The not-so-beautiful beauty industry

 We have been told for decades that beauty products would work their magic and make us look healthier, prettier, and younger. The ugly truth is that most of the beauty products available in the market are made with ingredients that make us more dependent and prone to developing illnesses. I apologize in advance for the reality check, but we like to think that it’s better late than never. 

Luckily most of us are already re-thinking our eating habits and becoming aware of what we are putting in our bodies. On average, we apply on the body more than 200 different chemicals per day. We don’t realize it because they are well hidden inside nice packaging and under names that we cannot recognize.  Some even masquerade as “natural” and “botanical” when in fact they are pure petroleum, sulfates, parabens, and other toxic chemicals that get into our bloodstream. One-third of our daily personal products contain ingredients that have been directly linked to cancer or that affect our reproductive processes.  How is this acceptable? 

The European Union has banned more than 1,100 chemicals from its cosmetics while the United States has banned just 10, which means 89% of all beauty products have not been assessed for safety in North America. Such alarming numbers call for more authoritative regulation of the cosmetic industry, and an important need for companies to raise their standards for honesty, integrity, and transparency. 


The not-so beautiful beauty industry | The Hair Routine


  • Parabens. Parabens are a whole family of chemicals -methylparabens, propylparabens, butylparabens, and ethylparabens. They are endocrine disruptors and suspected carcinogens;
  • Phthalates. Three phthalates, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP) are classified in the European Union as reproductive toxins;
  • Fragrance. Fragrances are a mix of chemicals that are allowed into products without public disclosure;
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). They are harsh skin irritants and can be easily contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer;
  • Petrolatum. It also can be easily contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer;
  • BHA & BHT. They are suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer;
  • Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a highly toxic systemic poison that is absorbed by inhalation. The vapor is a severe respiratory tract and skin irritant and may cause dizziness or suffocation;
  • PEG. Polyethylene Glycol Compounds are potential carcinogens and can dry out the skin;
  • MEA, DEA & TEA. Those Ethanolamine compounds are easily absorbed through the skin and they accumulate in the body. They have been shown to cause spontaneous miscarriages in pregnant mice;

What are some of the most immediate steps to avoid getting in contact with any of these? 

Read the labels. Take a screenshot of this list and use it to guide you. If you see any of the above in your personal care products, you’ll know the risks. 
Use The Hair Routine as a tool to get informed and to learn about safe ingredients. You can contact us by email, or reach us on any of our social media channels. Get your Hair Routine chronogram by completing the test online and follow our newsletters for tips and best methods to take care of your hair. 
To get products that are completely clean and safe for you and the environment, shop here.