The Not-So-Beautiful Beauty Industry

We have been told for decades that the magic of beauty products is that they would make us look healthier, prettier, and younger. The ugly truth is most of the beauty products available on the market are still made with ingredients that make us more dependent on their use and more prone to developing illnesses. To get an idea, the last time the beauty industry was regulated in the US was before 1940 (yes, almost 100 years ago). 

“To get an idea, the last time the beauty industry was regulated in the US was before 1940 (yes, almost 100 years ago).”

Luckily, most of us are already rethinking our habits and becoming aware of what we are consuming. On average, we apply more than 168 different chemicals to our bodies every single day. We don’t realize that they are that many because they are well hidden inside nice packaging and under names that we cannot recognize.  Some products even masquerade as labels that don’t have regulated meanings such as “natural” and “botanical” when, in fact, they might contain endocrine disruptors, allergens, and other toxic chemicals that can get into our bloodstream. According to EWG, at least one-fourth of our daily personal products contain ingredients that have been directly linked to cancer or that affect our reproductive processes. The last time this industry was regulated in the US was in 1938. How is this acceptable?

Health Canada recently recalled 1.5 million hair products off the shelves due to cancer-causing contamination with a chemical called “benzene”. The European Union has banned more than 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics while the United States has banned just 10. 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.


  • 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. Keep an eye on the ingredients list of the products you use. Keep a lean amount of products in the shower. Use brands you trust the quality and procedure.

At The Hair Routine we make sure that all our products are vegan, cruelty-free, and free of sulfates, Parabens, silicones, petrochemicals, sodium chloride, formaldehyde, phthalates, PEGs, MEAs, TEAs, DEAs,  artificial fragrances and coloring.

To get products that are completely clean and safe for you and the environment, shop HERE.