fb pixel
Print This Page

I am a victim of our anti-aging, beauty industry. I say victim, because I fall prey to the idea that my wrinkles, my spots, my looser skin, and my gray hair are not beautiful. I really, really wish that I could recognize these as celebrations of living a life with passion and emotion. But I am, like most people, critical when I see these things in the mirror. I dye my hair, buy expensive skin care treatments and tools to smooth out my wrinkles, and am willing to slather on some peptides, creams, and various moisturizers.

But I am super cautious about what kind of products I use on my skin. This is because the cosmetic industry is enormous, and notoriously full of toxic chemicals. We use A LOT of cosmetics. And they contain A LOT of ingredients.

Each day, American women use an average of 12 personal care products that contain 168 different chemicals. Men use an average of six personal care products that contain 85 different chemicals. Many of these products are applied directly to the skin, the body’s largest organ, where ingredients can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

You can only imagine the health effects of this chemical soup, and specifically when it comes to the chemicals we know to be disrupting immune function, hormone production, causing skin irritations and allergies, and contributing to chronic diseases like cancer.

I recommend avoiding certain ingredients due to concerns about potential toxicity. Scientific research on the safety of some skincare ingredients is ongoing, and new information emerges over time. I recommend using the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep App which is an incredible database of cosmetics. You can scan the barcode on your product or type in the name and see the safety grade assigned by the EWG. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

That being said, here are some ingredients to avoid or be cautious about:


These are preservatives that are commonly used in skincare products to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens have raised some concerns because they have been detected in human tissues and urine samples. This has led to questions about their potential role in the endocrine (hormone) system. Parabens can weakly mimic estrogen. Some studies have suggested that parabens may be absorbed through the skin and have been detected in breast tissue, leading to concerns about their possible association with hormonal imbalances and, in some cases, breast cancer.


These are chemicals used to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics, and they are also found in some skincare products. Phthalates may have endocrine-disrupting properties, meaning they can interfere with the body’s hormonal balance. Concerns have been raised about the possible impact of phthalates on reproductive health, particularly in males, as well as their potential association with developmental issues.

Sulfates (SLS and SLES):

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are a surfactant, detergent, and emulsifying agent that is commonly used in a variety of personal care and cleaning products. It is known for its ability to create a lathering or foaming effect, which is why it’s often found in products like shampoos, body washes, toothpaste, and household cleaning agents. While SLS is generally recognized as safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products by regulatory agencies, some individuals may experience skin irritation or sensitivity to this ingredient.

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives:

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are a group of chemical compounds used in cosmetics, personal care products, and certain household items to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms. These preservatives slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde over time, helping to extend the shelf life of the products. Formaldehyde itself is a well-known preservative and antimicrobial agent, but its direct use in cosmetic products has declined due to concerns about its potential health effects.When these substances break down or react with the skin, they release formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen. Prolonged or high-level exposure to formaldehyde has been associated with respiratory irritation, skin sensitization, and potential long-term health risks.


Fragrances can contain a mixture of potentially irritating chemicals. Some people may be sensitive to synthetic fragrances, leading to skin irritation or allergic reactions, migraines and headaches. Fragrances are often volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which contribute to indoor air pollution and respiratory issues in sensitive people.


Triclosan is a chemical compound that has been historically used as an antimicrobial agent in a variety of consumer products, particularly in antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, toothpaste, and certain cosmetics. It is known for its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mildew, making it attractive for use in products aimed at reducing or preventing bacterial contamination. Triclosan is known to persist in the environment and has been detected in water sources, soil, and even in some aquatic organisms. Its widespread use has raised environmental concerns, and its presence in water systems has been associated with potential ecological impacts. Studies have suggested that it may contribute to antibiotic resistance and have adverse effects on hormone regulation.


This chemical is commonly found in sunscreens and other cosmetics because of its ability to provide effective broad-spectrum UV protection. Oxybenzone has been the subject of some concern and debate. Studies have suggested that oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin and has been detected in the bloodstream, urine, and breast milk. Some research has raised questions about its potential hormonal effects, and there have been discussions about its safety, especially in products used by children. Oxybenzone is also known to have an impact on the environment. It has been detected in water bodies, and concerns have been raised about its potential contribution to coral bleaching in coral reefs. Some regions and countries have implemented regulations or restrictions on the use of oxybenzone in sunscreens to protect marine ecosystems

Unfortunately, this is a very short list of chemicals that I think warrant our attention. Considering the pool of chemicals that we bathe in (literally), we need to exercise caution. Be aware that just because it is sold in the store does not mean that it is safe. While we fight the good fight against both diseases associated with aging AND looking like we are aging, it is important to pay attention to the products that we are using.

Call me today to if you have any questions regarding toxin-free products, anti-aging skin care, or to schedule your appointment today!


Instagram @lizaklear
Facebook @drelizaklearman

Empowering Active People to Achieve Optimal Health Using Natural, Drug-free Solutions
Facebook @vailvalleypharmacy
More Than Just a Pharmacy

If you need help and guidance in your journey to better health, schedule your appointment today

Call me at 970-328-5678. to book your appointment today!