Ingredients to Avoid in Your Beauty Products

This page is dedicated to inform readers of the dangers of toxic chemicals in products including - but not limited to - shampoo, conditioner, lotion, makeup and more. You should be aware of what you put on your body as most of it is absorbed by your skin and enters your bloodstream flowing through your whole body. I use EWG as a guide for myself and this page to help others. There is an EWG hazard key at the bottom of this post.

*This is my personal opinion and is only meant to inform you. It is not meant to persuade you what to buy, use or do as I do. Do your own research and decide for yourself what ingredients/products you want to use. *


It takes your skin about 26 seconds to absorb what you put on it...

Benzoyl Peroxide: Used in acne products, the MSDS states: Possible tumor promoter. May act as mutagen; produces DNA damage in human and other mammalian cells. Also, toxic by inhalation. Eye, skin and respiratory irritant. 

DEA (Diethanolamine)MEA (Monoethanolamine)TEA (Triethanolamine): This foam booster is a skin/eye irritant and causes contact dermatitis. Easily absorbed through skin to accumulate in body organs and the brain. 

Dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS): a silicon oil that coats the skin trapping everything underneath it. This includes bacteria, sebum, etc. This thin rubber-like coating interferes with skin’s natural processes, like sweating, temperature regulating, sloughing off dead skin cells, etc. Non-biodegradable. Also known as: Methicone, Phenyl trimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol, Dimethicone copolyol. Not to be confused with Amodimethicone which rates a 1 on EWG. 

Dioxin: Won't appear in ingredients. Often in antibacterial ingredients like triclosan, emulsifiers, PEGs and ethoxylated cleansers like Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Dioxin causes cancer, reduced immunity, nervous system disorders, miscarriages and birth deformity. 

Disodium EDTA: Increases absorbsion of products into the skin. When combined with toxic ingredients it can be very harmful. 

DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl): 2 preservatives that release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, cancer, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness and insomnia. 

FD&C Color & Pigments: Synthetic colors from coal tar contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins in skin, causing skin sensitivity/irritation. Absorption can cause depletion of oxygen and death. Animal studies show almost all are carcinogenic. 

Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl): Used as preservatives. Not always labeled. Used in deodorants and other skin care products, have been found in breast cancer tumors. May contribute to sterility in males, hormone imbalance in females and early puberty. 

PEG (Polyethylene Glycol): Made by ethoxylating Propylene Glycol. Dangerous levels of dioxin have been found as a by-product of the ethoxylation process. PEGs are in everything including personal care, baby care and sunscreens. 

Phenoxyethanol: A chemical preservative, a glycol ether all forms of personal care products. In Japan and the EU, its usage level in cosmetic products is restricted to concentrations of up to 1%. Irritation to skin, eyes, or lungs. Has a rating of 4 on EWG. 

Phthalates: Found in many products, usually not listed on labels. Health effects include damage to liver/kidneys, birth defects, decreased sperm counts and early breast development in girls and boys. 

Propylene Glycol (PG) Butylene Glycol: petroleum plastics. EPA considers PG so toxic it requires gloves, clothing, goggles and disposal by burning. EPA warns against skin contact to prevent brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and 90% of personal-care products that foam. Eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, skin irritation and death. 

Sunscreen chemicals: Avobenzone, benzphenone, ethoxycinnamate, PABA are commonly used ingredients that are known free radical generators and are believed to damage DNA or lead to cancers. 

Tetrasodium EDTA: A water softener and preservative. Concerns are cancer, enhanced skin absorbsion, organ system toxicity and irritation (due to animal studies that showed skin irritation at low doses). It is classified as a high human health priority and expected to be toxic or harmful.

Triclosan: Synthetic antibacterial ingredient. EPA registers it as a pesticide, posing risks to human health and environment. Classified as a chlorophenol, chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. 

So, what's in your products?