Find out what dangerous chemicals are hiding in your beauty products, and how to avoid them with safe and natural ingredient alternatives.

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Several countries have banned dangerous ingredients found in beauty products that are still allowed on U.S. shelves – but why? The FDA maintains that it is actively investigating several potentially toxic ingredients that are commonly used in cosmetics, but you’re likely still being exposed to dangerous ingredients during your daily beauty routine.

Find out exactly what we know about some of the most harmful chemicals used in beauty products today, and discover the safe alternatives that are toxin-free:

Healthy Deodorant

Phthalates

Just last year a study uncovered the dangers of phthalates exposure during pregnancy. “The odds of preterm delivery appear to increase for pregnant women exposed to phthalates, chemicals people are exposed to through contaminated food and water and in a variety of products including lotions, perfurmes and deodorants,” said the study published by JAMA Pediatrics. Because there are so many lymph nodes in the underarm area, it’s especially important to nix this ingredient in deodorant. Try Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Grapefruit, available for $14.50 at dermstore.com.

Kiss My Face Sunscreen

Oxybenzone

Think you’re protecting your skin by slathering up in sunscreen before you hit the beach? Maybe not. Oxybenzone is a potentially toxic ingredient, most commonly found in SPF products, which is believed to disrupt the hormones and affect fertility. Stick with an oxybenzone-free sunscreen like Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40, available for $16.99 at kissmyface.com.

Caldrea Hand Soap

Triclosan

We broke the news last month when Minnesota banned Triclosan from consumer hygiene products because of a study that found it disturbs the role of hormones in the body. The chemical is found in about 75 percent of antibacterial liquid soaps, and even in toothpaste and body wash. Caldrea Sea Salt Neroli Hand Soap incorporates aloe vera gel, olive oil and other safe ingredients that you can view on their site. Available for $10.50 at caldrea.com.

Butter Nail Polish

Formaldehyde

The same chemical used for embalming is also used in mainstream beauty products, despite the fact that formaldehyde has been deemed a human carcinogen. One of the most common beauty products containing formaldehyde is nail polish, but companies have caught on and are now offering toxic-free lacquers. We like Butter London lacquer  because it’s free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP. Try this polish in All Hail The Queen, available for $15 at butterlondon.com.

Paulas Choice

Hydroquinone

Despite the fact that dermatologists often prescribe this skin lightening ingredient to treat dark spots, it can cause a condition called ochronisis, which is seriously scary. Individuals with the skin condition have developed blue-black skin discoloration and tiny yellowish brown bumps. Paula’s Choice Resist Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment, available for $22.50 at paualaschoice.com offers a safe alternative and they even site the science that backs it up!

Tarte Lipstick

Lead

There’s little explanation needed for this beauty offender – but you may be shocked to know that lead may be hiding in your lipstick! In 2012, the FDA found traces of lead in 400 lipsticks, including top brands like Maybelline, L’Oreal and Cover Girl. Stay on the safe side with an au naturel lipstick like Tarte’s Glamazon Pure Performance 12-hour Lipstick that’s clay-infused and contains hydrating ingredients like mango, avocado and shea. Available for $26 at tartecosmetics.com  

Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor of Spa Week Daily. 

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