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10 Toxins found in common cosmetics

What gal doesn't want to look in the mirror and say "Dang! I look good!" At SheKnows, we know you want to put your best face forward so our team of Beauty and Style experts have set out to uncover the best beauty and style tips out there...

Why natural makeup is better

With all the 'natural cosmetics' on the market these days, it can get downright frustrating finding which ones are worth the switch... and which ones are just a bunch of green hoopla. Is it time to part with your [inorganic, paraben-filled] favorite lipstick? Or could it be time to switch over to natural cosmetics altogther? Here, Christopher Drummond, celebrity makeup artist and creator of Christopher Drummond Beauty, lists 10 toxins found in common cosmetics, plus 10 natural products you should incorporate into your beauty regimen.

Before we get into the my top 10 favorite natural beauty products, let's discuss what's in your everyday cosmetics. Below is a list of toxins you will find in common makeup products.

1. Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea

These are the most commonly used preservatives after parabens. The main ingredient is formaldehyde, which is known for (in addition to preserving dead bodies), being hazardous to human health.

2. Methyl and Propyl and Butyl and Ethyl Paraben

Used as inhibitors of bacterial growth and to extend the shelf life of products. Even though they are known to be toxic, they are still widely used and have resulted in many allergic reactions and skin rashes.

3. Petrolatum

A byproduct of gasoline production.

4. Propylene Glycol

Ideally, this is a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol.

5. PVP/VA Copolymer

A petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays, wave sets and other cosmetics. It can be considered toxic, since particles may contribute to foreign bodies in the lungs of sensitive persons.

6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This synthetic substance is used in shampoos for its detergent and foam-building abilities. It causes eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf (similar to dandruff) and allergic reactions. It is frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the parenthetic explanation "comes from coconut."

7. Stearalkonium Chloride

A chemical used in hair conditioners and creams. Causes allergic reactions. Stearalkonium chloride was developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener.

8. Synthetic Colors

Synthetic colors are believed to be cancer-causing agents. If a cosmetic contains them, don't use it.

9. Synthetic Fragrances

The synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 200 ingredients.

10. Triethanolamine

Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH and as a base for many cleansers, TEA can cause allergic reactions, including eye problems and dryness of hair and skin. It could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.

Next up: What you should buy instead

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