12 Dangerous Chemicals to Avoid Warning: Chemicals and Additives can cause you harm!

Here is a quick run-down of some common cleaning chemicals, along with some of the many places you may see them:

  • Parabens - Common preservatives that are linked to breast cancer. Examples: butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben
  • Phthalates - Commonly used as a plasticizer in everything from skincare, cosmetics, nail polish, perfume to hair products and deodorants. Known to cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system. Suspected of causing birth defects, lowering sperm counts and a breast cancer risk. Examples: di-butyl-phthalate, di-ethylhexyl-phthalate
  • Mineral Oil - A petroleum by-product that interferes with the skin’s natural functions, clogs the pores, exacerbates acne, and is highly likely to be contaminated with carcinogens that are linked to breast cancer. Examples: mineral oil, petroleum, liquid paraffin
  • Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) - Made from the same chemical that is used to create anti-freeze, this chemical easily penetrates the skin and is implicated in contact dermatitis, kidney damage, and liver abnormalities; can inhibit skin cell growth in human tests and can damage cell membranes causing rashes, dry skin, and surface damage.
  • Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate - Commonly used foaming agent that is considered a skin irritant and carcinogen, and is known to cause skin rashes and allergic reactions. Industrial uses include floor cleaners, engine degreasers, and car wash detergents. SLS is absorbed into the body via skin application and mimics the activity of estrogen. This has a variety of health implications ranging from PMS, decreased fertility in men as well as an increase in cancers such as breast cancer in women. It is often disguised in “natural” products with the term “derived from coconut”. It is particularly irritating to the eyes. SLS is often contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen. SLS is found in nearly all toothpastes, and is absorbed through skin contact and retained for up to five days.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) - These chemicals can react with other ingredients in the cosmetic product to form potent carcinogenic chemicals called nitrosamines, that are linked with liver, stomach, bladder and esophagus cancers. 
  • Formaldehyde - Commonly found in nail products, this chemical is a known carcinogen, allergen and irritant. Commonly used synthetic preservatives, such as diazolindyl and imidazolindyl urea, break down to release formaldehyde.
  • Talc - Chemically similar to asbestos, talc has been linked to ovarian cancer. It is found in many body and baby powders, as well as many cosmetics.
  • Alcohol - Most mouthwash products have a higher alcohol content than most alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, etc). Mouthwash products with alcoholic content greater than 25 percent have been linked to cancers of the mouth, tongue, and throat. Alcohol acts as a solvent inside the mouth, making tissues more vulnerable to carcinogens.
  • Urea - Common preservatives that release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, irritating to the mucous membranes and known to cause contact dermatitis, headaches and internal bleeding. Examples: diazolindyl urea, imidazolindyl urea
  • Synthetic Fragrances - The simple term “fragrance” on an ingredient list can refer to a combination of any of the thousand separate ingredients used to make up the “fragrance”, many of which are phthalates (ie. toxic carcinogens and hormone disruptors). Fragrances are considered to be one of the top 5 known allergens and are known to cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks.
  • Synthetic Colors - Examples: FD&C Yellow 5, FD&C Red 40
  • Labeled FD&C or D&C followed by a number, they are known to cause skin irritation and sensitivity. Many are also believed to be carcinogenic.

While it is a good start, these are certainly not the only ingredients that you should avoid. If you are keen to learn more about the chemicals to avoid, or check up on ingredients in your day-to-day personal care products, the Environmental Working Group's SKIN DEEP Cosmetic Safety Database is without a doubt the most comprehensive database of ingredients used within cosmetics and personal care products. The Cosmetic Safety Database can be found here:

Stacey Betty

Young Living Independent Distributor
Member #: 1257195
Phone #: 519-635-6942

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Young Living Product Tips
Use 1-2 drops of Lemon oil to remove gum, oil, grease spots or crayon.

Rub several drops of Peppermint oil on the bottoms of the feet to reduce fever.

Follow LifeWithOils on Twitter

Young Living Essential Oils