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12 Top Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care Products

woman shopping for shampoo


What It Is: Propellant made from petroleum processing
Health Risks: Carcinogen
Found In: Moisturizer, shaving cream, foot spray, breath freshener

What It Is: Placenta, placental enzymes, placental extract
Health Risks: Filled with hormones that upset your own balance and increase estrogen
Found In: Skin and hair conditioner

What It Is: Hydroquinone
Health Risks: Can cause a skin disease called ochronosis
Found In: Skin whitener

Nano zinc oxide <100mm
What It Is: Nanoparticles
Health Risks: The safety of nanoparticles has not been tested, but they can cross the blood/brain barrier and move along nerves.
Found In: Sunscreens, lotions

From Top Chemicals to Avoid in Personal Care Products by Kelly Lerner and Alli Kingfisher; from Natural Home & Garden magazine

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-based Shampoos
Is Your Shampoo Dangerous?
Eco-Friendly Shampoo and Conditioner

Read more: Beauty, Health, Holistic Beauty

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Jessica Kellner

Jessica Kellner is the editor of Natural Home & Garden magazine, a national sustainable home and lifestyle magazine. She is dedicated to helping readers create more sustainable, delightful homes that are in tune with the natural world. She is also the author of Housing Reclaimed: Sustainable Homes for Next to Nothing, published by New Society Publishers in autumn of 2011. Email her at


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8:41AM PST on Jan 19, 2014

Wonderful concise info. Thank you for simplifying.

10:35AM PST on Nov 9, 2013

lots of labels say organic, gluten free, enriched, low fat. read the ingredients

8:45PM PDT on Oct 19, 2013

i try to stick to all natural ingredients

1:26PM PST on Nov 22, 2012

I am so glad to say that I only use olive oil as a beauty product!!
Thanks for posting, re-shared

11:35AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

Thanks! It is difficult to avoid them all though

7:05AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

That's the reason I switched to natural (organic) skin care products some years ago. No more chemicals on my body! The amounts may be very little in some cases but still. And yes, even though I buy natural skin care products, I still look at the ingredients list.

12:14PM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Thank you! I don't wear make-up...unless it's special event for few soon as I get home, I always remove make-up!

5:15AM PST on Jan 24, 2012

Good heavens. Who knew? Thanks for the information.

3:15AM PST on Jan 23, 2012

And these chemicals have been in the products for sometime now. We should go for organic beauty products.

9:14PM PST on Jan 19, 2012

Thank you for that info. It's a shame companies continue to make products with carcinogens and even worse that we keep using them. Try the health shops, at least you have half a chance of buying something that won't kill you and isn't tested on animals.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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