Trading in your mainstream beauty products for natural, chemical-free formulations is one of the very best things you can do for your health. Mainstream beauty products are notorious for containing harmful ingredients including phthalates, parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, fragrances and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Luckily, natural alternatives have come a long way and these days you can easily swap your mainstream beauty products for ones that cleaner, healthier, eco-friendlier and best of all, just as effective as their mainstream counterparts. Here is the scoop on the toxic ingredients commonly used in beauty products along with our top picks for natural alternatives:
Mainstream Beauty Products commonly contain the following toxic ingredients:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS): Can combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a known carcinogen. SLS has also irritating to the lungs, skin and eyes.
- Petroleum and mineral derived ingredients: This type of oil suffocates the skin, making it difficult for the skin to “breathe” and thus disrupting the body’s natural detoxification process. It also ages the skin prematurely by slowing the renewal rate of skin and damaging collagen, connective tissue and elastin. Petrolatum has also been linked to increased cancer rates.
- DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (momoethnanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine): DEA can combine with other ingredients in beauty products to form an extremely potent carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA). NDEA is easily absorbed through the skin and has been linked with stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers.
- Parabens: have been shown to disrupt hormones and mimic estrogen and have been associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
- Phthalates: Known endocrine disruptors that have been linked to breast cancer and birth defects.
- Propylene Glycol (PG): Allergic reactions and skin irritations, especially in people with eczema.
- Synthetic Fragrance: Fragrance mixes have been linked to allergic reactions, respiratory problems, skin conditions and adverse effects on reproductive health.
- Talc: Linked to respiratory issues and increased risk for Ovarian Cancer.
- Triclosan: Has been shown to irritate skin and disrupt thyroid and reproductive hormones.
- BHA and BHT: Can cause allergic reactions on the skin and is classified as a possible carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Cancer. There is also evidence that these preservatives interfere with hormone function.
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRP’s): Is a known carcinogen and has linked to increased risk of cancer, allergic reactions and compromised immunity. This ingredient has been banned in the EU.
- Coal Tar Dyes: This known carcinogen has been banned in the EU, but is still used in North America
Our Top Picks for Natural Alternatives
From left to right: Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser $9.99, Josh Rosebrook Tinted Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30 $55, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil $35, Acure Day Cream $16.99
From left to right: Heritage Products Rosewater (Toner) $4.80, Thayer's Witch Hazel (Toner)$8.76, Weleda Age Defying Eye Cream $24, Kahina Eye Serum $78
From left to right: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask $58, Pangea Organics Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai and Goji Berry Face Mask $50, Acure Cell Stimulating Face Mask $8.49, Celsus Bio-Intelligence Scar Cream $19.99
From left to right: Jane Iredale Collection prices vary, Acure Organics Argan Oil and Almond Shampoo and Conditioner $9.99/each, Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner $32/each
From left to right: Primal Life Organics Sweet Hair Spray $19.99, Dr. Bronners Pure-Castile Bar Soaps $3.99, Acure Organics Firming Body Lotion $9.99, Nutiva Coconut Oil $19.99
From left to right: Natures Gate Fluoride-free toothpaste $3.99, Clear Conscience Multi-purpose solution $10.99, Crystal Body Lavender & White Tea Deodorant Spray $3.99, Earth Science Tree Tree & Lavender Deodorant $6
From left to right: Badger Balm Tinted Zinc Oxide Sunscreen $13.59, Raw Elements Eco Formula SPF 30 $17, Nano Botanicals Clear Zinc Oxide Sunscreen SPF 30 $19.95