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Top Five Chemicals In Skincare You Should Be Avoiding

Posted by Miri Elm on

For a product to be considered food grade, it must go through a multitude of tests and checks in order to make it on the shelves. The rationale behind this is that, obviously, what we put in our mouth directly translates to how our bodies feel and look. We go to the store and buy organic fruit, checking the labels of every single product in order to make sure we are putting optimal nutrients in our bodies.

What most women often forget is the skin. The current regulations for what goes into the beauty products we put on our faces and bodies is appalling. Drugstore products and even high-end skincare products are riddled with parabens, synthetic colors, and artificial fragrances that reportedly certain cancer strains.The industry is extremely unregulated. There are really no standards for what is absorbed into our skin, which can have as much as 10x the effect of what we put in our mouths because it avoids the digestive tract. Here are the top 5 chemicals that you should be avoiding at all costs when you purchase beauty products.


This chemical, used as a preservative, is particularly prevalent in nail polish, nail treatments, and hair color products. It may cause cancer and is suspected as a contributor to endocrine disruptors.


The most commonly used preservative in almost all cosmetic products, used to prevent the growth of bacteria and yeast in cosmetic products. It is suspected that parabens interfere with male reproductive function and have been associated with breast cancer due to their estrogenic properties. This chemical is particularly dangerous in body moisturizers due to the high quantity of product applied consistently over time.


Unfortunately, creating fragrance the natural way is extremely expensive. It takes over 2,000 pounds of rose petals to create one pound of rose oil to use in perfumes. In an effort to cut costs, many fragrance and cosmetic companies use a synthetic concoction that is riddled with chemicals. Most of these chemicals have never been tested for any form of toxicity, alone or in combination. Fragrances are considered to be company secrets, so perfumers are not required to release the chemical formulas they use in their fragrances. But beware, depending on the combination, they are thought to cause irritation, respiratory distress, and even severe allergic reactions. If you have recently started using a perfume and find you are fatigued or have unexplained skin issues, it may be due to fragrances in your cosmetics. Specifically; perfume, conditioner, body moisturizers.


Petrolatum, otherwise known as petroleum jelly or Vaseline, is heralded as one of the oldest and most effective beauty products. Women use it as an anti-aging eye cream, all over body moisturizer, and lip balm. Petrolatum can be contaminated with polycystic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which have been linked to different kinds of cancers after prolonged use on large areas of the body. Specifically, using the product by itself as opposed to as a component of other (using Vaseline as opposed to a moisturizer that contains petrolatum) exacerbates the effect tremendously.


Deemed as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens and can be found in nail polishes, hair care products, eye shadows, and body washes. It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and it is possible it may affect the immune system. 

It is of course almost impossible to avoid all harsh chemicals in the beauty products that you use, but what goes on your skin is perhaps the most important. The dermis absorbs the chemicals in skincare products without the help of the digestive system to break them down. 

We would love to hear from you, send us your feedback on the skincare you use, have you had any problems? Is going organic the way to go? 

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