Expert Advice on Harmful Chemicals in Beauty Products

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

In this video, you can expect to learn the harmful chemicals in beauty products that Lara Adler, environmental toxins expert, says are the worst that you can find in skin care products on the market today. You should look out for these two if you are trying to take better care of your skin and your microbiome.


Her top 3 favorite brands that are safe and fun to use.
Learn which are the top 2 companies that make you believe they are “organic” but somehow have shifted and are no longer what we believe them to be.


You’ll also get a glance at my favorite companies and whether or not Lara agrees with me.


Find my special Better Beauty Products Buying Guide here that I have put together for you and start getting some great products to use.



Lara is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who received her training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and she is a self-taught Environmental Toxins Expert.


Lara states in this chat with me that she is concerned with two specific ingredients: phthalates, and parabens in so-called natural skin products.

Harmful Chemicals in Beauty Products

1. Phthalates

The easy way to discover if your products contain this harmful toxin is if it contains fragrance, perfume, or parfum. You will often see this listed on many body care labels. Anything with a nice smell most likely contains phthalates.


What consumers don’t realize is that the word fragrance alone can contain up to 300 different potentially dangerous chemicals that companies don’t have to tell us about so they hide them under the euphemism fragrance, parfum or perfume. Companies know that fragrance is the magic formula for getting consumers to choose one product over another. We want to smell pretty and we buy products that smell pretty. 


Phthalates also serve as a fixative in products, meaning they hold the smell throughout the day. So if you get a whiff of someone’s shampoo late in the day, most likely they used a shampoo containing phthalates. The same goes if it is a lotion or laundry detergent. Phthalates can be used in countless products on the market today.


Phthalates are also a synthetic estrogen meaning they are endocrine disrupting chemicals, which block or mimic the role of natural hormones in the body, and they do at very low levels. The hormone system in the body is extremely delicate and can be thrown out of whack very easily. This is causing an increasing number of health concerns that can be traced back to gut and hormone imbalance. These chemicals disrupt our normal functioning! The endocrine system is responsible for so much in the body including your body temperature, moods, metabolism, fetal development, growth, maturation, suppleness of our skin, and so much more. So when we have these synthetic estrogens coming in, they will really mess with you health in a way that is quite invisible at first. 

2. Parabens

The second ingredient that Lara mentions is parabens, which she states is present on most ingredient labels. They act as a preservative and we do need preservatives in products to an extent, but they are also an endocrine disrupter and also pass through our skin’s barrier and get into our deeper tissues.


Any product that has water as an ingredient will automatically require some degree of preservative because the second you add water you create an environment that encourages bacterial and microbial growth within the product. There are safer preservatives such as food grade and essential oil-based preservatives.  But more often than not parabens are used. These are the ones that block or mimic the role of estrogen in the body. The upside to this ingredient is that it IS listed as what it is on the label. Anything that ends in -araben.


Now for the good part! Lara shares her favorite products with us, ones that she has approved of and uses herself! If you want to see all of these in one place, please check out this guide that I created for your convenience.

  1. Acure: These are sold in most health food stores. I use the lip balms and you can grab this pack of 5 with the free Dark Chocolate Mint Flavor. Lara enjoys the shampoo, conditioner, brightening face scrub, body lotion, sensitive facial cleanser, seriously glowing facial serum, night cream, rose + red tea facial toner, ultra hydrating body wash,
  2. Well People Mascara: pro black or pro brown and Eco Bella Mascara black or brown
  3. Devita: Natural Sunscreen SPF 30


Lara really loves The Well People makeup company because they are Environmentally Working Group Verified through This resource rates all the products out there so when looking for laundry detergent, house cleaning supplies, and more you can rest assured that someone has done the dirty work of testing it for you. If you would rather not spend time searching through the whole website you can go straight to their Skin Deep Database. This will save you tons of time finding cleaner safer products at


Lara shares with us some companies that claim to be healthy and are seen as organic quality in the eyes of the consumers but aren’t necessarily.


The term organic is not regulated in the personal care product industry, only in food.  Anybody can use the term organic, even if they are not. The only way you will see a USDA Certified skin care product is if 98% of the ingredients are food based ingredients and the companies already have organic certifications. So be mindful when purchasing products and try not to get fooled. You must remember that the words on the front of a label are there to convince you, not inform you, so it is your responsibility as a consumer to turn the label over and look at the ingredients.


Companies Lara is bummed about:

1. Burt’s Bees: Known as the pioneer company to have natural products was bought out by the Clorox Company and now the ingredients are not that much better than what you would find in conventional products at a drug store.

2. Body Shop: Filled with all kinds of synthetic ingredients, claims to be safer, is more expensive, but they are not.

I like to patchwork the products that I use and make sure each one is the right fit for me. I have a Better Beauty Buying Guide for you to see my favorites as well as Lara’s favorites that she spoke about in this video here today.

My favorite lines are:

AnnMarie Gianni Skincare

Suntegrity, you can also order sample sizes from the website

Beauty Counter 

You can find all these products in the buying guide I created for you.

Put your favorites together and share with us in the comments below!