Why I stopped Using Popular Brand Skincare: Victoria’s Secret AND Bath & Body Works

Why I stopped Using Popular Brand Skincare: Victoria’s Secret AND Bath & Body Works

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 I literally was obsessed with “Victoria’s Secret” and “Bath & Body Works” lotions and body sprays. I gotta admit their products smelled heavenly! And the best thing was that they were both next to each other in our local mall.

So I basically gave all of them up! I loved their holiday collections in particular. I really didn’t know this but the parent company of Bath & Body Works is L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret! They are both sister companies.

I had SO MANY of Bath & Body Works lotion and body spray especially the travel sizes!

I mean who could resist when they went on clearance for $2-$3? I would buy so many for my purse, car, bathroom, living room, family, friends…

I recall one time I bought about $50 worth of Victoria’s Secret body sprays they were on sale for $3.99! BUT remember friends do not let friends shop at B&BW and VS! There are SO MANY other alternatives to these brands that are safe, clean AND smell amazing.

Victoria’s Secret has created and is currently selling over 200 different fragrances. The fragrance industry has over 3,000 chemicals they use to create their perfumes. Although the FDA somewhat looks into the chemicals being used in perfumes, there aren’t any laws that require fragrance companies to list all the toxic chemicals that are in the perfume!

Some of the secret toxic ingredients in Victoria’s Secret products are:

  • Coumarin: Was tested in a lab and caused liver damage to lab animals. Confirmed to have a toxic effect on the human kidneys and liver. It is banned from being used as a food additive but may be banned from being used in perfumes as well. Purpose: It is included in almost 90% of all perfumes for its sweet scent.
  • Diethyl Phthalate: Phthalates can cause damage to the liver and the kidneys AND cause birth defects, decreased sperm counts, and early breast development in boys and girls. Purpose: It causes the scent of perfume to last longer.
  • Benzyl Salicylate: Can cause irritations, sensitivity, and allergic reactions. Also proven to be a hormone disruptor. Purpose: It adds fragrance to the perfume and is also a UV light absorber.


As for Bath & Body Works, well here is what I have found at the back of my favorite lotion. I’m just listing a few…

  • Methyl Paraben: It has been directly linked to breast cancer and has been found within breast cancer tumors. In mice, it had weak estrogenic effects which caused damage to sperm formation in the testes. It may contribute to sterility in males, hormone imbalances in females, and cause early puberty. Read my article about Parabens. Purpose: It is an antifungal and preservative that is widely used in cosmetics.
  • Isopropyl Alchohol: May cause premature aging of your skin! It strips the skin of its natural acid mantle, promoting the growth of bacteria. It can cause headaches, flushed skin, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and mental depression according to Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. Purpose: It is volatile, and produces a cooling effect upon evaporation.
  • Butylene Glycol: Is found in anti-freeze and brake and hydraulic fluid! It can cause an increased skin reaction in people with sensitive skin. The EPA considers it so toxic that they are required to wear proper gloves and goggles when handling and must be buried when disposing. I really don’t understand the use of these chemicals! Purpose: Derived from petroleum, It is used as a preservative, solvent (dissolves other ingredients), and holds moisture to the skin.
  • Ceterareth-20: This is the worse of them all, it enhances the absorption of all of those above chemicals!! Purpose: It functions as an emollient and emulsifier. This ingredient is one of the most common emollients used in cosmetics

Here are 5 more ingredients that you need to stay away from:

  • Fragrance or Parfum: On a cosmetic ingredients list usually represents a COMPLEX MIXTURE of many chemicals. A single scent may contain anywhere from 50 to 300 distinct chemicals. Unfortunately, you will very rarely see phthalates listed on a product label! ⁠When it comes to cosmetics, the word “fragrance” ⁠or “parfum” on a label almost ALWAYS MEANS phthalates.
  • PEG-100 Stearate: The Environmental Working Group has linked PEGs to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, contamination concerns, irritation, and organ system toxicity. According to the International Journal of Toxicology, the Ethylene Oxide found in PEGs can cause uterine, breast, and brain cancers as well as leukemia. Still, it continues to be FDA approved since it supposedly won’t do EXCESSIVE damage to healthy skin, but why would you want to use a product that has been shown to have these associated dangers if your skin is healthy?
  • Petrolatum: It can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs — including skin contact over extended periods of time — is associated with cancer. On this basis, the European Union classifies petrolatum a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics.
  • EDTA: The lowest dose reported to cause a toxic effect in animals was 750 mg/kg/day. These chelating agents are cytotoxic and weakly genotoxic, but not carcinogenic. Oral exposures to EDTA produced adverse reproductive and developmental effects in animals.
  • BHT: The National Toxicology Program classifies it as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” the international cancer agency categorizes it as a possible human carcinogen. The European Union classifies BHA as an endocrine disruptor. At higher doses, it can lower testosterone. In addition to liver and kidney effects, BHT applied to the skin was associated with toxic effects in lung tissue.

Do you own any Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works lotion and body sprays? Have you ever read the label to see what’s in these products? After my clean beauty switch, I saw the word fragrance (the f-word) and it was automatically a deal-breaker and I wouldn’t purchase it.

NOW I have new favorite products that smell heavenly AND most importantly nontoxic!

Here is a guide I put together that has affordable and nontoxic products and beauty boxes.

If you are interested to find the best non-toxic and natural face serum, here is my list of products under $50.

I shop on Amazon regularly and have found the best natural skincare products that are vegan, check out my nontoxic guide.

Happy shopping for nontoxic beauty!

As always,

Read labels

Know your ingredients

AND stay safe!


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