We're just going to say it — you can't really call it skin 'care' or hair 'care' if it contains toxic chemicals that have adverse health effects. Although the clean beauty movement is gaining momentum, potentially harmful chemicals exist in most beauty products that can make your health go for a toss, especially when you expose yourself to them excessively and repeatedly. To help you make the distinction between what's a-OK and what should be avoided at all costs, we've compiled a list of toxic chemicals in beauty products to steer clear of. Read on…


1. Synthetic fragrances

01. Synthetic fragrances

Not only are synthetic fragrances major irritants that dry out the skin and the hair, but they are also a major cause of concern for another reason — too often, brands use it as a blanket term for ingredients they don't want to disclose, such as phthalates, which can be endocrine disruptors and polyethene glycol, which is a skin irritant.

When you're opting for body care products, try to ensure that they're free from artificial fragrance. Instead, opt for a clean body lotion like the Love Beauty & Planet Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower Body Lotion & Body Wash Combo. The baddie-free duo is infused with the natural fragrance of ethically sourced Moroccan mimosas and will nourish your skin and leave you smelling divine.


2. Resorcinol

02. Resorcinol

Primarily found in hair dye and bleach, resorcinol is known to irritate the skin and cause immune system dysfunction. Although the ingredient helps bond the dye to the hair, unfortunately, it's also been linked to disrupting normal thyroid function, so it's best to stay away from this one.


3. Formaldehyde

03. Formaldehyde

This is a real scary one — even though it's commonly used in a wide range of cosmetics, formaldehyde is actually considered to be a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). It’s added to products to extend their shelf life and inhibit bacterial growth. Commonly found in lotions and makeup products, it can also cause an allergic reaction on the skin, leading to rashes and blisters *yikes*.

If you're looking for skincare products that are free of formaldehyde, you can opt for the Simple Kind To Skin Range. This clean beauty brand doesn’t include any toxic chemicals in its formula. Instead, it contains a bunch of good-for-you vitamins and minerals that will nourish and hydrate your skin.


4. Parabens

04. Parabens

Parabens, also widely found in skincare, hair care and cosmetics, have been linked to cancer with repeated usage, and are awful for the environment too. While a small percentage is generally safe to use according to international regulations, we say it's better to be safe than sorry, and opt for parabens-free hair care products like the Love Beauty & Planet Natural Murumuru Butter & Rose Shine Shampoo & Conditioner Combo. Free of baddies like parabens, silicones, dyes and artificial fragrances, this nourishing and moisturising hair care duo contains only au naturel ingredients that are good for you and the planet.


5. PFAs and PFCs

05. PFAs and PFCs

These are absolute skin, hair, and makeup no-no! PFAs and PFCs are a blanket term for thousands of bad-for-you chemicals, incorporated into products from hair care to shaving creams. But what makes it even worse is that PFAs are linked to major health effects, such as thyroid disease, cancer, and more. Major red flags alert!