What’s really in our beauty products?

discover the ugly truth about what we're putting on our face and body...

What’s really in our beauty products?

A lot of people don’t know this but our cosmetics are packed FULL of harmful chemicals, including carcinogens (substances that can cause cancer), reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. Some products even contain plasticizers (chemicals used to keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks). YIKES!!  Imagine what that does to your skin!!! Not only that but it also harms the environment, our oceans and fish. Because at the end of the day when we wash up for bed or take a shower everything gets washed down the drain and goes into the ocean and consumed.

But what can you do about it? Well the first thing I did was familiarize myself with the different chemicals and their names so that I could at least know what not to look for when buying cosmetics. Then I did a little research to find out which brands are using these dangerous ingredients. And you know there isn’t much information out there, specifically with makeup brands. I think the cosmetic industry is trying to keep this information from the general public to save their pocket books, but that’s my speculation. So I started looking for myself. I started reading the ingredients on every product I found and was shocked to discover that 99% of cosmetic products and beauty products on the market had one or more of these toxic chemicals!! Brands including Aveeno, Burt’s Bees, Smashbox, MAC, Lancome, Tom Ford, Crest, Colgate, Chanel,  Loreal, Almay, Physicians Formula, Maybelline, Tresseme, The Body Shop, Lush, Dial and on and on. I managed to find a few skin care products with all natural and organic ingredients, which I’ve detailed further on in the article. But when it comes to cosmetics in the drugstore, forget it! I read ALL the ingredients on all makeup brands I could find in the drugstore and not one was free from toxic chemicals. This also goes for the high-end brands. Don’t assume a product has safe ingredients just because it has a fat price tag. Download my little wallet size guide and start reading labels the next time you go shopping!  

I wasn’t able to find any shampoo and conditioner or body lotion at the drug store that was free of the various chemicals so I started hunting the organic beauty product aisles at various heath food stores. I thought surely if it’s “organic” and “all natural” that the ingredients would check out. But I was wrong about that too! I found several of the various chemicals on the ingredient lists in these so called organic and all natural products. Although, thankfully I did find a few products that had really clean ingredients and I ended up buying a few (also listed below). So don’t assume that it’s safe just because it’s in the organic aisle, read the labels, know what you’re buying and putting on your face and body and help keep our environment clean. Again, download the little guide and keep it in your wallet or purse so you are always prepared when you’re out shopping for beauty products.

I am still on the hunt for affordable, drugstore makeup that has 100% clean ingredients, free of the toxins on my “Naughty List”. I know there are some good brands out there that use really clean ingredients like Makeup Geek, Arbonne, I think even Sugarpill. But I’m hoping to one day find a drugstore makeup line that has 100% safe and chemical free ingredients. Hey a girl can dream!!! I will continue to read labels and search the shelves at each drugstore I visit. If any of you know of a brand I haven’t discovered yet that fulfills my quest please leave a comment and I’d be more than happy to check it out.

If you don’t mind spending a little more than drugstore prices, but equivalent to Sephora and Ulta, I have found a company that is 100% vegan, cruelty free, botanically based, the whole nine yards. I’ve used several of their products including their makeup, skin care, body wash, shampoo and conditioner and their protein shakes too, super yummy btw. So far I’ve loved everything I’ve tried so I think it’s worth checking out. I know people who only use Arbonne products in their house because all of the products they offer are 100% natural, toxins-free. So if you’d like to check it out click the picture to the right and you’ll be directed to the website.

In summary I have discovered the ugly truth that the cosmetics industry, along with the food industry is putting harmful chemicals in our products and we are using them and poisoning our bodies and the environment without even knowing it. I have written this article in the hopes that you can learn something useful and I hope you too will be inspired to use products with safe and non-toxic ingredients.

(For info about the various products I found and have been using keep on reading.)


SKIN CARE: I scoured the shelves at the drugstores and read the labels of so many skin care lines that I swear I was going cross-eyed. I was determined to find, not only a single product here and there that looked good, I wanted to find an entire line that didn’t have any of the chemicals on my list in the ingredients. I found out that it didn’t exist. I found several lines that had one or 2 good products, like the skin care line “Simple” for example, or “La Roche-Posay”. Both of these brands claim to be gentle on the skin with no harsh chemicals so I read all the ingredients on each of their products. While a few of the products had very good ingredients, a few of them didn’t pass the test. So I kept searching and wasn’t able to find a single brand that didn’t use any chemicals on my naughty list. I was about to give up, then I turned around and there it was on display right behind me this brand called Botanics. It was claiming to 82% organic so it looked pretty promising. The brand had several different, what do you call it, lines, like one line with rosehip and one line with hibiscus etc. I read the ingredients of each one and the only one that had 100% clean and toxin-free was the green one, 81% organic with rosehip. This line of Botanics has zero toxic ingredients and it’s super affordable too!!! I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and it’s amazing, I love it. I found it at Walgreens, but you can get it at Target and Ulta as well. Here’s a link to the cleanser at Ulta, you can get the whole line here as well: 


SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER: I have searched drugstores high and low for shampoo and conditioner that’s free of all the harmful toxic chemicals with no luck. EVERYTHING has one or more of these nasty toxic chemicals. Even at the health food stores I had a hard time finding something with no chemicals. The closest I could find was Nature’s Gate Herbal Shampoo and Conditioner which I have been using for about 5 months now and I’m loving it. Overall this product has really good ingredients. It does contain parfum but it’s the very last ingredient which means there’s very little of it added.  It’s really good stuff, has amazing ingredients and it cleans my hair really nicely. I’ve used several different kinds of shampoo and conditioners from the health food store with chemical free ingredients and most of them left my hair feeling kinda oily but this kind doesn’t. It leaves my hair feeling super soft and clean. I found it at some random health food store in Toronto, Canada and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere in Nashville so when I ran out I just bought it on Amazon. I left a link for you if you’d like to give it a try. 

  Nature’s Gate Herbal Daily Cleanse Shampoo and Nature’s Gate Herbal Daily Cleanse Conditioner Bundle With Sage, Lavender and Rosemary, 18 fl oz (532 ml) each

Body wash: My daughter has very sensitive skin and I’ve tried every body soap known to man and everything makes her itchy! I’ve tried goat milk soap, organic soap, vegan soap, Ivory, Dove, everything and nothing was working. Then I decided to try this soap called Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap which I had heard a lot of things about but never tried. I bought a small bottle of the Baby Unscented one to try it out and low and behold it worked on my daughter’s skin! I couldn’t believe it! After years of hunting the shelves for something gentle enough for her skin I found something that worked for her that’s also very environmentally friendly, toxins free, gentle on the skin and super versatile.  According to the bottle you can use it on almost everything. I’ve only used it on my body and hair, but it cleans really well so I don’t doubt that it would be great on anything. I’ve tried the lavender and peppermint one but the unscented baby kind is my favorite. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

 Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap, 18-in-1 Hemp Unscented Baby Mild, 32-Ounce Bottle

Household Cleaning Supplies: I know it’s not a beauty product but I thought I’d throw it in here because I love these cleaning products so much. I’m a very firm believer in using products that are environmentally friendly as well as safe if you have children and pets. For a long time I was using lemon and vinegar which works very well but I wasn’t a big fan of the vinegar smell plus I wanted something with a nice clean house smell that wasn’t overbearing. And I found exactly what I was looking for when I discovered the brand Method. This company uses all biodegradable, plant-based ingredients that are completely safe for use around your children and pets; they clean REALLY REALLY well and they also smell amazing!! I was a housekeeper for several years and I only used Method cleaning products and I’ll never go back. They have my %100 stamp of approval and I think everyone should switch out there harmful chemicals under their sinks for Method. I put the link below for my all time favorite all-purpose cleaner. This stuff cleans so well and I absolutely love, love, love the smell!!!! You have to start using this stuff! 

 Method Naturally Derived All Purpose Surface Cleaner Spray, Lime + Sea Salt, 28 Ounce

If you have any questions for would like more information feel free to leave a comment or email me directly. Here’s to a clean and toxins free life for everyone.