What toxic ingredients to avoid in your skin care

With the ingredients labels on skincare usually being so long and full of words that are hard to pronounce it can be really difficult to know whether these products are doing harm or good.

Here is a list of the top 10 toxic skincare ingredients to avoid and why.

Aluminum Salts

Aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide, aluminum zirconium
Commonly found in anti-perspirant deodorant to seal the sweat gland and stop moisture from excreting. Sweating is a really important way that our bodies remove toxins, so creating a blockage is actually keeping toxins in the body. Blend that with the fact that there is a major lymph node under our armpit, so the aluminum that we’ve soaked into our skin can easy get into our lymphatic system and get a free train ride all over our body… Eeeeekkk!


Cormalin, Methanol, Methyl aldehyde, Oxymethane
This is what they use to embalm dead people. Commonly found in hair growth shampoos, ‘keratin’ hair treatments, nail polish and make up as a preservative. It can cause immune system toxicity, rashes, liver problems, and is also linked to various types of cancer.


DI-ethanolamine (DEA), TRI-ethanolamine (TEA), MONO-ethanolamine (MEA), Ethanolamine (ETA)
This ingredient is quite commonly found in products as a foaming agent and emulsifier. Think along the lines of shampoo, body wash, facial cleansers etc. Although we do not support testing on animals, there has been past scientific studies done where DEA caused cancer in lab animals after it was applied topically to their skin. This is a nasty ingredient and should be avoided.


You’ve probably heard of this ingredient – over the last couple of years there has been a lot of media chit chat about it. Parabens are preservatives that are used in nearly every category of cosmetics – in fact, they are in up to 90% of all products that you can find on the market as they are a cheap and effective way to extend the shelf life of products. They are also an effective way of causing pre-mature aging to the skin, so they should definitely be avoided! Studies have shown that they can also disrupt the endocrine system by mimicking the hormone estrogen, and traces of parabens have been found in breast cancer tissue.

Mercury + Lead

Thimerosal, lead acetate
Both are metals that are commonly found in cosmetics as a preservative and are highly toxic to the human body. They can be the causes of certain issues such as depression, mental deterioration and muscle tremors. When the FDA conducted their own study in 2009, lead was found in ALL of the lipsticks. What’s even more disturbing is that the amount that was in them exceeded their guidelines by about 10 times! Lead is commonly found in mascara and other eye makeup. Imagine what it could do to your eye sight!

Phenoxyethanol (pronounced ‘fen-oxy-ethanol’)

Phenoxyethanol, 2-phenoxy, ethanol, 2-hydroxyethyl phenyl ether
This ingredient has been crowned the ‘friendly-preservative’ alternative to parabens and is popular with cheap brands that claim to be ‘natural’. It’s popular in cleansers, lotions and even medications. It can depress the central nervous system and has been shown to produce significant reproductive and developmental toxicity. It’s use in Japan and Europe is highly restricted.

Phthalates (pronounced ‘thall-ates’)

DBP, DEHP, DMP, dibutyl/diethyl ester, 1-2 benzenedicarboxylate, anything with ‘phthalate’ in it’s name. These are everywhere! They’re a group of chemical compounds used in plastics, water bottles, hair spray, cosmetics, perfume, toys… literally, EVERYWHERE!
These can be the cause of hormonal acne, obesity, and are suspected to be involved with Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Endometriosis as they mimic the hormone estrogen and they are a major hormone disruptor.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate + Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium laurel/laureth sulfate, sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium salt sulpheric acid, PEG lauryl sulfate, monododecyl ester
These are surfactants (foaming agents) used often in shampoos, foaming cleansers, bubble bath, and pretty much anything that foams as it is a cheap and effective way to remove oils. They are possibly endocrine system disruptors and commonly cause irritated rashes to those who are sensitive. It is often the cause for a lot of psoriasis and eczema for those who are particularly sensitive.


Talc, talcum powder
Talc is known for it’s use commonly as a baby powder. It is also often used in beauty salons as a pre-waxing skin protector. There has been links with the use of talc and Ovarian Cancer, in fact, in the US there was a case where a women often used it on her genital region and sued Johnson and Johnson because it was discovered that it was a likely cause of her Ovarian cancer. If inhaled, it can be a lung irritant and can cause a persistent

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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