Four Ingredients Hiding in Your Beauty Products

Four Frightful Ingredients Hiding In Your Beauty Products, a guest post from Noktivo -

This weekend the cutest ghosts, goblins and ghouls will be out parading the neighborhoods. But in the spirit of Halloween, we have to tell you; something scary is hiding in your beauty products.

If you are like the average family who uses 9-12 different products per day, this means you and your little ladybug or minion comes into contact with over 100 unique ingredients daily. Boo! We know now that our skin absorbs almost everything we put on it. It is the largest organ in our body, so why do we treat it so differently than our heart or stomach? It’s tricky, isn’t it?


While it is frightening to think about yet another set of ingredients to pay attention to and labels to read, have no fear. This list is a good place to start and includes common ingredients you might find in traditional family products. We’ve also included our favorite resources for learning more about how to find cleaner beauty products, and of course, feel free to leave a question or comment on this post and I am happy to answer using my wealth of knowledge and experience in the green beauty industry.

  1. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS/ SLES) – This ingredient is a surfactant, emulsifier and cleansing agent in most shampoos and body washes. It’s the ingredient that is responsible for anything that has a nice foam action to it. The main concern with this ingredient is that it is likely contaminated with a carcinogen known as 1,4-Dioxane and SLS is a strong irritant for skin, eyes and lungs. 1,4-Dioxane contaminates up to 46% of personal care products tested and the federal agency responsible for the safety of consumer goods, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, agreed that the presence of 1,4-Dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is cause for concern (OCA 2008, EWG 2008, NTP 2005).
  2. Triclosan – This antimicrobial ingredient is included in most soap labeled as antibacterial. Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor, which means it mimics our own hormones and throws off our natural system. This disruption has been linked to adverse reproductive, developmental and neurological disorders. The scariest aspect about about Triclosan is that it is bioaccumulative, which means it builds up in the body and is environmentally persistent. Triclosan does not break down easily, so when it ends up in our waterways, it is toxic to aquatic life and other creatures that come into contact with the contaminated water.
  3. Mineral Oil/ Paraffin/ Petrolatum – If you look at most lotions and body oils (including baby oil), this ingredient will more than likely be in it. Mineral Oil or also known as Petrolatum is derived from… can you guess? Yes, crude oil. This is the same base as a very famous brand of Petroleum jelly. The irony of this ingredient is that it’s recommended for skin conditions. However, it does the exact opposite of what one with a skin condition needs. Mineral Oil completely coats the skin and creates a barrier to oxygen, which the skin needs to function properly. As a petrochemical with carcinogenic contamination concerns and the ability to suffocate the skin, it is best to use not so scary ingredients like Coconut or Olive Oil.
  4. Formaldehyde – This one might seem obvious as it’s a known carcinogen, but what is not so obvious is that you’ll find it on a label of a product specifically geared towards babies and children. In fact, as recently as 2012, Johnson & Johnson removed it from their Baby Shampoo! Scary. It’s a down-n-dirty chemical, so stay away. You’ll find it in products containing Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, Formalin; Formic Aldehyde; Merthaldehyde; Methanal, Methyl Aldehyde, Imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, Oxomethan, Oxymethylene, Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, Bronopol, Bromo- Nitro- 1,3 Dioxane.


I hope I haven’t scared you too much about beauty products because there are so many great ones available that are completely safe for your family to use.  I carry eco-friendly materials and provide organic services with vegan options at Noktivo that will help you and your family feel pampered and relaxed.

Even better news?  Amanda and I are teaming up on Instagram and the blog to give away a Mom and Baby Zoe Organics Gift Set of natural products for the family, plus manicure/pedicure at Noktivo giveaway.  Yes, that’s right, $150 worth of green, eco-friendly pampering is up for grabs for this week only!


To Enter:

  1. Follow Queenofthelandoftwigsnberries on Instagram
  2. Follow Noktivo on Instagram
  3. Comment on this post once with your Instagram name AND your favorite way to unwind after a long day.
  4. The lucky winner will be contacted via Instagram on Monday, November 2nd. Good luck!



Jenny Duranski is the founder of green spa and beauty boutique, Noktivo, located in Chicago, IL. She began her career in the beauty industry at the young age of 19 and began researching cleaner alternatives when allergies and sensitivities came up in her work as a nail technician. Jenny is now a passionate activist for Safe Cosmetics and loves educating families on how they can give their beauty products a makeover. You can learn more about healthy beauty by following Jenny on Facebook and Instagram. If you’re in Chicago and would like to book a service with her visit



  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    Ugh, I hate “surprise” ingredients and seriously, who has time to read all the labels. I just want a good, natural product.

  2. Natasha says

    I’m so glad that you posted this! I need to make an appointment at Noktivo soon. I love that there’s an eco nail salon in Chicago. I love to relax with a hot bath after a stressful day and a good book.

    My instagram is preppypagoda!

  3. Melinda Dunne says

    I try really hard to stay away from products that contain all that stuff. I really appreciate companies that are going more “green” and natural with their products. I don’t even mind paying more money for them.

  4. Bri says

    When products have mineral oil in them I can instantly tell from how my skin reacts. I am really trying to use all natural products.

  5. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    Thank you for raising awareness. We must be more proactive in reading labels and find out what is actually harmful for us. I was surprised with Triclosan, as this is always present in products that promote cleanliness.

  6. Jessica Harlow says

    These kinds of ingredients are why it’s so important to me to use more natural products. The kick is that they actually work. Somehow, a lot of natural products have gotten the reputation that they don’t work well, but it’s simply not true, IMO. 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win Zoe Organics products! savingcmncents

  7. Nikki says

    I’m being comfortable using a natural product! For me, it is actually work than to others that’s why I love it so much , dealing with my beauty!

  8. Stacie Brown says

    We tried the Honest brand products with their free trial deal but found most of their ingredients were the same in the brands we were already using. I’m just happy I was able to find more natural replacements for my kids with bad skin.

    I love a nice glass of wine and bowl of popcorn and of course some good DVR’d scandal to end a stressful day 😉

    StacieBrown14 on instagram:)

    • amandasimkin says

      Good to know about the Honest brand…we use it sometimes but aren’t too thrilled with it. Cheers to Thursday nights!

  9. Lidia | typebaby says

    I got rid of my toxic beauty products when I was pregnant with my first and now I can’t handle artificially scented mainstream products. I have been wanting to try this line! With a newborn and 4 YO
    My only relaxation is a nap or a cup of tea…

  10. Carisa Deegan says

    As crazy as it sounds, I love to relax at the end of a long day, by prepping dinner. I love Zoe Organics products! So good for my 8 months preggo body and baby boy arriving soon!! 🙂 IG: @carisadeegan

    • amandasimkin says

      I love to cook as well, as sometimes blasting music and cooking (alone) is my way to relax, too! Hope your pregnancy is going well!

  11. Maggie says

    My favorite way to unwind is to crawl into bed and catch up on social media and read all those articles I have saved in my browsers from the day(s) before.
    Insta name: @mags624

  12. Maria says

    Thanks for raising awareness! I do avoid most of these ingredients -SLS does seem to be in everything. I prefer to buy natural products myself!

  13. Kelly says

    I love being able to get a beautiful mani-pedi at Noktivo and know I’m not polluting my body by doing so! Thank you for your work, ladies!
    I like to unwind worth a glass of red 🙂
    IG kellyochmichael

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