Chemicals to Avoid in Skincare

Unlike the food we chew and swallow, which is broken down in the GI tract before it is absorbed, creams and lotions applied to the skin bypass the digestive process and go directly into the blood stream. The average woman uses a dozen personal care products containing 168 chemical ingredients every day. Men use 6 products a day containing 85 chemicals. Only 11% of the 10,500 chemicals in your cosmetics have been screened for safety. Think of beauty or personal care products not as cosmetics, but as food.

If you can’t eat it, don’t use it on your skin!

Below are the top toxic chemicals to avoid in your products and why…

• A petroleum derivative that coats the skin like plastic wrap and stands in the way of the skin’s natural function of releasing toxins.
• Slows the skin’s cell development, causing premature aging.
• Baby oil is 100% mineral oil.

• Used to dissolve oil and grease and to thicken products. 
• Strips the skin of its natural moisture factor, leaving the skin and the immune system vulnerable.
 • Potentially cancer causing.
• Used in spray-on oven cleaners and also in many hair care and skin care products.

• Active ingredient in antifreeze that’s used as a wetting agent. It breaks down protein and cellular structure.
• Found in body care products, including toothpaste, makeup, and deodorants (stick deodorants are higher in concentration of PG than is allowed for most industrial use!). 
• The EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing, and goggles when working with it.
• Direct contact can cause brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities.
• Also beware of Butylene Glycol, a petroleum plastic like PG.

• Used as detergents and surfactants in car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners, and engine degreasers.  Most widely used in cosmetics, toothpaste, hair conditioner, shampoo, and other foaming products. 
• Exposure causes eye damage, depression, diarrhea, and many other ailments. 
• This is perhaps the MOST DANGEROUS of all ingredients, and when used in combination with other chemicals, can form nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogen.

• Widely used in makeup, baby and adult powders, and foundation.
• Strongly linked to ovarian cancer.

• Petroleum derived and is used in antifreeze and shellac.
• Side effects: headache, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, and coma. 
• Found in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotion, and aftershave lotions.
• Penetrates the skin easily and is thought to destroy intestinal flora, leaving your body’s major organs open to parasites, and thus to cancers.

• The term “fragrance” indicates the presence of up to 4,000 different ingredients. The majority of these are synthetic and are either cancer-causing or otherwise toxic.
• Exposure to fragrances has been shown to affect the central nervous system.
• Found in most deodorants (and the underarm is too close to the breast area), shampoos, sunscreens, skincare, and body care products. 
• Essential oils are the healthy alternative.

• Hormone-disrupting chemicals and form cancer-causing agents. 
• Commonly found in bubble baths, shampoos, soaps, and facial cleansers.
• Easily absorbed by the skin and research indicates a strong link to liver and kidney cancer. 
• There is also evidence that carcinogens form when Cocamide DEA (a cleanser, thickener and foam booster) is applied to the skin.

• Used as inhibitor of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products. Widely used even though they are known to be toxic. 
• Has been assessed as hormonally active by the Cosmetic Ingredients Review (appears to mimic estrogen in our bodies and has been found in breast tissue).
• EWG found parabens to be a possible endocrine disruptor, which could lead to impaired fertility or fetal development.
• Direct contact can cause brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities.
• Found to be a skin sensitizer and skin or sense organ toxicant.

• Linked to medical conditions: Polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility and breast cancer, abdominal obesity in women, insulin resistance in men, shown to damage developing testes in males, low sperm count, sexual dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, and testicular cancer, linked to early puberty in girls.
• These reproductive toxins are all around us: shower curtains, rubber ducks, PVC furniture and clothes, sex toys, fragrances, MP3 players, hair sprays, nail polishes, and perfumes.

• Acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) inhalation exposure to formaldehyde in humans can result in respiratory symptoms, and eye, nose, and throat irritation.
• Limited human studies have reported an association between formaldehyde exposure and lung and nasopharyngeal cancer. Animal inhalation studies have reported an increased incidence of nasal squamous cell cancer.
• EPA considers formaldehyde a probable human carcinogen.

• Found in cosmetics and personal care products.
• Used as an anti-oxidant. 
• Banned in EU (immune system toxicant, endocrine disruptor, and probable human carcinogen).
• Animal studies show brain, liver, neurotoxin, reproductive, and respiratory toxicant.

The choices we make about our skin care products are as important as the food we eat! Avoid toxic chemicals and follow the healthy tips below instead…

Wholistic’s Healthy Tips:


• Healthy diet, exercise, and the right supplements can help keep skin looking healthy and young.
• Drink a lot of fluids daily: Water: ½ body weight in oz. and organic green tea
• Ingest Omega-3 and Omega-9 fats
• Take a probiotic daily
• Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners
• Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol intake
• Refer to the dirty dozen list:
• Think Happy
• See your Integrative Practitioner
• Always read labels. If it says, “Do not swallow” or “For external use only” do not buy.
• You can look up any ingredient online using The Skin Deep Database. Read online reviews.
• Cosmetics may claim to be “natural” or “organic” but still include synthetic fragrances, paraben and formaldehyde preservatives, phthalates, and other toxic ingredients.
• Remember salespeople are trained to sell.
• Try our Wholistic Skin Care line that’s 100% Natural & made with organic ingredients!

Click below to view our natural skincare line!

Elena Bensonoff
My love affair with natural perfume making

Scent has captivated me ever since I was a little girl. I reminisce fondly on the smell of flowers, blooming trees, early morning cut grass, rain, freshly washed linens after they were left outside to dry, my mother’s cooking and my father’s shoulder. I vividly remember the rush of excitement when I would sneak a spritz of my mother’s favorite perfume- it was as if something magical was about to happen.

As I grew older, my infatuation with fragrances grew into a full-blown love affair. My day even feels incomplete without applying a scent as fragrance allows me to connect to my power of self-expression. Certain scents have this remarkable ability to inspire, empower, motivate, and connect to every desire and emotion. It stores warm memories in each of our cells. The experience is similar to opening up an old locket.



As a Pharmacist, the process of creation always intrigued me. My training and knowledge in the field of Integrative Medicine compelled me to create a much cleaner and healthier version of the mainstream, synthetic fragrances.

I was whisked away on an incredible journey of learning the art and science of natural perfume making. It is an art form that requires patience, intuition, respect, and deep appreciation and love for each ingredient. With that being said, I can’t tell you how many times I disposed of failed blends. But it was my passion and yearning to create a beautiful and magical masterpiece that kept me going.

All of our Orali Perfumes are 100% natural and luxurious.  They are handcrafted in small batches, utilizing the finest ingredients from around the world.

Love, Nature, Integrity and Beauty are the main creative inspirations in all of my creations. 

“May the beauty inspire you, and create truly magical memories for you each and every day.”  Elena Bensonoff, R.Ph.





Elena Bensonoff
The Secret Life of Chocolate

Chocolate is synonymous with love, sensual indulgence and decadence.

Who hasn’t salivated at the sight of a decadent chocolate ganache? Or had your heart race at the thought of indulging in a liqueur infused chocolate truffle? We gift chocolates to our lover. We turn to it for both comfort and celebration. The aroma is seductive and irresistible.

It can be an addiction. An obsession. A love affair.

Our connection with chocolate dates back over 4,000 years. For the Mayan civilization, chocolate was an integral part of life. It was renowned to cure over 300 ailments due it its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. No single plant was held more sacred.

The Aztec civilization also held the bean of the cacao tree as sacrosanct. It played a central part in the most important rituals. Weddings, births and religious ceremonies would not be complete without it.

A luxury item in 16th Century Europe, when the cacao bean was first introduced it was immediately adopted as the beverage of choice for the upper classes. So revered that the pope made a special decree allowing chocolate to be consumed during fasting.

But chocolate is far more than just a bean. The chemicals within the oils have a direct effect on our brains. Whether applied topically or inhaled, the medicinal properties of the essential oils uplift the mood and clarify the thoughts.

The delicious, heady aroma of chocolate bypasses rational thought and goes direct to our hearts. When smelling that exotic aroma, natural endorphins are released, you instantly feel calmer, happier, sexier…

Spice things up with a little chocolate magic…

The essential oils of the cocoa contains aphrodisiac flavonols. These promote an increase in libido and arousal. Wholistic’s very own Orali Chocolate Perfume is a unique blend of citrus and sweet floral that has at its heart the essence of chocolate. Use it to give you a lift and arouse your love hormones.

A light shimmer of the Orali perfume on your skin sets off a divine tang through your whole body.

You first detect the delicate notes of citrus which sharpen your mind and clarify your thoughts. Then the powerful qualities of the sacred bean assert themselves as the warmth of your skin releases the exotic notes of cacao, arousing all of your senses.

Hear a whisper of ancient rituals. The air about you takes on a sultry quality as you move through it like a goddess.

There was a time when we relied on our sense of smell far more.

A time of ritual and sacrifice. Of royalty and decadence. A time when we were far more connected to the sacred within. This ancient history is stored in our collective consciousness.


Known as the sacred liquid from the mountain of sustenance, the Aztec high priests used oils of the cacao to sanctify the people. Newborns were blessed with it as they entered the world, giving them protection and acceptance into the society. Soldiers were anointed before they went to battle as an insurance policy against fatigue and bestowing upon them great prowess in battle.

This memory of this ancient connection is still with us. It is why chocolate holds a special place in our hearts today.

Awaken your inner goddess with our Chocolate Body Elixir!  For special occasions and to connect to your feminine sensuality. Anoint yourself and arouse your inner divine. With aphrodisiac and anti-aging properties, the Chocolate Body Elixir both arouses and stimulates. A truly pampering experience, the elixir stirs ancient memories that will connect you to your inner sacred, in the way that only scent can.

Create a night to remember with Orali Perfume Chocolate! This divine perfume holds a hint of the erotic. With ancient aphrodisiac qualities, you will be whisked away to a land of sultry perfumes of heady blossoms. Let the deep undertones of chocolate work its magic. 

Have a magical Valentine’s Day!

Elena Bensonoff

A poem written for me by my beautiful friend, Luda.


The magic, entwined, and balanced existence

Exudes from the slumber and flows through the earth

The Feminine power at large with persistence

Emerges, transpires, unfolds through rebirth.

Not steps, strides or leaps, but defying all gravity

Intergalactic ethereal flight

Of love, peaceful healing and gentle tranquility

Embraces all souls and infuses with light

The flow of creation, sheds light on discovery

Awakens the womanhood; lets all feel free

Releases all blocks and embraces the harmony

Instills love in beings, the way it should be

United, empowered and self manifested

Connected to universe, heaven and earth

Inspired with notion of passing it forward

Divine is Feminine, set Thenceforth!

Elena Bensonoff