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Start the New Year off right by ditching the toxic ingredients commonly found in household and beaut

Did you know?

Many common household and body care products contain harmful ingredients and toxic chemicals.

Do you know what you’re putting on your skin? Following is a list of ingredients to look out for and avoid.

New years always seems to ring in inspiration to set the stage for the next year, creating goals and intentions, setting resolutions and planning what we can do differently. Change is welcome and there is a sense of another chance to reset our lives and manifest what we want. A new strength emerges to push our desire to achieve goals we have set, either recently or in the past. There is a great opportunity to strengthen your own commitment and will, designing a new chapter in your life.

Many of you may have made resolutions about your health, to take better care of yourself this year. That is so commendable! It is important, it is vital to take care of your body, your mind and your spirit. You deserve to feel incredible – Amazing! I want you to have and feel the very best – and that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money or make huge changes, it can be little ways to integrate healing into your daily life. It’s being aware of what you are putting into your body and surround yourself with. What you do to and use on your body should be rejuvenating and nourishing not harming. Unfortunately, many common household and body care and products contain harmful ingredients – things that hurt your body instead of heal. With so many options out there and differing opinions, it can be hard to know what is safe and what is not.

I know you are a woman of class, and you want the best – for you, for the environment, cost-effective, sensible, useful and unique (just like you!). One shouldn’t have to compromise. You should know that what you are using on your body and in your home is safe, all-natural, and comes from a place of kindred spirit, products that are good for you and the earth. Without costing a fortune! Now I’m not saying that you should only purchase and use high-grade, expensive products – or throw away everything and only use Heart of the Forest body care. I’m just suggesting you watch the ingredients in the items you use on a regular basis so as not to use harmful chemicals and additives when you should be pampering and nourishing. Rest assured, adult acne and skin irritations should not come from your routine self-care items.

Your skincare is not supposed to make you feel bad.

It’s not supposed to sting, burn, or smell gross.

It’s not supposed to make you feel wrinkly or inadequate.

It’s not supposed to stop your smile lines or inhibit your eyebrows from moving.

It shouldn’t soak your skin full of lead and petroleum and phthalates and formaldehyde.

Your skin care ritual should feel soothing and peaceful and remind you that you are beautiful and worthy and deserving of all the best in life.

It should feel nourishing and kind and smell like the garden and a thousand stars.

It should be made by bees and butterflies and soil and slow hands, drenched with petals, leaves, roots, and herbs.

It should bring you closer to you – even if for just one breath in the morning and one sigh before sleep. A reminder of being an expression of the earth in all her glory.

It should support not only your physical body but your intentions, your spirit, your motivations and ideals.

As you evaluate your goals and intentions for the next year and work on cleaning out the old residue and no-longer useful things in your life, I suggest you also take a moment to physically clear out a closet or bathroom vanity. Take a look at what you have stockpiled and what may be recycled or eliminated – this is a good physical practice that helps move our energy and support our inner intentions for change. This is a great month to take care of your own inner and outer environment and evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Clean it up, recycle, eliminate and upgrade. Be persistent in your goals and disciplined to keep your environment and your well-being at a standard. Go through your medicine cabinet and bathroom drawers and throw away the old. Keep only what you want to have around and trust in using. You may want to look over your body care products and check expiration dates and also look to rid yourself of any harmful chemicals.

Below is a list of harmful ingredients often found in common body care and makeup products as an easy reference to what you should avoid. I suggest you throw these out and replace them, upgrading to healthy, vital products that support your body and your intentions for natural wellness.

Harmful Chemicals and Ingredients to Avoid in Household and Beauty Care Products

Alcohol — Used for: oily skin, gives products a greaseless feel, and as a preservative. Avoid it because: Dries and irritates the skin, stripping it of moisture and protection.  It is derived from petroleum and is found in a wide variety of products from anti-bacterial hand wash to antifreeze.  Alcohol can cause development of brown spots, wrinkles, and more serious side effects such as headaches, nausea, and depression. It damages the skin’s immune system.  As compensation to dryness the skin will overproduce oil.

Cetyl Alcohol — Used for: an emulsifier, emollient, foaming agent, stabilizer, thickener. Avoid it because: can cause eye, lung and skin irritation.

Cocamide DEA — Used for: a foaming agent found in shampoo and personal care products. Avoid it because: known cancer causing chemical.

Cyclopentasiloxane/ Cyclomethicone — Used for: moisturizers, foundations and deodorants as a fragrance carrier and gives sprays and body mists a dry feeling. Avoid it because: has bioaccumulative properties and it is toxic to wildlife. Studies have shown it to be a skin irritant at moderate doses. It is a synthetic silicon based product. It will actually break down PVC based bottles, releasing toxins and possible carcinogens.

Dimethicone — Used for: a skin conditioner, anti -foaming agent, emollient. Avoid it because: this chemical has been restricted by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments Board.  It cannot be used over certain concentrations for safety concerns because it is made from silicon. Research has shown silicon linked to lupus, ADD, cancer, allergies, fibro cysts and irritable bowel syndrome.

Diazolidinyl Urea — Used for: a preservative. Avoid it because: a known skin and immune toxin, at least one study has shown it to show positive mutation effects.  In other words it created cancer in studies.  It is an endocrine disrupter and toxic to brain and nervous system.  It is synthetically produced or extracted from animal urine or other bodily fluids.

Ethylhexylglycerin/ Ethylhexylglycerin — Used for: a deodorant agent, skin conditioning agent, preservative booster. Avoid it because: it is a known skin irritant, can possibly irritate skin and eyes and is known to cause dermatitis.  It is derived from vegetable glycerin.

Fragrance — Is made from mostly synthetic ingredients which can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic.  It can cause headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, vomiting, and skin irritation.  Fragrance can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, and irritability.

Hydroquinone — Used for: an antioxidant, skin bleaching agent, a fragrance ingredient, hair dye. Avoid it because: it is a known human immune system toxicant, a skin, nervous system and eye toxin.  Three studies have suggested that it’s a possible carcinogen.  It is banned in some European countries.  It is a common component of weed killer and it is restricted in the EU because it is a fish and wildlife pollutant.

Parabens — Used as a product preservative, are no longer considered safe. They are hormonal disrupters and accumulate in the fatty tissue of the body possessing estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer.

Propylene Glycol (PG) — Is a solvent made from petroleum. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers PG so toxic that workers using the substance must wear gloves, protective clothing, and goggles. Yet this product is still allowed to be used in deodorants and other over-the-counter products.

Phthalates — Used for: a common component of fragrances, to hold color and scents, to soften vinyl plastics. Avoid it because: it’s an endocrine disrupter, a hormone disruptor, it may cause infertility, birth defects and cancer.

Phenoxyethanol/ Ethylene Glycol Monophenyl — Used for: a preservative, a fragrance additive, a fixative for perfumes, an insect repellant. Avoid it because: it can be an extreme irritant to the eyes and skin even causing blistering.  It is hazardous in the case of ingestion and inhalation.  The cosmetic data base rates it as a moderate hazard and notes cancer, allergic reactions, skin, eye and lung irritation, organ and neurotoxicity.  It has shown effects on sensory organs even at low doses, and brain and nervous systems at moderate doses in animals, and causes cell mutations.  According to research, the EPA data sheets show, chromosomal changes in genetic mutation effects in testing as well as testicular atrophy and reproductive damage in mice.

PEG (polyethylene glycol) — Used for: a group of chemicals that can be used for thickeners, detergents and surfactants. Avoid it because: PEGs range from a molecular weight of 10 to 300 and depending on that number they have a range of side effects.  Side effects include reproductive disorders, proven cancer risks, endocrine disruptions, organ toxicity and skin irritation.

Potassium Sorbate — Used for: a preservative, a fragrance. Avoid it because: It is a skin, eye, and lung irritant. Can cause allergic reactions.

Propylene Glycol — Used for: a thickener and filler. Avoid it because: it has just about every side effect, the risk of cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and immune system toxicities, skin and eye irritation, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity.

Sodium Benzoate — Used for: a preservative. Avoid it because: when it combines with ascorbic acid, benzene can form, which is a known carcinogen.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) — Used for: a foaming agent and degreaser. Avoid it because: it causes eye damage, skin irritation, labored breathing and damage to the skin’s immune system.  When combined with other chemicals and absorbed through the skin it becomes carcinogenic.

Sorbitan Oleate — Used for: an emulsifier. Avoid it because: it has been linked to cancer.  It is derived from the sugar alcohol sorbitol, but it’s still a synthetic ingredient that has been linked to cancer.

Stearyl Alcohol (stearamne oxide, stearly acetate, stearyl caprylate, stearyl citrate, stearyldimethyl amine stearyl glycyrrhetinate, stearyl heptanoate, stearyl octanoate, stearyl stearate) — Used for: an emulsifier, emollient, foam booster, stabilizer, thickener. Avoid it because: a known eye and skin irritant, it has also been shown in more than one animal study to cause tumors.  It can be produced from vegetable sources or sperm whale oil.

Stearic Acid — Used for: an emulsifier, a thickener and stabilizer. Avoid it because: it’s an endocrine disrupter, a skin and a respiratory irritant.  Studies have shown it to be carcinogenic.  It is commonly disguised as a coconut fatty acid; it is a naturally occurring fatty acid, however the processing methods used for extraction can contaminate it and alter its natural beneficial nature.

Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E acetate) — Used for: an antioxidant and gives label appeal. Avoid it because: there is much evidence that its toxic to skin and other organs. The biggest concern is that it can be contaminated in the manufacturing process by hydroquinone, a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical. It is made by combining natural vitamin E with acetic acid.  It is cheaper and has a longer shelf life than natural vitamin E.

Tetrasodium EDTA — Used for: a preservative. Avoid it because: created when you combine formaldehyde and sodium cyanide, a toxic and carcinogenic combination.

Triethanolamine (TEA) — Used for: Surfactant, emulsifier and pH adjuster. Avoid it because: an immune system and skin toxin made by Dow chemical company, by reacting three ethylene oxide molecules with each ammonia molecule. It has potential to create nitrosamines, known carcinogens and can cause severe irritation and burns skin and eyes.


At Heart of the Forest, all of our products are handcrafted using only the finest all natural and organic ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible. There is NO tallow, lard or other animal fats in any of our products. No SLS, petroleum, parabens or detergents. No synthetic colors or dyes, no synthetic fragrances, perfumes or other artificial ingredients. Products are colored using only herbs, spices, flowers, and other plant materials. Each product is holistically handcrafted in small batches, hand poured and packaged. Every ingredient is carefully chosen for it’s beneficial properties for your body and crafted to nurture your mind and soul. Visit for more information and easy online ordering.

Remember – don’t dwell on what is lost but rather on what you can create, improve and love.  Spend a little time contemplating the magic you can create by making little changes to your daily routine. Good dietary and self-care practices and paying attention to what your body needs will make a big difference between simply holding up and actually improving your overall health.

Please feel free to send any questions you have to or comment below. Happy New Year!


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