How to clean up your beauty routine: Which toxins should I avoid in my makeup products?

Posted on November 14 2018

How to clean up your beauty routine: Which toxins should I avoid in my makeup products?


You put on lotions and cosmetics everyday, but do you realize your skin is your largest body organ?  The skin is used to detoxify and cleanse the body (ahem, sweat, pimples, sheesh), but if we are clogging our skin with chemicals, and absorbing them through our skin, our health can be adversely affected.  While it may feel overwhelming and expensive to switch out and green clean your beauty regime, know that when you take action now, you are taking active steps towards your best health.

You can go spring cleaning, and do a major green clean overhaul.  Or, you can start slow and replace products knowledgeably as you use them up.  You decide what you can afford or live with and go from there. We all know going cold turkey with anything can be hard, so be kind to yourself, and celebrate that you are making positive changes towards a healthier you with every jar or bottle you use up or replace.

Overall, start making healthy choices.  Choose natural and organic makeup and body products.  Drink lots of clean filtered water to flush out your system.  Eat more organic fruits and veggies when possible and of course get outside for a walk or put on some music and dance around.  Anything that gets you moving is great!

Why are many of these following ingredients bad?  Well, in small amounts, you could say many of these products are “safe”.  However, over a period of time these products can bioaccumulate in your body, or act as endocrine disruptors (essentially mess with your hormones, and girl, let me tell you I don’t need any help with that).  Toxins that build up can also be carcinogenic, and for some people this can cause cancer in various shapes and forms (grrr HATE cancer). Moreover, it’s not always about us! Some products are very bad for the environment, and when we wash them off, these chemicals enter our water system and cause harm to aquatic life, and so the domino effect to the food chain begins.  

My thought is why do companies think they can get away with putting garbage in their products in the name of beauty?  It’s criminal. Once the science is there to prove it, ignorance is no longer an excuse, and changes HAVE to be made. You make a choice with your money every time you buy a product and you reinforce what is produced and provided with your consumer dollars.  YOU have power to make a change for yourself and others because it’s YOUR choice!

Okay so calm down, the following list is CRAAAAZY!  But, don’t panic. You won’t have to read long lists of labels forever.  This is just to do your clean out. Then, in the future, once you’ve found products you know and trust, you can stick to those companies and products in the future.  You can also make your own body care like me! I will definitely share some awesome recipes with you all.


Look for the following ingredients to avoid:

  • Parabens
  • Talc
  • Synthetic Colors: FD&C or D&C, Lakes and Dyes
  • Petrochemicals:
    • Mineral Oils
    • Propylene Glycol
    • Paraffin
    • Butylene Glycol
    • Isopropyl Alcohol
    • Petrolatum (vaseline)

  • Fragrance/ Parfum:
    • Phthalates (often in Fragrance), Dibutyl Phytalate (DBP)
    • Could be one of any 3059 ingredients some of which are carcinogenic

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
  • Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane (often not listed, but used in fabrication process- opt for organic to be sure)
  • Sunscreen Chemicals
    • Benzophenone,
    • PABA,
    • Avobenzone
    • Homosalate
    • Ethoxycinnmate
    • Oxybenzone
    • Sulisobenzone
    • Benzophenone
    • Nanomaterials (such as nano-zinc which can permeate the skin barrier and enter the bloodstream)

  • Carbon Black (sometimes found in eyeliners, mascaras and lipstick)
  • Lead and other contaminant metals look for:
    • Lead acetate,
    • Chromium,
    • Thimerosal,
    • Hydrogenated cottonseed oil,
    • Sodium hexametaphosphate
    • Chromium
    • Cadmium and its compounds
    • Arsenic
    • Crystalline silica (or quartz)

  • Triclosan (in many antibacterial products- watch out for those hand sanitizers!)
  • Toluene
  • Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol),
  • Phenacetin
  • Coal tar
  • Benzene
  • Ethylene oxide
  • Diethanolamine
  • DEA (diethanolamine), Cocamide DEA
    • DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate
  • MEA (momoethnanolamine), Cocamide MEA
  • Hydroquinone (whitening agent)
  • TEA (Triethanolamine)
  • Toluene
  • Silicone-derived emollients (Siloxanes)
  • Formaldehydes:
    • Quaternium-15
    • DMDM hydantoin
    • Imidazolidinyl urea
    • Diazolidinyl urea
    • Polyoxymethylene urea
    • Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
    • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal
  • BHA, BHT
  • Acrylates- Mostly found in artificial nail products
    • Ethyl acrylate,
    • Ethyl methacrylate
    • Methyl methacrylate


That’s a GIANT list.

Makes you feel like chemicals are EVERYWHERE and that it’s a conspiracy.  

Maybe it is...

Anyways, here’s a little pocketbook version for you!

Innomineral Clean Beauty Mini-Checklist

Fragrance/ Parfum

Sodium Lauryl/ Laureth Sulfate

Talc, Dyes, Lakes

Bismuth Oxychloride

Nano particles (nano zinc)

Coal Tar/ Coal Black

Triclosan, Formaldehyde


Urea (Diazolidinyl, Imidazolidinyl)

Parabens (Butyl-,Ethyl-, Methyl-, Propyl-)

Petrolatum/ Mineral Oil/ Propylene Glycol/ Paraffin

Sunscreen no-no’s: Benzophenone, PABA, Avobenzone, Homosalate, Ethoxycinnmate, Oxybenzone, Sulisobenzone, Benzophenone


Use the following list to go through your bathroom and makeup kit to check the labels and chuck if they’re toxic.

Products to clean out/ replace:

Body/ Skin Care

  • Body lotion
  • Body Oil
  • Essential oils* (please see note)
  • Body wash
  • Sunscreens
  • Face wash
  • Face lotion,
  • Toner
  • Acne treatments
  • Face serums
  • Eye gel
  • Shave Cream
  • Nail polish
  • Nail polish remover

Daily Household/ Work Use

  • Hand Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Deodorant/ Anti-persperant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothfloss
  • Feminie Hygeine Products
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Laundry Softener
  • Dish Soap
  • Dishwasher Soap and Drying Agents

Hair Care

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair serums
  • Hairspray
  • Styling products/ Gel/ Pomade


  • Eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Foundation
  • Eyeshadow
  • Blush
  • Primers
  • Finishing powders/ sprays
  • Lip Balm
  • Lipstick



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