Dirty Dozen Chemicals to Avoid in your Daily Personal Care Products

in the shower, on your face, body and even cleaning your teeth…


Well collectively these chemicals are messing with your hormonal balance, causing rashes, allergies and contributing to a plethora of immune system problems. Unknowingly you can be exposed to many chemicals all day long. Why not make wise choices when you do have control?

Did you know our little girls are born with a lifetime supply of eggs that may be our grandchildren? Hence these eggs (or grandchildren) are exposed to the same chemicals you are until conception? Scary isn’t it. 1,000’s of new chemicals are developed each year.


The Dirty Dozen Chemical Ingredients to Avoid:

#1 Sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate

A detergent or foaming agent which is very drying to skin. It can strip away skin’s protective oils causing irritation and weakening skin’s barrier function.


#2 Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben etc)

Preservatives that are found in 75-90% of mass produced personal care products. They are associated with skin irritation and contact dermatitis and are suspected to interfere with hormone functioning.


#3 Fragrance or Parfum

Among the top 5 allergens in the world and are found in almost every mass produced product. The words fragrance or parfum are a catch-all for a whole big group of 1,000’s of undisclosed chemicals that include phthalates and other synthetics that can cause skin irritation, sensitisation, allergies, skin reactions, asthma, interfere with hormones and potentially cause cancer.


#4 DEA, TEA and MEA (cocomide DEA, lauramide DEA, triethanolamine)

Help to create a foam or lather and adjust the pH of a product. These are skin, eye and lung irritants …they may cause allergic reactions and have been
linked to cancer and hormone disruption.


#5 Phthalates

Are chemicals that hide under the words fragrance or parfum. They’re potential carcinogens that can mimic estrogen and have been linked to lower
sperm counts, early puberty in girls, birth defects and infertility ….and have been found in 72% of personal care products tested. These won’t be something you can look out for on a label, So again, avoid fragrances and parfum.


#6 Formaldehyde releasing preservatives (Quaternium-15, DMDM hydration, Diaziolidinyl Urea (Germall), Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (suttocide)

These preservatives are found in shampoos, moisturisers, make-up and baby products. These ingredients slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde which can be carcinogenic. They can cause skin irritation and have suspected effects on the liver, immune system and nervous system.


#7 Mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin oil

Petroleum products that may be contaminated with hydrocarbons that are potentially carcinogenic. They can form a barrier on skin and interfere with skin’s natural functioning. As an alternative, look for products that contain ingredients that mimic skin’s natural oils and support skin’s natural functioning like grass fed tallow …or ingredients like beeswax and other natural waxes.


#8 Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)

Can interfere with skin’s barrier function and increase absorption of other chemicals and cause skin irritation. Can be contaminated with potentially carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane.


#9 Triclosan

Is an antibacterial found in hand sanitisers, cleansers, toothpaste and acne products, although less so nowadays with a lot of companies phasing it out.
It can be irritating to skin, is easily absorbed and is suspected to interfere with hormonal functioning.


#10 Coal tar and coal tar dyes (look for p-phenylenediamine, aminophenol, diaminobenzene and colors that begin in “CI” followed by a 5 digit number e.g. CI 19140)

Are found in shampoos and hair dyes, derived from petroleum and are potential carcinogens. May also be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.


#11 Silicones and siloxanes

Are found in haircare products, anti-aging products and sunscreens. Their function is to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected to interfere with hormonal


#12 BHA and BHT

Are preservatives found in moisturisers, shaving products and make-up. Skin irritants and also potential carcinogens and hormone disrupters.

# Compiled by Crystal Fieldhouse, creator of Ecology Skincare 


Next Steps to Avoid these Nasties:

Click here for detox checklist to carry to help you start decluttering the chemicals from your personal care products and cosmetics in your bathroom cupboard and shower

• Remember…you don’t need to throw out everything in your bathroom cupboard all at once. Take it one step at a time, choose your acceptable level of chemical exposure. As you use up a product, do your research and replace it with one that has more natural ingredients

• Check out resources like the Chemical Maze App, the skin deep database and Alexx Stuart’s Low Tox Life

• Check out the Mind Body Beauty Podcast episodes where they touch on sunscreens and how to be safe in the sun and also choosing and using make-up

• Check out the Ecology Skincare online store for 100% natural moisturising creams for sensitive skin and dry skin and also for low-tox options for cleansing and removing makeup

Moisturisers – for sensitive skin and all skin types. SPECIAL OFFER trial 10mL size for only $7 (no postage) until Friday midnight Click here

Ecology skincare

Cleansers – Konjac Sponges, microfibre makeup removal cloths, bamboo cloths, goats
milk soap

Ecology Skincare konjac sponge



• “Healthy Home, Healthy Family” ~ Nicole Biljsma
• “What is Eczema? A Path to Ending the Misery” ~ Dr Harley Farmer
• “The Chemical Maze” ~ Bill Statham & Lindy Schneider
• “The Skintervention Guide” ~ Liz Wolfe


• The Chemical Maze App (available in the iTunes App Store)


• Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: Chemicals of Concern
• Campaign for Sale Cosmetics: What’s in your products
• The Environmental Working Group (EWG): Skin Deep Database
• Sarah Wilson: How to choose toxin-free sunscreen

Hope this was helpful? Please feel free to share it around to help others reduce the dirty dozen chemicals in their life.

Loads of health & happiness, Julie