What's hiding in your skin care?

Kristyn Bango

You may have heard you should be reading the labels on your food, but have you ever looked at the back of your skin care products? If you did you might find a long list of words that are barely pronounceable. Which might start you wondering what is all this stuff and is it good for my skin? Is it good for my body?

To get started check your products for these ingredients that I highly recommend avoiding. This is not a complete list of ingredients to avoid but will get you started on what to look for when choosing products for your skin care routine. 

1. Fragrance
 Avoid products that list fragrance as an ingredient. Use instead products with essential oils as they not only provide a pleasing scent but may also benefit 
your skin. 

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) lists 3,059 materials that are reported as being used in fragrance compounds. Of these 3,059 ingredients, some have evidence linking them to health effects including cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, and sensitivities. 

2. Mineral oil and petroleum 
 (Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly, Paraffin Oil, Mineral Oil and White Petrolatum)

When properly refined, petrolatum has no known health concerns. However, petrolatum is often not fully refined in the US, which means it can be contaminated with toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists 14 PAHs as probable or possible carcinogens and one PAH as a known carcinogen.

3. Parabens
(Ingredients ending in - paraben such as ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben)

Used as a preservative in products with high water content to prevent microbial growth.

Parabens are not water soluble and can penetrate the skin. They have been found in nearly all urine samples in the US.

Parabens have been linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity

4. Triclosan and Triclocarban 

Used in antimicrobial products such as soaps and hand sanitizers, as well as antimicrobial cleaning products. 

The CDC found triclosan in the urine of 75% of people tested. 

It has been linked to antibiotic resistance hormonal disruption and environmental impacts. 

"Triclosan-resistant bacteria: Since 2000, a number of studies uncovered triclosan-resistant micro-organisms, and there is mounting evidence linking the use of triclosan with the promotion of bacteria that are resistant to both antibiotic medications and antibacterial products. For instance, triclosan-resistant strains of microorganisms such as E. coli and salmonella have been identified. Studies indicate that use of triclosan provides a suitable environment for the emergence of antimicrobial drug-resistant bacteria, even at the low concentrations found in products and cosmetics."

5. Toluene 
A paint thinner and petrochemical solvent often used in nail products, hair dyes, and house hold products.

Toluene is neurotoxic and irritant that can impair breathing.  It has been linked to the toxicity of the immune system and certain types of cancer in animals. 

Exposure to toluene can result in temporary effects such as headaches, dizziness and cracked skin, as well as more serious effects such as reproductive damage and respiratory complications 


One way to avoid the ingredients above and other toxic ingredients are by producing your own natural skin care products. This can be done in a few minutes every few months and can have a huge impact on not only your skin but your overall health. Many of the products we put on your skin are absorbed and can wreak havoc on our bodies internally.  Creating your own products is one of the easiest ways to reduce toxic burden on your body. It also helps you to create a customized self-care routine which reduces stress while creating beautiful healthy skin. A win win! 

For a limited time, you can pick up my Herbal Skin Care 101 course through the Healthy Living Bundle and get all the information and recipes you need to get started making your own healthy skin care products.


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