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These 5 Toxic Chemicals Lurk In You Lipstick and Other Beauty Products

Tanner Spring's picture
Harmful toxins in beauty products

Did you know there could be dozens of harmful toxins within your daily beauty routine? These toxins are disguised under tricky little names we think are very innocent, but they arent whatsoever. And they are in everything we use as consumers. Scary, huh?


The first thing you do in the morning (okay, maybe second to the beloved cup of coffee) is jump in the shower right? Shampoo and condition your hair. Scrub your body in that amazing smelling body wash. Shave your legs with your favorite shaving cream. 

You get out and put your favorite products in your hair, do your makeup, spray your favorite perfume, and apply your deodorant. Boom, ready for your day! What a nice start to your day, right?

500 toxic chemicals by breakfast... say what?!
Well, what if I told you that you may have just put over 500 toxic chemicals on your skin and hair in that quick time it took you to get ready? You'd probably think I was crazy, but no, it's true! Your beauty products are most likely filled with ingredients that are incredibly detrimental to your health.

It is SO hard to find good products to take care of ourselves. Products on the shelves are generally cheap in price and there's a reason. Quality products are made with quality ingredients which cost more money. The easily accessible products on the shelves in most stores and pharmacies are made of manmade ingredients that cost cents to make; so in turn, their retail value is very cheap. 

Better on the wallet is not usually better for your health, however. The battle for safer products is one I am very passionate about and I want to tell you how to avoid as much of these unsafe ingredients as possible. 

Many people know how to shop for better food and know organic is better. When we are healthy eating, we try to avoid the processed foods and pick the organic produce over the non-organic. So, why don't we give our skin, the largest organ on our bodies, the same respect?

What is greenwashing?
It's probably because the labels on our beauty products are so hard to navigate. We have so many products claiming to be "green" or "botanical" that use deceptive words like all natural, fragrance free, no artificial dyes, or my personal favorite, free and clear.

The issue with a lot of products that claim to be green or natural is that the wording they use like I mentioned above, is a coverall. Words like fragrance or botanical can be used in place of actual ingredients, so labels become very deceptive. This is called greenwashing and almost all companies do it in an attempt to trick their customers.

The list would be way too long for one post to talk about every harmful ingredient in our beauty products, so I've narrowed it down to five I believe are the most important to focus on. 

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The first is fragrance. Fragrance can also be listed as "parfum" as an ingredient. It is one of the key elements of shampoos, conditioners, lotions, hair products, perfumes, and colognes. It has been referred to as the new second hand smoke as it is not only dangerous to you, but to those around you. 

Fragrance is a known endocrine disruptor. So that means it literally messes with the system that regulates your entire body.  Exposure to fragrance can cause symptoms including asthma, skin sensitivity and rashes, watery eyes, headaches, and many others. 

You can read more about fragrance and its effects here at Safecosmetics.

The next ingredient I want to address is triclosan. Triclosan can be found in your hand and body soaps as well as your toothpaste, shampoo and hand sanitizers. It is the agent that makes your products "antibacterial". It is listed as a pesticide and is used in several home building products including caulking and sealants. 

You can read more about triclosan here.

Petrochemicals are another ingredient you definitely want to avoid. These are petroleum based ingredients including mineral oil, propylene glycol, petroleum jelly, and paraffin. They can be found in almost all beauty products like lipstick, moisturizer, lip balm, face masks, mascaras, eye shadows and many, many other products. By the way Don't Use These 17 Beauty Products, Avoid Them.

These ingredients are known to clog pores and cause frequent breakouts. They've been linked to cancer. Cancer is the primary concern with these harsh chemicals. I mean, do you really want the same ingredients found in paint and antifreeze and even gasoline all over your face? I would hope not! 

Okay, what do you think gives our products such a long shelf life? Could it perhaps be the ingredients used to preserve them? If you answered yes, you are correct! If the ingredients meant to make these products last a year or more works and makes these products last, what do you think they're doing to your skin and other organs?

Here's the two to look out for; parabens and formaldehyde. Both are widely found in our products and both are known to cause cancer. Parabens are found in EVERYTHING we use on ourselves. They are one of the biggest endocrine disruptors out there. 

Eliminating these toxins is key!
This seems overwhelming, doesn't it? It doesn't have to be. Even eliminating ONE toxic product from your beauty routine and replacing with a natural alternative (doing a quick search of toxin free beauty products will bring you to several great options) is bettering your health. Take a look at just one of your products you have now and research one of the ingredients. Once you know better, you do better. 

The issue of toxic products isn't one people understand and research as much as they do food. We need to take care of ourselves and our skin truly is our biggest organ. It takes just a half hour for the things that touch your skin to be circulating around in your blood, so do the best you can for yourself!