We all like to look good, smell good, and feel good. Only, what if the products we use on a daily basis aren't even good for us? Upon the discovery that many of the lotions, deodorants, and lipsticks I use may be composed of dangerous chemical concoctions, I felt compelled to share this truth with the millions of people who use them as well. Unfortunately,  federal law loopholes allow toxic cosmetic ingredients into the world. This list includes a few of those and examples of where they can be found. 

1. Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate

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Alexis Neely

Found in products with a sudsy, "foaming" effect, like shampoo. This chemical can irritate the skin, lungs and eyes. Sulfates are also known to be particularly harsh on curly hair. However, the biggest concern is their linkage to cancers. Opting for a sulfate-free shampoo in the shower can definitely cut down on these risks.

2. Phthalates

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Alexis Neely

Abundant in nail polishes and synthetic fragrances, exposure to this endocrine-disrupting chemical has been linked to an earlier onset of puberty in girls and a risk factor for breast cancer later in life. It is banned in California in children's toys, yet remains in many cosmetic products. 

3. Triclosan

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Alexis Neely

Deodorants contain triclosan to limit the growth of bacteria and mold. The chemical is a pesticide with negative effects on the body's hormone systems, especially the thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism. However, brands like Burt's Bees and Erbaviva carry natural deodorants without triclosan.

4. Parabens

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Parabens are preservatives that prevent bacteria, mold and yeast growth in products. They have properties that mimic estrogen and are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. They can be found in makeup, body wash and facial cleansers.

5. Butylated Compounds (BHT, BHA)

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Alexis Neely

Another preservative can be found in eyeliners, eye shadows, blushes and foundations. These endocrine disruptors are linked to organ, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and believed to promote tumor growth. Usage and accumulation over time could lead to serious health consequences. 

6. Lead

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Alexis Neely

Lead is a known carcinogen found in lipstick, but never listed as an ingredient. This neurotoxin has been linked to learning, language and behavioral problems, as well as miscarriage and reduced fertility. According to the FDA, Cover Girl, L'Oreal, Maybelline and Revlon brands have the highest lead levels in lipsticks.

7. Fragrance/Parfum

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Alexis Neely

These words signal a hidden chemical concoction found in perfume, body wash and moisturizers. It can be the source of headaches, dizziness, asthma and allergies. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database, fragrance mixes are also associated with reproductive issues

It's good to be conscious of what goes into the body, but don't think the occasional manicure or spritz of perfume is terminal. Though it can be rather difficult to rule out all of these products, simple lifestyle changes can prove beneficial to overall health and well-being. Whether that's opting for more natural products or even wearing less makeup, every little bit counts.