The Truth About What You're Really Putting on Your Face in the Morning

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Picture this: you’re walking into your favorite make-up store. You head to the foundation section to choose the color that perfectly matches your skin tone. You finally find the right color and take a quick glance at the price of the beauty product to make sure it’s within your price range. Without another thought, you head to the cashier to check-out. Did you even think about what may be in the foundation you just bought? No, probably not, right? Well, you’re not alone. Most people in the United States have no idea what is really in the beauty products they’re using every day. I am here to inform you that the personal care and beauty industry is very poorly regulated, actually the last major law regulating this 60 Billion Dollar industry was in 1938!  

BeautyCounter is an up-and-coming company dedicated to providing safe and effective products for everyone, from mascara to shampoo/conditioner to baby lotion. Over 80% of the ingredients in their products are natural or plant-derived and every ingredient used is shown on the label, so there are no secrets. BeautyCounter is not just another beauty brand, they are a movement.  They are working tirelessly in Washington, DC to get more health protective laws, and have consultants throughout the US and Canada educating people about what they are using and how to make safer choices. On their website, you can find more information about how they define clean beauty.


Top 10 worst chemicals that are found in beauty products, lotions and sunscreens:


  1. Synthetic flavor or fragrance - An engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed. Found in: all types of cosmetics.

  2. Benzalkonium Chloride - A disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and allergies. Found in: sunscreens, moisturizers.

  3. Butylatedhydroxy Anisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene - Synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.

  4. Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA) - Surfactants and pH adjuster linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development. Found in: hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances, sunscreens, dry cleaning solvents, paint, pharmaceuticals.

  5. Hydroquinone - A skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation. Found in: skin-lightening creams.

  6. Oxybenzone - Sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption. Found in: sunscreen, moisturizer.

  7. Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others) - A class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.

  8. Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds) - PEGs are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. Found in: creams, sunscreen, shampoo.

  9. Retinyl palmitate and Retinol (Vitamin A) - A nutrient that may damage DNA and speed the growth of skin tumors when used topically. Found in: moisturizer, anti-aging skincare.

  10. Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others) - A class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, and plastic materials.