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Five Common Beauty Product Ingredients to Avoid

You might have heard already and it’s true - beauty products often have some ingredients that you want to avoid putting on your skin.  Growing up I always thought the expensive beauty products were doing something to help my hair and skin.  Now I know that there are quite a few common ingredients that I need to avoid.

Chemicals designed for cleaning automobile grease and softening fabrics are in your face creams and hair products.  Even though many are known toxins, the beauty industry is highly unregulated and oftentimes these unhealthy options are the cheapest for production so they continue to be common ingredients.  However, with some careful review of product labels you can reduce your exposure and start purchasing healthier options. 

Five Common Beauty Product Ingredients to Avoid:

1. Parabens

These are commonly found in makeup and beauty products of all kinds.  They are widely used preservatives and the second most common ingredient in skin care products (after water).  Let me get straight to the point – they are commonly found in lotions and parabens have been shown to make the skin actually age faster and are also a suspected cancer causing element.  Also found in sunscreen, shampoos, shaving gel, toothpaste and more.  Read my other article for more about parabens

Can be listed as: butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben

2. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

Commonly used in bath products like shampoo and shower gel, they are sulfate-based detergents.  Uff.. these guys are pretty nasty – listen to what they really are – they are pesticides commonly used to kill plants and insects.   They can cause corrosion and also can be found in de-greasers and floor cleaners, not to mention that they emit toxic fumes when heated (I’m assuming you probably take hot showers –right?) It is a known skin irritant and pollutant for groundwater.  The production of SLS is toxic for the environment and for you. Gross.

Can be listed as:  sodium lauryl ether sulfate, sodium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl ether sulphate

3. Diethanolamine (DEA) or Triethanolamine (TEA)

These ingredients are used to make products (like mousse) foam up.  They are highly toxic if absorbed by the body over long periods of use – they have resulted in cancer tumors in lab animals.   Can cause damage to your eyes if it comes in contact (ever gotten mousse in your eye – it burns, right? Not good, not good).  Stay away from these as much as possible.

4. Stearalkonium Chloride

A toxic chemical that was originally designed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener. Now it can be found in hair conditioners – makes sense that if it can soften fabric it can soften your hair. Well, it also is doing a lot of damage and only giving short-term results.  In the long run your hair will be damaged and your skin can become irritated as well.  It’s popular because it is much cheaper to produce than natural conditioning ingredients such as proteins.

5. Diazolidinyl/Imidazolidinyl Urea

A big long name is never a good sign, if you ask me.  Commonly used in lotions, this chemical actually dries and irritates the skin.  Unfortunately these heavy-duty chemicals can trigger more serious skin problems like contact dermatitis.  Exposure can also result in headaches, fatigue, and even depression.