Harmful Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products

Harmful Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products

Most people do not know that there are so many harmful ingredients in common cosmetics and beauty products! To reduce exposure to these ingredients, I have compiled a list of the top things to watch out for and the reasons to stay away from them.

*This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you purchase something that I genuinely recommend. This is at no extra cost to you and supports my blog. You can read my full disclosure here .

I have SUPER sensitive skin and I find that by avoiding these ingredients, I do not get reactions.

Companies are able to include some toxic ingredients into our personal care products because they are not regulated by the FDA. The worst part is that n these harmful materials need to be on the ingredient list!! How scary is that?

In order to make some ingredients sound better and … safer (for a lack of a better word), companies can use other names. Check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website to get more information on harmful ingredients and also what products are cleaner than others.

Harmful Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products

Harmful Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty : Products
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1. Parabens

Parabens are chemicals that extend the self life of self care products. They act as preservatives to prevent bacteria growth. This is good for companies because they are able to produce more without the fear of “going bad,” and stores are able to keep it on the self for longer periods of time.

Parabens are harmful to the body because they mess with hormones in the body. These chemicals have been known to cause skin irritation, and may possibly lead to premature balding. Recent research has suggested that the reproductive organs may be affected more than others. There is also an increased risk of cancer with the use of parabens.

You can find parabens in so many products! Mostly in shampoos and conditioners, but you can find them in lots of moisturizers, cleansers, shaving creams, makeup, and so many other personal care products. Make sure to read the ingredient labels. There are so many different types of parabens. Typically, they end with “-paraben.” The most common include propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben.

Harmful Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products : skincare
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Learn more about parabens on EWG.

When you are checking to see if the product you are currently using has parabens search it HERE. It will give you a score from 1-10, 10 being the worst. This score is based on ALL the ingredients and will tell you how “clean” the product is. This is a really good resource if you are looking to stay away from harmful ingredients in cosmetics and beauty products. I have a post that includes my winter favorite haircare products that are free of parabens.

I just want to remind you that you do not have to only use products with a rating of 1. These products can be very pricey, and sometimes they do not work the way you want them to. I try to limit my exposure to more harmful ingredients in cosmetics and beauty products. But even I still need to use some products that may not be completely clear of ALL the harmful things out there.

paraben and sulfate shampoo
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Some brands that I love and are free of parabens include Raw Sugar, Shea Moisture, and Kevin Murphy. I like their haircare items because I do not want to risk premature balding. Also, my body tends to get irritated when I rise out shampoo or conditioner containing parabens.

2. Sulfates

Sulfates are another type of chemical that companies add to their products to create a lather. Many people associate cleaning with a nice lather, but just because there is no later does NOT mean there is no cleaning action going on.

The most common ones are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. If you want to avoid sulfates in your products, look for those names in the ingredient list. Sulfates can be found in many personal care cleaning products like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, facial cleansers, and many other things.

Winter Hair Care Products: shower set
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Sulfates in things like shampoos and body washes are controversial. While there is not a lot of evidence that this ingredient is actually toxic to the body, it can still irritate the skin. Because of my sensitivities, I like to stay away from sulfates.

At first, it was hard to get used to minimal to no lather, especially in my shampoo. But my hair still felt clean and fresh after. There has been some research indicating that sulfates may be the reason behind acne around the hairline. Learn more about sulfates here!

Some experts suggest that if you do not have sensitivity, then sulfates in your products are perfectly fine. But if you have sensitive skin, then you might want to think about switching to a sulfate-free product. I personally do not make my skin angry with the use of an irritating product like sulfates.

Again, look at the EWG site to see if the product you use includes sulfates, and you can also see what other products are free of harmful ingredients. Most of the time, companies that do not use parabens and sulfates are more likely to explicitly say that they are free of these elements.

Harmful Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products : sulfate free
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I have tried so many natural and clean products to see which ones I like the best. I like Raw Sugar shampoo, conditioners, and body washes.

The Shea moisture conditioner and leave-in conditioner work really well for my hair. Check out my current favorite winter hair care products and lines. Most of these are free of both parabens and sulfates. They rate low to moderate according to the EWG site.

A majority of big brand toothpaste has sulfates. That’s why you get so many bubbles when you brush your teeth. Because I am trying to reduce the use of sulfates, I switched my toothpaste to Earthpaste. This is a super clean and nontoxic product that I have been absolutely loving. It’s free of sulfates, so it does not foam, but my teeth still feel clean after using it. If you are looking to change your toothpaste to something more natural and nontoxic check it out Here!

3. Fragrance

clean products
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Fragrance makes you smell good! But how is it harmful to the body?

For people with sensitive skin or other skin conditions fragrance can make your skin condition worse. Especially in the wintertime, fragrance can increase dry skin and lead to more irritation.

Personal care products with super strong and artificial fragrances can be very bothersome to people with sensitive skin. It is an allergen, which may lead to contact dermatitis.

For me personally, I am ok with having minimal amounts of fragrance in things like shampoo, condition, and body wash. Because they are not on the skin for long periods of time, I am able to tolerate it.

Let me remind you that I have SUPER sensitive skin, but if you know you cannot handle it, then find a product that doesn’t have any fragrance to prevent any skin issues. On the ingredient list, you will either see “fragrance” or “perfume.”

The importance and benefits of good skincare: Treatments flatlay
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With lotion, I am very particular about the fragrance because it gets absorbed into the skin. When I use an overly fragranced product that absorbs into my skin, I break out like crazy!

In terms of fragrance, I think the hardest thing is to find a good moisturizing lotion that doesn’t smell bad. Some “fragrance-free” lotions may not have any perfume added to them, but they smell like feet! (EWW!) Companies should understand that most people do not want to smell like that the entire day, yet I have tried a lot of lotions that do not smell good.

I have found some lotions and moisturizers that are really hydrating, and are fragrance-free, or have very minimal scents. My top choice is Cerave. This one is super hydrating and good for both your face and your body. Not only is it sulfate and paraben free, but it also doesn’t have a scent.

It is nice and fresh, and perfect as a facial moisturizer or lotion. Since it is a cream, it’s thicker making it better for the harsh winter months. Some other options are by Aveeno and Raw Sugar.

During the winter, my top choice is the Cerave one. If you need more hydration tips for the winter season, check out my post, What is a body oil. I explain how I use body oils to help my skin stay hydrated!

But in the warmer months, I really like the Aveeno version because it is lighter on the skin, but still offers a lot of hydration. The Raw Sugar one is ok, but I think that the Aveeno and Cerave ones are so much better!

4. Essential Oils (directly on the face)

Harmful Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products: essential oils
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Essential oils are super useful for things like aromatherapy in a diffuser, but they are not the best things for the skin on the face. Our faces are more sensitive towards essential oils versus the skin on our bodies.

Many people like to use peppermint or tea tree essential oils directly on their faces, but because these oils are SO concentrated, putting them directly on your face may cause more irritation.

There has been research that suggests the consistent use of pure essential oils on the face leads to sensitivities in the future. Not just for the scent of the essential oil used, but for any kind of fragrance.

Using a small amount on your wrist would be better, as the skin on our bodies is more tolerable to these highly concentrated products. When thinking about skincare products, essential oils are usually used in such a small concentration that will not normally cause issues.

Many skincare companies use essential oils to make their products smell good. I try to avoid skincare products (going on the face) that have essential oils.

With my sensitive skin, I know I will end up breaking out and my face will be quite irritated. I really only use essential oils with a diffuser to help with air quality and provide a more relaxing environment.

Harmful Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products
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Although essential oils are not toxic to the body, they can be considered part of the harmful ingredients in cosmetics and beauty products. Due to the high concentration, they can lead to more skin sensitivities and irritation; especially if used directly on the face.

Remember that not all of these ingredients are toxic to the body. But ALL of them can be harmful, especially to those with sensitive skin. Skin irritation can result from using products with these ingredients.

Make sure to read the label so you can stay away from these harmful ingredients in cosmetics and beauty products.

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think about these harmful ingredients in cosmetics and beauty products? Which one surprised you the most? Are you going to switch out a certain product after learning what some of these ingredients can do to your skin? Have you tried any of these more natural products or brands, if so what is your favorite one? If you haven’t which one are you most excited to try?

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I AM NOT A LICENSED DERMATOLOGIST, ESTHETICIAN, OR ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSE. I AM NOT GIVING OUT ANY MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR OWN MEDICAL PROVIDER IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS. THIS POST IS INTENDED FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY AND TO PROVIDE INFORMATION BASED ON MY EXPERIENCES, AS A SELF-HELP TOOL FOR YOUR OWN USE. PARTICIPATION IS TOTALLY VOLUNTARY AND YOU ARE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN CHOICES, ACTIONS, AND RESULTS. ALY MONIQUE WILL NOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY OUTCOMES THAT MAY OCCUR FROM FOLLOWING THE ADVICE IN THIS POST. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL ATTAIN THE SAME RESULTS AS I DID. WHAT WORKS FOR ME MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU! AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE, I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT MY LEGAL PAGE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

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