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Look out for the “dirty dozen” — 12 ingredients to avoid in your beauty products

We live in a world where damaging chemicals are everywhere. They’re in the air we breathe and even in the beauty and health products we put in our mouths and on our skin. Who needs those added nasty chemicals and toxins invading our bodies from the products we use to make ourselves beautiful? Navigating the world of health and wellness, I have been trying to find beauty products that do not contain these toxins and chemicals.

First, look out for the “Dirty Dozen” of beauty products. These can be in any number of products including shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, lotions, makeup; you name it! If you see these on the label, beware! Especially if they are shown in the first few ingredients because generally ingredients are listed in order of quantity used in the product.

1. BHA and BHT
2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number
3. DEA-related ingredients
4. Dibutyl phthalate
5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
6. Parabens
7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
8. PEG compounds
9. Petrolatum
10. Siloxanes
11. Sodium laureth sulfate
12. Triclosan

You may argue that these chemicals may not be enough to really do anything to us or give us cancer. We are just slathering them on our skin or in our hair right? It isn’t like we are ingesting the toxic substances. But did you know that your skin absorbs about 64% of what you put on it? That’s a pretty scary thought.

So what can you do to limit the amount of chemicals you put into your body? Look for labels such as organic or chemical free. Don’t be fooled by labels like “natural” or a play on words like “Organix”. Most of these products want you to think they don’t contain toxins, but if you read the ingredients they aren’t any better.

Find a great organic or natural brand that you can trust. For example, I like Bubble and Bee, Lush, and Juice Beautybecause they carry organic, vegan and all natural products. They worry about things like limiting chemicals and no testing on animals. If

you’re worried about these types of brands being more expensive, don’t stress too much. Sometimes it can be pricier, but remember that most of these products don’t use as much water and will often last ten times longer than traditional products. I’ve found that organic products aren’t so much pricier that it turns me away.

If you’re really worried about what goes in products and saving money at the same time, try some DIY beauty recipes. Surf Pinterest or other websites for ways to make your own lotions, scrubs and much more! Then you know exactly what ingredients are going in it and they often only contain a few household items which will in turn save you a lot of cash.

The bottom line is that these makeup and beauty companies often lie to you: they use toxic chemicals to help them make claims like “fight age” or “become beautiful with just this product”. Your health is much more important. Focus on finding products that are organic, do not contain the “Dirty Dozen” of beauty products and are more focused on the health of you and your environment.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing