Healthy Tip Tuesday – Ingredients to Avoid in Skin Care


I’ve been doing some research on cosmetics and skin care products recently as I’m beginning to realize that a healthy diet is only part of the solution to an entirely healthy lifestyle. What we put on our face and bodies is equally as important. I used to read these kinds of blog posts and think ‘ok.. that’s a bit extreme’ or ‘yea right, eating healthy is enough of a life change thanks’. But really, if you stop and think about it – it’s not enough. Your skin in the biggest organ you’ve got and it absorbs everything you put on it. everything. I’ve realized now that to maintain optimal health I need to be as kind to the outside of my body as I am to the inside.

Now, let me also say that I am still currently using my cosmetics and you’re not a bad person for using make up and scented lotions – but we can make a choice and begin to wean ourselves off these harmful substances to more natural products that will allow our skin to breathe, flourish and glow. This is more of an informative post for anyone looking to make the change to more natural skin care products. I am currently transitioning my makeup bag to more natural products and have already changed my skin care regime! Coconut oil, sweet almond oil and apple cider vinegar are not only staples in my kitchen pantry, they’ve now found a permanent place on my bathroom vanity.


I actually can’t state enough what a good diet and natural skin care can do for you. My skin is now soft, glowing and I hardly deal with breakouts or imperfections. I know once I make the leap of faith to natural cosmetics I’ll see even greater results!


So here we go.. What to avoid in cosmetics and skin care products:

  1.  BHA-BHT
    Can be found in: Moisturizers & Makeup as a preservative
    Toxic Effects: Used as a preservative. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA)
  2. Coal Tar Dyes
    Can Be found in: Hair dye
    Toxic Effects: Contain heavy metal salts that are toxic for the skin and can cause sensitivity and irritation. This substance has the potential to cause cancer and is also toxic for our brains 
    Look for: p-phenylenediamine and colors listed as ‘CI’ followed by 5 numbers  
  3. DEA (MEA & TEA)
    Can be found in: creamy and foaming products such as shampoo and soaps
    Toxic Effects: Is a skin & eye irritant and is easily absorbed. Can also react to form nitrosamines, which can cause cancer
    Look for: Diethanolamine, Monoethanolamine, Triethanolamine
  4. Urea & DMDM Hydantoin
    Can be found in: A variety of Cosmetics as a preservative
    Toxic Effects: Releases formaldehyde which can cause cancer, skin reactions, headaches, depression & dizziness
    Look for: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15
  5. Parabens
    Can be found in: A variety of Cosmetics such as deodorant, as a preservative
    Toxic Effects: Endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions. Has been found in breast cancer tumors
    Look for: Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl
  6. PEG
    Can be found in: Cream based cosmetics such as liquid foundations and sunscreen
    Toxic Effects:  Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer
    Look for: Polyethylene Glycol
  7. Petrolatum
    Can be found in: Hair products for shine and a  moisture barrier in lip balm, lip stick and moisturizers
    Toxic Effects: Causes Cancer. Must be handled in lab with extreme care (gloves, goggles & can only be disposed of by burying)
    Look for: Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol
  8. Siloxane/Methicone
    Can be found in: Cosmetics to soften, smooth & moisten
    Toxic Effects: Suspected endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane)
    Look for: ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone”
  9. Sodium Lauryl (Laureth) Sulfate
    Can be found in: foaming cleansers such as shampoo, soaps & bubble bath
    Toxic Effects: Eye & skin irritation (and damage), depression & even diarrhea
    Look for:  related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate)
  10. Triclosan
    Can be found in: Antibacterial products, Toothpaste & Antipersperants
    Toxic Effects: Suspected endocrine disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. EPA registers Triclosan as a pesticide posing risks for human health
    Look for: Chlorophenol
  11. Benzoyl Peroxide
    Can be found in: Acne Products
    Toxic Effects: Increases tumor growth, causes DNA damage, toxic by inhalation
  12. Phthalates
    Can be found in: Nail products
    Toxic Effects: Damage to kidney/liver, birth defects, decreased sperm count
    Look for: Dibutyl phthalate


Take this as you will, for most of us it is a very difficult switch to make and many out there simply won’t make that choice. It is entirely up to you, but I hope this information serves helpful to those who are looking to live a healthier life inside and out.

Some great additional resources I found were at Mind Body Green & 
**Please note not all ingredients in all skin care products were listed, this is a general guideline to some of the main and major ingredients found in commonly used products.

xx KTV


Leave a Reply