How to Avoid Toxic Ingredients in Cosmetics


Have you been thinking about detoxing your beauty routine? Have you found yourself reading labels on your beauty products but don’t know exactly what ingredients to look out for? Ingredient labels can be overwhelming–it can be difficult to decipher which ingredients are non-toxic versus which ones are harmful, and toxic ingredients have been linked to cancer and other serious health conditions. Luckily, many cosmetic companies are now aware of this and are working towards making their products less damaging. But just to be safe, it’s always a good idea to check out product labels first before buying or using them. Here, you can find a few toxic ingredients to look out for when screening your beauty products.


Parabens are commonly found in skincare products like lotions and deodorants. They are mostly used as preservatives in beauty products and have been linked to breast cancer. Recently, many cosmetic companies have eliminated parabens from their products–so be on the lookout for labels that read “Paraben free!”

Coal Tar

Carcinogens like coal tar are found in skincare products, some soap, and other hair products–mainly hair dye. They have been linked to skin tumors and various types of cancer. If you are concerned that your hair dye might include coal tar, feel free to ask your local stylist to take a look at the label for you! They might be able to identify toxic ingredients with ease and make alternative recommendations.


Ethanolamines such as diethanolamine–or DEA–are often found in soaps, shampoos, conditioners and cleaning products. DEA is commonly used as a foaming agent. Ethanolamines may create a risk of reproductive complications, cancer, and environmental concerns. Plus, they can remain on your skin after usage which can cause irritation.

Many companies have done away with including certain toxic ingredients by using alternative ingredients instead or by simply omitting ingredients all together. If you want more information on other toxic ingredients to avoid and how to avoid them, check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. They provide detailed lists of potentially harmful products so that you can continue to live a healthy life.

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  • […] The first step to healthier hair is to remove all chemical products from your cleaning and styling routine. This means that you need to become a little more aware about the ingredients in your products. I know it may seem like a hassle to remember to check and research the first five ingredients in your shampoo or conditioner, but it’s super important to. There are brands that get away with putting harmful ingredients in their products because no one cares to check for them. Sodium lauryl sulfate, for example, is found in many shampoos and it is an ingredient commonly found in laundry detergent. For other chemicals to look out for, check out our helpful list. […]