Cosmetics & Carcinogens

Yes, it sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Cosmetics and carcinogens go hand-in-hand in the U.S. where the cosmetics industry is not regulated. Repeat, NOT REGULATED.

So anything goes when it comes to ingredients used to make our beloved lipstick, mascara and everything in between.  I mean this alone, is cringe worthy –> “of the 113 agents listed by IARC as Group 1 Human Carcinogens, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reports that at least 11 are currently used in personal care products”.  EWW!!!

Here the 11, Group 1 human carcinogens to AVOID:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Phenacetin – commonly found in bubble bath, hair conditioner, shampoo & moisturizers
  • Coal tar – found in hair dye, shampoo, dandruff/scalp treatments
  • Benzene - crazy toxic that even the CDC warns against it
  • Mineral oils
  • Methylene glycol – used in nail polish, hair straighteners
  • Ethylene oxide
  • Chromium
  • Cadmium
  • Arsenic
  • Crystalline silica or quartz

Wondering how your current products rank?

The EWG website – provides an extensive, searchable database of toxic ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products. Take a look for yourself!


And remember the #1 rule before you buy  – READ THE LABEL. If you can’t eat it, don’t use it! Especially when the product is being used on children.

Luckily there are many organic and natural alternatives on the market, including DIY options. Many of these I’ll explore in future posts.

Getting started can be overwhelming!

I’ve just started to explore myself. Check out my Resources page under Where to Shop for a few of my favorites so far.


Let me know if you have had any personal experiences with a favorite or two. Or any additional brands to suggest to the group. We’re in this together!! And there are a lot of options ?


*referenced information directly sourced from The Metabolic Approach to Cancer, by Dr. Natasha Winters