20 Dangerous Chemicals

to Avoid




Keep your family safe and stay away from these dangerous and toxic ingredients found in many common skin care products.


Coal Tar: A known carcinogen banned in the EU, but still used in North America. Used in dry skin treatments, anti-lice and anti-dandruff shampoos, also listed as a colour plus number, i.e. FD&C Red No. 6.

DEA/TEA/MEA: Suspected carcinogens used as emulsifiers and foaming agents for shampoos, body washes, soaps.

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."

Formaldehyde: Probable carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos. Banned in the EU.

Fragrance/Parfum: A catchall for hidden chemicals, such as phthalates. Fragrance is connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma, and allergies.

Hydroquinone: Used for lightening skin. Banned in the UK, rated most toxic on the EWG’s Skin Deep database, and linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.

Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.

Mercury: Known allergen that impairs brain development. Found in mascara and some eyedrops.

Mineral oil: By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, moisturizers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.

Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.

Parabens: Used as preservatives, found in many products. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity.

Paraphenylenediamine (PPD): Used in hair products and dyes, but toxic to skin and immune system.

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.

Placental extract: Used in some skin and hair products, but linked to endocrine disruption.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG): Penetration enhancer used in many products, it’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.

Silicone-derived emollients: Used to make a product feel soft, these don’t biodegrade, and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumour growth and skin irritation.

Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES): A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body and irritates skin.

Talc: Similar to asbestos in composition, it’s found in baby powder, eye shadow, blush, deodorant. Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems.

Toluene: Known to disrupt the immune and endocrine systems, and fetal development, it’s used in nail and hair products. Often hidden under fragrance.

Triclosan: Found in antibacterial products, hand sanitizers, and deodorants, it is linked to cancer and endocrine disruption. Avoid the brand Microban.

Parabens found in Breast Cancer

What are Parabens?  They are synthetic preservatives used in the skin care industry to keep bacteria from growing in the product. The common names for some parabens found in skin care are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. These allow product to last years which means longer shelf life and more money for the cosmetic industry. The longer a product can sit on a shelf, the less money loss for the company. Years ago it was discovered that parabens broke into formaldehyde, a substance the FDA has said causes cancer. Formaldehyde just happens to be the same chemical dead bodies are preserved in. What happened to the good old days when skin care was hand made and used within weeks without the need for any synthetic preservatives. You know, back when cancer was unheard of.

The dangers of parabens have been recently discovered. Dr. Darbre has published two new research studies that show us how parabens enter into our bodies and affect our health. Parabens are able to mimic and interfere with estrogen in the body, and exposure to estrogen is one of the primary influences in the development of breast cancer. Several research studies have detected parabens in human urine and tissue. Dr. Darbre published the results of her study, finding 5 different parabens inside the breast tumor tissue of patients with breast cancer. One or more types of parabens were found in 99% of the tissue samples, and all fiver were measurable in 60% of the samples. This shows that parabens are making their way into the breast, and getting there in significant amounts.

How are parabens making it into the breast tissue? In Dr. Darbre's research study she found that the parabens found in the breast tumor tissue were intact, meaning they've bypassed the liver. Showing the parabens were not ingested, therefore they did not come from food. Then how did they enter the body? The parabens were absorbed through the skin. What do we put on our skin that has parabens? Well, if your purchasing mainstream skin care products then you better believe they are loaded with parabens.

How do you protect yourself? Our skin is the largest organ of our body and it absorbs whatever we feed it. The best way to protect yourself and your family is by checking labels and stop buying products that contain parabens. Your skin is an organ, and it needs to be fed. When caring for your skin, do not feed it anything you would not feed your other organs. Look at labels, stay away from chemicals. Find products that contain food grade ingredients, natural, raw and organic ingredients. Natures Paradise products always contain only food grade organic, raw and natural ingredients that you can safely feed your skin. Don't risk your health or the health of your family when there are safer alternatives out there.

Sources: "Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours," P. D. Darbre and others, Journal of Applied Toxicology, vol. 24 (2004) pages 5-13

Lily Pond