I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since I did a video and shared what’s in my makeup bag. Holy cow, time flies! The beauty products I use have definitely changed over the years, but what hasn’t changed are the ingredients I avoid. I still continue to avoid certain ingredients for the health of my body and the environment. 

The good news is that there are hundreds of amazing natural beauty product brands nowadays, from really great companies all over the world and many of them are right here in North America. I share some of my favourites in my latest video, but before we get to that, I wanted to share the ingredients in conventional products that you’ll want to avoid.

Why? Because they are linked from everything to cancer, hormone disruption, dermatitis, allergies, immune system toxicity, changing the skin microbiome and headaches.

Top Ten ingredients to avoid in personal care products 

1. Triclosan. This synthetic antibacterial agent has been linked to superbugs and is toxic to the environment. You’ll find it in antibacterial hand wash, lotion and toothpaste. There has been conversations about this chemical being banned in Canada, but it looks like it hasn’t been settled yet. This is the Canadian Government’s stance on it as of February 2018. However, the Environmental Working Group states that triclosan is not safe or effective. 

2. Parabens. This is the most commonly used preservative in cosmetics. The problem with them is that they are absorbed through the skin and can go straight into the bloodstream and organs. You can often find parabens in personal care products including shampoo, moisturizer, shaving cream, cleansing gels, personal lubricant, deodorant and toothpaste (unless noted otherwise, like in all of our natural body care and hair care products!).

3. Phthalates. These are man-made chemicals used as plasticizers and as a preservative for fragrance. It’s also one of the main reasons why I don’t wear any fragrance-containing products , including perfume. Phthalates are often found in cosmetics, personal care products, scented items and nail products and have been known to cause birth defects of the male reproductive organs.

4. Formaldehyde-Releasing Agents. These types of chemicals slowly off-gas formaldehyde throughout their life, to be inhaled by the user of the product. The health concerns surrounding formaldehyde exist due to the toxic effects it has on the immune system and skin. It is also a known carcinogen. Such chemicals can be found in conventional hair care products, hair colouring, nail products and many other beauty products.

5. BHA and BHT. Butylated hydroxanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene are synthetic antioxidants that are used as preservatives in personal care products and cosmetics which have been proven to be carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting and allergenic. BHA and BHT can be found in personal care products such as lipstick, eyeshadow, concealer and moisturizers.

6. Silicone Chemicals. Also known as siloxanes, these chemicals have been shown to be detrimental to the environment and concerning for human health, having been linked to cancer and skin irritation. They can often be found in various hair products, eye and face make up, manicuring preparations, skin creams and oils, as well as food powders and sprays.

7. Petrolatum. You may know this for its common name of petroleum jelly, often used to smooth and soften skin. Unfortunately, use of petrolatum comes with a number of consequences, having been associated with cancer, skin irritations and allergies. 

8. Artificial Musks. Often found as one of the potential hundreds of chemicals found in fragrance or parfum, artificial musks have been linked to allergies, immune system toxicity, headaches and dizziness. Steer clear of any product that contains “fragrance”, “parfum” or “musk”.

9. 1,4-Dioxane. This chemical has been shown to be a possible carcinogen, as well as an eye and respiratory tract irritant. You won’t find it on ingredient lists as it’s a contaminant that is produced during the manufacturing process. To steer clear from it as much as possible, avoid any products that contain sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) as well as labels that state “PEG compounds” and chemicals that include “xynol”, “ceteareth” and “oleth” in their names.

10. Coal Tar-Derived Colours. Often used in permanent hair dyes (with higher concentration in darker shades), Coal Tar-Derived Colours has been associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, acute leukemia, bladder cancer, contact dermatitis and severe facial edema. Common short term reactions include itching, burning, hives and blistering of the skin.

This whole list can be found on Environmental Defence. They have a handy little pocket guide you can download and take with you when you’re shopping. I review all this information in my book Joyous Detox too.

Now for the fun stuff – a peek inside my make up bag! I’ve shared this in the video below and have also listed out all of the products below for you. 

Province Apothecary Serum. I put this on my face morning and night. I mix it with Consonant Skincare’s HydrExtreme (below) and I don’t even need moisturizer – it’s incredibly hydrating as is! You can find it on Amazon here

Consonant Skincare HydrExtreme. This isn’t in my video only because I’ve run out and I need to buy some more, but this is another SUPER hydrating product I use year round and it only has 2 ingredients! You can get 10% off over here with my coupon code “JOY”. This is the other product I shared in the video that I use when I run out of Hydrextreme.

Consonant Skincare Tinted Perfect Skin Sunscreen. For those of you who don’t want to wear foundation and just want some coverage to even out your skin tone and protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun, this product is the best! I use this from June to October. You can use my code “JOY” to get 10% off. As of right now, they only have one tint which works for fair-skinned people like me. 

W3LL People Narcissist Stick Foundation. I use this like a concealer, for when I have red spots or blemishes. It has a lovely smooth texture and I would put this underneath Marie-Natie Pressed Foundation Powder (more information below). You can find the Stick Foundation on Amazon. Note, the packaging has changed from what I share in my video. I’ve had this for at least 3 years and it’s still going! 

Marie-Natie Pressed Foundation Powder. I have been using this for a few years now when I want some extra coverage. It provides amazing coverage and it doesn’t dry out my skin, nor does it look like my face is covered with make up. You can find it here. 

Pure Anada Mascara, black. I’ve tried at least a dozen natural mascaras and this one has my seal of approval. It’s THE BEST and almost on par in pricing to conventional mascara. You can find it here. I buy it at my local health food store The Sweet Potato or Well.ca.

Alima Eyeliner Pencil, black. I love putting eyeliner on when I’m feeling tired because it makes me look more awake (anyone else? haha). This eyeliner doesn’t smudge and it’s super easy to apply. Forget liquid eyeliner, I’m terrible with that! Eyeliner pencil is much more forgiving. It lasts about 5-6 hours. You can find it on Amazon.

Alima Blush. This loose mineral blush provides a healthy flush look that I love. I don’t use blush daily anymore like I used to, but when I need a little extra pop of colour in the dead of winter, this is my go-to. You can find it here.

Boosh Lip Stick. Made in Canada and the best natural lipstick I’ve tried because it doesn’t dry my lips out. It’s super creamy – I love it! All the colours are here. I was wearing “Bea” in this video.

Dry Shampoo. Absolutely essential when you have bangs or if you don’t want to wash your hair every day! I make my own. Here’s the easiest DIY recipe ever. 

Natural Deo Cream. This stuff keeps your pits stink-free, plus it’s now Certified Organic and it’s a joyous original product! You can learn more about it here. 

What natural beauty products do you love? Share your faves below!

Of course, there are hundreds more products that are fantastic and I’ve personally tried dozens, but it was impossible for me to share them all. However, I just really want you assure you that natural beauty products are amazing, effective and totally affordable. In many cases, much more affordable than conventional, chemical-filled cosmestics you might buy at the department store. 

Looking forward to reading your comments below sharing products you love!

This content was originally published here.