Posted on: August 26, 2016 at 1:46 pm
Last updated: July 7, 2020 at 5:52 pm

No matter where we turn, we are bombarded by advertisements for products that can remove blemishes and imperfections, and make us look like the models advertising those products. What they aren’t advertising, however, is the chemicals that are pumped into these products to live up to the claims they’re making.


The Dirty Dozen

The majority of cosmetics found in retail stores contain dangerous chemicals; some of these are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and can even have neurotoxic effects. The David Suzuki Foundation found that 12 of these chemicals were the most troublesome, and refers to them as the ‘Dirty Dozen.’ One study [1] found that the average consumer’s collection of cosmetic products contains at least one item that has 80% of the chemicals in the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list!

  1. BHA & BHT

These are found mainly in moisturizers and makeup as a preservative. They are also endocrine disruptors and have been found to cause cancer (BHA) [2].

  1. Coal Tar Dyes

These dyes have the potential to cause cancer and may contaminate the brain with heavy metals. Look for p-phenylenediamine in hair dyes and in other products colors listed as “CI” followed by five digits. The U.S. color name may also be listed (e.g., “FD&C Blue No. 1” or “Blue 1”) [3].

  1. DEA

Used in creamy and foaming products, like moisturizers and shampoos. It can form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Be sure to look out for related chemicals, MEA and TEA [4].

  1. Dibutyl phthalate

Used as a plasticizer in nail-care products. It is also a suspected endocrine disruptor and a danger to the reproductive system [5].

  1. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives

These are used in a variety of cosmetics, and slowly releases small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer. Look out for DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quaternion-15 [6].

  1. Parabens

Used in various cosmetic products as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptor and can interfere with male reproductive functions [7].

  1. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)

Any mixture Parfum is a blanket term for fragrant ingredients used in different cosmetics [8] — even in products claiming to be “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma in people and have been linked to cancer and neurotoxicity [9].

  1. PEG compounds

Used in many cosmetic creams. It can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Keep a look out for ingredients that contain ‘eth’ in their name [10]

  1. Petrolatum

Used in hair products for added shine and as a moisture barrier in lip balms, lipsticks, and moisturizers. Petroleum products, when combined with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (like in most creams), are very toxic and may cause cancer [11].

  1. Siloxanes

Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” They are used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisturize. It is a suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxin [12].

  1. Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Used in foaming cosmetics, it can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” like sodium laureth sulfate [13].

  1. Triclosan

Used in antibacterial cosmetics, like toothpaste, cleansers, and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria [14].

toxic chemicals beauty products

The Power Of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is not only one of the most amazing foods to eat, but to replace these dangerous chemical products! It is a great natural moisturizer for all different skin types, and its antioxidants make it great for fighting the aging of skin [15].

It’s also fantastic for hair because the natural proteins found in coconuts help to strengthen, protect, and heal damaged hair. Lastly, it also has natural antibacterial properties, making it great for cleaning wounds naturally [15].

Buy 15 oz. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for $8.45 from Amazon.

33 Surprising Ways To Use Coconut Oil

With all the natural health benefits of coconut oil, it’s no wonder that it can be used to replace harmful products. Here’s a list of great ways you might not have thought you could use coconut oil![16][17]

  1. Moisturizer

Like we mentioned before, coconut oil makes a great moisturizer. The best part? You can just rub it on your skin, as is!

  1. Toothpaste

With its natural antibacterial properties, coconut oil makes a great alternative to toothpaste! Try this great recipe for an easy homemade coconut peppermint toothpaste!

  1. Eye-makeup remover

Coconut oil is also great for removing your eye makeup. Just put a little on a cotton pad and remove your makeup- free of chemicals!

  1. Hair serum

Coconut oil can do wonders for your hair! Its natural proteins help to strengthen and moisturize it.

  1. Hair conditioner

You can use coconut oil on its own as a hair mask to help fight any damage to your hair while keeping it smooth and silky!

  1. Lip balm

Chapped lips? Coconut oil makes a great lip moisturizer to help soften and moisturize dry lips.

  1. Sunscreen

Use coconut oil and other natural ingredients to make your very own sunscreen! Safe from parabens and other toxins, it’s a great alternative and healthy on your skin [18].

  1. Self-tanner

Want to get that sunkissed look but don’t want to make yourself susceptible to the dangers of radiation and toxins? Why don’t you try this all natural self-tanner recipe!

  1. Deodorant

Conventional deodorant is filled with toxins and aluminum, which has been linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s! Try this great, all natural deodorant recipe with coconut oil, shea butter, and tea tree oil!

  1. Lotion bar

Here’s a great recipe for a coconut oil lotion bar! It’s made with beeswax and a few essential oils so it’s great for dry, flaky skin and it smells great.

  1. Stretch mark cream

First off, there is nothing wrong with stretch marks! But some people might not see them the same way others do. If that’s the case, this stretch mark cream is just what you need.

  1. Anti-aging cream

The natural properties in coconut oil can actually help fight premature aging and lighten the look of age spots. Just rub a little on every night before bed to keep your skin looking youthful!

  1. Massage oil

Not only is coconut oil a great moisturizer, but it’s also an excellent base for a massage oil! Just mix a quarter cup of coconut oil with 30 drops of essential oil to make your massage even more relaxing.

  1. Body scrub

This body scrub recipe is just as sweet for you as its ingredients! Simply mix ½ cup organic raw sugar with ½ cup coconut oil, and add in a few essential oils of your choice. Use 1 Tablespoon as needed in the shower, and then rinse well to reveal soft, silky skin.

  1. Mouthwash

Ever heard of oil pulling? We love using coconut oil because it tastes great and full of antibacterial properties to fight bacteria in the mouth [19].

  1. Anti-dandruff treatment

Niucoco makes a great shampoo with coconut oil, green tea, and a handful of other great ingredients that leave your hair voluminous, and moisturized to fight those pesky flakes.

  1. Shaving cream

This coconut oil shaving cream makes a great replacement for toxin filled shaving cream, plus it leaves your skin feeling really smooth!

  1. Shaving lotion

And once you’re done shaving, throw on another layer to protect any knicks you may have gotten and to keep your skin nice and moisturized.

  1. For varicose veins

When used topically, coconut oil can help reduce the appearance of varicose veins.

  1. Cracked heels

This cracked heel salve uses coconut oil, magnesium flakes, essential oils, and more to heal and protect against cracked heels.

  1. Cellulite cream

Coconut oil packs a double punch here. Include more coconut oil in your diet to help nourish your skin from the inside, as well as using it externally.

  1. Nail cream

A great way to help your nails grow is with this great all-natural nail cream.

  1. Body butter

This really easy recipe for whipped body butter uses coconut oil and your favorite essential oils for a great all over moisturizer.

  1. Acne cream

It can also be used topically to help treat acne naturally! You can apply some coconut oil directly to the blemishes, or apply a coconut oil mask on your face for 20 minutes. Simply mix 5 Tablespoons of aloe vera juice, 2 teaspoons of raw honey, and 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil.

  1. Makeup-Brush Cleaner

Cleaning your makeup brushes should be a monthly ritual. You can use a make your own cleanser that’s two parts natural, antibacterial soap and one part coconut oil.

  1. Under-eye Cream

Dab coconut oil on under-eye bags and fine lines. It’s light enough for the most delicate skin on your face.

  1. Itch Relief

You can soothe burns, bites, and rashes with a nice layer of coconut oil.

  1. Night Cream

Apply coconut oil at night for maximum moisturizing benefits. The antioxidants are great for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles while you sleep.

  1. Lip Scrub

Mix a little organic raw sugar into your coconut oil for a soothing all natural lip scrub.

  1. Foot Scrub

Use coconut oil in this magnesium foot scrub before bed to soothe dry feet and also get a boost of this relaxing mineral. Simply mix 1 cup of Epsom salt, 2 cups coconut oil, and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.

  1. Shampoo Bar

Shampoo bars are great alternatives to regular shampoos, and it can be even used on your whole body.

  1. Clay and Charcoal Facial Soap

This facial soap recipe uses the power of coconut oil, clay, and charcoal to help cleanse the skin on your face gently while removing any impurities and toxins.

  1. Teeth Whitening

Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic treatment that can be used to help remove bacteria and tooth stains. Simply swish coconut oil in your mouth for anywhere between 5-20 minutes on a regular basis.

Once you make the switch, you’ll be hooked, and your skin, hair, and health will thank you for it. Take these tips and share them with others who haven’t experienced the incredible powers of coconut oil!

Buy 15 oz. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for $8.45 from Amazon.

1. ‘Dirty Dozen’ cosmetic chemicals to avoid. David Suzuki Foundation. 2010. Available at: Accessed August 26, 2016.
2. BHA and BHT. David Suzukiorg. 2010. Available at: 2.—bha-and-bhti/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
3. Coal Tar Dyes. David Suzuki Foundation. 2009. Available at:—coal-tar-dyes/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
4. DEA. David Suzuki Foundation. 2009. Available at:—dea/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
5. Dibutyl Phthalate. David Suzuki Foundation. 2009. Available at:—dibutyl-phthalate/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
6. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. David Suzuki Foundation. 2010. Available at:—formaldehyde-releas. Accessed August 26, 2016.
7. Parabens. David Suzuki Foundation. 2009. Available at:—parabens/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
8. Not So Sexy. EWG. 2010. Available at: Accessed August 26, 2016.
9. Fragrance and parfum. David Suzuki Foundation. 2009. Available at: Accessed August 26, 2016.
10. PEG Compounds and their contaminants. David Suzuki Foundation. 2010. Available at:—peg-compounds-and-their-contaminants/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
11. Petrolatum. David Suzuki Foundation. 2008. Available at:—petrolatum/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
12. Siloxanes. David Suzuki Foundation. 2009. Available at:—siloxanes/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
13. Sodium Laureth Sulfate. David Suzuki Foundation. 2010. Available at:—sodium-laureth-sulfate/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
14. Triclosan. David Suzuki Foundation. 2009. Available at:—triclosan/. Accessed August 26, 2016.
15. Health Benefits of Coconut Oil. Organicfactsnet. 2012. Available at: Accessed August 26, 2016.
16. 21 Unexpected Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil. Allure. 2014. Available at: Accessed August 26, 2016.
17. 101+ Coconut Oil Uses and Benefits | Wellness Mama. Wellness Mama®. 2016. Available at: Accessed August 26, 2016.
18. Chanchal Deep Kaur S. In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics.Pharmacognosy Research. 2010;2(1):22. Available at: Accessed August 26, 2016.
19. Thaweboon S, Nakaparksin J, Thaweboon B. Effect of Oil-Pulling on Oral Microorganisms in Biofilm Models. Asia Journal of Public Health. 2011;2(2):62-66. Available at: . Journal homepage: . Accessed August 20, 2016.
20. How to Minimize Chlorine Exposure When Swimming | Wellness Mama. Wellness Mama®. 2016. Available at: . Accessed August 26, 2016.

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