5 Toxic Chemicals You Don't Want Lurking in Your Beauty Products

Written by Amir Tajer


Posted on July 28 2021

When you're looking for the best body lotion to add to your skin care routine, you may focus on the described benefits and skip reading the ingredients list, but doing so could mean exposing yourself to dangerous toxins.

Here are five chemicals that you should be on the lookout for:

1. Parabens

Makeup items on a multicolored surface

There are a number of parabens in beauty products, including butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben.

You can easily spot them by looking for the "-paraben" in their names.

Manufacturers add them to cosmetics, skin care products and perfumes because they work as preservatives, reducing the growth of bacteria and mold.

Unfortunately, parabens can penetrate the skin and may have the potential to harm you just as they do unwanted microbes.

Some studies have found that parabens can disrupt the body's proper hormonal balance, leading to reproductive problems and some forms of estrogen-related cancers.

2. Formaldehyde

Red nail polish manicure

That's right. The same stuff that is used as an embalming agent may be hiding in your beauty products especially nail polishes and hair styling aids.

Exposure to formaldehyde fumes can lead to eye irritation and breathing problems in the short term, and scientists have discovered that the ingredient is a carcinogen, meaning that it contributes to some forms of cancer.

In addition to searching for the word "formaldehyde" on labels, look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.

These preservatives have all been found to release formaldehyde.

3. Parfum

Pink perfume bottle

Also known as fragrance, parfum is a general term for the more than 3,000 chemicals used to give perfumes, skin care products and cosmetics their pleasant scents.

While they may smell pretty, these ingredients can cause allergic reactions in some people.

There is also evidence to suggest that parfum may worsen migraine headaches and symptoms of asthma.

Don't assume that a fragrance-free product is free of parfum, because manufacturers are known to sometimes sneak the ingredient in to make other scents.

4. Coal Tar Dyes

Lady getting her hair dyed

Made from petroleum, coal tar has been identified as a carcinogen, but this hasn't stopped many beauty brands from using it as a pigment in cosmetics.

P-phenylenediamine is one commonly used coal tar dye that can be found in hair dyes.

Also steer clear of any product that lists FD&C or D&C plus a number or color, as these are other versions of the potentially toxic dye.

5. PEG Compounds

3 Bottles of Different Shower Gels

Like coal tar, PEGs or polyethylene glycols are derived from petroleum and easily identifiable by the letters "eth" in their names.

Companies often add them to products to make formulas thicker and to act as moisturizing agents in body lotions and creams.

They can be found in skin creams, lotions, soaps, hair products and shower gels, though these are not the only items you can find them in.

When PEGs are manufactured a certain way, they can contain ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, two known carcinogens.

Avoiding Potential Toxins

 Magnesium chloride USP with Epsom Salt essential oils natural bug repellent spray and body lotion

A simple way to ensure that you don't end up slathering toxic chemicals onto your skin is to make the switch to natural skin care products.

At Greenway Biotech, we're here to make the transition easy.

Our Bee-tanical Body Balm and Solene Foot Cream are among the best body lotion options, as they deliver hydrating benefits using ingredients sourced from Mother Nature rather than a lab.

We even offer Buzz Off! insect repellent that wards off pests with natural herbal extracts instead of DEET and other synthetics.

Shop our full line of natural skin care products to discover the many ways you can rid your skin care routine of harmful chemicals.



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