Popular Toxic Skin Care Products
Skin & Hair Care

The Most Popular (& Toxic) Skin Care Products On The Market in 2019

Just because it’s popular, expensive, or a famous brand does not make it healthy. Today, I’m sharing with you some of the most popular beauty products on the market this year as compiled by WhoWhatWear.

And while their focus was strictly popularity, I want to put these hot items under the lens. I know you don’t want to be putting toxic skin care products on your body!

If you’re reading this long after I hit publish, these products may or may not be on the market. My hope is that by going through this exercise with you, you can examine your own products in the same way when you shop.

I’m actually going to put my thoughts first and the list second just in case you don’t wanna read through alllllll the ingredients.

(I know ingredients are a bore to read, but it’s important!)

Thinking Through It

First let’s talk about how I approach reading an ingredient list.

I’m looking for ingredients I recognize vs. ones I don’t. I’m also looking for natural ingredients vs. chemicals.

Because I’ve spent so much time researching and reading labels, I’m more familiar with which red flags to look for. But it might take you some time to get used to reading your labels.

Personally, I don’t allow anything rogue in my products. A single chemical ingredient makes it an automatic “NO”. Having a high level filter like that makes it easier to read labels because I don’t have to know about every single ingredient. I can just find one that I know is bad and put it back on the shelf.

Typically a product with lots of potentially toxic but lesser known ingredients will also have more common, definitely toxic ingredients that I recognize easily. This makes it easier to sort through!

Popular, But Toxic Skin Care Products

So Many Chemicals

The first thing I notice about this list of products and ingredients on the whole is the massive amount of chemicals included in every product. If you take away the name and price tag, they all start to look the same.

Price Independent Toxicity

The second thing I notice is how little difference there seems to be between brands and price points. These products range from $8 to $325, but they all contain soooo many synthetic ingredients and hard to pronounce chemicals. Money doesn’t guarantee quality.

The Bad & The Ugly

Fragrance, parabens, aluminum, & dyes are abundant in these products. The EWG lists MANY of these ingredients as risky to hormones as endocrine disruptors and potential carcinogens.

Another good many of these ingredients are giant question marks. They aren’t well researched, there isn’t a lot of data, and nobody is really checking to make sure that they’re actually completely safe. This isn’t surprising considering the beauty industry is self-regulated internally, and the FDA isn’t really paying attention to product safety.

Picking Better Products

It’s easy to get swept away in what’s popular. Sometimes we can catch ourselves thinking that popular means good or safe or healthy. But that’s not always true.

When it comes to beauty products, finding healthy alternatives to the conventional, mainstream options (here’s looking at you, Sephora), can be difficult. It’s a growing market, fortunately. But it’s not impossible.

Do you research. Read the labels. Shop smart.

I started a product line called Egyptian Organics because I wanted higher quality products without paying $300 for an ounce of night cream. You can read the full story about my business beginnings and skin care story here.

The Ingredients

Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk Luxury Eyeshadow Palette ($53)

Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Dimethicone, Zinc Stearate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Diisostearyl Malate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Silica, Hydrogenated Castor Oil Hydroxystearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorphenesin, Polyethylene, Isononyl Isononanoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tin Oxide, Caprylyl Methicone, Tetrasodium Edta, Zeolite, Dimethiconol, Sorbic Acid, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Bht, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, [May Contain Ultramarines Ci 77007, Carmine Ci 75470, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide Ci 77510, Ferric Ferrocyanide Ci 77510, Blue 1 Lake Ci 42090, Titanium Dioxide Ci 77891, Manganese Violet Ci 77742, Iron Oxides Ci 77492, Iron Oxides Ci 77499, Iron Oxides Ci 77491]. 

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream ($265)

Ingredients: Aqua (water), helianthus annuus seed oil, pentylene glycol, squalane, octyldodecanol, argania spinosa kernel oil, ethylhexyl stearate, persea gratissima (avocado) oil, tribehenin, polyglyceryl-3 polyricinoleate, sorbitan oleate, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, sorbitol, oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, tocopheryl acetate, tfc-8, disteardimonium hectorite, magnesium sulfate, panthenol, butylene glycol, cera alba (beeswax), lactic acid, lanolin alcohol, zinc pca, dextran, palmitoyl tripeptide-8, citric acid

La Mer Crème de la Mer ($175)

Algae (Seaweed) Extract, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Powder, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Powder, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal, Sodium Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium Sulfate, Paraffin, Tocopheryl Succinate, Niacin, Water, Beta-Carotene, Decyl Oleate, Aluminum Distearate, Octyldodecanol, Citric Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Magnesium Stearate, Panthenol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol Denat., Fragrance.

ColorWow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray ($28)

Aqua/Water/Eau, Dipropylene Glycol, Polysilicone-29, DMDM Hydantoin, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Silicone Quaternium-18, Butylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Trideceth-7, Trideceth-12, Phenoxyethanol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Benzoate, Citric Acid.

Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder, 041 Translucent Extra Coverage ($6)

Talc, Zinc Stearate, Magnesium Carbonate, Parfum/Fragrance, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil/Huile Minerale, Lanolin, Cetyl Alcohol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Eugenol, Linalool, Coumarin, Geraniol, Citronellol, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Hydrooxycitronellal [May Contain: Zinc Oxide (Ci 77947), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), D&C Yellow No. 5 Zirconium Lake (Ci 19140), D&C Red No. 30 Lake (Ci 73360)].

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz ($21)

Hydrogenated Soybean Oil/Hydrogenated Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Coco-glycerides, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Zinc Stearate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax/Cire De Carnauba/Cera Carnauba, Mica, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostereate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, May Contain: (+/-) Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Ferric Ferrocyanide (CI 77510) <8914R3>

Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector ($28)

Water, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Ethylcellulose, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Quaternium-91, Sodium Benzoate, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-37, Tetrasodium EDTA, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Etidronic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Phytantriol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate

RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum ($27)

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, HydroxyethylcelIulose, Octapeptide-2, Copper Tripeptide-1, Biotin, Panthenol, sh-Polypeptide-1, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed, Glycosaminoglycans, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Pantethine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sea Water (Maris Aqua), Glycerin, Rhizobian Gum, Disodium Phosphate, Polysorbate 60, Sodium Phosphate, Ethyl Acetate, Sodium Oleate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Alcohol Denat., lsopropyl Cloprostenate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sorbic Acid, Potassium, Sorbate, Disodium EDTA

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($166)

Aqua/Water/Eau, Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Laureth-23, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine, Ferulic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($64)

Aqua/Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerine, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl Peg/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Magnesium Sulfate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Trihydroxystearin, Cellulose Gum, Nylon-12, Limonene, Benzyle Salicylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Isobutane, Diphenyl Dimethicone, Acrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate/Vinylidene Chloridecopolymer, Parfum/Fragrance, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Methylparaben, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Aluminum Hydroxide, Hexyl Cinnamal

Dr. Barbara Sturm Serum Discovery Kit ($325)

Brightening: Water (Aqua), Methylsilanol Mannuronate, Glycerin, Methylpropanediol, Lactobacillus/Portulaca Oleracea Ferment Extract, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Dimethylimidazolidinone Rice Starch, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Potassium Aluminum Silicate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Alcohol, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Pantolactone, Lepidium Sativum Sprout Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Sorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

Calming: Water (Aqua), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Glycerin, Octyldodecanol, Lactobacillus/Portulaca Oleracea Ferment Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Pantolactone, Tocopherol, Citric Acid.

Hydrolaunic Serum: Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Lactobacillus/Portulaca Oleracea Ferment Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate.

Super Anti-aging Serum: Water (Aqua), Betaine, Lactobacillus/Portulaca Oleracea Ferment Extract, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Propanediol, Glycerin, Pullulan, Phenoxyethanol, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Porphyridium Cruentum Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Baicalin, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexapeptide-47.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40 ($32)

Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 8%, Octinoxate 4.5%, Octisalate 5% Isododecane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Meadowfoam Estolide, Polyester-8, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lithothamnion Calcareum Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Jojoba Esters, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Mannitol, Olibanum, Lecithin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Diatomaceous Earth, Zinc Sulfate, Silica, Tocopherol.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Foundation ($8)

G8520051 Active Ingredient: OCTINOXATE 4.5%. Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerine, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Talc, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Demethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Tribehenin, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Polymethyl Silsequioxane, PEG/PPG 18/18 Dimethicone, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Laureth-4, Diphenyl Dimethicone, Methylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Propylparaben, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Tocopherol, Caffeine, Aluminum Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Parmitate, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Alcohol Denat. [+/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica] F.I.L. D37383/1