Detox Your Skin Part II: Three ingredients to avoid

I've been sharing lots of information about the toxic ingredients in conventional cosmetics and skin care products this month - it's a big part of the reason I started to make my own skin care products, and if you're reading this, you're probably considering making your own or purchasing natural options like Angelica & Peony. In an earlier article, I suggest 4 easy swaps to make that would eliminate many of the most dangerous chemicals from your daily routine. On last week's TCMTalk, I covered three of the nastiest chemicals that are found in many products, and wanted to share that info with you here on the blog (watch the episode here).

Some facts: (I'm trying a new thing where you can tweet info directly from the article - click the birdie to tweet!)

  • @@The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 chemicals every day@@
  • @@Less than 20% of the chemicals in American personal care products have been assessed for safety by the industry@@
  • @@Only 11 chemicals are banned for use in skin care in the US, compared to 1, 328 in the EU@@

Do we have to prove to a scientific certainty that a chemical is dangerous in order to want to avoid it? NO! There are completely safe and natural alternatives - what is the risk in NOT exposing ourselves?

The Gruesome Threesome (these are just a few of the chemicals found in common products. Check out for more information on this issue and the science behind this article)


Where are they found: this family of chemicals is found in shampoos, lotions and washes that contain water, where they act to prevent microbe growth

What's the concern: reproductive and hormonal disruption, cancer link.

Extra ick factor: @@Parabens are found in the urine of virtually all US adults, and at higher concentrations in women@@ Parabens have also been found in breast cancer tumours and inbreast tissue. They cross through the skin and into the body.

BHA and BHT:

Where are they found: used as a preservative in makeup, skin care, shampoos, deodorant, sunscreen

What's the concern: endocrine disruption and organ toxicity. both the European Union and Environment Canada concluded that there is a strong link to endocrine disruption and toxicity in mammals and banned or restricted these chemicals.


Where are they found: listed under many names including phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP and fragrance. Under US regulations ‘fragrance’ can be listed on products without the ingredients specified, and generally contains a variety of chemicals that you don't want to come in contact with. In general avoid products that list ‘fragrance’

What's the concern: Cancer and reproductive harm. The male reproductive system is especially vulnerable, and baby boys can be exposed in the womb or through breast milk.

There’s more if you can stand it - check out Chemicals of Concern from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics for an ingredient breakdown

Check out my article for how to start swapping your conventional skin care for non-toxic alternatives. It’s easier than you think!


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