Non-Toxic Beauty Products: How to Detox Your Beauty Routine

Chemicals and toxins are not just in your food – they are also widely used in your favorite personal care products such as makeup, deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner! I switched all of my personal care products when I became sick and I was told by my Integrative M.D.’s how these toxic ingredients were endocrine disruptors, leading to cancer, autoimmune diseases and other illnesses. I was amazed that EVERY product that I had contained toxic ingredients. Even my beautiful, expensive makeup that I thought was so ‘perfect’! I was shocked because I thought the high-quality products in fancy stores were made from quality ingredients- but I was fooled- by advertising.

Our skin absorbs 60% of any topical product we use and more than 10,000 ingredients are allowed for use in our personal care items. Many of these ingredients are hazardous to our health but they are used in everything from makeup to facial moisturizer and nail polish remover! It’s amazing that the average woman wears nearly 515 chemicals a day and will eat nearly 4 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime, so make sure your lipstick does NOT contain lead or any chemicals.

Now, don’t stress out. Just take yourself over to Vitacost.com or to your nearest health food store or Whole Foods Market to find a toxin-free product. But, you must be careful because even though a product claims to be organic or natural or just because it’s being sold in a healthy store does NOT mean that it is truly toxin free. Some of the products sold in these stores still contain Parabens and Phthalates just like any conventional brand. This is such a shame but it’s why I’m here to help educate you about which ingredients are safe and which are not.

Clean Living 

I made some important lifestyle changes in order to stay healthy. I closely examined the everyday products I used and found that many harbored harmful metals and chemicals that can adversely impact overall health. Here are several beauty products that I “detoxified” from my life.

Makeup and Personal Care Products

Chemicals like parabens are added to personal care products to keep bacteria and mold from growing in the packaging. These additives are considered endocrine disruptors, which can lead to hormone-related cancers in adults and early onset of puberty in girls. Parabens can be found in many household items, including cosmetics, lotions, soaps, toothpaste, shampoos, moisturizers, shaving gels, fragrances and soaps. Read labels carefully and choose products with a short list of all-natural ingredients.

Sheets and Towels

Certain fabrics may be laced with toxic chemicals. I removed all the towels and sheets from my home and replaced them with items made with organic, all-natural fibers.

Shower Curtains

Vinyl shower curtains are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can release chemical fumes that linger in your home for months and can impact your health. I now use a water-resistant cotton shower liner made with organic fabric.

Here is a list of the major toxins that are known to cause disease and have been proven to be toxic to our bodies:

  • PCB’s (Highly toxic chemicals banned in the 1970′s but 24 million are unaccounted for. Currently, farm raised salmon contain PCB’s)
  • Dioxins (Used in chlorinated cleaners and may end up in animals with high fat content such as fish and shellfish)
  • Heavy Metals (Mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum and cadmium accumulate in the soft tissues of our bodies and are found in nasal sprays, shampoo and antiperspirant deodorant)
  • Asbestos (Used to insulate older buildings- cancer causing material)
  • Parabens (Found in most personal care products, baby lotions and cosmetics. These are endocrine system disrupters, hormonal balance disrupters may lead to infertility and other hormone problems)
  • Phthalates (Found in cosmetics, hair spray, mousse, room sprays, colognes and perfumes)
  • Insecticides and Pesticides (Found in conventionally grown produce and foods)
  • VOC’s (Found in perfumes, shampoo, household cleaners, furniture polishes, air freshener, nail polish remover, hair relaxers, adhesives, foams, plastics, toiletries, aftershave lotions)
  • Chlorine (Found in tap water, shower water, pools, household cleaners)
  • Toluene (Found in cosmetics and nail polish)
  • Synthetic Fragrance (Found in soap, lotion, shampoo, deodorant, conditioner and perfume is linked to hormone disruption)

Here are Amie’s Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty Products:

There are not any completely pure nail polishes (unless you go for water-based, which are odd) so focus on choosing nail polish that is the safest, relatively speaking- look for the term ’3-free’, which means that the formula is free of the 3 big nail polish chemicals- formaldehyde, toluene and DBP. Make sure you choose a 3-free nail polish. Here are two brands that have great colors and are 3-free.

If you are wondering if your beauty products are toxic, check out Skin Deep, which is a website dedicated to showing you what sunscreen, lotions, makeup, etc. are toxic and which are safe.

 It is essential to work with your Integrative M.D. and Integrative Dermatologist because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. It is also important to read the labels of these items and to call the company if you have any questions before using any new products. This information is given for informational purposes only.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jocelyn April 28, 2013 at 12:34 am

Hi Amie! Love your site! Could you tell me what the title image is? It looks amazing and it’s such a pretty purple!

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Amie April 28, 2013 at 8:44 am

Thank you SO SO Much Jocelyn; great to hear from you! Those are purple sweet potatoes! I thought they were pretty for my beauty page. They are delish; have a great weekend!!

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Nancy July 23, 2013 at 1:09 am

Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to
protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked
hard on. Any recommendations?

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Mona November 19, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Hi Amie,
Wow this is an amazing wealth of information I’v been searching for. Have been cleaning up the toxins in my life. The only question I have is what hairspray can you recommend? Also do you have an essential oil brand you prefer or recommend?

Thanks so much
Mona

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Amie November 20, 2013 at 9:22 am

Thanks Mona! I love Aura Cacia. They are amazing and organic!!

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Amie November 21, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Thanks Mona; I don’t use hairspray but I love the Aura Cacia organic essential oils!

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jodi December 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm

hi amie,
thanks for doing such great work and making an easy-to-read site with such great info.

just wondering: have you ever tried lush products? i notice this company touts fresh produce and essential oils and other natural ingredients, often organic, but also have a few questionable ingredients at the end of the list such as propylene glycol, stearic acid, cetearyl alcohol, methyl ionone, parfum, and parabens. i’m assuming these additives are necessary for stabilizing and preserving the organic and perishable ingredients in their products.

do you know anything from an insider’s standpoint about the company? it doesn’t seem to be a marketing scam for folks who want pure products; they seem to be the best available that i’ve ever tried, short of mixing elixirs and beauty aids in my own kitchen.

will you advise or comment on lush as a company and their products?

i stumbled into one of their stores over the black friday weekend sales and against all better judgment splurged on a number of products in hopes they might help me. to my great surprise and delight, my dry flaky red irritated facial skin condition disappeared a few weeks later (when nothing else in my life had changed–diet, stress levels, weather, etc.).

i want to believe these products won’t be harmful to me and that they’ve been helpful when other aids/products from my natural food co-op weren’t.

your thoughts are appreciated….
jodi
seattle

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Amie December 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Great to hear from you Jodi; I haven’t tried Lush products but funny you ask because I walked past their store in NYC yesterday and was going to ask them about their ingredients. I just emailed them to get some answers so as soon as I hear back I’ll let you know. ox Thanks!!!

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Cait March 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Love LUSH because they also are very vocal about fighting animal testing. Just wish they were a bit less expensive! Have you ever used Body Shop products?

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Amie March 18, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Thanks Cait; I LOVE Lush too! I haven’t done any BodyShop products!

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Amie December 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Jodi,
Here is the response from LUSH Customer Service. Hope this helps.

Hi Amie!

Thanks for taking the time to write in and your interest in LUSH!

At LUSH, we make vegetarian, handmade cosmetics for our shops in 44 countries worldwide using only the finest essential oils and fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. We invent all our own products and fragrances- and we’re quite proud of them, that’s why we let you know right on the pot when the product was made and what we put in them. We only make our products in small batches, by hand, to ensure that everything is delivered to your local shop or front door is as fresh as possible. You may be purchasing product that is only days, or even hours, old.

At LUSH, we believe in supporting our community, animals and the environment. We use natural ingredients and safe synthetics, and we try out our products on (willing) humans only. We never test our products and ingredients on animals, or engage with third-party suppliers to test on our behalf. We didn’t create products for our furry friends, we made them for you!

We source our ingredients locally whenever possible, and have six manufacturing facilities around the world, so our products don’t have to travel far to reach local shops. You can buy about 70% of our products naked (the products themselves, we’re not referring to online shopping!) Our naked products are made solid and preservative-free. We love inventing products with no packaging at all, but if we must use packaging, we use post-consumer recycled, recyclable and biodegradable materials whenever possible.

In regards to the ingredients we use, there are far too many to count! You can find any and all ingredients we use on our website:
http://www.lushusa.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Lush-Site/en_US/Lushopedia-Start

If you would like the specific ingredients in specific products, we provide a full ingredient list for each product on our website. We also indicate which are natural ingredients and which are safe synthetics.

I hope this helps! If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at LUSH!
Kind regards.

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Lydia Reichelt January 22, 2014 at 8:56 am

It’s really great to see more awareness and help online for others. Thank you for posting to help get the message out! Have you looked into Ava Anderson Non-Toxic? I am in loooove with the facial cleanser, chap sticks and bathroom cleaner! Check it out, will you? I just started selling the products to give me a way to go out and share the message and help provide people with the best of the best. All organic and made in USA (a few products in Canada but will be changed over). No preservatives or anything! Awesome stuff :))

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Amie February 4, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Thank you!

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Corrina Hansen February 18, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Have you tried any of the Modere skin care products? I’ve been hearing great things and the ingredients list looks good, but I have very sensitive skin so I’m always wary of new products.

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Amie February 19, 2014 at 11:52 pm

I haven’t but would love to try them Corrina; they sound great!

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Christine February 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Thanks for the great list! I found it when I googled “gluten free organic make up”. Still trying to detox my life after a recent auto immune diagnosis. I know everyone has their recommendations, but I have to add another. Benedetta skin care is amazing, especially their Rosemary and geranium cleanser! Hand crafted in small batches and makes facial skin clear, soft and radiant.

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Amie March 1, 2014 at 11:35 pm

Thanks Christine; I’ll check it out!

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