7 Ingredients You Do Not Want in your beauty products


Instead of falling for these sneaky marketing ploys and getting captivated by claims that promise beautiful skin, I simply turn over the bottle and read the label. After scanning several lines of ingredients and vowel-heavy words that I can’t pronounce, I wonder if consumers have the same reaction as I do when I think about applying these formulas to my precious skin. Since about 60 percent of what we put ON our skin (including makeup, lotions, fragrances, oils and balms) makes its way into our bodies, it’s smart to pick products with ingredients that aren’t potentially harmful.


We’re always adding to our ingredient watch list, but today this no-go list of toxic chemicals gives you 7 ingredients you definitely don’t want in your beauty care products.

1. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

Found in: Shampoo, Body Wash, Foundation, Face Wash, Mouthwash and Toothpaste

SLS has been shown to cause or contribute to: skin irritation, canker sores, disruptions of skin’s natural oil balance and eye damage. It is also widely believed to be a major contributor to acne (especially cystic acne) around the mouth and chin.  You’ve probably heard of these as they’re present in any product that foams, from shampoo to face wash. SLSs and SLESs strip hair and skin of natural oils and protective barriers, which can lead to dandruff, flaky skin, acne and quicker aging.

2. BHA

Found in: Exfoliants, Perfume

The National Toxicology Program classifies (BHA) as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” It can cause skin depigmentation. In animal studies, BHA produces liver damage and causes stomach cancers such as papillomas and carcinomas and interferes with normal reproductive system development and thyroid hormone levels. The European Union considers it unsafe in fragrance.

3. Parabens

Found in: Makeup, Moisturizer, Shaving Gel, Shampoo, Personal Lubricant and Spray Tan products.

You’ve probably heard of these estrogen-mimicking ingredients. They’re a low-cost preservative so they appear in 85 percent of cosmetics, from shampoo and face wash to body lotion and anti-aging treatments. While the evidence is still inconclusive, parabens which mimic estrogen, have been linked breast cancer, skin cancer and decreased sperm count, can cause allergic reactions and are considered carcinogenic in high doses. Look at your cosmetic bottle labels for ingredients with “paraben” as a suffix—and then put those bottles back.

4. Polyethylene/PEGs

Found in: Scrubs, Body Wash, Makeup, Toothpaste

Those tiny plastic beads in face or lip scrubs and exfoliating washes are made from polyethylene (used because they’re gentler on the skin than natural exfoliators like walnut shells). These synthetic chemicals are frequently contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which the U.S. government considers a probable human carcinogen and which readily penetrates the skin. Polyethylene has been noted as a skin irritant and should never be used on broken skin. Polyethylene beads in scrubs and body washes also are not filtered by our sewage systems, meaning they can collect pollutants and travel into waterways, where they’re consumed by fish and marine animals.

5. Fragrance

Found in: Moisturizers, Deodorant, Lotion, Face Cream, Shampoo, Conditioner

Federal law doesn’t require companies to list on product labels any of the chemicals in their fragrance mixture. Recent research from Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name-brand fragrance products, none of them listed on the label. Fragrances can contain hormone disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world. They can cause everything from migraines and skin rashes to respiratory issues and birth defects.

6. Petroleum and Other Petrochemicals

Found In: Mascara, Hairspray, Lip Balms


Not only are these bad for the environment, but they also can mess with how much you sweat, causing clogged pores, rashes and acne. Check your labels for petroleum distillates, which are found in your mascara and hairspray, mineral oils and paraffins. Lip balms and treatments that contain petroleum jelly should stay on their shelves too, since their water-repellant nature ultimately suffocates pores.

7. Aluminum

Found In: Deodorant

Some studies have linked aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease, though recent research has cast doubt on the connection. Other studies have indicated that aluminum may be linked to breast cancer and other brain disorders. Aluminum, in the form of powder, is used in self-care products such as antiperspirant deodorants. Aluminum is unequivocally a neurotoxin. It can cause irritation to the skin, it’s an endocrine disruptor, and it causes birth disorders in animals. The average person will consume, absorb and/or eat three pounds of aluminum in their lifetime. Wow! Think about that next time you reach for Dove or Old Spice on the shelf.


We understand that each of these chemicals has some sort of controversial opinion associated with it. We are also well aware that some of these chemicals are present in products at minute levels. This still raises concern for us, however, because we lather products on the skin most every day, so the exposure can be potentially high long-term. The next time someone says, “Don’t worry about it,” you may want to re-think what’s best for you and the planet. When you purchase a product that is supporting chemical industries, you are voting with your dollar. Here at OrganiGrowHairCo we pride ourselves in keeping our clients free of all chemicals and toxins all while creating even better results for your skin and hair.  Make sure you try our products today. Feel the difference.