7 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Beauty Products

Did you know there are tons of scary ingredients lurking in your beauty products? As someone devoted to taking care of my skin, I often look for words like “natural” or “organic” on the products I buy. But I recently discovered that these labels don’t always mean the items are free of toxic ingredients. Misleading much?

The good news: I’ve come up with a list of the 7 ingredients you should steer clear of in your makeup and skincare purchases to help protect your skin and overall health.


1. Talc

Also known as hydrous magnesium silicate, talc is basically like asbestos (and we all know how great that stuff is!). Talc acts as a filler and is mostly in products like baby powder, eye shadow, and face powder. It’s used to keep products from caking, but talc has actually been known to cause tumors and acne!

My face has cleared up so much since I switched to a talc-free face powder. A good alternative to these products are ones made from cornstarch or mineral or rice powders. Check out the Bare Minerals  line of products or Physician’s Formula Mineral Face Powder  from Ulta. Both even say talc-free on the packaging!


2. Parabens

It’s pretty hard to avoid parabens; they’re actually in almost 90% of beauty products. But they’ve been linked to breast cancer, can disrupt estrogen levels, and could potentially alter your body’s metabolism, so it’s still a good idea to find products that don’t include this chemical preservative. Parabens are used to stop fungus and bacteria from growing in your creams or makeup, but there are still some totally great parabens-free items out there. Burt’s Bees products  and tarte Cosmetics   are always a good option; they’re all made without parabens.

Alas, it might be hard to completely eliminate parabens from your life. Try to use items that have parabens low on the ingredient list, so you can at least limit your exposure to the stuff.


3. Sulfates

Sodium lauryl sulfates are extremely dangerous, and yet they’re included in personal care products. Studies have found they lead to eye damage and liver toxicity (although some still stay the levels we’re exposed to are too low to cause any real harm.)  Sulfates are commonly found in  hair products like shampoo. Just to be on the safe side, try Alterna ’s line of hair products to keep your locks sulfate-free. My favorite shampoo for color treated hair is Alterna’s Bamboo Vibrant Color Hold Shampoo.


4. Phthalates

Phthalates are nasty chemicals that can actually disrupt your endocrine system. This leads to all sorts of terrible things like damaged kidneys and lungs, reproductive problems, and can possibly increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Shockingly enough, this ingredient can still be found in tons of different cosmetics and skincare items. You can avoid phthalates by choosing Neutrogena’s Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub  or Olay products .

5. Synthetic Fragrances & Dyes

These chemicals are used to make cosmetics more attractive to our eyes and noses. However, many of the dyes are linked to causing some types of cancer. Synthetic fragrances can also cause nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Yikes! You can find lots of great products that omit synthetic fragrances and dyes, like Yes to Carrots Super Rich Body Butter .


6. Mineral Oils

At first I was thrown off, because minerals sound like a good, natural thing. But mineral oils actually come from the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. Gross. These oils are used in some lotions and cold creams, but they’re actually linked to clogged pores and acne. Some believe that mineral oils can act as carcinogens (the agents that cause cancer). Burt’s Bees products  never contain mineral oils, and you can also try L’Oreal True Match Naturale Mineral Finish powder to avoid exposure.


7. Propylene Glycol

This chemical is most often found in deodorants and other personal care items. It’s also in antifreeze! Propylene glycol has been linked to tons of skin problems (like inflammation and rashes). Luckily, Maybelline makes their products without the chemical (including the Eye Studio Color Eyeshadows ). For skincare, you can check out products by Eucerin or Aveeno.

Who knows what other kinds of disgusting stuff is hiding in your beauty products? At least you can avoid these ingredients and protect yourself from some chemicals. I love shopping on Ulta’s website  because they make it super easy to search and filter products by ingredients to avoid.


You can even save money on your natural products by using an Ulta coupon code . Get great savings and protect yourself from toxic ingredients at the same time!

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