The Tea on Toxic Beauty: Top 4 ingredients we're avoiding at all costs

It’s crazy how that in this information age, many of us have no clue what we're putting on or in our bodies. A lot of ingredients in our beauty products are incredibly toxic and super dangerous. For whatever reason the FDA is super lax when it comes to cosmetic regulations despite certain ingredients being shown to cause irritation, brain damage and even cancer! EWG has a database with over 75,000 products ranked based on toxicity from 1-10. They also have a section dedicated to a huge study conducted strictly on products marketed to black woman. Although we spend much more on beauty than any other demographic, our products have been proven to be the most toxic, with products marketed towards Latin women being a close second.I’m not going to be messy and mention any specific brands but I did go through several hundreds of these products and I’m here to spill the tea on the 4 ingredients that we absolutely must avoid.ParabensWhat to look for on the label: ingredients ending in  -parabenThere are no restrictions on parabens. Denmark restricts a couple in children’s products but other than that this chemical is highly unregulated. You’ll usually find a paraben in a water-based product such as a shampoo or a face wash because they prevent the growth of bacteria. Obviously no one wants bacteria in their products, but parabens have been linked to hormone disruption and even breast cancer. Check for "Paraben Free" on the labels. Usually companies do a good job of specifying.PhthalatesWhat to look out for on the label: phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP and fragrancePhthalates are added to products to make the fragrance last longer so a lot of times companies disguise them as “fragrance” as the FDA does not require actual fragrance ingredients to be listed.  This toxin has been shown to lower testosterone levels and sperm quality, cause infertility in men and feminization of sex organs in male fetuses. A couple forms of phthalates are actually banned from products in the European Union and many companies have phased it out of their products. Nonetheless, this toxin is found in higher quantities in African American urine samples than any other demographic.PetroleumWhat to look for on the label: Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly, Paraffin Oil, Mineral Oil and White Petrolatum (refined and safe for use).I’m going to start off by saying Vaseline is safe sis before you go and have a heart attack. Vaseline is triple purified and the impurities of petroleum are what make it unsafe. Europe and Asia have refinement standards to ensure the purity of petroleum but the United States of course has none. Unrefined petroleum has strong links to breast cancer so unless the label makes it clear that it’s been refined, you should definitely avoid it at all costs.FormaldehydeWhat to look for on the label: Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.Despite being a known irritant, an allergen that can cause chemical burns and being linked to cancers, formaldehyde has no regulations in the United States. It’s a nasty toxin that is usually found in shampoos and a lot of other water-based products to extend shelf-life.Now I'm not saying you need to turn into a hippy and go live in the forest, but eliminating as many of these nasty toxins out your routine as you can can be very helpful.  Go for greener, cleaner and more natural products. Like I said, I'm not going to be messy and name any names, but if you know of any specific products that need to be cancelled feel free to comment below.-DreaP.S. Aini Organix is free of parabens, phthalates, petroleum and formaldehyde :)