When it comes to health, I talk a lot about what we put into our bodies. What we put ON our body is also very important. “Do you realize the use of chemicals is being linked to more health conditions and diseases every year, from asthma to skin conditions to cancer?” says Dr. Dan Kehres from  In fact, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that more than 1 in 5 personal care products contain chemicals linked to cancer.

Our Skin – Our Liver

Our skin is our largest organ and is important for the elimination of toxins.  What we put on our skin can go into our blood stream and liver and all foreign substances that enter your body have to be filtered by your liver.  So, when we slather on layers of synthetic chemicals each time we wash, moisturize our skin, use cosmetics and hair products, we are adding to a toxic environment within the body that stresses a variety of internal organs including the adrenals, thyroid, kidneys, lungs, brain function, and in particular, the liver. These chemicals need to go somewhere once put on the skin or scalp and since the liver was not designed to handle all the synthetic chemicals we often use, it can become overloaded with toxic materials. These contaminants will often filter through the liver and can become stored in fat tissue, central nervous system cells, and within the brain. How many people do you know are not thinking clearly?

Toxic Ingredients

The Environmental Working Group says, “Personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system”. Do you know exactly what you putting on your body (or your kids) and what harm it may be doing? Please don’t depend on our government to help you – start by doing the work yourself. I often tell people “don’t put anything on your body that you cannot put into your body.”  Below is a list of the 10 most common toxic ingredients from Aubrey Hampton’s Natural Ingredients dictionary Plus Ten Synthetic Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid.

 Toxic Cosmetic Ingredients

10 Most Common Toxic Cosmetic Ingredients;

  • Imidazolidinyl urea and Diazolidinyl urea , can cause skin irritations.
  • Methyl, propyl, putyl, and ethyl paraben, are used to extend the shelf –life of products and are known to be very toxic.
  • Petrolatum, a mineral oil and jelly that can cause issues in some people when used on the skin.  Manufactures use this because it’s cheap.
  • Propylene glycol, ideally a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, which is natural – but is usually appears as a synthetic petrochemical mix used as an emulsifier.
  • PVP/VA copolymer, a petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays. It is considered toxic and airborne particles may enter and stay in the lungs.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a synthetic product used in shampoos. Can cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, and dandruff. It is also frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the parenthetic explanation “comes from coconut”.
  • Stearalkonium Chloride, a chemical that can cause allergic reactions. Used in fabric softeners and hair conditioners. What a deal, you can soften your clothes and hair with the same chemical!
  • Synthetic Colors such as; FD&C  or D&C followed by a color and a number. These synthetic colors are believed to be cancer-causing agents.
  • Synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 400 ingredients. They will simply say “fragrance” on the label.
  • Triethanolamine (TEA), added to adjust the PH balance. Can cause allergic reactions such as dryness of the skin and may be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.

If you take a look at this list there is not one word (or chemical) that I can pronounce or spell. I know they came from a factory, not Mother Nature’s back yard. That can’t be good for us.

Make It Yourself

Since I won’t have anyone do what I will not do for myself, I am having fun with this. I have been making and using skin care and household cleaning products for myself and family, using only what we can put into our bodies, (with the exception of Dr. Bonners soap and Borax). Not only is my body less toxic, but my skin looks and feels better.

To help, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a website, it is called “Skin Deep” and gives product ingredient safety ratings, health information about cosmetics ingredients, what products are safe. You can look up a product, or ingredient, search by company and find safer alternatives. The website is I highly recommend starting there. I will also be sharing my skin-care and household cleaning ideas, so you can gradually make the shift and be good to your body. You deserve it!

Do you have a favorite DIY to share?


Photo credit – graur razvan ionut via