The Tannehill Homestead
Self-Care Simple Living

Minimalist Beauty Tips: Ingredients to Avoid

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Hi friend & Happy November! This is going to be a BIG month full of minimalist beauty tips to help you transition into a greener beauty routine! While I want to tell you everything in today’s post, I cannot…. But be sure to stick around, because there are a lot of great things coming for every Monday in November! 😉

In my personal minimalist journey, I have transitioned from conventional products to more natural products. The simplest explanation I can give you for this is that my skin does not like lab created chemicals. I have had issues with acne, large pores, premature wrinkles, and redness. It was hard to feel comfortable in my own skin. My hair was in even worse shape. It seemed like no matter which “quality” products I tried, nothing changed.

Once I started to do some research on these problems, one thing became apparent to me. The chemicals within all of my products were definitely not helping my natural beauty! So I looked for solutions, ingredients to avoid, and searched for what I should be using instead.

Over the course of this month, we will discuss several beauty tips that you can use for a more natural beauty routine. Today, I want to focus on which common ingredients you should avoid and why. Understanding this first will help the transition occur more smoothly, and give you insight to what conventional products actually contain.

With these minimalist beauty tips, you will learn which ingredients to avoid to take care of your skin the best way possible!

Minimalist Beauty Tips: Ingredients you want to avoid!

Just to be clear, this list does not include ingredients that are specific to person, diet, or sensitivity. This list is a general oversight into common ingredients found in conventional products that I highly encourage you to steer away from altogether.

BHA [butylated hydroxyanisole] and BHT [butylated hydroxytoluene]

Both of these ingredients are found in beauty products, foods, deodorant, and more. They are preservatives to prevent products from going bad. However, studies have shown that both of these ingredients are linked to organ-system toxicity, cancer, reproductive toxicity, and more. [Source]

DEA (diethanolamine)

DEA is used to make products creamy or sudsy by adjusting the PH level of a product. It is commonly found in beauty creams and sunscreens. It can irritate the skin and eyes, and it can cause liver cancer and other precancerous concerns, especially with the skin and thyroid. [Source]

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives

Just typing the words feel icky! Formaldehyde is used as a hardener in many cosmetics and household products. The problem with this ingredient is the gas inhalation. It is known as a human carcinogen and irritant. It is currently under investigation for further research into all of the harmful side effects it can cause. [Source]


Parabens are one of the most popular preservatives found in the world. They are most often used in cosmetics and fragrances, and are absorbed through your skin into your blood stream. Parabens affect the hormone levels in men and women, and have been detected in breast cancer tissues. This ingredient is also under investigation for extensive research into the damage it can cause our bodies. [Source]

Parfum / Fragrance

First of all, fragrance is protected as a trademark secret, so you may never know what all it contains. Testing is not regulated either. People who are naturally sensitive to fragrances can suffer from headaches, migraines, and allergies/sinus issues. Certain ingredients within a fragrance can affect early hormonal changes and organ failure in children. If a product of any kind includes fragrance, it will be listed within the ingredients list. Be sure to read through all of your cosmetics, hair care, skin care, etc. to see if they contain fragrance. [Source]

From personal experience, once you cleanse your palette of chemical fragrances, it will be easier to distinguish real and natural smells from chemical fragrances.

PEGs (polyethylene glycols)

This ingredient is an interesting one. Derived from petroleum, this product is used in all kinds of cosmetics, skin care, LAXATIVES, etc. Because it is petroleum based, it does not degrade and pollutes the environment once it is wasted down the drain. It is recommended to not be used on areas of the skin that are broken. This can cause irritation and possible toxicity. [Source]


Petrolatum is basically mineral oil jelly. It is used to create a barrier on your skin and give your hair shine. It is linked with cancer, skin irritation, and allergies, as well as being very bad for the environment due to slow degradation. [Source]


Silicone based products are found everywhere! They are loved because of the smooth texture they provide for other products to layer on top of easily. However, they are very detrimental to not only your health, but also the environment. These products are toxic to aquatic and human life. This ingredient family can interfere with fertility, hormones, and create tumors. [Source]


This is a very scary ingredient. Triclosan is in a lot of house hold cleaners, deodorant, toys, clothing, antiseptics, and much more. It can be labeled as an “anti-bacterial” ingredient. It seeps through the skin and can cause hormone changes, eye and skin irritation, and adverse effects to the aquatic environment due to slow degradation. This is a very toxic ingredient! [Source]

So now that you have an idea of what harmful ingredients may be in your beauty products, I challenge you to look through your products to see which of these ingredients are included. The first time I did this, I tossed out more than half of what I had.

As we go through the month of November, my friend Sarah at Pretty Simple Ideas and I are going to share with you some green alternatives. It is going to be a month full of beauty tips that we both use, now that we have educated ourselves on the harmful effect of conventional products. We have some tricks up our sleeves, so be sure to stick around by subscribing via email!

[You may have noticed that I left out a couple of ingredients… Come back Monday to see why I purposefully left them off of this list! See you then!]

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  • Reply
    November 4, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    I am looking forward to reading your posts on this topic. I’ve been “cleaning” up our house for a few years but have yet to make any major changes in my personal care products. I’m excited to learn!

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      November 9, 2017 at 9:31 am

      I am so glad to hear that, Lisa! It is going to be so informational just because my friend Sarah and I are bringing you two posts of information within each focus. Excited to hear what you learn throughout the month! Also, be sure to sign up for the giveaways we do each week! 🙂

  • Reply
    Trimmer Adviser
    January 29, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Great tips! Some of these, I was not aware, but now I will try. Sunscreen and facial masks have always tried to use them regularly. I have found some more excellent tips here that can lead us to shine with organic products and especially essential oils. Thank you for sharing

    • Reply
      Erin | A Welder's Wife
      January 31, 2018 at 9:35 am

      I am glad you found this useful! I had no clue about sunscreen until I dug into this research. While I do not think it needs to be avoided completely, I do think being smart about which sunscreen you use is very important.

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