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Toxins in beauty products, what’s the big deal? Well, maybe they are not as concerning as the food we eat, but they are still a major concern.

toxins in beauty products
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Toxins in beauty products and cleaning products

What’s the big deal with toxins in household cleaning products and beauty products? I have a friend who says she thinks it’s important to be mindful of what she eats. She eats healthy, organic, non-GMO foods. Seems like she is on the right path. Yet, while she is concerned with toxins in food, she is not as worried about toxins in beauty products. Well, maybe toxins in beauty products are not as concerning as the food we eat. However, they are still a major concern. I argue they are just as dangerous, if not more dangerous.

Why you should be concerned about toxins in beauty products?

I do believe that food is the number 1 concern when it comes to toxins. I also believe it is the greatest culprit in many major illnesses. However, toxins in beauty and cleaning products are very concerning as well. There are three reasons why you should be more mindful about what’s in your beauty and cleaning products. Here’s why:

  1. Carcinogens – Many ingredients in popular beauty/cleaning products contain carcinogenic substances. Carcinogenic means these substances have the potential to cause cancer.
  2. Absorption – The skin is the largest organ of the body. Toxins absorbed through the skin head straight for your bloodstream. Dr. Mercola is a well-known, licensed Physician and Surgeon. He says you may absorb fewer toxins when you eat something than when you apply it to your skin. In addition, when you eat food with toxins, the food is broken down by the enzymes in your stomach and saliva. As mentioned, this is not the case when toxins are absorbed through the skin.
  3. Overload – Presently, there are so many toxins in our environment. This is the greatest problem with focusing solely on toxins in food (or not being mindful of toxins at all). There are toxic, carcinogenic substances in our food and in beauty and cleaning products. But they are also prevalent in our environment. There are toxins in our homes, in our furniture, in appliances (microwaves) and in the air we breathe. The problem is that, in this day and age, we are overloaded with toxins. Our bodies can’t handle the overload. I strongly believe this is why cancer is so prevalent these days.

Common toxins in household products and beauty products

To help you further understand, I have compiled a short list of common toxins in beauty products and cleaning products.

  1. Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate (SLS) – 90% of beauty products and some cleaning products contain SLS. Shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, hand soap, dish/laundry detergent, toothpaste, foundation, etc contain SLS. Research on this substance has been linked to the following: irritation/inflammation of the skin, organ toxicity, neurotoxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity and cancer.
  2. Parabens – lotion, shampoo, shaving gel, makeup and other beauty products can contain parabens. Parabens can mimic estrogen. This is the problem with aluminum in antiperspirant as well. This substance causes a hormonal imbalance that has been linked to breast cancer. It is used as a preservative.*
  3. Propylene glycol – shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, baby wipes, mouthwash, toothpaste (and more) can contain propylene glycol. Oddly enough, antifreeze, tire sealers, paints, rubber cleaners, etc also contain propylene glycol. Hmmm. This substance is a strong skin irritant and it can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage. My favorite facial skin cleanser, Noxzema, contains this ingredient. That’s why I came up with my own homemade noxzema with only 2 ingredients!
  4. Phthalates – mousse, hairspray and perfume can contain phthalates. This substance can damage your liver, kidneys and lungs affecting the ability of these organs to process toxins.
  5. Diethanolamine (DEA) – this is a foaming agent. Shampoo, toothpaste, bubble bath, etc can contain DEA. It can react with other substances to create a carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA). DEA is a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to stomach and esophageal cancer. It prevents the absorption of choline which is vital to brain development (especially important for pregnant women).

How can you avoid toxins in beauty products?

First of all, I recommend you do your own research. Read labels and buy non-toxic products. Even I find this challenging since there are many ingredients that I still do not recognize. Furthermore, it takes a lot of time to read labels.

Hence, my other suggestion is to make your own beauty and cleaning products. Trust me, this is incredibly easy and inexpensive. Also, it is not nearly as time-consuming as you might think. In fact, most (if not all) of my recipes contain only a few ingredients. In addition, my recipes take only a few minutes to make.

Furthermore, once you purchase a few staple ingredients, they will last you for a while. Also, some ingredients, such as castile soap, are incredibly versatile.


I’ve only scratched the surface of the toxins and carcinogenic substances that are in our beauty and cleaning products. There are many more but too many to list here. However, these are especially relevant because they are among the most common toxins in beauty products.

I have recently come across an excellent app for discovering which products are safe and which are not. It is called Think Dirty. It is an excellent resource to help get you started on a cleaner, healthier path.


*Here are a couple of safer options to preserve your DIY recipes: vitamin E (antioxidant) or Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). Both are natural preservatives, yet GSE is somewhat controversial (if it is not pure GSE, it may have been processed with chemicals). Consequently, vitamin E is my first choice.

Please share if you know someone who would find this helpful. Thanks! 🙂

Have you tried making your own non-toxic beauty and cleaning products? Do you have a favorite non-toxic store-bought brand? Share your comments below.

I wish you health and happiness,



toxins in household cleaning products



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  1. I always enjoy reading your knowledge about food and household/cosmetic items. Thank you for your information as it comes in handy for me. Keep it coming cousin

    1. Author

      Thanks Lindsey! I’m glad you enjoy my posts. It certainly is motivating to hear that it is helpful to you. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. 🙂

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