What’s in Your Skin Care? 11 Ingredients to avoid!

Maui Bliss Spa What's in your skincare? Poisons

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and since it is porous, it absorbs whatever you put on it.

all it takes is 26 seconds for chemicals in skincare enter bloodstream

The average person daily  uses a toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, moisturizer, sunscreen, soap etc. That's hundreds of chemicals and a lot of unnatural ingredients that the body has no need for and has a hard time getting rid of.

If one of your personal care products mentioned is considered safe it doesn't take into account the combined effect of all the products.

Chemicals  accumulate in our skin and organs and might be the cause or be a factor of more serious health problems later in life.

Let's say in studies have shown over time that one gram tested on rats shows no negative impacts.  More importantly, those products ingredients haven't been tested with any other chemicals from any other products.

You've might have been using similarly toxic products in the last few days or weeks previously which might have a synergistic effect.

This means that the effect of both the chemicals combined could be different or greater than the sum of the individual ingredients effects.

Your skin might not show any signs of a negative reaction but chemicals don’t just evaporate or get washed off your body.

They are absorbed into your skin and blood vessels, just like what a nicotine patch does for smokers.

These toxic ingredients end up in your blood, organs, your fat cells and traces of parabens have even been found in breast tumor biopsies. 

These chemicals contribute to high levels of toxicity in your body which can lead to loads of issues. Diabetes, skin conditions, mood disorders, reproductive issues… the list goes on and on.

It's easy, just read the ingredients label!

Don't rely on the marketing spin or 'green-washing' on the packaging, simply read the ingredients from top to bottom.

If there are big words that are hard to pronounce then they are either bad chemicals of extracts of natural substances. Before you purchase, search online for the product and research the ingredients. Check out EWG (Environmental Working Group)

11 Ingredients to avoid!

 1. Parabens

are preservatives found in everything from soap to lotion to makeup. If it has water in it, it probably has a paraben to keep it from growing bacteria. Examples include: methylparaben, proplyparaben, isopropylparaben, and isobutylparaben. If “paraben” is in the word, avoid it.

Parabens are known endocrine disruptors, meaning they mimic estrogen in the body and can lead to hormonal imbalances, and possibly even breast cancer. For example, a recent study found concentrations of parabens, specifically methylparaben, in human breast tumors. Another study found 99% of all cancerous breast tumors contained parabens.

2. Artificial Fragrance/Parfum

Almost every single conventional skincare and cosmetic product (even “unscented” ones) contains artificial fragrances. Manufacturers aren’t required to reveal what’s actually in their fragrances, so you’ll simply see “Fragrance” or “Parfum” on the ingredients list when it could actually be a cocktail of carcinogens, allergens, endocrine disruptors, and irritants.

The problem with the word "fragrance" is that we don't actually know what it is. Cosmetic manufacturers are not required to disclose what fragrance is made up of because these recipes are considered "Trade Secrets". The FDA states that "fragrance" is a combination of ingredients that give a distinct scent.  "Fragrance" is usually a proprietary blend of chemicals, many of which are linked to serious health problems such as cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, allergies and sensitivities. Can you give informed consent if you don't even know what these are made from?

I won't use them in Pavita products, ever.

3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

SLS/SLES are foaming agents used in a slew of personal care products, including skin care and cosmetics, shampoo, and toothpaste. They are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. Additionally, chemical compounds known as “nitrosamines” are common by-products of the sulphation process. 90% of nitrosamines are believed to be carcinogenic.

4. Toluene

is a chemical commonly found in nail polish and hair dyes. It is a volatile petrochemical solvent that can be toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects. Because of this, be especially careful and avoid nail polish containing toluene entirely when you’re pregnant.

5. Phthalate

is a plasticizer that is added to plastic to keep it from becoming brittle. Phthalates are used in cosmetics primarily in fragrances, and can also be found in other personal care products, such as hair spray and nail polish. Examples include: DBP, DEHP, DEP and others. Like parabens, phthalates are endocrine disruptors and can cause hormonal and reproductive problems and birth defects.

6. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) is used is many types of cosmetics as a thickener, especially in lotions, shampoo, and sunscreen. PEG is often contaminated with both ethylene oxide (a known carcinogen) and 1,4-Dioxane (which causes respiratory problems and is banned in Canada).

7. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a preservative included in many cosmetics products. It’s a known carcinogen that is linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. It can be found in preservatives such as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, and imidazolidinyl urea.

8. Oxybenzone (and other chemical sunscreens)

Sunscreens come in two different forms: chemical and mineral filters. The most common sunscreens on the market use chemical filters such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule.

In 2019, the FDA released research that showed widely used chemical UV filters are absorbed in the body in substantial amounts right after application. And in 2020, the FDA released new research that reveals six chemical UV filters are detectable on the skin and in the bloodstream weeks after application.

Blood tests showed concentrations of oxybenzone were more than 180 times the FDA’s level of concern after a single application, and soared to more than 500 times after 4 days of regular use.

This is highly problematic. These chemicals are known endocrine disruptors, meaning they can block or alter proper hormone function in the body. Oxybenzone, which is found in 40% of chemical sunscreens, is linked to hormone disruption, negative birth outcomes, reduced male fertility, and possibly cancer. In short, this is one of the most important skincare ingredients to avoid!

Chemical sunscreens should be avoided at all costs—especially with children! Oxybenzone can also be found in sunscreen, SPF lotions, lip balm, and makeup, and tinted moisturizers. Stick with mineral-only sunscreens, which create a barrier on the surface of the skin to physically bounce or reflect the sun’s rays away from the skin.

9. Diethanolamine

is a foaming agent. It’s a known carcinogen and respiratory toxin, which is why the EU has restricted its use in personal care products. Despite this, it’s still used in bubble bath, body wash, and shampoo in the US. It’s often abbreviated as DEA on cosmetic labels.


is an antibacterial agent once used in antibacterial soaps. In 2016, it was banned from soap used in health-care settings, but it is still allowed in personal cosmetics. Not only does triclosan contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria, but it’s also an endocrine disruptor and was shown to contribute to gut inflammation and promote tumor growth in mouse studies. Not good.

 11. Phenoxyethanol

is a preservative used in cosmetics and personal care products. It was the “go to” for cosmetic companies to replace parabens. While it isn’t as toxic, consider how strong it needs to be in order for people to stick fingers into jars of cream and not begin to grow visible contaminants?

This ingredient’s 2-4 score is higher if used in products intended for use around mouth due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.

Preservatives - They have a time & place

I'm not going to say that all preservatives are bad, after all, they do keep us safe from microbes that can cause life threatening infections.

germs growing in cream

While most conventional preservatives come with hefty warnings such as endocrine disruption or possible carcinogens, there are more natural options.

Formulations made with water need a preservative in most cases because microbes and mold grow easily in water.

Pavita Remarkable cream airless jar

I intentionally formulate Pavita products that do not need major preservatives. There's only one natural preservative I will use, and it's called Leucidal Liquid, otherwise known as "Radish Root Ferment Filtrate". Further I package my products in airless containers which prevent contamination.

Pavita skin care Leucidal liquid preservative









Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.