Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in your Skincare Products

Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in your Skincare Products

Here at My Moonbox we are always talking about the importance of eating a high quality diet when it comes to achieving healthier hormones and better periods.

However, just as important as what you’re putting into your body is what you’re putting onto your body – I’m talking about your skincare here!

60% of what you put onto your skin ends up in your bloodstream and the average woman wears around 515 chemicals a day! If you’re thinking, “well I only use a tiny bit of cleanser and foundation each day so it won’t matter for me” – I’m going to hold you right there! Studies show the problem actually lies in LOW-DOSE, LONG-TERM exposure that builds up over time in our body – the hormonal risk is cumulative and common. So yes even the smallest amounts have an impact. And unfortunately most mainstream skincare products contain ingredients known as xenoestrogens. These are endocrine disruptors due to their capacity to interfere with normal hormonal actions within the body making you more vulnerable to period problems and hormone-dependent cancers such as breast and endometrial cancers. No thank you!

This is why as an essential part of your hormonal healing journey making the switch to more natural and organic skincare makes a huge difference not just to your menstrual health and fertility, but overall long-term health as well.

The best part? Going toxin-free will leave you feeling amazing from the inside out!

So, what toxins should you avoid at all costs?

I’ve made an in-depth list for you below plus we also recommended our favourite all natural skincare products too!

I invite you to get in the habit of reading the ingredient labels on your skincare products just as you would your food! Once you’re aware of the ingredients to look out for, you’ll be an empowered consumer making informed decisions about your product choices!


Hormone-Disrupting Ingredients in Skincare


Here some of the main hormone-disrupting ingredients found in skincare to start getting familiar with:


These are synthetic preservatives that allow your skincare products to last for months or even years. They are used in an estimated 13,200 cosmetic, skincare and deodorant products. These are linked with breast cancer because they have been found to contain hormone/endocrine disrupting properties. The good news is that there are plant-based and plant-derived preservatives on the market which mean using toxic parabens is unnecessary! Moonbox skincare products are preserved with natural grapeseed extracts and our skincare is also packaged in glass which helps preserve our natural ingredients used.

Parabens are present in different forms, so here’s what keep a look out for:

Petroleum products coat the skin like plastic and they are in so many cosmetic products! And yes, it’s the same ingredient from which motor oil is made. Petroleum clog pores and create a build-up of toxins. They have been found in some studies to slow cellular development, creating earlier signs of ageing. Petroleum contains 1,4-Dioxane which has been listed by the WHO and the Environmental Protection Agency as a probable carcinogen.

The names petroleum hides behind are:

Mineral oil
Liquid paraffin

Sodium lauryl
or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)

These are used in engine degreasers, floor cleaners, car washes and 90% of skincare products that foam. They are used to break down your skin’s moisture barrier, making it more susceptible to sun damage and dry skin with premature aging. They easily penetrate your skin, allowing other chemicals easier access. They have been linked to depression, diarrhoea, skin irritation and eye damage. SLS combined with other chemicals may become a “nitrosamine” – a potent carcinogen.

Propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol and various ingredients with PEGs and PGs

PEGs are a common cosmetic moisturiser and carrier for fragrance oils often found in sunscreens, personal care products and baby care. Dioxin is a by-product of the process used to create propylene glycol, and dioxin has been linked to cancers, miscarriages and birth deformity.


Hidden in ingredients such as PEG, polysorbates, laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Very common in personal care products. These chemicals are often contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane that’s easily absorbed through the skin. Its carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965, and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978.


Toluene may be very poisonous, as it’s made from petroleum and coal tar and is found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure is linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage.

Phthalates (DBP, DEP, DEHP, and DMP)

Phthalates are used as a plasticizer and are used to create fragrances in everything from skincare, cosmetics, nail polish, perfume to hair products and deodorants. They are known as endocrine and fertility disruptors and cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system. Long-term exposure to phthalates builds up in our system over time which makes a strong case for avoiding exposure to synthetic fragrances! In our Moonbox skincare products we use natural essential oils and extracts which smell divine and are much more nourishing for the skin, without the harmful effects.

The tricky part about phthalates is that they aren’t usually listed on the label of products and are often disguised under the ingredient listed as “gradrance”. So opt for products that are scented with high quality essential oils instead.

Diethanolamine (DEA), MEA (Monoethanolamine) and Triethanolamine (TEA)

These chemicals are foam boosters and are easily absorbed through the skin, building up in the body’s organs. They are skin irritants and can cause contact dermatitis. They can react with other ingredients within a cosmetic product to form carcinogenic chemicals called nitrosamines. Use milk or oil-based cleansers.

Synthetic Fragrances, dyes and colourants

A fragrance is anything that smells and can refer to a combination of any of the thousand separate ingredients used to make up the “fragrance”, many of which are phthalates (ie. toxic carcinogens and hormone disruptors). Products which are “fragrance-free” or products that use natural substances to create a smell are your best!


This ingredient is most commonly found in sunscreens and it’s definitely one to avoid. Our favourite all natural sunscreen is from Edible Beauty and trust us, we’ve tried them all! Check it out here and use the code MOONBOX20 for 20% off!

Start Your Non-Toxic Skincare Regime

Switching to natural products that are better for your hormones, your skin and the environment.

Avoiding toxins may seem overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be, instead it’s an exciting first step to creating a toxin-free lifestyle and upgrading your health! The best way to approach transitioning to all natural is: as you finish one product, replace it with its better, more natural alternative! Then in time you’ll be completely toxin free – woohoo!

At My Moonbox, every ingredient we use in our skincare range is sourced with the utmost care, research and high standard of quality going above and beyond being natural and 100% organic. If you’re new to our products, our Skincare Bundle is a great place to start to create the foundation for a high quality and effective daily skincare routine – powered by nature, not ingredients that mess with your hormones!