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Cleaning Out Your Beauty Cabinet? The Top 5 Things You’ll Want to Swap & Why

By Kayla Tjia

Founder – One Fine Secret

Melbourne’s New Clean Beauty Destination


The new year is always a perfect time to reflect on your wellness journey and envision where you would like to see yourself heading. Working on a healthy diet and focussing on exercise often come front of mind. But when was the last time you considered detoxing your beauty cabinet?

Here’s a few great reasons why it’s worth checking out what’s really in your cosmetic and personal care items:

What we put on our skin feeds our bodies too

The reality is our skin is our largest organ and it’s semi-permeable, which is exactly why medical skin patches work – think nicotine and hormone patches. What we put on us is really just as important as what we put in us. When your beauty and body products are free of any health-disrupting ingredients and filled with healthy, nourishing ingredients, they help your body thrive.

Your skin will look and feel better

There are a host of common ingredients in conventional beauty products that are linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption and serious health concerns. Synthetic fragrances and colours, chemical sunscreens and certain preservatives are just some of them. Your skin and body will thank you with a radiant glow when it’s getting the right nutrients and not fighting hard against irritants.

Better for our world

At One Fine Secret, clean beauty means mindfully created healthy products, free from proven and suspected harmful ingredients. The great thing is that clean beauty brands are also generally cruelty-free, and you’ll find that many are eco-conscious and love making a positive social impact. There’s a wide range of vegan options too. Plus, switching to clean beauty products prevents harmful chemicals getting into our waterways and back into the environment, where they can harm animals and enter our food chain. Everything is truly connected.

Self-regulated beauty industry

It’s up to us to shop wise. Cosmetics and personal care items are such an essential part of our lives and it seems reasonable to assume that some authority must be looking out for us all. At least the government must have set rules for testing and ingredient regulations, right?

Well…no. Unlike the tightly regulated medicines sector, the cosmetics industry is largely self-regulated. In Australia, there is no safety testing required before a product is put on shelves for you to buy.

The Top 5 Suspects

Unless you’re sticking to all certified organic products, you’ll need to learn how to decipher those ingredient lists if you’re keen on cleaning out your beauty cabinet. To help you kick start we’ve picked the top 5 suspect items to focus on first.

Synthetic Fragrance

Fragrances are included in almost all beauty products and if the label doesn’t explicitly state that it’s a natural fragrance, then you can assume that ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ on the label is a synthetic fragrance.

The term ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ is protected by trade secret laws and when listed on a product can actually include a cocktail of hundreds of harmful chemicals to create the one fragrance. Synthetic fragrances often contain a group of chemicals called phthalates that are used to hold scent and colour. They’re also commonly used to make plastic products soft and bendable. The downside is that they’re known to be an endocrine (hormone) disruptor and reproductive toxicant.

Aluminium in Deodorants

Your armpits are one of your key detoxifying areas of your body with a concentration of lymph nodes and sweat glands. You’ll find that conventional deodorants can include aluminium as an antiperspirant ingredient, which is a known neurotoxin. Sweating is a healthy function and natural deodorants focus on neutralising odours and absorbing the sweat. There are so many healthy and effective natural deodorants on the market now, look for natural aluminium-free deodorants without synthetic fragrances or other nasties.

Synthetic sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens are some of the strongest skin irritants in the beauty industry. You’ll see these appear on labels as oxybenzone, octinoxate, PABA, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene etc. Chemical sunscreens work by filtering and absorbing UV rays and can degrade in your skin, forming potentially harmful breakdown products for you, and toxic run-off for the environment. They are also known endocrine (hormone) disruptors. Instead, look for natural (mineral) sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These are physical UV blockers that work by reflecting UV light and maintain their stability in sunlight.

Shampoo and conditioner

Hair care products contain some of the most health-disrupting ingredients of all beauty products. It’s not uncommon to find sulphates, endocrine-disrupting preservatives, powerful synthetic fragrances and potentially carcinogenic plasticisers and dyes in your hair products. You’ll find that the natural alternatives will be gentler on your hair and body without the harsh stripping surfactants. Your hair will also be deeply nourished with natural plant oils and butters instead of silicones or petroleum-derived synthetics.


We all know that we consume a large portion of whatever goes on our lips. Lipsticks can be filled with ingredients we wouldn’t want anywhere near our lips such as dyes not allowed in foods, synthetic fragrances, endocrine disrupting preservatives and heavy metal contaminants.

Look instead for natural lipsticks that use mineral or food pigments and are packed with lots of healthy plant oils and extracts.

Interested to learn more?

Receive your FREE copy of our Common Suspects & Saviours Ingredient Guide - This essential guide will help you shop smart, avoid common nasties and spot the super ingredients you’d like in your beauty products.

Get the guide at by joining One Fine Secret’s Secret Circle (free to join) at

You’ll also receive 10% off your first shop at One Fine Secret, your one-stop clean beauty store where we’ve done the label checking so you don’t have to. You’ll find a gorgeous selection of mindful beauty brands and expert advice to inspire you along your beautiful adventure.

Look forward to meeting you soon!


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