Getting and staying healthy requires a holistic approach to fitness, nutrition, and well-being. One often overlooked area of our body’s cleansing mechanisms is our lymph system. Unfortunately, thanks to toxic skincare ingredients and pollution in our environment, it is becoming increasingly important to undergo regular lymphatic system drainage.

To compliment your weekly lymphatic massage sessions, it’s a good idea to investigate what’s going into your body in between time. This starts with becoming aware of what goes on our skins and into our mouths.

In the United States, we have an even greater battle. Many ingredients and additives banned in other countries are legal to use in the US. To help you avoid these toxic chemicals, I’ve compiled a brief overview of skincare ingredients to avoid at all costs if you want to keep your lymph system healthy and happy. Let’s start by examining how the lymph system works.

How the Lymph System Works

The lymphatic system consists of organs and tissues that eliminate toxins in the body. It also transports lymph fluid that contains infection-fighting white blood cells to areas in the body in need.

As a whole, the system includes lymphatic vessels that are connected to lymph nodes at various points throughout your body. These vessels connect with the nodes and filter the lymph. Your spleen, tonsils, and thymus are important parts of your lymph system. To learn more about the lymph system, check out this great article from LiveScience.

Now that you know what your lymph system is, let’s discuss a few toxic skincare ingredients that can bog down your system leading to serious illnesses.

Toxic Skincare Ingredients


Phthalates are definitely a skincare ingredient to avoid at all costs. They’re a group of chemicals used in virtually every over-the-counter skin care product. You can find them in nail polish, perfumes and lotions. Well documented as endocrine disruptors, they’ve been linked to breast cancer and reproductive birth defects. They enter the lymph system through the skin and are transported through it to the blood.

Synthetic Colors

Any product label that has FD&C or D&C on the back contains artificial colors. The F stands for Food and the D&C represent drug and cosmetics. Why are synthetic colors toxic? Because they’re derived from carcinogen carrying sources like coal tar and petroleum. They’re also a skin irritant, which activates the lymph system causing it to work overtime. In Europe, they’re considered a human carcinogen and are banned.


Another common skin care ingredient to avoid is parabens. Used to prevent yeast and bacteria growth on cosmetic products, parabens contain estrogen-mimicking ingredients that have been linked to breast cancer. When absorbed through the skin, they travel to the lymph nodes and then are carried throughout the body. You’ll find them in everything from makeup to facial cleansers.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Approximately 90 percent of all personal care and cleaning products contain these toxic ingredients. The surfactant can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs. When combined with other chemicals they form nitrosamines, which is a carcinogen. This can cause kidney and respiratory damage. So even if you’re using it to clean your home with, they can be absorbed through your skin and the air, travel to the lymph nodes and out to the rest of your body. As a toxic skincare ingredient, it can be found in mascara, shampoo, and even acne treatments.


Unfortunately, the FDA considers BHA a GRAS additive, but the National Toxicology Program labels it a human carcinogen. California even labeled it a known carcinogen under their Proposition 65 act. It’s banned in Europe, thanks to is a well-documented process of lowering testosterone and thyroid hormones like thyroxin which leads to reproductive issues. You can find it in foods and as a preservative in some makeup products.

Petroleum Distillates

When it comes to lymphatic system drainage, petroleum distillates are definitely the ones you want to get out of your body. You’ll find them in makeup removers because they’re great at removing tar, grease, and waxes, but they’re solvents produced from crude oil. They’re, once again, known to cause cancer. Petroleum extract cosmetics are absorbed through the skin into the lymph system and over time can build up causing cancer.

Invest in Regular Lymphatic System Drainage to Stay Healthy!

If you want to keep your lymph system healthy and happy, try your best to avoid the aforementioned toxic skincare products.

Of course, avoiding them altogether is close to impossible, so offset that with regular lymphatic system drainage through a lymphatic massage. Aside from drinking plenty of water and exercising, lymphatic massage can help move these toxins out of your body for good.

If you’re ready to book a lymphatic massage, please reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you optimize your health!