As a woman, you enjoy looking good — and it’s your God-given right, but at what cost? If you’re not careful, you could be doing your body more harm than good. Using just any ol’ cosmetics for your beauty regimens will have you looking good only but for so long. At least, until the side effects start to kick in.

Cosmetics that are created using chemicals are a no-no and should be avoided, especially if they contain one or more of the dubbed “dirty dozen” — which is the top dangerous ingredients found in most cosmetic products. This includes makeup, hair supplies, lotions, soaps, nail products, deodorants, perfumes and skincare items.

The issue with wearing these products is that the dangerous toxins that they contain gets into your skin. You wear the product throughout the day, allowing it to seep into your blood and cause havoc on your system. Even those you wash off (shampoos, dyes, conditioners and soaps) have already infiltrated your pores during your hot shower (when your pores are most open).

Then if you’re like most American women, you wear a number of these products each day — soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, makeup and perfume. So imagine how all of that is piling up!

Minding what you put onto your skin, hair and scalp is very important — at least, if you want to steer clear of the health problems that they could lead to down the line. You’d think that governing bodies would pay more attention to the beauty aisle, but this is a pretty much unregulated area, since the level of testing required before the release of a product is minimal.

According to American researchers, there are about 82,000 different ingredients being used in personal care products, 1/8 of them containing pesticides, industrial chemicals, hormone disrupters, reproductive toxins, carcinogens, plasticizers (used to keep the skin soft), degreasers (yes, as in auto parts) and surfactants. Some of these have been linked to cancer, birth defects and infertility.

The 12 toxins found in cosmetics that I list below have been found in 80% of the products in Canada, so you can imagine how much of the American cosmetic department is saturated with this stuff.

The Deadly Dirty Dozen (Plus Two Bonus)

1. Phthalates:

This is a chemical that is known to disrupt the endocrine system. It’s commonly found in synthetic fragrances, polish and a variety of other cosmetics. Risk factors associated with it include early puberty in girls, breast cancer for older women and weakening estrogens in cell culture systems with weak .

2. Triclosan:

Commonly found in deodorants, antibacterial soaps and toothpaste. It’s purpose is to keep mold from forming. It is known to affect the hormone systems in our bodies, especially those of the thyroids, which is responsible for regulating our metabolism. It can also stop the normal development of breasts.

3. 1,4-dioxane:

Also known as PEG compounds. It’s hard to find this listed on the labels of cosmetics, but is actually in many of them. It derives from petroleum and is used in items like children’s bath wash, shampoos, body wash and other cosmetics that create suds. It has been identified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP).