What You Put on Your Skin Will Impact Your Health

There is so much emphasis on the importance of what we put into our bodies to maintain optimal health, but not as much is placed on what we put on our bodies. The skin is our largest organ. The average adult’s skin weighs approximately 3.6 kilograms (8 pounds) and covers 2 square meters (22 square feet). Our skin is the first line of defense for our bodies. It guards our bodies against harmful chemicals, sunlight damage and extreme temperatures. The reality is that what we put on our skin will ultimately impact our health. 

Our skin is exposed to chemicals daily. They are in our cosmetics, personal care products, perfumes, cleaning products, laundry detergents, and so much more. These harmful ingredients can lead to health problems. U.S. researchers identified 10,500 industrial chemicals in cosmetics, including pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, degreasers, carcinogens, and surfactants.

Paraben is an example of an unsafe chemical widely included in many cosmetic and personal care products. Paraben is a preservative in products like soaps, makeup, moisturizers, shaving products, and hair products. Furthermore, it is a suspected endocrine disruptor, mimicking hormones like estrogen and can cause cancers, birth defects and developmental disorders.

Under the U.S. Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), cosmetic products and ingredients other than colour additives do not require any FDA approval before going on the market. Health Canada regulates cosmetic products and requires them to be safe and not pose any health risk. The agency’s website states that parabens “weakly mimic estrogens in in-vitro studies, and some, but not all, parabens have been found to have effects on the development of the male productive system in animal studies”. Although Health Canada previously concluded that the levels of paraben’s used in cosmetics showed no evident health risk to humans, they are currently assessing all parabens uses.

The David Suzuki Foundation has labelled the top 12 most common and harmful chemicals in cosmetics as the “Dirty Dozen”. The list is as follows:

  • BHA and BHT: suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer – typically found in moisturizers/makeup as a preservative
  • Coal tar dyes (p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by 5 digits): potential to cause cancer and could be contaminated with heavy metals which are toxic to the brain – found in some hair dyes and a variety of cosmetics
  • DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA: may cause cancer – used in some creamy/foamy products such as shampoos/conditioners
  • Dibutyl phthalate: suspected endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxicant – used in some nail polish
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate): could cause cancer – used in cosmetics
  • Paraben, methylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben: suspected endocrine disruptor and may interfere with male productive functions – used in cosmetics as preservative
  • Parfum: some linked to cancer, neurotoxicity and can trigger allergies and asthma – found in a variety of cosmetics
  • PEG (e.g., PEG-60): may cause cancer due to possible contaminations – used in some cosmetic cream bases
  • Petrolatum: may cause cancer due to possible contaminations – used in hair products, moisturizers, lip balms/sticks
  • Siloxanes (cyclotetrasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane and cyclomethicone): suspected endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxicant – used in a variety of cosmetics
  • Sodium laureth sulfate: may cause cancer due to contamination – used in foaming cosmetics like shampoo, cleansers, and bubble baths
  • Triclosan: suspected endocrine disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria – used in antibacterial cosmetics such as toothpaste, cleaners, antiperspirants

The two primary issues with the level of chemicals in personal care products are: (1) they are meant to be absorbed by our skin (they will penetrate the bodies and end up in our bloodstream), and (2) the ingredients end up in our water supply through showering. The water treatment plants generally cannot remove all the chemicals that flow through and end up in our drinking water. In addition, studies in the US detected levels of paraben in all the urine samples taken from adults.

Leading a health-oriented lifestyle can be difficult, especially looking for safe and clean products. We pride ourselves on selling organic, 100% natural soaps made from quality olive oil which contain no parabenno sulphatesno petrolatumno artificial fragrancesno artificial colours, and no harsh ingredients. Using our organic olive-oil soaps has been our first step to reducing the number of chemicals our skin is exposed to. Sometimes it takes one step in the right direction to change our lifestyle and turn our home into a health-promoting haven.  



All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.



  1. (2017). National Geographic. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/skin-1
  2. Laub. (2015). Skin Deep. Harvard University. https://green.harvard.edu/news/skin-deep
  3. Faber. (2020). The Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminants in Cosmetics. EWG. https://www.ewg.org/the-toxic-twelve-chemicals-and-contaminants-in-cosmetics
  4. Parabens in Cosmetics. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/parabens-cosmetics
  5. Safety of Cosmetic Ingredients. Health Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumer-product-safety/cosmetics/labelling/safety-ingredients.html
  6. Paraben-Free Cosmetics. Breast Cancer Action. https://www.bcaction.org/the-root-causes-of-breast-cancer/safe-cosmetics/paraben-free-cosmetics/
  7. L. Gue. (2010). What’s Inside? That Counts. David Suzuki Foundation. https://davidsuzuki.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/REPORT-whats-inside-counts-survey-toxic-ingredients-cosmetics.pdf


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