Ingredients to Avoid in your Skincare

Did you know that the average woman uses 12 personal care products per day? And that those 12 products contain an average of 168 toxic chemicals? We ensure we are working with companies using the best and healthiest ingredients for our bodies and skin!

The cosmetics, shampoos, lotions and other products we put on our bodies can be just as harmful as anything we put in them. Ingredients found in face washes, shampoo, mascara and more have been linked to everything from hormonal disruptions to cancer, and what’s worse is that they go directly into your bloodstream when applied to the skin or hair.  At our Foundation4Love event this past June, founder Gianne Doherty of Organic Bath, shared this disturbing piece of information

“US Personal Care & Beauty industry is the Wild Wild West. The last time a law was passed regulating the personal care industry was in 1938!  The multi-billion dollar beauty industry is free to do as it wants, and can use whatever ingredients are cheaper, last longer and increase their bottom line.  Great for them, but not so great for our skin & our health.”

A second fact the Gianne shared at this event was

“The European Union has banned or restricted over 1,300 ingredients. EU law requires pre-market safety assessments of cosmetics, mandatory registration of cosmetic products, and they prohibit animal testing for cosmetic purposes.  Can anyone guess how many ingredients the US has banned or restricted? 11 ingredients!”


SaltyGirl Boutique looks at all the ingredients in the products we sell in our shop but as you do your own research here are the ingredients we suggest you stay away from.


  1.  Sodium laureth sulfate

SLS has been shown to cause or contribute to: skin irritation, canker sores, disruptions of skin’s natural oil balance and eye damage. It is also widely believed to be a major contributor to acne (especially cystic acne) around the mouth and chin.  Found in: shampoo, body wash, foundation, face wash


Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Found in shampoos, body washes, soaps.

  1.  Triclosan and triclocarban

Triclosan was all the rage as antibacterial products became ubiquitous in the 1990s. Even the FDA agrees that there is no health benefit to humans who use triclosan, and in 2013 ruled that manufacturers using it had to demonstrate that there were no long-term detrimental effects. Triclosan (in liquid products) and triclocarban (in bar soaps) have been linked to hormonal disruptions, bacterial resistance, impaired muscle function, impaired immune function and increased allergies. Instead, use naturally antibacterial and antiseptic agents like tea tree oil. Found in: toothpaste, deodorant, antibacterial soap

  1. 4.  Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane

Never listed because it’s a by-product made from adding carcinogenic ethylene oxide to make other chemicals less harsh. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found 1,4-dioxane in 57 percent of baby washes in the U.S. Avoid any ingredients containing the letters "eth.

  1.  Parabens

The FDA acknowledges several studies linking parabens, which mimic estrogen, to breast cancer, skin cancer and decreased sperm count, but has not ruled that it is harmful. According to the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, longer chain parabens like propyl and butyl paraben and their branched counterparts, isopropyl and isobutylparabens, may disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorders. Look for ingredients with the suffix “-paraben” as well—paraben-free products will be labeled as such. Found in: makeup, moisturizer, shaving gel, shampoo, personal lubricant and spray tan products

  1.  Phthalates

Plasticizers banned in the EU and California in children’s toys, but present in many fragrances, perfumes, deodorants, lotions. Linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage, cancer.

  1.  BHA

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT(butylated hydroxytoluene) are closely related synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservatives. Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA).

  1.  DMDM

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.  Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer

  1.  Polyethylene/PEGs

Those tiny plastic beads in face or lip scrubs and exfoliating washes are made from polyethylene (used because they’re gentler on the skin than natural exfoliators like walnut shells). These synthetic chemicals are frequently contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which the U.S. government considers a probable human carcinogen and which readily penetrates the skin. Found in: scrubs, body wash, makeup, toothpaste

  1.  Fragrance

Federal law doesn’t require companies to list on product labels any of the chemicals in their fragrance mixture. Recent research from Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name-brand fragrance products, none of them listed on the label. Fragrances can contain hormone disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world. Our advice? Buy fragrance-free wherever possible.  Found in: moisturizers, deodorant, lotion, face cream, shampoo, conditioner