Do you know what’s in your products?

Beauty Ingredients to Avoid

Foods with bad-for-you ingredients aren’t the only things we should avoid. The same is true for some of our favorite face washes, lotions and body scrubs. Here are some common culprits to be on the lookout for.
by Rona Berg (Spa Magazine)
beauty ingredients, makeup to avoid

Artifical Colors

  • WHAT IT IS: FD&C or D&C colors are made from coal tar derivatives.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: Listed by the EPA as human respiratory toxins, they are also considered allergens and skin irritants.
  • LOOK FOR: Colors from natural sources like annatto, beets, carrot, chlorophyll, and minerals like iron and mica.


  • WHAT IT IS: Banned in some countries, this is a skin-lightening agent known to cause DNA damage and liver cancer.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: It can cause serious skin irritation, swelling and thick skin.
  • LOOK FOR: Kojic acid, licorice extract (glycyrrhizinate) and soy proteins.


  • WHAT IT IS: Parabens are synthetic preservatives (like propylparaben) found in creams, lotions and makeup.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: Though controversial, recent studies have shown that parabens can mimic estrogen in the body, and have been linked to breast and ovarian cancer.
  • LOOK FOR: Paraben-free


  • WHAT IT IS: Sulfates (like sodium myreth-sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate) are harsh detergents found in cleansers and toothpaste.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: At even low-use concentration, they can cause skin and eye irritation as well as penetrate deep into the skin.
  • LOOK FOR: Castile soap, yucca extract, soap bark extract and coco glucoside


  • WHAT IT IS: Toluene (a.k.a. methyl-benzene) is a solvent in nail polish that helps create a smooth application.
  • WHY IT’S BAD: Inhalation can irritate the respiratory tract, and cause headaches and insomnia. Stored in fat tissue, it may lead to developmental delays or attention deficit in children of women with chronic exposure.
  • LOOK FOR: Toluene, formaldehyde or DB-free

*Source: Spa Magazine

Did you know that approximately 60 percent of topical skin care products are easily absorbed into our skin and often into the bloodstream? This is why it is important to check the ingredients in products before you purchase them. Don’t just look at the cool packaging or the enticing aroma.

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