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Beauty ingredients to avoid and why

It can be so confusing to know what to avoid and even more confusing to figure out why you should avoid them.

In general, it is best to avoid any ingredient, natural or synthetic, which can poison the environment or cause harm to human health. The below ingredients have been proven toxic and mutagenic and should be avoided as much as possible. We have made some suggestions on alternative ingredients to look for but in some cases you can just leave this ingredient out altogether. Your needs will vary depending on your skin care needs, so ask your local green beauty therapist for their advice.

  1. SLES or Sodium Laureth Sulfate and other sulfate based detergents

These are used in 90% of personal care products that foam. Eye damage, depression, laboured breathing, diarrhoea and skin and eye irritation have been linked to their use. Not only are they harmful, but they are also extremely drying to the hair and skin. They have been shown to change the structure of skin protein making it susceptible to sun damage and accelerated ageing. No thank you! You can really just do without this ingredient and dont need anything else to supplement it, its not essential for your products to work effectively.

2. Anything formulated with PEGs and PGs

PEGs have been found in everything from personal care products, baby care and sunscreens. They act as binders and plasticise ingredients and are designed to enhance the penetration of other ingredients into the skin. This is often a double whammy when you consider that there are often many ingredients in these products that you do not want to be penetrating deeply through the skin barrier.  Dioxin is a by-product of the process used to create propylene glycol. Dioxin has been linked to cancer, reduced immunity, nervous system disorders, miscarriage and birth deformity. If you see a PEG on your beauty product ingredient list this is definitely a product you do not want to be absorbed into your skin. A solution to this is finding a brand like Eve Taylor which are made using only natural ingredients. To help the products penetrate your skin we use sound waves through our Ultrasonic Micro therapy device. This is a handheld tool that by using sounds waves helps the products delve deeper into your skin allowing for accelerated results and glowing skin in half the time, no nasties required!

3. Parabens

Parabens are preservatives and allow skincare products to survive for months or even years in your medicine cabinet. They are used in deodorants and other skincare products and have been found in breast cancer tumours. Parabens are known endocrine disruptors that have been linked to cancer and hormonal imbalances. There are plant-based and plant-derived preservatives on the market which make it unnecessary to use products containing parabens. Natural Beauty products are persevered using Sodium Anisate and Sodium Levulinate derived from Aniseed and starch.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are most often used to create fragrances in cosmetic products. They are known endocrine and fertility disruptors. The scary reality which exists around phthalates is that we are exposed to them in so many areas of our life. The storage of these toxins in fat cells and their bio-accumulation over time makes a strong case for avoiding exposure to synthetic fragrances. With so many natural essential oils and extracts on the market, there is no need to reach for synthetic fragrances. Eve Taylors products are formulated with pure essential oils so there is no need for Phthalates as the essential oils have enough fragrance.

5. Synthetic dyes and colourants

Synthetic colours from coal tar contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins in the skin, causing skin sensitivity/irritation. Absorption can cause depletion of oxygen. Look for makeup which uses natural iron oxide to create pigments. You will be surprised at the colour assortments that can be created by natural pigments.

6. Benzyl peroxide

This is predominantly used in acne products and may act as a mutagen, producing DNA damage. Natural anti-microbial extracts, Kakadu Plum, Aloe Vera and Salicylic Acid are alternatives to harsh acne treatments and solve acne problems as quickly and effectively as their chemical counterparts.


This foam booster is a skin irritant and causes contact dermatitis. It is easily absorbed through the skin to accumulate in the body’s organs and the brain. The more you can get used to milk and oil-based cleansers, the happier your skin will be. Not only do oil-based cleansers prevent your skin being stripped of its natural oils, but they also enable the skin to balance oil production by providing it exactly what it needs so that it does not overcompensate by overproducing oil.

8. Formaldehyde

Has many uses but is most often used in cosmetics as a disinfectant and preservative. Be cautious of products containing 1,4-dioxane, as this can also release formaldehyde in certain chemical processes. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, skin, eye and lung irritant. This ingredient can either be completely left out or can be substituted for peppermint, which is a natural disinfectant.

Find pure alternatives and embrace toxic free beauty for the healthiest you yet! Awareness of ingredients to avoid is the first step to creating a toxic-free lifestyle and being equally aware of suitable alternatives is empowering. This new knowledge provides you with options to equip you with everything you need to practice a pure and highly effective beauty routine.

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