As the end of May approaches, you may be feeling the change of seasons. Perhaps you did some major spring cleaning projects and are now ready for your summer adventures. Or, maybe you are still working on it so you can have your house (and life) a little more organized when the kids get out of school. Either way, now is the perfect time to take advantage of spring cleaning for not just your home, but your skin too!
One thing people tend to forget about during spring cleaning is their skin care and other personal care products. Do you know what’s lurking in your bathroom cabinets? Do you have a countertop full of products that may be harmful to your skin and your overall health?
A couple years ago, I did a skin care makeover in Mary’s home. First, she took The Spa Dr.’s Skin Quiz to find out a little more about her skin type. (The skin quiz is a valuable tool to help you get to the root causes of your skin issues so you can work on a holistic approach to healing them.) Then, I went into her home and helped clear out the products that were particularly harmful for her skin type and overall health.
Take a look at our process below and then keep reading for my list of top ten ingredients you should watch for and eliminate from your bathroom cabinets and counter.
In my book Clean Skin from Within I go into detail about the harmful ingredients that may be hiding in your skin care products and natural skin care ingredients that are healthier alternatives. Here is a short overview of ten of the top ones to avoid as you are looking at cleaning out your cupboards and counters this spring…
10 Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid
Avoid ALL fragrance unless it’s natural, such as from a pure essential (not food grade) oil. Most skin care products contain synthetic fragrance, which is where many harmful ingredients are hidden.
2. Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasers
(quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, bronopol, or imidazolidinyl urea)
These are known carcinogens found in personal care products, and false eyelash glue.
3. Mineral Oil and Petroleum
(also called petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and paraffin oil)
Research suggests contaminants within these ingredients may be linked with cancer.
(propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, and isobutyl-)
Used in many personal care products as a preservative, parabens have been found in breast tumor tissue and estrogenic activity.
(diethanolamine [DEA], monoethanolamine [MEA], and triethanolamine [TEA])
Studies link these with cancer, especially when combined with other ingredients that form nitrosamines.
6. Oxybenzone (benzophenone), octinoxate, and homosalate
These ingredients are found in many sunscreens, lip balms, and other products with SPF. These chemicals are easily absorbed into the skin and may have hormone-disrupting effects.
7. Hydroquinone (or tocopheryl acetate) and other skin lighteners
The FDA warns that hydroquinone can cause a skin disease called ochronosis with “disfiguring and irreversible” blue-black lesions on exposed skin.
8. Triclosan and triclocarban
Used as antimicrobial agents in products such as soaps. Triclosan has been linked to hormone disruption, development of antibacterial resistance, and environmental concerns.
9. Coal tar ingredients
(including aminophenol, diaminobenzene, and phenylenediamine)
Used in creams, ointments, soaps, and shampoos to address itchy skin. These ingredients are derived from tar, a known carcinogen.
10. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
Also known as butylated hydroxyanisole, BHA is used as a preservative and stabilizer in personal care products. The U.S. National Toxicology Program has classified BHAs as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
Need a handy reference guide?
I created a shopping guide that you can stick in your wallet while you are out and about to help you analyze labels as you are buying your skin care products. This would also be useful to keep beside you as you are spring cleaning your beauty supplies. The download includes the TOP BEST ingredients as well as the TOP WORST ingredients for you to choose from.
After you clean out the toxic ingredients and Spring Clean your bathroom, be sure to replace them with natural skin care alternatives like The Spa Dr.’s Daily Essentials. You’ll also find more about top natural skin care ingredients in my book Clean Skin From Within along with DIY skin care recipes.