It's no secret that the beauty industry isn't regulated anywhere near enough as it should be. Our skin is our largest organ and yet we are unknowingly smothering it with toxic chemicals every day!
Download our handy 1-page graphic with the 10 most common toxic chemicals found in our day-to-day products along with the abbreviations you need to look for. Simply save as an image to your phone and add to your favourites so you can reference it when you're next out shopping!
This is by NO means a comprehensive list! It was hard to just pick 10 but hopefully this is enough to get you started and you can continue your own research.
If you find some of these ingredients in your products at home, don't panic! Knowledge is power so just do what you can moving forward with new purchases and continue your own research. Treat yourself with kindness and patience, it's a journey and it takes time to create new habits.
If you want to know WHY you should be voiding these pesky ingredients then keep reading!
What is it: Cosmetic preservative, usually found in makeup and moisturizers.
Why you should avoid it: Parabens are known as hormone disruptors which can lead to a heighten risk of breast cancer and reproductive issues. Scientists have also linked these chemicals to miscarriage, premature birth, birth defects, obesity, metabolic disease and bone density.
2. SLS and SLES
What is it: This is the foaming agent used in soooo many personal care products.
Why you should avoid it: Similar to parabens, SLS can disrupt hormones and cause skin irritation. They are also harmful to fish and other wildlife.
3. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
What is it: Acts as a 'thickener' and once again used in a whole slew of products.
Why you should avoid it: PEGs are often contaminated with both ethylene oxide (a known carcinogen) and 1,4-Dioxane (which causes respiratory problems and is banned in Canada).
What is it: The chemical 'filter' found in sunscreens. Opt for mineral sunscreens instead!
Why you should avoid it: Oxybenzone is a known endocrine disruptor and can alter thyroid function. It’s also linked to skin allergies.
What is it: A foaming agent which is restricted in the EU but not in North America!
Why you should avoid it: It’s a known carcinogen and respiratory toxin. It is also harmful to fish and other wildlife.
What is it: Artificial fragrance (even in 'unscented' products!)
Why you should avoid it: It can often be a 'secret cocktail' of carcinogens, allergens, endocrine disruptors, and irritants.
What is it: A plasticizer that is added to plastic to keep it from becoming brittle (hairspray, nail polish etc.).
Why you should avoid it: Like parabens, phthalates are endocrine disruptors and can cause hormonal and reproductive problems and birth defects. They also cause damage to our wildlife.
What is it: A preservative in cosmetics.
Why you should avoid it: It’s a known carcinogen that has been linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity.
What is it: An antibacterial agent found in toothpaste, shaving cream, soap etc.
Why you should avoid it: It was banned from health care in 2016 but it's still allowed in personal cosmetics. It contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it’s also an endocrine disruptor and was shown to contribute to gut inflammation and promote tumour growth in mouse studies.
What is it: Used to 'soften' and 'smooth' cosmetics.
Why you should avoid it: Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.