The Ugly Truth About the Beauty Industry: Part Two

This week I want to bring to your attention some ingredients that are often found in our cosmetics and toiletries. They can be quiet harmful, so please check ingredients list, ALWAYS. I understand it can be difficult to avoid every ingredient and I often use products containing some of these but I just want people to be aware more than anything else. I’m always striving to learn and know more about the skin and what we put on it and just want to share with you all what I’ve learned. Part 1 of this blog can be found here => The Ugly Truth About the Beauty Industry: Part One, for anyone who may have missed it last week.

Below is a list of some very common ingredients we find in our cosmetics and encourage you all to keep an eye out for them.

Mineral Oil

  • Derived from petroleum and blocks normal skin respiration
  • Found in vaseline and baby oil
  • these types of products are described as being occlusive, which means they don’t leave anything out or in, so they do not leave the skin perform its functions properly
  • I would NEVER dream of using baby oil on myself, let a lone a baby!

Baby  Powder

  • For decades parents have been using this on their children after their bath, beauticians used to use prior to waxing
  • It is extremely carcinogenic(cancer causing) and liked with ovarian cancer in women
  • Recently Johnson and Johnson’s have been sued for millions in America, as it was shown their products were directly liked to causing cancer.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

  • Found in all types of foaming products like shampoo, liquid soap and toothpaste
  • Industrial uses include garage floor cleaner, engine degreaser and car wash soap
  • When used as a commercial degreaser it has to come with a skull and crossbones label
  • We are exposed to this on a daily basis but we  don’t get a warning
  • can be absorbed into the body and retained in the eyes, brain, heart and liver
  • SLS can react to other ingredients and form potentially cancer causing nitrates and dioxins
  • When you have hair extensions you are encouraged to use a sulphate free shampoo, because of the damage it can do to the bonds! So imagine what it’s doing to your skin


  • Is extracted from wool and used in many products
  • May contain residue of pesticides that have come into contact with the wool
  • Recent tests on lanolin have found up to 26 different chemicals contaminating it
  • Now regarded as a skin sensitizer

Propylene Glycol

  • Derived from petroleum
  • Found in many cosmetics including cleansers, moisturisers, body lotion
  • It’s what gives the product its smooth feel
  • Commonly used as INDUSTRIAL ANTI-FREEZE and in brake and hydraulic fluid
  • Can penetrate the skin and weaken protein and cellular structures
  • Actually strong enough to remove barnacles off boats
  • The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) considers propylene glycol so toxic that they require all workers to wear protective equipment and to dispose of any propylene glycol solutions by burying them in the ground.
  • The EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain and liver abnormalities. (There isn’t even a warning label on cosmetics!!!)


Propyl Alcohol

  • Mouthwashes with high alcohol content have been linked with throat cancer.
  • In human studies, an oral dose of 25ml in 100ml of water produced hypotension, facial flushing and dizziness.


  • Commonly used in deodarants and anti-septics
  • Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Use of deodarants containing aluminium have been linked to breast cancer and cancer of the lyphatic system.

Parabens (methyl, butyl, ethly. propyl)

  • Mainly used as preservatives
  • Linked with breast cancer, due to the fact they raise oestrogen levels


  • Commonly found in cosmetics, nail care products and personal care products
  • toxic and carcinogenic
  • A huge concern is the fact it’s used as a preservative in bubble bath and children’s shampoo
  • It’s used in mortuaries as an embalming fluid to stop dead bodies rotting!!!

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG Compounds)

  • Potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce skins natural moisurising factor.
  • This can increase the appearance of ageing
  • Used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease
  • Also used in caustic spray oven cleaners

Big corporations continue to expose us to danger…

“These toxic chemicals don’t have to be in personal care products,” says consumer advocate Ralph Nadar. “Yet corporations continue to expose people to health hazards unnecessarily.”

There is some hope, however. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to the cosmetic industry stating that the agency is serious about enforcing the law requiring companies to inform the consumers that the products have not been safely tested. It would be similar to the warning on cigarettes, “Smoking causes Cancer”

Would you be so keen to use a product on the skin if it had a prominent warning like this, “Warning – the untested chemicals in this product may cause you to develop cancer”

Do you think long term exposure to chemicals listed above would be good for you??? I know the amounts of chemicals in industrial use would differ from cosmetic use, but nevertheless, why aren’t we warned? Why aren’t they educating the consumers better on what exactly is in their products? Why don’t companies who make personal care products test them for SAFETY and not just EFFECTIVENESS?

The answer => PROFIT!!!

Would love to know your thoughts and if you learned anything new from today’s blog. Social media links below.



Facebook – Beauty and the Masseuse

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Michelle Gall says:

    Sarah, this is a brilliant post and I can see why your thesis was awarded the best! I honestly had no idea how bad the products we use were for us internally! It’s scary how fast they enter the bloodstream too! I recently started using the amazing Tomitago products and being a lover of animals I try to use cruelty-free products. Now I’m really going to step up my game and try to go as natural as possible. I’m constantly tired, irritable and suffer from lots of aches and pains. Tests always come back negative for any illnesses or ailments and get tired of hearing that there is nothing wrong. I actually wonder now could it be some of the products I use?? You’ve opened my eyes anyway! Blog is great, keep up the good work!


    1. sarahdwan1 says:

      Awh thanks so much for your feedback Michelle ❤ Yes very scary. ..what’s scarier is that we aren’t told about it. Oh that’s awful regards the tiredness and aches and pains. Have you ever tried any complementary therapies like massage or reflexology? They can be great for reducing stress, which causes 75% of illnesses, maybe you should look into it. If you’re based in Waterford I specialise in holistic therapies so feel free to get in touch x


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