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How to Swap Out Chemicals Lurking in Your Beauty Products

When it comes to self-care, our skincare and makeup routines are at the top of the list. Some of us prefer to keep things all-natural with a well-curated collection of skin-nourishing products. Then there are those of us who like to amp it up with an artist’s palette of colorful makeup in our kits. Wherever we fall on the spectrum, how we take care of ourselves often begins with our skin, hair, and nails. But here’s a shocker: in the United States, there is no law requiring the Food and Drug Administration to approve cosmetics before they become available to us in stores. Dangerous ingredients can easily make their way into our beauty regimens without our knowledge. So Kinder Beauty has listed out cosmetics ingredients you’ll want to avoid, and fantastic skin-loving alternatives with which to replace those products pronto. (Kinder Beauty ensures that all of our products are free of these harmful toxins.)

Formaldehyde 
This potentially cancer-causing chemical is found in cosmetics including shampoo, body wash, and nail polish. Typically used in the construction of homes, cabinets, and adhesives, it’s something that we definitely don’t want making its way into our personal care products. But it does. There are a number of chemicals that release formaldehyde (a gas) including imidazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, bronopol, and glyoxal. All of these may be found in cosmetics. Even just a small amount of these can cause damage. Rather than trying to translate a long list of ingredients, to go formaldehyde free try using Loba Mane Collection for cleansing hair, Habit Cosmetics for nail polish, and good ole Dr. Bronner’s for body wash.

Parabens
There’s been a lot of talk about parabens lately, but what are they and why should we avoid them? Parabens are preservatives used in many cosmetics to extend their shelf life. These chemicals can actually seep into our bodies through our skin when we use products that contain them. Parabens have been linked to both breast cancer and reproductive issues. A 2004 study actually found parabens in the breast tissue of 19 out of 20 women. Similar to formaldehyde, avoiding them isn’t as simple as reading through the ingredients list, as there are a number of different names of parabens that may be listed. These include butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. Parabens are commonly found in lotions, scrubs, and facial cleansers. To swap out your paraben-containing cosmetics for high quality toxin-free products, click over to Nourish Mantra’s online shop. There you’ll find everything you need, from facial cleansers and treatments, to body lotion.

Talc
There was a time when talc was associated with cleanliness and good hygiene. Whether sprinkled on our bottoms as talcum powder when we were babies, or brushed onto our eyelids in eyeshadows, this seemingly safe cosmetic has actually been linked to cancer. In addition to baby powders, talc is commonly found in deodorants and makeup. To ensure your cosmetics are talc-free, try makeup brands that have a commitment to not using talc, such as Inika Organic or RealHer. For deodorant, Myro is talc free, vegan, and comes in an environment-friendly reusable container.

Phthalates
Linked to cancer, phthalates are another toxic ingredient to avoid. They’re found in many self-care products including perfumes and aftershave lotions. Phthalates have been linked by researchers to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity, and type II diabetes, along with issues impacting both the female and male reproductive systems. Similar to formaldehyde and parabens, avoiding these toxic chemicals is not as simple as reading the ingredients list. There are many different names for phthalates, and so the easiest way to avoid them is to purchase from brands committed to not using them. To replace a facial aftershave with a great-smelling and phthalate-free alternative, try Franklin and Whitman’s all-natural aftershave serum with delightful notes of clove, grapefruit, and cedarwood. For perfume, indulge in one of the many offerings from chemical-free Inkling Scents.

Sulfates
If you’re experiencing eye, skin, or mouth irritation following your daily beauty regimen, it may be due to sulfates in your skin cleanser or toothpaste. These toxins are also sometimes found in bath bombs and shampoo, and can trigger acne. Sulfates are detergents, helping to remove dirt while creating that foamy lather we associate with getting clean. Sulfate-free products won’t always give you the bubbles that you are used to, but they will get you just as clean as their counterparts. For a shampoo that will clean your hair without the sulfates, try one from Zion Health, like their Vanilla Jasmine Repair Shampoo, or to tame frizzy hair, opt for their Ancient Minerals formulation with the scent of French pear. For a facial cleanser that is also completely free of toxins, try Nourish Mantra’s Green Tea Tatva Scrub Cleanser, which will work for all skin types.

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Maya Gottfried is the author of books for children and adults, including Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary and Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal.

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Please note that a product featured in our blog is not necessarily an official endorsement by Kinder Beauty.