Toxic Ingredients in Cosmetics

Toxic ingredients found in cosmetics

You find toxic ingredients everywhere: skincare, makeup, hair products, home goods, your groceries… I mean I could keep going, they really are everywhere. Consumers are becoming more cautious, being clean and green, but there are still thousands of brands selling unhealthy products.

Although I’m cautious of what I use I don’t obsess over it. If a skin care product is exceptional and a less than stellar ingredients is at the bottom of the list, I’ll keep using it. Unless it’s like…. rat poison or something. But when I see a sketchy ingredient listed first I’m not wasting my time. Knowledge is power. Educate yourself so you can make choices that make sense for YOU.

To go over every ingredient of concern would be insanity. Instead I’m providing resources for you to research and read labels like a pro. As with all things, these are resources and should be treated as such, allowing you to make an educated decision. Sometimes the information doesn’t make sense. I don’t believe everything I read and neither should you.

EWG Skin Deep is one of my favorite hippie sites of all time. I obsess over their yearly sunscreen guide. On the main site they cover every toxic consumer item you could think of, deeper into the chia-seed-namaste-green-juice-hold-the-CO2-blackhole. Use this article to navigate suspect data.

Safe Cosmetics is my second go to for details on toxic ingredients in cosmetics. They have several interesting articles with studies linked, and information on US, State, and International laws.


Are toxic ingredients a new subject for you? If not, what’s your standby resource to learn about your labels?




About Sarah Nicole

Sarah is a Denver based expert esthetician, known for returning abused sensitive skin back to a glowing state without harsh products while boosting her client's skin confidence and self-worth. Sarah’s work has been featured in Allure, New Beauty, Greatist, NBC News, and D Magazine among others. You can follow her on Instagram @sarahnpayne.

2 thoughts on “Toxic Ingredients in Cosmetics

  1. I usually use CosDNA to analyze the ingredients. After looking at a bazillion ingredient lists though, you do start to notice toxic ingredients much faster 😛 Occasionally I’ll use the EWG database, but I’m always scared I’ll find some lesser known toxic ingredient in one of my HG products! D:

    1. I forgot about CosDNA! They’re great for deciphering Asian beauty. You’re so right, though. Years ago I used to walk into Sephora with a printed list and now I can pinpoint most sketchy items without researching. I’d rather be in the dark about a HG product too lol!

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