Toxins in self care products- the silent killer lurking among our bathroom shelves. 

There is now much more information around chemicals within beauty products, however there is still so much confusion!  Like learning to read labels on food it is important to know the ingredients which you put onto your body.

Many products are still being sold containing chemicals known to be harmful.  Research shows these chemicals are contributing to the increase in cancers and other diseases.

Through my research into this I have found out about many chemicals contained in products we use every day without thinking!

I am not a scientist, but I am a Mum who cares about my health, animal welfare and the wellbeing of the planet.

We should all take responsibility to review what we are using, where it comes from and the potential side effects.

Here are top 4 to be aware of.


First introduced in the 1950’s parabens are now found in around 85% of beauty products. They are used by manufactures to preserve the shelf life of a product. Commonly found in makeup, hair care and skin care products, shaving products and sunscreen.

Look for ingredients using the terms methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-and commonly listed ones are benzylparaben, butylparabenmethylparaben and propylparaben

The chemical structure of parabens is similar to that of estrogens. This has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive problems. Parabens are potentially not only bad for humans, but they impact marine wildlife because they are washed into the sewage and water system.

Although only a small percentage of parabens are found in products.  Research is still ongoing into the side-effects. My view is why risk it when there are so many paraben free products available?

Mineral Oil

Made from petroleum Mineral oil is colourless and odourless substance. It is used as an inexpensive bulking agent in products like creams, lotion, cosmetics and some ointments.  When you use products containing Mineral Oil it tends to “glide” on to the skin.  Have you ever applied hand cream that feels oily and you feel like you need to wipe it off?

On a label it might be listed as liquid petroleum, paraffin oil, white mineral oil or mineral paraffins.

The reason it’s used is because it helps reduce water loss from the skin. Here is where the problem potentially lies.  Because of its ‘comedogenic’ properties the blocking of water loss from your skin increases the risk of blackheads and acne. There is also research which suggests its potentially carcinogenic.

Here are some articles you may find useful on the topic of Mineral Oil.


Added mainly to toothpaste, shampoo, facial cleansers and body wash because they create a lather, but this is completely unnecessary! Adding these toxins to self care products just to create a foam is ridiculous.

Sulphates are produced from petroleum and lauryl alcohol, which comes primarily from palm or coconut oil. This basic reaction can produce hundreds of different sulphates, but ‘sodium laureth’ and ‘sodium lauryl’ are those you’ll see listed most often.

The concern around the long-term use of these chemicals is primarily around irritations to the eyes, skin and lungs.

Some SLES during the manufacturing process may also be contaminated with 1.4-dioxane which studies on animals have shown causes cancers.

Environmentally it is a known fact that the use of palm is oil is causing deforestation at an alarming rate – so it is vitally important to source products made from sustainable palm oil. Arbonne became a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2016 demonstrating their commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil, as this does support economies relying on it!

Sulphates along with the other chemicals mentioned are being washed into our Eco systems and affecting marine life.

Products with sulphates must be tested on animals to measure the level of irritation to skin, eyes and lungs so this is another big reason to avoid products with this.


Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up of the element’s silicon, magnesium and oxygen. Used as a powder to absorb moisture, keeping skin dry and help prevent rashes.

It’s in cosmetics and of course baby products. Research into the dangers of talc is still ongoing but it has been linked to ovarian and uterine cancer therefore do not use talc in the genital area. If you do use talc, make sure its certified asbestos free as these components can cause lung issues.

Are there any others to be aware of?

Yes! There are lots and far too many for one blog. Always check your ingredients and understand what you are using on your body. The average woman uses 15-20 products per day. Think about your daily routine – shower gel, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, day cream, deodorant, foundation, face powder, hair mousse, hair spray, lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, eye liner, hand wash , makeup remover, nail varnish, nail varnish remover, perfume, body spray and night cream. Do you know what your products contain?  These toxins in these self care products do not need to be there.  Make sure you read your labels and use things which do not contain chemical nasties!

Why am I so passionate about this? 

Witnessing my Mum suffer from the effects of breast cancer was a shock to me. She thankfully survived. When my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer the consultant told her to cut out antiperspirants because of the toxins in it. I suffered with infertility issues. One of the first things the IVF clinic told me to do was look at my products and eliminate products with toxins in it. This made me do my research.  So, the fact that all these problems are on the increase the links to chemicals in products to me are clear.

Here are 2 pictures of my Mum and I. At one point I didn’t know if she would live to see me get married.







Arbonne has banned over 2000 toxins in self care products.

Arbonne has a “not allowed” list of over 2000 ingredients we do not formulate with, while the EU interestingly has 1400. I think this demonstrates Arbonne’s commitment to toxin free products. The fact their products are also vegan and not tested animals was a real deal breaker for me. I wanted to be sure that what I put on my skin was not harmful and that no animal suffered for my products! 

It is possible to reduce and eliminate the use of chemicals in self-care products, but you must read labels and know your chemicals!

Are you ready to make the swap?

At the moment Arbonne have a special offer- clean swap box. A great way to get started! You can  try our 6 top selling products at 50% off!

Here is a video where I talk about this subject – CLICK HERE TO WATCH  








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