Tag Archives: Paraben

Additional Ingredients I’m Avoiding

In my first post on ingredients to avoid, I mentioned parabens and sulfates.  Here are two more ingredients I’m trying to avoid or use sparingly and some reasons why.

Silicone (and other “cones”)  Continue reading


Ingredients I’m Avoiding

Below are descriptions of two of the ingredients I am trying to avoid or use very minimally.  As you can see, there are various health concerns associated with each one and I believe that any small step I can take to limit my exposure to these chemicals is worth it to me.


Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens are effective preservatives in many types of formulas. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. They can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, personal lubricants, topical/parenteral pharmaceuticals, spray tanning solution and toothpaste. They are also used as food additives.

Their efficacy as preservatives, in combination with their low cost, the long history of their use, and the inefficacy of natural alternatives like grapefruit seed extract,[1] probably explains why parabens are so commonplace. They are becoming increasingly controversial, however, because they have been found in high concentrations in breast cancer tumors. [2] Parabens have also displayed the ability to weakly mimic estrogen (a hormone known to play a role in the development of breast cancer).[2] No causal link between parabens and cancer has been established, however.[3]

-from Wikipedia


Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to “foam up”. Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants.

In fact, SLES is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen.

A report published in the Journal of The American College of Toxicology in 1983 showed that concentrations as low as 0.5% could cause irritation and concentrations of 10-30% caused skin corrosion and severe irritation.

In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, sodium lauryl sulfate also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin.

Perhaps most worryingly, SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of sodium lauryl sulfate is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved.

-from Natural Health Information Centre

More SLS information – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_lauryl_sulfate

Are you aware of a lot of the ingredients in your beauty products?  Is there anything you try to avoid?

Philosophy’s Beach Girl Set

Periodically I’ll feature a product I’m using that does not contain at least one of the ingredients I am trying to avoid.  I received this Beach Girl set for my birthday in June.  I wasn’t even aware then, but Sephora told me it is formulated without parabens, phthalates, GMO’s, triclosan, mineral oil, or propylene glycol.  Parabens are one of the main ingredients I am trying to stay away from and when I learned that these were paraben-free, I was so happy 🙂


0.5 oz Beach Girl High-Gloss, High-Flavor Lip Shine: Polybutene, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Beeswax/Cera Alba/Cire D’abeille, Fragrance/Parfum, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Polyglyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Triethylhexyl Trimellitate, C30-45 Olefin, Water/Aqua/Eau, Phytosterols, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Squalene, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Benzophenone-3, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Sodium Saccharin, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Benzoate, Cinnamal, Citral, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Red 27 Lake (Ci 45410).

4.0 oz Beach Girl Body Lotion: water⁄aqua⁄eau, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, glycerin, isopropyl palmitate, cetearyl olivate, isopropyl myristate, squalane, fragrance⁄parfum, sorbitan olivate, cetyl alcohol, limonene, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) fruit extract, dimethicone, phytosterols, tocopherol, tocotrienols, squalene, butylene glycol, oryza sativa (rice) bran wax, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, hydroxyethyl acrylate⁄sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, macadamia integrifolia seed oil, hydrogenated palm glycerides, potassium cetyl phosphate, cetyl palmitate,sesamum indicum (sesame) seed oil, zea mays (corn) oil, sorbitan palmitate, hexylene glycol, disodium edta, potassium sorbate, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, tris (tetramethylhydroxypiperidinol) citrate, xanthan gum, caprylyl glycol, benzyl benzoate, citral, citronellol, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, linalool, phenoxyethanol, yellow 5 (ci 19140), red 4 (ci 14700), yellow 6 (ci 15985).

4.0 oz Beach Girl Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath: Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ppg-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Lauryl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Glycerin, Glycol Stearate, Fragrance (Parfum), Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Phytosterols, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Squalene, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Isostearamidopropyl Morpholine Lactate, Methyl Gluceth-20, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Buteth-3, Tributyl Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Disodium Edta, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Yellow 5 (Ci 19140), Red 4 (Ci 14700), Yellow 6 (Ci 15985).

Doesn’t just looking at that list of ingredients make your head spin?  I’m a firm believer that the fewer ingredients in a product, the better it is for us (and it also helps if we can read, pronounce, and understand all of them too!).

Even though it’s been a few months, I have hardly touched the lip gloss at all.  I’ve used it a few times but it seemed to be too thick for me.  I’ll have to pull it out again and just use a teeny bit of it over top of another color; I think that would be the best way to go.

I was turned off by the lotion at first because it is pretty thin and runny, but I’ve been keeping it at my desk at work recently and I’m loving it!  I just have to be careful to turn it upside down and shake it down into the end of the tube before I open it.  It keeps my hands soft and moisturized for hours and it really smells like orange crush!  The scent definitely helps brighten my work day 🙂

The 3-in-1 shower gel on the other hand, is almost gone.  Be careful because it is runny and comes out too fast if you don’t turn it upside down before opening.  It lathers up awesomely on my loofah and even just between my hands, too.  In a pinch I’ve used it as a shampoo before and loved it.  It seemed just like any other shampoo, it just smelled really good and didn’t leave a trace of the scent in my hair after rinsing.

What paraben-free products have you found that you like?