Beauty Masterpost: Ingredients to avoid in beauty products

harmful chemicals in your beauty products and cosmetics that you should be aware of and should avoid if possible

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/SLS, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
    1. Damage eyes, severely irritate skin
    2. Endocrine disruptor, carcinogen 
  • Petroleum, Petrolatum, Mineral oil, Petrochemical, *Paraffins, Terms ending in “anol”, like isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol, methyl alcohol or methanol, butyl alcohol or butanol, ethyl alcohol or ethanol
    1. Absorbed through the skin; toxic to brain, kidney, respiratory system
  • Parabens (ethyl, butyl, methyl, propyl, isobutyl)
    1. Imitates estrogen -> causes breast cancer
    2. Found in many products
  • Alcohol (benzyl, ethyl, isopropyl [SD-40], methyl, SD alcohols)
    1. Very drying for the skin; makes you more susceptible to bacteria
  • Water
    1. Not toxic, but very drying

  • Aluminium/Alum (in deodorant)
  • Toluene, Butylated Hydroxytoluene(BHT), BHA
    1. Causes allergies
    2. BHA: possible carcinogen
  • Propylene glycol (PEG), Butylene glycol**
  • Dioxane; 1,4 Dioxane (PEG, ingredients ending with eth/oxynol)
    1. Possible carcinogen to humans
    2. Readily absorbed through skin
    3. Found in hair products, face lotions, hand creams, anti-aging products
  • PEG, Polyethylene glycol
    1. All glycols: weaken protein and cellular structure
  • Phenoxyethanol
    1. Reproductive and development toxicity
  • Gluten, Hydrolized wheat protein, Wheatgerm
  • Triclosan
    1. Endocrine, thyroid disruptor, bioaccumulates in body
    2. Suspected to cause cancer too
  • Benzalkomium Chloride
  • TEA (triethanolamine), DEA (Diethanolamine) and MEA (Monoethanolamine), Cocamide DEA, Diethanolamine (products that state it contains coconut)
    1. Hormone disruptor
    2. Causes allergic reactions
    3. Causes liver and kidney cancer
  • Oxybenzone (in sunscreen)
  • Retinyl palmitate (in sunscreen)
    1. **Instead, look for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
  • Formaldehyde; Quanternium-15 or DMDM hydantoin
    1. Nail polish, eyelash glue, hair products etc
  • Silicone
  • Pthalates, Synthetic fragrances, *Parfum, *Fragrance, DHP, DBP5, DEHP, and dibutyl phthalate
    1. Endocrine disruptor, toxicant, affect reproductive systems
    2. Choose pure essential oils instead of fragrances
    3. Asthma
    4. Damage immune and nervous sytems
  • Coal Tar dye, p-phenylenediamine and colors listed as “CI”, “FD&C,” (Synthetic dyes, colour pigments) or “D&C.”
  • Talc
    1. Ovarian cancer (especially using too much baby powder)
  • DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl)
    1. Releases formaldehyde
    2. Weakens immune system, cancer
  • Camphor
  • Dioxins
    1. Won’t appear in ingredients. Often in antibacterial things, cleansers etc
    2. Causes cancer reduced immunity, nervous systems disorders, miscarriage, birth deformity
  • DEET
  • Para-Aminobenzoic acid, PABA, Sunscreen chemicals, Benzphenone, Avobenzone, Ethoxycinnamate
    1. Free radical generators -> damage DNA
    2. Causes cancer
  • Benzoyl peroxide
    1. Possible tumour promoter, mutagen, produces DNA damage
Harmful Chemicals in your Beauty Products Click To Tweet

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Important sites to note: EWG Skindeep

*First published on Dec 13, 2015*

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