Monday, November 24, 2014

Most Common Toxic Chemicals in Personal Care and Cosmetic Products

Ever flip around a bottle of shampoo to read the ingredients? Usually it's just a jumble of words I can't even begin to imagine how to pronounce. Sometimes these hard to pronounce words are just the botanical name for something plant-based or the scientific name for something otherwise totally natural and safe.

Oftentimes these weird words are the names of some dangerous chemicals. Synthetic chemicals and some natural metals linked to cancers, reproductive illness, developmental difficulties, and other serious health issues are ingredients featured in the personal care and cosmetics products that line the shelves of drug stores, upscale department stores, and boutiques alike.

Hopefully, use of harmful chemicals in personal care and other household products will eventually be more regulated. Meanwhile, it's a good idea to check and see if the products you and your loved ones use are safe. I know it's overwhelming, especially because we live in a time when everything seems to give you cancer. Still, it's so important to be aware and do your best to avoid synthetic chemicals when possible.

Here's a list of 17 toxic chemicals to avoid in your personal care products.

  • Parabens 
  • DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA (Related chemicals: MEA and TEA)
  • Dibutyl Phthalate or DBP
  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
  • Coal Tar Dyes
  • Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives
  • Synthetic fragrances and Parfum
  • PEGs (polyethylene glycols)
  • Petrolatum
  • Mineral Oil 
  • Siloxanes (Cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane” (e.g., cyclotetrasiloxane)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Triclosan
  • Chemical Sunscreens (with Retinyl Palmitate, Oxybenzone and Octyl Methoxycinnamate)
  • Aluminum 
  • Heavy Metals: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, Nickel and More
  • Talc

This list was pulled together from You Have the Right to Know - 17 Chemicals to Avoid in Cosmetic and Personal Care Products via Check out the awesomely informative full article to learn more about each chemical: why it's used, why it's harmful, regulatory status, and other related chemicals.

I totally recommend running all your personal care products through EWG's SkinDeep database to check for safety easily. There's even a SkinDeep app where you can scan that barcodes of products!

If you can't find natural products that you like, I recommend making your own personal care products. It's liberating to be able to control exactly what's going in them. I share some recipes here, and websites like and Wellness Mama have tons of recipes. I also love Organic Body Care Recipes book; it's got 175 beginner-friendly recipes!

Did you find any of these chemicals in your personal care products? What are your favorite products that don't have these common chemicals in them?

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning.   

Stay connected: Free Gift // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // YouTube
Follow on Bloglovin

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...