7 Toxic ingredients to Keep Out of Your Products: Part 2

Toxic ingredients in makeup



You know that shimmery eyeshadow palette that you love putting on for a night out...or that lipstick that is your every day must have... What is behind the products that shimmer? What is behind that long-lasting lipstick? Let's take a look!

Pigments are used in mascara, eyeshadow, and lipstick. They are what give our personal care products that wonderful color we love. But at what cost? Many of the toxins today we will be talking about contamination.

CARBON BLACK - often used to color mascara and eyeliner to give its dark black color and made from the combustion of coal tar. It often is contaminated with PAH, a known carcinogen and both PAH and carbon black have been linked to organ system toxicity. Other Names -  D & C Black No. 2, acetylene black, channel black, furnace black, lamp black and thermal black

HEAVY METALS - Lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese, aluminum are often found in lipstick and lipglosses. (Read more here about lead in lipsticks)Mercury has been found in skin brightening products (think serums that are targeting age spots) and linked to causing oxidative stress (imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants), impairs cellular health and cellular communication.

Companies are not deliberately putting toxic heavy metals into their products. But there is very little regulation and no legislature that says companies have to test their products - heavy metals are creeping in. Check out the infographic below of how Beautycounter has created strict standards for their products.




Mineral oil...that sounds pretty natural right?

Mineral oil is a colorless and odorless oil made from petroleum however there is a major lack of - you guessed it - REGULATION!

There are two grades of mineral oil - technical grade and cosmetic grade. The technical grade has been found by the World Health Organization to increase cancer risk.  The cosmetic grade is not directly linked to cancer but because of lack of regulation and testing of cosmetic products the cosmetic grade is often contaminated - making it an indirect risk of cancer.

A 2011 study took fat samples from 142 women that had c-sections and collected milk samples at the same time. The samples showed mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons in the fat tissues. (1)

Poor Regulation + Contamination = Health Impact

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 80% of beauty productsmay be contaminated with one or more of two dozen recognized chemicals.

82% of hair dyes 57% baby soap 36% facial moisturizers

Mineral oil is often contaminated with PEGs (remember those) and 1,4 dioxane. These two toxins were found in 22% of all petroleum-based cosmetics



Sulfates are in products to make them lather or foam. So think of household and personal care products that create suds - toothpaste, dish soap, shampoo, body wash, hand soap, laundry soap and cleaners.

Some abbreviations for sulfates include SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), and ALS (Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate)

There is still some debate on whether or not SLS is carcinogenic. But studies have shown residue of SLS in the brain, lungs, liver and heart. There are also some findings on the impact of hormonal imbalance and symptoms like PMS and menstrual symptoms.



Sodium Laureth Sodium (SLES) has shown some signs of causing cancer because of it often being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane.

Ugh fragrance! Did you know that fragrance is a trade secret? That means that companies are allowed to hide up to 3,000 other ingredients under the word "fragrance." Companies are not mandated to disclose the other ingredients under the one word - fragrance. Phthalates are often one of these toxins and you remember the health risk of them!

The U.S. EPA found that 100% of perfumes contain toluene, which can cause fatigue, headaches, respiratory problems; liver, kidney, and brain damage; as well as damage to a developing fetus

Fragrance is found in almost EVERY single personal care product, even natural brands. It is commonly found near the end of the ingredient list.

What you can do to protect you and your family

Search the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database for your household and personal care products, looking for a low score. I personally like a rating of 3 and below. You can even download the app and scan products in stores. Although technology is great, I find that there are a lot of barcodes not yet registered so it is easiest to search on the website. Shop with The Never List in your wallet to reference it at stores and/or shop brands similar to Beautycounter that you know and trust their company standards.

7 Toxic ingredients to keep out of your products, Radiating Wellness