6 Common Toxins to Avoid in Your Skincare Products

We can all see the connection between a clean diet and our wellness, but what about the importance of clean beauty?

I recently sat down with Kandee Johnson, an age-defying YouTube star, esthetician, and makeup artist, and she got candid about her lifelong attention to beauty rituals, which began with skincare at the age of 13. She emphatically pointed out that your skin is, after all, your body's largest organ. Yes, how you treat your skin impacts its endurance and appearance over the long term, but thanks to our skin's absorptive properties, Johnson was referring to the fact that what you're putting on it matters, too.

For years, we have been unknowingly exposing ourselves to health-harming chemicals. Hidden in our toiletries, cosmetics, and skincare products, these nefarious toxins absorb straight through the skin and into our bloodstreams. The health consequences are no joke, either; they range from inflammation and moisture loss to hormonal imbalances and potentially even cancer.

Erin Cotter, senior VP of beauty at Goop, explains, "There is a huge movement toward health and wellness, and women are thinking about beauty from a holistic perspective. They are conscious of what they put in their body, how they treat their body, and then, what they put on their body." She continues, "For Goop, clean beauty means that we have identified a list of ingredients that we screen against. Our goal is to provide our consumers with thoroughly vetted products that are beautiful, efficacious, and [made] without any ingredients that pose a risk to human health."

Similarly, responsible retailers like Credo Beauty, Follain, and The Detox Market have risen to prominence by selling expertly curated, nontoxic beauty brands and products. Still, there is no beauty bible or reference to outline those red-flag ingredients that pose health risks—making the already challenging task of identifying these ingredients even more difficult, notes Melanie Petschke, nurse practitioner and co-founder of Crunchi. "[T]hey are often disguised in many different names," she says. Gulp.

Now more than ever, information is power, which is why we hammered out a definitive list of ingredients to avoid. Below, beauty industry experts share some of the most notorious offenders. Use their knowledge to empower your purchases, clean up your regimen, and detox your life on multiple levels.