance. They stopped making and selling it because it causes CANCER! If Johnson & Johnson (which is a shady, toxic company) stopped selling their talc powder, why are some supposedly “toxin free” companies still using talc?? (I won’t say who, but you probably know someone who sells it…) Talc is contaminated with asbestos which causes cancer. Unfortunately, even “asbestos free talc” has been found to contain asbestos fibers. This is one ingredient I just wouldn’t play around with, especially since there are so many products that are made without talc.
This is one ingredient that infuriates me. Aluminum has been linked to breast cancer, it’s been found in breast cancer tissue, and it’s the main ingredient in DEODORANT (or more specifically, antiperspirant.) And as we all know, you apply antiperspirant in your armpit which is right next to YOUR BOOBS! I even remember reading a magazine article that talked about preventing boob sweat in the summer and they suggested applying antiperspirant right under your boobs! Please don’t do that ladies! Not only that, but aluminum can also cause Alzheimer’s. I’ve also seen aluminum in powder cosmetic products like face powder and eyeshadow so it’s not just deodorant you need to look out for. Aluminum can also cause oxidative skin damage (which causes aging), so you definitely want to keep it off your skin!
If you’re panicked because all your products contain some of these ingredients, don’t be! I’ve created a Toxin Free Master List with products that don’t include any toxic ingredients in them! The list has products for every price point and it has products in just about every personal care category!
My ALL TIME FAVORITE makeup and skincare company is Crunchi! They’re so transparent about the sources of their ingredients and they do third party testing. In order for Crunchi to use an ingredient, the ingredient has to be proven safe already! Their products are the cleanest I’ve found which is why I’ve become a Crunchi advocate. Click here to learn more about Crunchi.
Don’t let all the toxins in our everyday lives scare you…let it empower you to take control and only give money to brands who value your health! Purchasing power can go a long way! Stay healthy friends!