5 Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

By: Sabrina Taylor

5 Skincare Ingredients to Avoid | The Organic Beauty Blog

When was the last time you checked out the ingredient list of your favorite skin care and beauty products? If you’re anything like me, the overly large, unpronounceable, chemical sounding ingredients can be a little bit daunting. If you can barely read the ingredients, how can you be expected to know what you are putting on your skin?

Did you know that 60 percent of what we rub on our skin is absorbed into our bodies? That means all those chemicals are sneaking into your body and harming you. Toxic ingredients can cause skin allergies, cancer, infertility, birth defects, reproductive problems and even learning disabilities.

The possibilities of harming yourself are bountiful, so in order to avoid bodily damage it’s time you know what exactly you’re rubbing on your skin. Here are the top 5 skin care and beauty ingredients you should be watching out for and avoiding.

Benzoyl Peroxide

One of the most common ingredients in acne products, benzoyl peroxide has several harmful side effects. Some of its potential damaging properties include being a possible tumor promoter. It has also been found to act as a mutagen, causing DNA damage to both human and animal cells.

Cellular damage is pretty drastic, but some of the less outrageous side effects include eye, skin or respiratory irritation. Try to avoid sniffing products containing benzoyl peroxide because it can be toxic by inhalation as well.


This is a sneaky one. Dioxin won’t be listed on any labels, but is often found in antibacterial ingredients like triclosan, emulsifiers, polyethylene glycol and ethoxylated cleansers. The potential harms of using products with dioxin are quite damaging. Prolonged use of dioxins can lead to cancer, cause reduced immune functioning and preempt nervous system disorders.

Pregnant women beware. Dioxins can cause birth defects and in some cases, miscarriage. This is definitely one to watch out for.


It’s no secret that parabens are unsafe. A common product preservative, they are not always labeled. Be sure to do extra research when picking out a deodorant and other skin care products because that is where they are often found.

Parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors and can imbalance hormones in females. As for males, sterility is possible.


Yet another one that is hard to find on a label, phthalates can cause liver and kidney damage. Though they are being weaned out of many products in North America and the EU, they can still cause early breast development in both males and females, birth defects and decreased sperm counts.

Sunscreen Chemicals

There are a few commonly used chemicals in sunscreens that are known to generate free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA and even lead to cancer. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to watch out for avobenzone, benzophenone, ethoxycinnamate and PABA.

Navigating the world of cosmetic and skin care products can be difficult, but hopefully this list helps you avoid some of the more dangerous ingredients.

Author Bio: Sabrina is an allergy-ridden, gluten-free living, lover of green DIY’s. Why buy something when you can make it better yourself; like this homemade anti-aging cream.

Follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

Own Products Now at Ulta

Own at Ulta

I get super excited whenever a major retailer starts carrying one of our Organic Beauty top pick brands.  Bringing potent, natural, and

non-toxic beauty products to the masses is so important in the mission to make safer options available to the average consumer.  And supporting these wonderful companies is a major plus as well.

So I am super happy to report that one of our favorite product lines, Own Skincare, is now available at Ulta!  So after you’ve cleared out all your toxic beauty products, laden with carcinogenic ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, hit up your local Ulta to stock up on some powerful, potent products that are actually good for you!

See our review of Own’s super potent anti-aging line.


A Better Option than Airborne or Emergen-C?

A Better Option than Airborne or Emergen-C? | The Organic Beauty BlogI’ll admit, a big part of my flu season regimen is loading up on some extra vitamins (for the rest of my regimen, see How To Naturally Prevent the Flu).  When I get home, particularly after having been on the subway or another crowded germ-fest, the number two thing I do (after washing my hands with hot, soapy water) is to pop an effervescent immune-boosting vitamin.  It definitely does the trick (I rarely get sick), but this precaution comes with a fair amount of guilt on my end.  The drugstore standbys, Airborne and Emergen-C, come with their fair share of sub-par ingredients that I usually avoid.  So I’ve decided to take on a side by side comparison of these guys, as well as few other readily available and slightly harder to come by brands.  I was actually surprised to find that those drugstore standbys are the weaker of the 5 brands I found!  So without further ado, behold…

The Effervescent Immunity-Boost Showdown!

Scoring based on the following factors, which are each worth a maximum of 5 points:  
  1. Comprehensive vitamin and mineral content (CVM)

  2. Immune-boosting herbal additions (H)

  3. Quality of ingredients (Q)

  4. Calorie and sugar content (CS)

  5. Value (V)

Continue Reading…

Eating Healthy On a Budget

By: Cindy Moustafa

Eating Healthy On a Budget 2 | The Organic Beauty BlogIf you’re like most people, the idea of starting to eat healthier comes with the fear that your wallet is going to get as thin as your waist. While it’s true that certain health foods are pricey, due to items like chips and soda being subsidized by the government but not fruits and vegetables, there are ways to not break the bank.

To help I’ve put together 3 easy-to-follow steps. Just remember the 3 P’s : Plan, Purchase, Prepare. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to living a healthier lifestyle on any budget.

Step 1: PLAN!

Like everything in life, planning ahead is the key to success.  The first step is to compile a shopping list before going to the supermarket. Assess the fridge and food pantry (hopefully by now you’ve thrown out anything that contains ingredients you can’t pronounce). The list should include foods that you know you need to make healthy meals throughout the week. For example, eggs, peppers, onions, ground turkey, apples, etc. 

You can take this a step further and actually make your own menu. This is helpful to anyone from a college student to a mom of 3. So for example your list may look something like this:

Monday: Baked Salmon, baked sweet potato “fries”,sauteed spinach.
Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash with homemade pesto and large arugula salad.

So you would know for Monday and Tuesday you need to buy (wild atlantic) salmon, sweet potatoes, spinach, spaghetti squash, basil, pine nuts and arugula. You just need to adjust for how many people you’re cooking for. When you’re set up for the week you’re less likely to spend needless money in the supermarket or reach for something unhealthy. We like to call this a win-win situation!

Don’t forget to include good foods for snacks on your list. After you complete this, go online and try to find coupons for some of the foods on your list. The days of having to wear a disguise to avoid the embarrassment of using coupons are over. It’s actually becoming trendy-thank you recession! So take advantage and go to the supermarket’s web site or some of the more popular coupon sites and save, baby, save!


Now that you’ve got the planning down, it’s time to actually go to the store and purchase the foods you need. Make sure not to go to the store when you’re hungry. You’re more likely to throw caution to the wind and a bag of Oreo cookies in your cart. Also, make sure that you stick to your list. Don’t stray!

Once you’re in the store and sticking to the “plan”, there’s ways to save even more. Don’t look at the price of food items, but rather the unit price. The unit price is the price of food per pound, so you will actually save in the long run if one food is cheaper in unit price. For example, if you’re buying brown rice and the larger bag has a $.33 unit price, and the smaller one has a $.55 unit price, go for the larger bag! It’s cheaper and will last longer.

With shelf items such as rice, go with the cheaper brand. However, there are some items you must get used to paying a little extra for. These include items like organic eggs and grass-fed meats. You are only as good as what you put in your body so make sure you’re only putting good stuff in there! Think of this in the same way you shop for clothes. There’s just some pieces that you splurge on because they’re worth it-such as a good quality handbag or the perfect little black dress. Well, people, something like cage-free eggs are your little black dress.  Another place to spend a little more is organic berries, since they have the highest amount of pesticides.

Even though certain items are more costly, the money should even out if you’re doing a lot less waste spending with the 3 P’s plan.

Step 3: PREPARE!

It’s time to put theory into practice and actually take the time to prepare the food. Items like quinoa and rice can be prepared for the whole week on Sunday, which is a time saver. Also, another place to save it by taking these foods for lunch. A good way to extend shelf life is to marinate or cook fish/meats/chicken/turkey. This will help the food stay fresher longer. You can also chop all your vegetables so that you don’t waste time prepping before cooking during the week.  Items like fresh herbs can be put in a Ziploc and can stay in the freezer for months.

Use the preparation phase to help make bringing lunch with you to school/work easier. This is another great way to save money. The average person can spend up to$20 a day on food. That’s $100 for a 5 day week! Put that money in a savings account and buy yourself something pretty instead of a fattening sandwich at your local deli.

Cooking instead of eating out is
the easiest way to save and keep healthy!