Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Beauty Products

There are hundreds of toxic ingredients found in beauty products and personal care items for women. It can be overwhelming to delve into the world of toxic makeup when you first start your journey into natural makeup. In this post, we look back on some of our articles and reviews and highlight some of the most common and harmful chemicals in makeup and skincare products.

For a comprehensive list of chemical and toxic ingredients used in makeup and skincare products, visit The EWG Skin Deep to learn in depth about avoiding these harmful ingredients.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is found in many of the beauty products you find in stores and online. It is found if makeup, soaps, lotions, and even toothpaste. SLS can cause major skin irritations, canker sores, damage to the eyes, and can cause bad acne around the mouth and the chin. If you find yourself breaking out is a red and/or bumpy, and painful rash around the mouth, chin, and eyes you may have an allergy to SLS. The EWG Skin Deep website classifies SLS as “expected to be toxic or harmful” in organ system toxicity and is not something you want to expose your body and skin to on a regular basis.

Fragrance/parfum is another ingredient that should be avoided at all costs. Fragrance is where many companies are able to hide a laundry list of chemicals and artificial ingredients. Companies are not required to disclose what is included in the term “fragrance.” Additionally, most fragrances are stabilized with phthalates, which are chemicals that are linked to reproductive issues and birth defects when tested on animals.

Parabens are ones of the most common preservatives found in makeup. Parabens are so harmful to the body because they can actually mimic estrogen, according to the FDA. This leads to an increase in breast cancer and skin cancer. Additionally, parabens have the ability to disrupt your endocrine system, leading to reproductive and developmental disorders. This is especially important for women of reproductive age looking to have children. There are many different kinds of parabens, so always keep a look out in the ingredient list. Any ingredient that ends with “paraben” should be avoided.

Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde should be nowhere near your face products or makeups, yet it is a common ingredient in many. This highly toxic ingredient is a known human carcinogen and is actually used to preserve dead bodies.

Mineral oil is a very common ingredient in many face products, including serums. Mineral oil can cause can create a film over your skin that prevents your skin from naturally releasing any toxin buildup. Of course, this will lead to clogged pores, acne, oil buildup, and even some unsightly rashes. Additionally, mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum.

1,4 Dioxane is a very popular ingredient in many lotions and moisturizers – and it sounds like a scary chemical formula, right? This ingredient can also be listed on the ingredient list as PEG or any number of ingredients ending in “eth” or “oxynol.”  According to the EPA, 1,4 Dioxane is a probable human carcinogen and is very easily absorbed by the skin, which is potential dangerous considering you are slathering it all over your face.

BHA and BHT are often found in foundations as a preservative. They are a type of synthetic antioxidant and can cause cancers and negatively affect hormone function in the body. Exposure to these substances for an extended period of time have been linked to liver, kidney, and thyroid conditions in mice and can promote tumor growth in certain conditions.