What Chemicals should I avoid in my Skincare?


Many people ask me ‘What chemicals should I avoid in my skincare?’.

Although the list is much longer than what I have laid out below, we’ll start with these five.

Each of these chemicals have a growing body of evidence that shows the long term health concerns such as reproductive issues and cancer by many government regulatory bodies around the world.


Chemical What do they do? Health Concerns What to look for:
Parabens Inhibit bacterial growth in products such as shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, liquid soaps Endocrine disrupters, mimics oestrogen and causes cancer and reproductive issues ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben
Phthalates A preservative and helps to prolong scents in products Endocrine disrupters, mimics oestrogen and causes cancer and reproductive issues DBP (dibutylphthalate), DMP (dimethylphthalate), DEP (diethylphthalate), DEHP (Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate), BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate)
Formaldehyde Found in nail polish, nail glue and eyelash glue. Also found in hair straightening products, baby lotions and shampoos and hair gels. A known carcinogen it is banned for use in cosmetics in Japan and Sweden. Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol)
Fragrance Could be made up of any number of chemicals that do not have to be disclosed to the consumer. Because you don’t know what is in it, you don’t know what it could do or what it could react with. Fragrance, Perfume, Parfum
Ethanolamine Compounds


DEA is an emulsifier used in shampoos and body lotions. TEA is a fragrance and pH regulator. Also found in cleaning products, eyeliners, mascara, foundation, blush, sunscreen. Cancer, Liver tumors, bioaccumulation in the skin, liver and kidneys (the chemical is unable to be removed or broken down and accumulates in these organs resulting in organ toxicity) Male infertility as DEA alters sperm structure. Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate


Do you really expect me to read the long list of ingredients on the back of everything?

If this is all sounding too much, there is an easy way. Download the EWG ‘Skin Deep’ app for Android and iPhone. It has a scanner that lets you scan the barcode and then the product is given a rating depending on how safe it is. Although it is a US based organisation, they are constantly adding products to the list from other countries.

The other thing to do is look for products that state that they are free from these nasties. More and more companies are producing chemical free products that are absolutely beautiful and work!

At Earth and Skin, we stock products from Mukti Organics, Evohe Skincare, ECO tan and Vanessa Megan. All are natural, organic and chemical free.


Earth + Skin

Earth and Skin, Gold Coast is a Day Spa and Beauty Shop with a difference. Situated in our gorgeous Queenslander building, iconic to the heritage village of Mudgeeraba. Our light filled space is decorated with natural decor, living greenery and soothing music which helps to create a relaxing atmosphere where our clients enjoy mindful spa treatments without negative impact to their health or the environment. Enjoy a full range of facials, body therapy and beauty treatments. Everything we do at Earth and Skin is done with care for you, planet Earth and your skin. Because beauty does not have to compromise your health.

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