Parabens, Sulfates, Oh my.


As part of the cleanse I’m on, the nutritionist leading it recommended that everyone participating  go through their beauty products and see if they are paraben free, and if not, try and start purchasing products that are.

Recently I have become a product whore, and I’ve been splurging on all sorts of facial creams and serums and lotions and body butters and well, the list can go on and on.

Because I purchase rather expensive products, many of which claim to organic and/or vegan, I assumed that most of my products would be low on toxicity.


Turns out the vast majority of my crap is full of all sorts of toxic chemicals that can apparently lead to infertility and breast cancer.  I just spent the last hour on the environmental working group’s cosmetic database typing in all of my favorite products and checking out where they ranked, and it was highly alarming.

Pureolgoy? Despite being vegan and sulfate free, it ranks very high on the toxic scale.
Body Shop? Products are full of parabens.
My Decleor night cream? Paraben heaven.
Sunscreen? Oh don’t even get me started.

I immediately started to look for paraben free products and every time I came across one that appeared to be great, I’d type it into the cosmetic database and despite being paraben free and vegan and organic, etc etc, it would still rank high on the toxic scale because of other various toxic ingredients.

For example, the haircare line Alterna is known for being paraben and sulfate free, and yet it ranks super high for “Developmental & reproductive toxicity” as well as a bunch of other crap.

What. The. Fuck.

(please excuse the foul language, but seriously?)

How in the world are you supposed to find products that are safe and free from toxic preservatives without apparently making them yourself? I literally do not own one beauty product that ranked a zero or one. Trying to find products that don’t contain any of the “dirty thirty” will make you go crazy.

So far the only product that I have come across that appears to be safe is by beloved Kai, but even then, I’m not sure, because it doesn’t come up in the cosmetic database.

The other super alarming fact I learned was that most of the ingredients listed in the dirty thirty have been banned by the European Union, and that while many manufacturers remove these chemicals for the European market, they continue to manufacture with these chemicals for the U.S. market!

This whole discovery has freaked me out and made me feel like every time I put something on my body I’m injecting cancer cells into it. It’s not cool.  I just spent $25 bucks on paraben free shaving cream for Kevin because I freaked out when I saw that the one he uses was an 8 on the toxic scale.

For those reading, do you know of any good low toxic paraben free beauty products? Do you even care about products being paraben free? Is this not as big as a deal I’m making it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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rachel andreJuly 30, 2012 - 8:29 am

Wow! I could spend a good amount of time on this website. I’m now running late for work. ha!

There are a few products I have that come up as low (0-3) like Kiss My Face. I’ll follow-up when I get home from work.

Let’s just say I am not going to buy my Kiehl’s facial lotion any more.

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