Beauty Chemicals to Avoid.

This is something I’ve been researching more and more as I get into this whole clean hippie thing. It’s amazing that our government does not regulate some of the chemicals (or labels for that matter) that go into these products since our skin absorbs around 60% of whatever we put on it. Europe has already banned most of these ingredients for fear of the damage they are causing. I want to clarify that most of these ingredients do not have conclusive evidence against them. But in my thoughts, better safe than sorry. I’ll just begin making my own of what I can so I know the ingredients! (Kinda the same reasons it’s better to cook at home!)

This list includes just some chemicals that I think everyone should be aware of as they purchase beauty and health products. These are just some of the worst offenders in the ingredients. I would encourage everyone to check out the Cosmetic Safety Database for more information on the particulars of your beauty products. Additionally, Cosmetic Cop / Beautypedia has some good information about how well certain make ups work. The Cosmetic Safety Database tells us that, “due to gaping loopholes in federal law, companies can put virtually any ingredient into personal care products. Even worse, the government does not require pre-market safety tests for any of them.” Kinda scary.

Quite a few labels are unregulated by the government, so don’t be fooled by labels like ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘hypo-allergenic’, ‘cruelty-free’, ‘not tested on animals’, ‘dermatologist tested’, ‘noncomedogenic’, ‘designed for sensitive skin’, ‘our research shows’, ‘unscented’, ‘fragrance free’ etc. – these have no legal definition in the cosmetic world.

Here’s the list of the main offenders:

  1. Parabens – ethyl, methyl, butyl, or propyl as the prefix; linked to weight gain, hormone disruption, and breast cancer
  2. Fragrance – often just a cover up term for phthalates, which are linked to liver damage and birth defects
  3. Triclosan – unneccessary antibacterial agent; known irritant
  4. Petrochemicals – listed as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Polyethylene Glycol (PEG, PPG, Cocoate), Propylene Glycol, or artificial colors; derived from oil, a finite resource
  5. Coal tar – listed as FD&C, D&C, often in hair dyes; linked to cancer
  6. Update: Tricolsanstudies have shown that triclosan can combine with chlorine in our tap water to make chloroform gas.


  1. elliek
    Posted July 29, 2008 at 7:57 am | Permalink | Reply


  2. Posted July 29, 2008 at 10:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    It is amazing what we will put on our bodies in the name of beauty. I have been going without make up (everything but mascara anyway) for about the past 2 weeks…it has been a really nice break and I can feel a big difference on my skin.

    I think the only thing making this work though is I am actually getting a tan so I have natural color!! HA HA!! Normally, I am pastey white! LOL

  3. Elizabeth
    Posted July 29, 2008 at 10:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh I agree – I typically only wear some blush (because I too am pasty white), concealer, eyeshadow and mascara. I really want to figure out better makeup options for what I do use. . .

    There is this place called W3ll – Hippie Tested, Diva Approved. It’s really close to my office, I just hope it’s not expensive.

  4. Posted July 29, 2008 at 10:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    When I am wearing it, I use the Bare Minerals…or Bare Essentials…whatever it is called and I prefer that b/c it doesn’t feel like I have makeup on…Let me know about the new stuff…I am curious.

3 Trackbacks

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