It’s no surprise that many chemicals we ingest or breathe-in are harmful to our health. But did you know there are an alarming amount of toxic chemicals we use every day in our beauty and household products without being aware of the impacts they have on our health? Click here to read why. For that reason more and more people are making the switch to healthy non-toxic beauty and household products. But how do you know if your favourite product is truly non-toxic, and what should you look for on the label? After-all many of the ingredients lists are long and contain compounds that are hard enough to pronounce let alone understand. Unfortunately claims such as “natural”, “vegan”, “clean”, “green”, “organic”, or “non-toxic” doesn’t necessarily make it safe. Keep reading and I’ll help you find out if your product meets the list.
Let’s first start off with a list of common potentially harmful and/or irritating chemicals. Go ahead and grab some of your favourite beauty products and see if they contain any of these ingredients I’ve listed below in alphabetical order. Just a little warning that this list can be slightly overwhelming. I don’t expect you to avoid all of these ingredients at once, or at all if you choose not to. But I do think it’s important for you to look into these chemicals more and know what is in your products, especially if you have current health condition such as hormonal imbalances or chronic inflammatory conditions. These chemicals might just be the root of your problems, or at the very least not helping your health.
30 Common Potentially Harmful Chemicals in Beauty & Household Products:
- Benzalkomium Chloride
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Bisphenol – A (BPA), BPS
- BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), Toluene, BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
- Carbon Black
- Coal Tar Dye, P – Phenylenediamine (Colours listed as “CI”, “FD&C,” or “D&C”)
- Dibutyl Phthalate, Phthalates, DHP, DBP5, DEHP
- Formaldehyde – Releasing Preservatives (DMDM Hydantoin, Quanternium-15, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methenamine)
- Gluten, Hydrolized Wheat Protein, Wheatgerm
- Heavy Metals (Nickel, Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Mercury, etc)
- Para – Aminobenzoic Acid, PABA, Benzphenone, Avobenzone, Ethoxycinnamate
- Parabdens (Ethyl, Butyl, Methyl, Propyl, Isobutyl, Methyl)
- Paraphenylenediamine (PPD)
- PEG (Polyethylene Glycol), Dioxane; 1,4 Dioxane (Ingredients ending with eth/oxynol like Ceteareth)
- Petroleum, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Petrochemical (Paraffins ending in “anol” such as isopropyl alcohol, isopropanol, methyl alcohol, methanol, butyl alcohol, butanol, ethyl alcohol or ethanol)
- Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol
- Siloxanes (Cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane”)
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
- Sunscreens (Retinyl Palmitate, Oxybenzone and Octyl Methoxycinnamate)
- Synthetic Fragrances (Parfum, Fragrance)
- TEA, DEA, and MEA (Triethanolamine, Diethanolamine, Monoethanolamine, Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA
If you are like me you have discovered that many of your favourite products contain numerous of these chemicals. So what’s the next step? Of course I don’t expect you to throw out all of your products and start from scratch. Who has the time or money to invest in that? However here are a few tips I suggest to help you start making the switch to healthier products:
- Check your products on the EWG’s Cosmetic Database. This can help you decipher which of your products are the most toxic and which ones you might want to switch first. You can also search for individual ingredients you are wondering about to see how they rate on the toxicity scale.
- EWG (Environmental Working Group) recommends avoiding at least these top 5 harmful ingredients as a start:
- DMDM Hydantoin
- Diazolidinyl Urea
- Imidazolidinyl Urea
- PEG and Polyethylene
- Download EWG’s Healthy Living App and search their website for EWG Verified Products
- Consider switching to a healthier product as you run out of another or are ready to try something new.
- Copy the list above into your “notes” on your phone or print it off. That way when you are shopping for a new product you can check your list to see how it matches up. Look for samples to try first or travel sizes.
- Follow my tips here on the 3 products I suggest switching first.
- Do your research when looking for a new product. Read reviews and look for unbiased feedback from other users.
- Take your time when switching to new products. I have slowly been making the switch over the past year am and still experimenting/looking for the best products.
Of course keep following my blog and social media posts as I continue to test out new products and give reviews. Have a suggestion for me to try or looking for my feedback on a product? Leave me a comment below or fill out a contact form and I’ll get back to you soon.
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Naturally, Krissy – xo