8 Dangerous Chemicals to Avoid in Personal Care Products

by Dagmar Bleasdale on June 17, 2012

I just received the latest HealthyChild.org newsletter. They are always full of important information — you might want to sign up for them if you are interested in the latest news about non-toxic, healthy living.

One of the articles was about “Chemicals to Avoid in Your Personal Care Products.”

I think many parents are still not aware of the dangers of harmful chemicals that get added to lotions, shampoos, etc., so here are just a few you should avoid — not just in your children’s personal care products!

Initially, I wanted to know more about unhealthy skincare products so my son Landon wouldn’t get exposed to them, but once I learned about chemicals in these products, it was only natural that I now also avoid them myself.

8 Chemicals to Avoid in Skincare Products:

DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine)

These three chemicals are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing agents.


“Fragrance” is a euphemism for nearly 4,000 different ingredients. Most “fragrances” are synthetic and are either cancer-causing or otherwise toxic.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is a petroleum derivative that coats the skin like Saran Wrap, which prevents the skin from breathing. It also slows the skin’s natural cell development, causing the skin to age prematurely. Baby oil is 100% mineral oil—and 100% bad for your baby’s sensitive skin!


A synthetic antibacterial ingredient that has been compared to Agent Orange.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

They are the most toxic ingredients on this list. When used in combination with other chemicals, they can form nitrosamines, a deadly class of carcinogen. They are used to clean engines, garage floors — AND still the most popular ingredients for makeup, shampoo and conditioner, and toothpaste.

Read the whole articles for even more information.

Do you want to know what’s in your skincare products? Then make your own! Here is a post about Homemade Skin Care with several easy recipes, and here is another.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy June 29, 2012 at 1:05 AM

You know, you use so many different products on a daily basis and just take advantage of believing they’re safe. This is very interesting. Makes me think I really need to do a house sweep. Great post.


Natalie Z June 19, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Sadly I don’t check the ingredients on stuff as important as skincare products other than checking for gluten. Thanks for breaking this down so I know what to look for next time!


Cheri D June 18, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Thanks for the great post Dagmar! I didn’t know about Mineral Oil or Triclosan! It is so scary to think about how these ingredients are so common in our products!


Glenda June 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Thanks, Dagmar, for the information! I’m always interested in hearing all sides of an issue before being able to make an informed decision for my family. I appreciate you always being willing to stand for what you believe, in the face of opposition.


Amy June 17, 2012 at 9:25 PM

You can’t believe everything you hear and read. Know all the facts.


Dagmar June 18, 2012 at 2:08 AM

The FDA maintains that a lot of things are not harmful – because they get paid off by the manufacturers. I’d rather not take the risk that theses harsh ingredients might be harmful and not have them in my skincare products.


PragmaticMom June 17, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Thanks Dagmar! Yikes, I need to be more diligent. I appreciate this warning very much!


Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli) June 17, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Thanks for this list, Dagmar! ugh! When is our FDA going to do their job properly and not support big biz? Is it like this in your native Germany?


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