3 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Beauty Products

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Hidden Toxins: How to Find Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Your Personal Care Products

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September 3, 2015

There are many chemicals that are found in personal care products that we expose ourselves and our families to everyday. Many of these chemicals cause skin irritations, immune suppression, and even cancer. Some of the most common undesirable chemicals commonly found in personal care products are parabens, phthalates, and sodium laurel sulfate.


Parabens, such as methylparaben or propylparaben, are suspected of causing changes at the cellular level that make our bodies more susceptible to developing certain kinds of cancer; in fact parabens have been found inside tumors that were extracted from female breast tissue.


Phthalates are softening agents used in plastics and are used in everything from home furnishings (flooring and wallpaper) and children’s items (bottles, squeeze toys, and teethers) to packaging materials (disposable bottles, plastic food wrap). Studies have shown that exposure to phthalates may cause immune suppression, endocrine disruption (an endocrine disruptor is a synthetic chemical that when absorbed into the body either mimics or blocks hormones and disrupts the body’s normal functions), reproductive and developmental harm, and even cancer. Recent studies have recently also linked phthalates to allergies and asthma. Exposure in humans occurs by ingestion and inhalation as well as by direct skin contact.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a foaming agent used in many products, including shampoo, hand soap, and even toothpaste. It is absorbed into the body from skin applications and one of the major effects of Sodium laurel sulfate is the ability to mimic the activity of estrogen, which is linked to PMS and breast cancer, as well as the dropping rates of male fertility. Sodium laurel sulfate, as well as its chemical relative sodium laureth sulfate, are commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen. Sodium laurel sulfate is used in over 90% of shampoos, and is linked to hair loss.

With all the scary information that is out there, you may be wondering what you can do to help protect yourself and your family. There are several important steps that you can take:

  • Read ingredient labels. Avoid ingredients that contain the word “phthalate” or any of its abbreviations: DBP, DEP, DEHP, DMP, or BZBP.
  • Avoid the word “fragrance” as this is a combination of compounds, usually containing phthalates.
  • Educate yourself on ingredients and chemical so you can make healthy choices in the products that you purchase.

This is just a small amount of information on why we should buy chemical-free whenever possible. The internet (and this website! 🙂 ) is a great resource to look up ingredients and to get educated on the chemicals you and your family are exposed to every day. I will also be posting more information about these topics here on my blog.

Get My Free Guide!

Hidden Toxins: How to Find Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Your Personal Care Products

Get the Guide>>