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10 Chemicals to Avoid in Your Beauty Routine

10 Chemicals to Avoid in Your Beauty Routine


You now may know that it matters just as much what you put on your skin as what you eat. There are so many chemicals in beauty products for your hair, skin and nails. Some of them might not be as harmful as others. Here are some to avoid or think twice about using products with these chemicals in them:

  1. If a chemical ingredient ends in the word “paraben”, especially in a shampoo, lotion or makeup product, try to avoid it. They are preservatives that make products last longer but have been shown to screw with your hormones and cause a risk of breast cancer.
  2. Look for these names: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, 1,4 Dioxane and quarternium-15. This human carcinogen can be found in certain hair products and nail polishes. It can cause asthma if inhaled and can be very toxic.
  3. This vague word can mean many different chemicals. It can be found in any product with a scent and you never know what it is exactly. Common synthetic fragrances can make your hormones go out of whack and give you an increased risk of cancer.
  4. Propylene Glycol. This basically means antifreeze. It alters skin structure so chemicals can penetrate deeper and is found in many cosmetics and other products. It has been shown to cause reproductive, nervous system and brain damage in animal studies.
  5. Coal Tar Dyes. Look for CI and a 5-digit number found in hair dye, lipstick and other cosmetics. It is derived from petroleum and can cause cancer and neurotoxicity.
  6. It is found in powder products, so think loose powders, eye shadows, pressed powders, etc. It is toxic and linked to cancer.
  7. Mineral oil. This doesn’t sound too scary, but it is a crude oil from the distillation of petroleum. Just like formaldehyde, it is a human carcinogen. It can be found in lotions, creams, cosmetics or ointments.
  8. Aluminum Zirconium. Look for anything with aluminum found in antiperspirants. It has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer. It is also a toxin that can affect your respiratory and neurological systems.
  9. Sodium Laureth or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It is found in skin care and cosmetics and car cleaners and engine degreasers. Do you really want the same chemicals on your face that go into your car? This chemical has been linked to skin, eye and liver damage. It can also be toxic to the environment.
  10. BHA and BHT or look for Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluen. It is most commonly found in moisturizers and makeup products. It can interfere with your normal reproductive system and thyroid hormone levels. It has also been shown to cause changing pigments in skin, liver damage and stomach cancer in animal studies.

Check out your skin care products and cosmetics and see how many chemical ingredients are really in there. Are any of them on this list? If we challenge the companies that produce these products, companies will listen and make products with healthier alternatives. Look for products that have less ingredients, are organic or natural and simply use less products. Your body and mind will thank you.

Share with us! What products did you ditch or do you not believe these chemicals are as bad as some say?

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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