5 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Beauty Products


Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? Yes, just stop and think about that for a moment. When was the last time you thought about what you were putting on your skin and what it might be doing to you?

We have a free Friday from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run and the  Friday Five this week.

Last week I wrote about looking at food labels as a way to help you get added sugars out of your diet. This week I’d like to point out some ingredients in your beauty products that might be doing you more harm than good. But keep in mind I am not a health professional or a scientist.

Parabens are a commonly used preservative, that have been linked to things such as breast cancer, early puberty, skin rashes, and more.

Artificial Colors
Think artificial colors are just in food? Think again. I thought about this subject when I took a recent trip to Lush, a “natural” beauty products store everyone raves about. And the products are beautiful . . . and chock full of artificial colors and other nasty ingredients.

And yes, obviously, if you’re coloring your hair, most likely you’re putting artificial colors all over your head, too. And yes, for a few years, I did color my hair too. I used more natural products, but eventually, the ingredients in even those more natural products started to bother me too.

Artificial colors have been linked to things like hyperactivity and yes, cancer (does it seem that all roads lead to cancer?).

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
It’s the stuff that makes your shampoo foam. The problems with it are very similar to the problems with parabens.

Propylene Glycol
This one is a tough one. Propylene Glycol, at 100% strength, is antifreeze. Just a small amount of antifreeze (which tastes sweet, apparently) can kill your cat or dog.

The propylene glycol used in beauty products is very diluted.

You do have to wonder, though, what exposure will do over time.

Guess what? It’s in my shampoo. I think it’s even tougher to find good, actually natural shampoos that work than more natural makeup.
Petroleum jelly
It’s a popular ingredient in lip balms. It’s also been linked to cancer, premature aging and/or photosensitivity, and oddly enough, dry skin and chapping!

In Conclusion
I don’t expect you to stop coloring your hair or ditch your shampoo. Keep in mind, too, that the statement “natural” on products has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Heck, I saw a commercial for Trix cereal just this week that touted the fact that it has no artificial colors in it, as if that makes it a nutritious breakfast!

If you start to at least look at what you’re putting on your body and hair, I’ll be happy. There was definitely a day I never gave it a thought, too. And I won’t say that I never buy products that contain some of these ingredients, either — obviously.

I read the labels on my beauty products and try to make the best choices I can. Knowledge is power!

More reading on the subject:

Cosmetic lines I like (no affiliate links):

 Have you ever thought about the ingredients in your beauty products?

Disclaimer: The opinions in this post are my own, and I am not a medical professional.

20 thoughts on “5 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Beauty Products

  1. I went in to Lush with AJ and the sales girl tried to tell me that their products contain no chemicals. I said to AJ after the girl walked away, ” Water is a chemical.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s something that Lloyd would say too.

      And true, of course. “Natural” doesn’t necessarily equal unharmful, either.

      Let’s just say I was really bummed out that I couldn’t get past their ingredients.


  2. It is sad that we in the US have to read labels because of what is in our food & other products.

    I have to admit that I rarely read the labels of the food I eat. And I never read the labels of beauty products.

    I color my hair (and refuse to let it go gray) every 5 weeks and I would never ask my hairdresser to check the label of the dye or shampoo & conditioner.

    Sometimes I wonder if the people who do these studies are in cahoots with the companies that sell those “so-called” healthy products. They always cost more.

    Just like there are studies that say running hurts your knees and others that say it doesn’t.

    For me, keeping actives (mind & body) will have to be enough.


    1. When I was coloring my hair, I brought my own dye with me. My hairdresser was fine with it.

      I think it’s far more likely that more “healthy” or “natural” beauty products are more expensive because of the ingredients. The other stuff is usually cheaper, and that’s exactly why they’re so prevalent.

      I always tell my husband that my health is worth paying more.

      We all have to decide what’s best for us; there’s no black and white and I’ve been known to buy stuff which has stuff I wouldn’t buy most of the time — but it’s better to be informed, I think.


      1. I have the same philosophy about having my nails done & my hair colored. It makes me feel good and I’m worth it 🙂


      2. My sister was coloring her hair this weekend (she does it herself) & was complaining about the time involved.

        But she’s not ready to go gray either (she’s your age).

        Of course the first thing people say when I tell them why I don’t color mine is that mine looks so good.

        Which just makes me wonder if it’s a little white (or gray, so to speak) lie – even if I do think it’s a pretty gray (I also think it ages me but I’m willing to accept that)!


    1. Well, I don’t think you necessarily have to be worried or immediately throw everything out.

      But it’s a good thing to research it on your own and decide what you’re comfortable with.

      Don’t even get me started on pet products . . . I suppose I’ll have to do some post on that at some point, too!


  3. I use Petroleum jelly every night on my lips. I guess I need to find another product, especially since it is supposed to cause dryness. This was very informative. Thanks for sharing


  4. I eat Cheerios all the time. Last week, I was recommending them to a family as a “first food” for their baby, and they proceeded to tell me that there is trisodium phosphate in Cheerios. Or “floor stripper” as they told me. Sigh.


    1. Cereal doesn’t work for me — it just doesn’t keep me full & I eat too much of it at one time.

      So I haven’t delved into Cheerios, but I definitely don’t think Trix are a nutritious way to get your carbs!

      I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t see eye to eye on some things, but definitely do on others. And I think everyone has to find their own path.


  5. Oh wow Judy you really did your research on this one. I really should look more at the labels, I’m terrible about it too. I do color my gray and have switched to a less harsh color but still. And the stuff in lip balm I had no idea! I use that stuff all the time!


    1. I’m not telling anyone not to use something; just to be better informed & therefore make informed choices.

      Maybe your lip balm works for you; maybe there’s a better choice out there. At the end of the day, you have to do what’s comfortable for you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s