13 Non-Candy Options To Give Out On Halloween

halloween trick or treat non candy Essential Oxygen
By: Emmi Buck
We don’t need to tell you that candy (especially a LOT of candy, like on Halloween) can be bad news for your oral health. Trick-or-treat doesn’t need to mean a sweet, cavity-causing treat; you can give out other kinds of treats, or even tricks!


Don’t forget the first option in trick-or-treat 😉 … after all, it is a night for mischief and fun, right?!


Another bonus of avoiding chocolate candy is that many kids have allergies and dietary restrictions that make Halloween a bummer for them since most houses give out low-quality, GMO-sugar chocolate treats. The below options are far more suitable, sustainable, and healthy for all trick-or-treaters!


  1. Fruit Snacks / Fruit Leather – As sweet as candy, but much healthier and in fun shapes. Top picks are Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, YumEarth Organic Gummy Bears, and Stretch Island All-Natural Fruit Strips.
    Annie's organic gummy bunny snacks halloween yum earth prganic gummy snacks gummy bears Essential OxygenStretch Island fruit leather halloween essential oxygen
  2. Mini Trail Mix Packs – Most kids don’t see trail mix as ‘healthy’, but rather a fun treat with lots of choices! Trader Joe’s has good options, and so does Trophy Farm’s All Natural Snack Mixes.                                                                 trader joe's handfulls trail mix mini bag halloween essential oxygenTrophy Farms nut mixes
  3. Spooky School Supplies – A ghost eraser or vampire pencil would make any kid excited for class after Halloween!Halloween erasers pencil school supl
  4. Glow Sticks – Not only will trick-or-treaters light up with excitement, giving out glow sticks will literally light them up, and help them to be easily seen by cars while walking around the neighborhood. glow sticks halloween
  5. Magic Tricks – The first part of trick-or-treat is tricks, and kids LOVE magic tricks. Look some up online to learn or buy. If you don’t want to leave kids empty handed, do a trick that involves a gift too, like finding a nickel or yo-yo in their witches’ hat.magic trick essential oxygen
  6. Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse – Growing up, I lived on a street with 2 dentists. On Halloween, one gave out toothbrushes and the other gifted mini toothpastes, and to be honest… even as a kid I thought it was cool! Be the yin to Halloween candy yang, and give out our 3 ounce travel sized BRs to help combat cavities the coolest, foamiest, whole-mouth-healthiest way possible!Organic Brushing Rinse Essential Oxygen travel size 3 oz
  7. Non-Toxic Crafts – Steer clear of paints and play dough’s with ingredients you can’t pronounce, but check out Eco-Kids Eco-Dough and Natural Earth Natural Face Paint.                                                                                eco-kids eco-dough natural earth natural face paint
  8. Bubbles!!! – What kid (or adult) doesn’t love bubbles? Some eco-friendly options include Fubbles Bubbles and Pustefix Bubbles, or easily make your own with 2 cups of warm water, 3 Tablespoons of Honest Co. Dish Soap, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.                                                                                                                         Fubbles bubbles non-toxicpustefix bubbles
  9. Temporary Tattoos – Many brands make Halloween themed tats, but really any temporary tattoo will do! We found some cool non-toxic options including biNK’ed vegetable based tattoo sheets and Spestyle nontoxic temporary tattoos.
  10. Apple Cider Single Serve Packs – Like fruit snacks, this is another sweet treat option that doesn’t pack quite the cavity-causing punch! You can even find sugar free options nowadays.
  11. Popcorn – While making your own is the healthiest option, many parents won’t allow their kids to eat home-made treats. Try pre-popped and packaged options like non-GMO BoomChickaPop or popcorn look-alike Pirate’s Booty.                                                                                                                                        boomchickapoppirates booty
  12. Bouncy Balls – Toys are great non-candy treats, and bouncy balls are always  favorite toy. Look for bouncy balls that use natural plastic.
  13. Granola / Snack Bars – There are SO many healthy options these days and even Halloween ones! Get Clif Kid Organic Z-Bars in Full Moon Brownie flavor or Nature’s Path Bars in Chococonut or Pumpkin-N-Spice.                                                                                                                                                               clif bar kids zbar healthy halloween brownie Nature's Path organic granola bars

4 Non-Verbal Cues To Know For Better Communication

By: Anders Lund

4 four non-verbal cues to know better communication

Do you ever feel like you’re ideas are being overlooked and under appreciated? Are you sometimes oblivious when it comes to certain social cues? For many people, these are regular inconveniences that all have a simple solution.

Communication is a two way street so to speak. This means that we send and receive messages simultaneously while communicating face-to-face. Even while listening, we are still sending messages to the speaker. We nod our head, change our facial expressions, cross our arms, lean towards or away from the speaker, and the list goes on. We do this, mostly subconsciously, to show our true feelings about the conversational topic, the person we’re talking too, or even something totally unrelated but on our mind at that particular moment. This is non-verbal communication, an underutilized social skill. Just by learning a few of these so called “tells,” you will be able to better assess any social situation. Here are four non-verbal cues, or “tells,” that will help you in day-to-day life.


1.     Look at the Feet – Contrary to popular belief, under the torso is actually the most honest part of the body. The legs and feet can tell a lot about how someone is feeling and whether they want to be around you or not. When two people are genuinely enjoying their company or the conversation, their feet will be pointed towards one another. Conversely, if one foot is pointed toward you, for instance, and the other points off at a 90 degree angle, the person you’re talking to may have somewhere else to be. The same is true if one foot is planted on the ground while the other is on its toes; comparable to runners at the starting line. Feet usually point towards the truth, for instance, you’ll notice if someone really resents where they are, they will point their feet towards the closest exit.

2.     Power Position – Sometimes the situation you’re in may call for a more authoritarian style than you’re used to. If you’re not the type of person who regularly asserts their dominance, you may find these situations quite awkward. The way you position your body can say just as much as your voice, so even if you’re not comfortable being “the boss,” you can look like you are. when you widen your stance and place your hands on your hips you send a powerful message stating you are in control or that their may be issues present. This is a territorial display so only use it as necessary because it can incite conflict in certain situations. Make sure to look for other people performing this gesture, it is commonly used in law enforcement.

3.     Arm Splaying – There are a few different types of arm splaying to look for when interacting with individuals. Have you ever seen two people talking with a counter of some sort in between them? If yes, have you ever noticed that sometimes, one person will spread their arms out and lean on the counter with their fingertips? This is a territorial display of confidence and authority. Other types of arm splaying can include reaching over and resting your arms on another chair while seated. This is still a confidence display, however, not authoritative but rather an indicator that the person is cool and collected. Most arm splay behavior is related to confidence, because when you are confident, you feel like you deserve more space.

4.     Pacifying Behaviors – Scratching the back of your head, rubbing your arms, itching your nose; these all seem like harmless gestures we perform each day, however, with the right context, they can mean so much more. Pacifying behaviors are all generally used to comfort yourself because of something you may have seen, heard, or did. There is a misconception about these behaviors and their relation to lying. none of these behaviors alone mean that someone is lying to you, however, when these gestures are being performed they send a message that maybe something you said should be further investigated. there are numerous different pacifying behaviors and they vary between males and females. For instance, females have more of an inclination to cover up their suprasternal notch, the large dip between the neck and the collar bone; or in some cases play with their necklace which can also help to achieve the same effect as covering the suprasternal notch. Males, on the other hand, may play with their watches or adjust their ties/collars. A lot of pacifying behaviors surround the neck, they only differ depending on attire.

5 Things To Bring Wine Tasting

By: Anders Lund

5 things to bring wine tasting vino winery

1.     Appropriate Attire – Wine tasting has become comparable to a runway show in the last decade or so. Rompers, sleek dresses, Italian shoes, and exotic dress shirts often flood the tasting rooms. Each winery has different standards when it comes to clothing, not mandated by “wine law,” but rather by the estate itself. It’s important to know where you’re going tasting prior to putting your clothes on. If the name of the winery or estate has “chateau” in the title, it’s safe to assume you should dress up a little more than you would at your typical tasting room. There are some instances where cargo shorts and a T-shirt will be more appropriate than not, it all depends on the location. Whether you’re dressing to impress or you don’t care how you look because you’re being forced to go, remember to be comfortable so you can fully enjoy the experience.


2.     A Notebook – No matter what your experience with wine is, if you enjoy drinking it then you need to bring a notebook on your next trip wine tasting. For more advanced wine drinkers, a notebook can be filled with notes, aromas, textures, acidity levels, and so on. Now, if you can’t pick out the tobacco and leather in the Nebbiolo you’re drinking, that’s fine too! Your notebook should be utilized for the basics: name of the wine and the price of it. Only write down the wines you enjoy so you can remember them when you go home. The price is important too because if you’re thinking about buying a bottle, you can compare prices at your local grocery store or wine shop. I would also recommend downloading Vivino Wine Scanner, or a similar application. This allows you to scan a wine and find out all sorts of different information about it, including the average price of the wine.



3.     Organic Brushing Rinse – The last time I went wine tasting in Sonoma County, I almost exclusively tried red wines. As a result, my pearly whites were more of a berry red shade. Fortunately, I brought Essential Oxygen’s Organic Brushing rinse with me. After each stop, I used the brushing rinse to clean any stains the wine left on my teeth, and because it’s not harmful for the environment, you can rinse practically anywhere. The subtle BR flavor does not disrupt the flavor of the wine and some people use it as a pallet cleanser in between


4.     An Open Mind – There is often a negative stigma that circles the wine community. Notions of snobby, rude, and mink wearing connoisseurs distract from the real value that wine has to offer. I encourage novice and advanced wine drinkers alike to put all of their preconceived notions behind them while tasting because to put it simply, each experience is different. Wine is all about connectedness: connecting with your friends, family, and most romantically, connecting with the place in which the grapes of the wine were grown. Experience the connectedness for yourself and bask in a cultural phenomenon that has been taking place for thousands of years.



5.     A Designated Driver – Always have a designated driver when wine tasting! Whether you have a willing sober friend or an Uber driver, a DD is essential. Spit buckets are always available at every winery, so even if your DD can’t consume the wine, they can still taste it!

Microbeads: the Miniscule Killer

By: Stephen Au


The innovation of plastics has made life far more convenient for everyone, so much so that plastics are among the most traded commodities in the world. The diversity of plastics has contributed to its widespread use throughout the world; plastics can be found almost anywhere you look from bags to phones to facewash. The most common form of plastics used in the Health & Beauty industry is microbeads.


Microbeads are tiny balls of plastic, typically smaller than 5mm, and usually found in body washes, toothpastes, and exfoliators. The microbeads used in personal care products are mainly made of polyethylene (PE), but can be also be made of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and nylon. Microbeads have slowly replaced many natural, biodegradable materials in cosmetics, in large part due to its cheap cost of production and easy accessibility. So what purpose do they serve? These tiny plastic beads don’t do much to help cleanse the body – but they do contribute to the cleansing / exfoliating feeling, so much so that companies are more than happy to incorporate these cheap beads as an alternative to the more expensive, biodegradable products.


Widespread use of microbeads in body washes, toothpastes, and other cosmetics does not bode well for the environment. Plastics do not readily break down when flushed down the drain, and the sewage system in place is not built to filter out these plastics. Once the beads are washed down the drain, they accumulate in the wild where an estimated 808 trillion pieces swirl down American drains every day. Researchers estimate that 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of plastic trash are being flushed into the environment every year, and this is believed to be a conservative estimate! Microbeads are exponentially adding onto the accumulating concentration of plastic trash, which is very harmful to the environment. Avoid microbeads if you can!

Image source


Microbeads are very damaging to the marine life as well. The tiny beads look like food to fishes and when ingested, causes reproductive harm to the sea life. The plastic beads also easily absorb harmful chemicals and accumulate at a higher rate than they would in water. Plastic microbeads absorb lingering organic pollutants (long-lasting toxic chemicals like pesticides, motor oil, and more) and other industrial chemicals that then move up the food chain when these toxic-coated beads are consumed by fish and other marine organisms. A single microbead can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around it! These same fish are then sold and eaten by the general public so keeping these tiny beads out of the sewage systems is in everyone’s best interest! Again there is no proven benefit of putting these plastic beads in cosmetic products. Dentists have expressed concern that microbeads added to toothpaste are getting stuck in patient’s’ gums, trapping harmful bacteria. Additionally, scientists in China found microbeads someplace they shouldn’t be: in table salt. Imagine finding these tiny beads in your food!


The good news is that microbeads are slowly being shut down by many new government policies. President Obama signed a bipartisan bill that prohibits selling and distributing products containing microbeads. The bill is intended to protect the nation’s waterways. These policies are a step in the right direction to help curb the environmental footprint left behind by millions of people. The right combination of research, awareness, and action has helped stop this potentially fatal environmental problem from snowballing into something worse. Although these policies will lessen the damage on the environment, public awareness and action is the best bet for stopping environmental problems existing everywhere so do your part and avoid these little plastic beads! Plastic pollution is a problem that can be controlled much more easier than other daunting environmental problems such as climate change so spread the awareness and avoid adding onto this plastic problem.

22 Packing Tips, Tricks & Hacks

By: Emmi Buck
Essential Oxygen Packing Tips Luggage Pic
  1. Get luggage that is functional, and unique. Look for something that can turn into a backpack or roll, and that has a good amount of pockets (but not too many so you don’t misplace stuff). Make sure the style or pattern/color stands out to you because if it blends in, somebody might mistake it for their own. If it isn’t unique – add your own bow of ribbon or rope, or a bright sticker, etc.

  2. Keep track of small stud earrings by fastening the set through buttonholes before slipping them into your jewelry bag. – Via Cosmopolitan


  1. Utilize the space inside of your shoes to pack easily breakable things, or smaller things like underwear and socks. To be extremely efficient, roll breakable things like glass perfume dispensers in your socks, and then stuff in shoes!

  2. Have essentials in your hand luggage – It’s always best to be prepared for the worst and let’s face it, sometimes bags go missing. Make sure all your valuables are in your hand luggage and always pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage too, just in case the worst happens and your checked bag is lost/delayed. That way you won’t have to rush to the shops as soon as you arrive to buy replacement clothing. – Via Skyscanner

  3. Avoid packing food or anything that can melt. It’s hard to predict what temperatures your luggage will encounter, so avoid a chocolate-melted-clothing-ruined mess (it has happened to me!) by not packing those things altogether. If you must bring chocolate covered anything anywhere, triple wrap it in extra plastic bags in case it melts and opens.

  4. To prevent liquid products from bursting inside your bag, cut a small square of plastic wrap, unscrew the product’s lid, set the plastic wrap on top, and screw the lid back on. That way if the lid pops open, no product can spill out. – Via Cosmopolitan

    Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse with plastic saran wrap

  5. Choose knits, wools, and cottons. These fabrics tend to resist wrinkles and are versatile (some garments can do double duty, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas). – Via Real Simple

  6. Pack extra plastic bags for storing your shoes so they don’t get the rest of your stuff dirty. You can also use these bags for dirty clothes, garbage, or other souvenirs, etc. Hotel shower caps for covering shoe bottoms work great too.

  7. Use or create a packing checklist that you can go-to as a reference each time you travel. When/if you forget something you might need or you learn a new tip/trick, make sure to add it to the list.

  8. If you forget the wall plug-in for your phone charger, check the back of your hotel TV. There’s usually a USB port. – Via BuzzFeed

    If you forget the wall plug-in for your phone charger, check the back of your hotel TV. There's usually a USB port.

  9. Make copies of your passport, driver’s license, health insurance, travel plans / itineraries, maps, any flight/hotel/restaurant/tour reservations, and emergency contact info. Email this to yourself or have it available via the cloud, and also share it with friends and family in case of emergency.

  10. Pack your heaviest items at the bottom of your bag (especially if it is a backpack) so it isn’t top-heavy and is easier to carry/roll. This will also prevent any small/light items from being squished at the bottom.

  11. Pack two tops for every bottom. You’re more likely to re-wear a pair of bottoms, then a top. So to avoid overpacking, stick to this rule: pack two different tops (perhaps a blouse and a sweater) for every bottom. – Via Marie Claire

  12. Pack extra medicine. If you have a prescription that you’ll need to refill during the trip, contact your doctor/pharmacy ahead of time and arrange to have extra medicine before your trip. It’s also a good idea to pack some of your meds in your carry on and some in your checked bag so you have backup options if one bag goes missing.

  13. Rolling vs. Folding. Ahhh, the age old debate! … The choice to roll or fold is totally up to you and depends on your preferences, but a great trick is to do both. Roll the clothes you wish to keep wrinkle-free and fold the thicker items like sweaters. –  Via World of Wanderlust

  14. Wear your heavy/bulky items. If you want to bring a big coat, heavy boots, or thick sweater, save a ton of space in your bag by wearing these items on your travel days. If it’s too hot for the sweater or coat at the airport, drape it over your bags to carry.

  15. Don’t ruin that pressed collar. – Using the old shower trick to de-wrinkle a dress shirt while traveling is most likely the last thing you want to do when you arrive. However, a belt is an easy way to keep the collar of a woven shirt looking neat and stiff. Roll the belt around the collar, so it acts as a mold for keeping the collar in place. – Via Today

  1. Multifunctional Items – It’s always smart and space-friendly to use the same object for various functions. If you can, invest in a large yet thin scarf that could serve as a towel, a cloth to sit on or lay down, a pillow for the plane or a cosy wraparound around on chilly nights. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination, it’ll make you look like a bad-ass rough traveler full of creative ideas. – Via Contiki

  2. Fresh Upon Arrival – Sometimes older luggage or shoes in the bag can make your clean clothes smell not-so-nice. Keep dryer sheets or satchels of herbs like lavender or dried rose petals in between the clothing layers of your bag so all your stuff smells good while travelling.

  3. For Your Tech – Wrap the cords. A tangle of cords could look like something potentially harmful if it’s viewed a certain way, which could mean a more thorough and time-consuming bag check. Wrap cords around their devices, pack chargers together in one bag (ziplocks work!), and take advantage of rubber bands and twist ties to keep them tangle-free. – Via Pop Sugar

  4. Pack whatever you’ll need first, last. If you land at night and will need a jacket or pajamas – pack those items last in your bag so they’re easy to grab on top, and you don’t wrinkle everything rustling through your bag looking for the first things you’ll need!

  5. Pack Outfits – Not Just Clothes. Think through each item you’re bringing in terms of outfits and try to make sure everything is used in more than one outfit.

8 Tips + Tricks To Drink More Water

By: Emmi Buck

essential Oxygen tips and tricks drink more water hydration agua

Other than “I should exercise more” the most common thing I hear people saying about their health is “I need to drink more water”. I myself am guilty of sometimes not drinking enough H2O, so I researched and tried some good ways to hydrate! Ideally you should drink half a gallon of water, or eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Another way to calculate how much you should be drinking is half your weight in ounces (i.e. a 200 lb. person should drink 100 ounces).


Proper hydration is a key component in overall health and wellness, just as much as diet and exercise. It can also help you achieve:

  • Weight loss (your body retains water weight if you aren’t drinking the right daily amount, and when you are drinking the right amount – you have less food cravings and feel more full. It also boosts metabolism!)
  • Healthier skin (less acne and/or dryness, smoother, less dull)
  • Saving money! (water is usually free! Even if you choose bottled/filtered water, it’s STILL cheaper than that high sugar and fat-filled mocha or smoothie)


Here are 8 tips and tricks to get more agua goodness in your life:


1. Flavored Ice or Water – If drinking plain water bores you, add some additions to make it not-so-plain! Either freeze into flavored ice cubes, or add right into your water: berries, mini lemon wedges, fresh mint or basil, lime, cucumber slices, orange slices, or a cinnamon stick.

flavored water essential oxygen

2. Cool and Clean Water Bottles – Having a snazzy looking bottle (I like S’well, Bobble, MiiR, and Lifefactory) will make it harder to forget it since it looks so great, and more likely to be used. Also, bottles that are really effective at keeping water cold or hot and are sturdy/useful (like Hydro Flask, Klean Kanteen, CamelBak for your backpack, or Nalgene) are more likely to inspire you to drink water. Most importantly – keep your water bottles clean! Swish 1 oz. of 3% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide around the bottle and it’s drinking rim / lid then rinse with water to ensure no yucky stuff gets on your bottle and to keep it smelling and tasting great!

hydro flask

Hydro Flask water bottles keeps cold water cold and hot water hot for over 12 hours and are the most durable in our experience.



Lifefactory water bottles are glass with a protective silicone sleeve. BPA-free, easy to clean, and cute design are why these water bottles make our list.



S’well water bottles are so cool/pretty looking you could consider them an accessory addition!


3. Eat Your H20 – There are some foods that have a very high percentage of water in them like cucumber, which has almost 97% water content. They can help you stay hydrated, but don’t count them in your daily intake – just consider them a boost! Some extra watery foods include: cantaloupe, eggplant, watermelon, bell pepper, cucumber, pear, carrot, apple, strawberry, raw broccoli, iceberg lettuce (+ most other types of lettuce too), celery, and radishes (an amazing 95.3% water).

4. Be Careful with Substitutes – Just as I mentioned above with eating food high in water content, don’t count those are part of your daily minimum ounces – just like you shouldn’t count coffee, juice, smoothies, etc. Just because there is water in coffee doesn’t mean you should count it in your daily intake. When tracking your daily water consumption, just count the glasses of water!

5. Buddy System – Talk to a friend, family member, or coworker (or all of them for best results) and start a buddy system to remind each other to drink more water. Whether you and a colleague silently “cheers” your water bottles every hour in the office for a sip, or you have a group text with your cousins about how many ounces you drink daily – try to find a community of support to keep you accountable for good hydration. I actually have a buddy system with my dog! I keep his water bowl by my desk and when he drinks water (which is frequently) it reminds me to have a gulp too!

essential oxygen dog drinking water

6. Pee Clear Rule – Pardon the potty talk, but this is important! I learned this one 6 years ago at Burning Man and have attempted to apply it to my daily life. If you aren’t peeing clear (your urine should not be dark), drink more water!

7. Treat Yo’ Self – It may seem very kindergarten, but find some method of tracking hydration goals and rewarding yourself if you reach them. Whether it’s gold star stickers on your daily planner that add up to a shopping spree, or some kind of goal tracking app that gives you digital points of badges – find something to motivate you to drink agua!

8. Car / Public Transportation Water – If you spend any amount of time in a car (or bus or BART, etc.), always bring your water! When unexpected (or expected) traffic occurs, you should never be left thirsty because car time is a great time to hydrate.

Lead: Should You Be Worried About Clay?

By: Jessica Davis-Thompson

lead clay bentonite dangers toothpaste face mask health beauty products

The oral hygiene market is a rapidly evolving one, and many progressive companies have found healthy alternatives to some of the dangerous ingredients found in mainstream oral care products. Harmful ingredients such as triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, aspartame, fluoride, propylene glycol, diethanolamine, and plastic microbeads have been replaced by ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, herbs, and coconut oil. One of the more popular ingredients is bentonite clay, also known as montmorillonite clay.


Bentonite clay is a naturally occurring element, harvested from volcanic deposits, that is rich in minerals from the earth. Often, it’s used externally in face masks to help cleanse pores and in hair masks to help remove excess hair build up. It is also taken internally to help detox the body, as it’s negatively charged molecules are said to effectively bind to positively charged molecules of heavy minerals, and draw them out of the gut. However, because bentonite clay comes from the earth and has been exposed to soil contaminants, it has been found to have elevated levels of heavy minerals in it, especially lead. Exposure to lead, even in a small amount, can cause serious damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and immune system. In children, chronic exposure to lead, even at low levels, is associated with cognitive impairment, reduced IQ, behavioral difficulties, and other problems. Once absorbed into the body, lead may be stored for long periods in mineralizing tissue, like teeth and bones, and the stored lead may be released again into the bloodstream.


On March 23, 2016, the FDA issued a consumer warning about the high levels of lead in a bentonite clay product, and urged anyone who used the product to see a medical professional immediately. While companies using bentonite clay have issued statements that their products are safe to use, there has been substantial controversy over how much lead is safe, and whether or not the type of lead used is bioavailable enough to be absorbed through the skin. Here’s what studies have been saying time and time again: even the smallest amount of lead exposure can cause significant damage, and even the smallest amount of lead exposure can be stored in the body for long periods of time. Are you willing to take that risk? Why not use a toothpaste without any of those concerns? Food grade hydrogen peroxide and essential oils are more than enough to keep your mouth clean, healthy, and worry free!


6 Common Cosmetic Chemicals You Should Avoid

By: Stephen Au

Poison cosmteics makeup products toxic

Cosmetic products have been around for decades, used by millions of people daily to cleanse, nurture, or enhance their lives. The practice itself has been around for hundreds of years: make-up, ointments, natural herbs, but as technology improved, products became increasingly toxic. Companies were able to use harmful ingredients to create products that produced visible results and invisible damages for humans and the planet.  Harmful chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses are commonly found in many cosmetic products that people have used for years.


Concerns about the use of toxic ingredients in everything from food to beauty products began to take shape in recent years following the holistic health and environmental awareness movements. In addition to the negative effects on human health, there are hundreds of chemicals in beauty products that have bad effects on wildlife when flushed down the drain. Here are 6 common ingredients found in everyday cosmetic products that are harmful to both the human body and the environment:



Triclosan, commonly found in soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, and other cosmetic products is used for its antibacterial properties. When flushed down the drain, this chemical causes irreparable harm to aquatic wildlife and organisms. There is increasing evidence that this chemical is harmful and disruptive to the system that regulates hormones in animals and can cause growth defects and possibly infertility (according to Mayo Clinic). Triclosan is used as a preservative so getting rid of it is almost impossible avoiding it altogether would be best. (1)


This chemical is used to get rid of water-resistant things like grease and tar so it is commonly found in things like shampoos, soaps, and laundry detergents. SLS may also be listed as sodium dodecyl sulfate, sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, sodium salt sulfuric acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate, aquarex me or aquarex methyl, reports the EWG. Undiluted SLS can cause skin and eye irritation, as well as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2)


This synthetic liquid substance is used mainly for its ability to absorb excess water and maintain moisture, hence it is commonly found in skin creams and lotions. Although it is helpful in smoothing wrinkles, frequent skin exposure to propylene glycol can sometimes irritate the skin and may actually speed up signs of aging.


This compound is used in shampoos, soaps, as well as toothpastes to create the foamy and creamy feeling. The EPA reports that direct exposure to this chemical irritates the skin and eyes. Tests on animals have shown many negative health effects ranging from reproductive organ damage to skin, liver, and thyroid cancer. This chemical is classified as hazardous under the Danish EPA because of its toxicity to aquatic wildlife and the California EPA classifies this chemical as carcinogenic towards human life. (3)


Parabens are mainly used as a preservative and commonly found in everyday cosmetics because of its inexpensive and effective use for preventing bacterial growth and keeping products fresh. Parabens are suspected to disrupt hormonal balance in humans and reproductive systems. The FDA has found traces of parabens in breast tumors and studies show that this chemical acts similar to estrogen when introduced to the body. Avoid shampoos that have parabens in them, most shampoos advertise themselves as paraben-free! (4)

  1. BHA/BHT

Also known as butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene respectively, these two chemical compounds are most commonly found in cosmetics such as make-up and food products as a preservative. Due to the resistant nature of preservatives, BHA and BHT are very hard to break down even after passing through the human body. When the chemicals find their way in the ocean after going through the sink and down your drain, it has a hard time breaking down in the ocean and when it does, aquatic wildlife is at risk for birth defects, malformations, and hindered growth development. Imagine what it could do to you!


These are just some of the many harmful chemicals found in everyday health and beauty products, including things like lipstick, shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, soap, mouthwash, and deodorant. Switching to products that are more natural would not only be more beneficial towards your health, but also more helpful for the environment and its depleting wildlife. The earth can use as much help as it can get right now so that our future is comfortable and radiant, and a simple switch to more natural ingredients can go a long way, so please do your part!




  1. http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics—triclosan/
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/174367-dangers-of-sodium-lauryl-sulfate/
  3. https://www3.epa.gov/airtoxics/hlthef/diethano.html
  4. http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Ingredients/ucm128042.htm