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Six Toxic Chemicals Lurking in Your Favorite Skin Care Products

Six Toxic Ingredients:

1. Parabens:  Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Formaldehyde 

Synethetic preservatives used in almost every skin care product.


  • May potentially increase risk of breast cancer. 
  • May cause early puberty.
  • Reduce sperm count in rats.

2. Petroleum Jelly (aka Petrolatum)

Hair and skin care products, baby products, and other cosmetics.


  • Listed as a carcinogen by the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • May potentially increase risk for breast cancer.

3. Sodium Laureth Sulfate/Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Used to disolve oil in makeup removers, facial cleansers and scrubs.  


  • Accumulates in organs where it interacts with other chemicals.
  • SLS created depression, labored breathing, diarrhea and death in rats.
  • Connected to skin and eye irritation, organ toxicity, developmental and reproductive problems and potentially cancer.

4. PEG-30 (dipolydrydoxystearate) PEG-120 (Methyl Glucose Dioleate)

Used in skin care products as thickeners and stabalizers, and to help dissolve oil on skin.


  • Not much research has been done on these chemicals.
  • May increase risk for uterine and breast cancers.

5.  DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) 

Creates lather in facial cleansers, scrubs & beauty bars.


  • An FDA study concluded that DEA-based detergents can greatly increase risk of liver and kidney cancer.
  • The WHO lists DEA as a carcinogen.
  • Europe prohivits DEA for inhibiting brain development.


Fresh smelling products sell better.


  • "fragance" can be created from 4000 ingredients
  • The USNIOSH identifies 884 of 2,983 tested fragrance chemicals as toxic.
  • Can affect central nervous system, leading to depression, hyperactivity, irritability, and other behavioral issues.