Dangerous Toxic Ingredients in Your Beauty Products

By on 04/06/2016
toxic ingredients

A true definition of irony! Most beauty and personal health/care products actually contain toxic ingredients that work AGAINST your beauty, health and wellness. In fact, this entire industry is so shockingly unregulated that they really should come with a warning label!

You’ve heard it a million times, but it is true: you get what you pay for! With tens of thousands of beauty products and brands available on the market, and little to no regulation, you MUST do your research to be sure you are buying only quality products from trusted, proven and independently tested brands that do not use toxic ingredients in their products.

Here is a list of the top toxins found in everything from lotions to lipstick and even baby products!

Learn these names well and never buy any products with these terrible chemicals on the ingredients list!


One popular group of toxic chemicals is called parabens. These are a group of preservatives that are used in cosmetics like foundation, eye shadows, lotions and hair products. They are listed on the ingredient list as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben.   The issue with parabens is that have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells, which increases the risk of cancer in women. Since most women use multiple beauty products daily, and items like lotion and makeup sit on the skin for an extended amount of time, the body easily absorbs an unsafe level of these parabens. Products advertised as paraben free are definitely worth a higher price.


Talc is actually a cousin to asbestos, and like its cousin it has been linked to respiratory problems, and ovarian cancer as well. It unfortunately is still used and not regulated though, and can be found in eye shadow, blush, deodorant and even baby powder! Be sure to keep talc away from you and your baby! In fact, Johnson & Johnson are now facing hundreds of lawsuits, claiming they knew their baby powder product was unsafe and covered up their findings!

toxic talc baby powder ovarian cancer


Another popular toxic chemical is aluminum. When exposed to aluminum long term, like parabens,  it causes an estrogen-like hormonal reaction in the body which encourages the growth of cancer cells. So you can easily see how its quite a problem that most antiperspirants, a product we apply to our skin daily, contain harmful levels of aluminum. Many researchers now think there is a correlation between antiperspirants and the increase in breast cancer cases. This makes sense as it is applied to the underarms, right next to delicate breast tissue.

Cadmium, Chromium and Lead

These are toxic heavy metals that can build up in the body over time, causing a range of negative health issues from nausea and vomiting to heart problems and central nervous system dysfunction. Again, its the long term exposure to cadmium, chromium and lead that causes the build up which leads to health problems. So guess which makeup product contains varying levels of these heavy metals and is completely unregulated by the FDA: lipstick! We are applying these directly to our lips! 75% of lipsticks contain some level of these toxins! Most brands that can be purchased from the drug or grocery store are probably slowly exposing you to high levels of these toxic ingredients. Be sure you are buying brands that clearly state they do not contain any heavy metals.

lead in lipstick toxic


Also present in deodorants, along with lotions and perfumes, phthalates are linked to organ damage to the kidneys, liver and lungs, increased cancer risks and endocrine disruption (meaning it derails normal hormone levels). The European Union has successfully banned this dangerous ingredient, and the state of California has banned it from use in children’s toys (it is used as a plasticiser). There is no additional regulation on phthalates though, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t avoid it at all costs!


It is unfortunate, but not surprising that in the multi-billion dollar beauty, health and wellness industry, there is so little regulation. We surely have politics and lobbyists to thank for this, but until true regulation occurs (if it ever does!), it is crucial that you remain an educated consumer and be sure you are only purchasing non-toxic cosmetics, lotions, hair care and other personal health products. Always read labels and research brand reliability and trustworthiness before making any new purchases. A great place to start is by visiting the nonprofit Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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