5 Toxic Ingredients Hiding In Your Skincare

Every day our skin battles with countless environmental pollutants we have very little control over. Smoke from other people's cigarettes, car fumes and chemicals used in public spaces.

Our bodies are amazing at filtering out toxins, but when exposed on a daily basis, the chance of developing health issues increases.

For this reason, it’s super important to make conscious choices about the things we do have control of, like what we eat and what skincare we use, to lower our exposure to chemicals.

The following are 5 toxic ingredients you totally want to avoid in your skincare arsenal.


You’ve probably heard of parabens. They’re a preservative to prevent mould and bacteria commonly found in hair products, cosmetics and moisturiser. You’ll find them in the ingredients list with tongue-twister names like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben.

The issue with parabens in their ability to disrupt hormonal functions. While individual products may contain small amounts of paraben, if you’re layering chemicals from different products on your skin everyday, the cumulative exposure could contribute to long-term health problems.

Why take the risk when there are amazingly nourishing, natural skincare products available? The entire range of Kelapa products, including organic moisturiser and organic hair products are completely free of parabens.


Yep. That smelly preservative used in disinfectants and as glues for manufacturing industrial products is also found in baby shampoo, body wash, cosmetics and other personal care products. According to Product Safety Australia:

“High levels of exposure to formaldehyde, particularly in cosmetic products, can cause:

  • sensory irritation
  • skin sensitisation
  • breathing difficulties
  • asthma
  • cancer, in circumstances where there is chronic high exposure.”

Sounds like a dubious ingredient to continually apply to your skin or bub’s hair. We don’t think the risks are worth it. Kelapa’s organic baby skincare is safe alternative based on the natural goodness of coconut oil not synthetic, toxic ingredients.

Synthetic fragrances

When you see the word ‘fragrance’ on a product ingredient list, what exactly does it mean?

In many cases, a whole bunch of toxicity. Most chemicals used to create synthetic fragrance are derived from petrochemicals, which are chemicals obtained from petroleum and natural gas.

These include endocrine disrupting benzene derivatives, aldehydes and potentially carcinogenic  phthalates. Here’s the sneaky part; manufacturers aren’t legally required to list all the chemicals they use to create a fragrance on a label because it’s referred to as a ‘trade secret’.

This means you can’t identify the toxins lurking behind the word ‘fragrance’ on a product. The best thing to do is skip it altogether and choose a naturally fragranced option instead.

Chemical sunscreens

Natural sunscreen reflects the sun’s rays while chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays. A common ingredient used in chemical sunscreen to absorb UV is benzophenone which studies have revealed as an endocrine disruptor.

What’s so bad about an endocrine disrupting chemical? In certain doses it can interfere with the hormonal system and endocrine disruptors have been found to cause cancerous tumors and other developmental disorders.  

Another synthetic chemical sunscreen agent, oxybenzone, is not only considered a endocrine disruptor but also poses a threat to the marine environment, especially coral.

Another great reason to choose a more eco-friendly, natural sunscreen option, which, by the way, are just as effective as chemical sunscreens!


Phthalates are key components of plastic and solvents and you’ll find them in a whole bunch of synthetic fragrances, hair products and skin products. Like the chemicals we’ve mentioned above, phthalates are have been found to have endocrine disrupting effects and can also impact the thyroid function of young children.

Because of these issues, some types of phthalates have been banned for use in cosmetics in Australia including a few we have a hard time pronouncing - dibutylphthalate, diethylhexylphthalate, diisobutylphthalate and di(methyloxyhexyl)phthalate.

The best way to minimise layering yourself with loads of chemicals each day? Take some time to detox your beauty cabinet, always read the ingredient list and opt for natural, certified organic skin care products where possible.

Kelapa Organics is a range of Australian made organic skin care products.  We’re proud to bring you amazing skin care free from harmful toxins and never tested on animals.

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