Here is a list of 10 common cosmetic ingredients to avoid because they're harmful for your health. I originally drafted this list about 10 years ago for my first blog. Unfortunately, you will still find these toxic cosmetic ingredients in various mainstream skincare products.
The following list of synthetic skincare ingredients are allergens and skin irritants that are widely known to be toxic for people, animals, and the environment.
- Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea: The American Academy of Dermatology lists these chemicals as a primary cause of contact dermatitis.
- Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, and Butyl Paraben: Highly toxic chemicals known to cause allergic reactions, rosacea and skin rashes. The fact that parabens have been found in breast cancer tissue is enough reason for me read product labels. I never want to use anything containing parabens on my body ever again, nor do I want to support companies who continue to do so.
- Petrolatum aka Petroleum Jelly: A mineral oil jelly which leaches the vitamins and minerals from your body, promotes sun damage, and encourages with dry, chapped skin conditions. Look for un-petroleum jelly as a safe and natural alternative. Petroleum Jelly is a byproduct of gasoline production. Do you want to put that on your skin?
- Propylene Glycol: A cosmetic form of mineral oil found also found in automatic brake and hydraulic fluid and industrial antifreeze. Enough said, am I right?
- PVP/VA Copolymer: These are micro-plastics, chemical particles which have been found in the lung tissue of people with lung conditions.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: With an extensive list of allergic reactions such as eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, flaky scalp it is a wonder that this nasty chemical is still so widely used in everything from laundry soap to shampoo, bubble bath and just about every sudsing product on the market. Be aware of 'pseudo-natural' products disclaiming it's derived from coconut.
- Stearalkonium Chloride: A toxic chemical that is widely known to cause allergic reactions.
- Synthetic Colors: Widely believed to be cancer-causing agents.
- Synthetic Fragrances: These includes perfume, fragrance, fragrance oil and parfum. These are ubiquitous terms for a chemical substance which can contain up to 200 undisclosed ingredients. Common side-affects are headaches, dizziness, rash, hyper-pigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritation, more... Read more on synthetic fragrances on our post called ESSENTIAL OILS VS FRAGRANCE OILS.
- Diethanolamine (DEA): Known to be toxic to the immune system, an irritant to skin and may form carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Learn more in our interview with clean beauty expert Lauren Karapandzich who shares her real life story about exposure to toxic cosmetic ingredients, why she chose to "go green," her best tips on removing toxins from you skincare routine, and some easy ways to start living a more natural lifestyle.
SpaGoddess Apothecary and our parent company Angel Face Botanicals, Inc would NEVER use any of these chemicals in any of our products. This list of synthetic cosmetic ingredients to avoid was borrowed from the Organic Consumers Association from an article written by Aubrey Hampton. Additional resources can be found at the Natural Health Information Centre and Wikipedia.org.