18 Harmful Chemicals in Skincare Products

applying calamine

Look Out for These 18 Harmful Chemicals in Your Skincare Products

Are you aware of the contents of the products you put on your face? Are these chemical ingredients safe for your body and skin? After researching the most harmful ingredients in skincare and cosmetics, I’d love to brief it down for you…

The skin is undoubtedly one of the most vital organs and also the largest organ of our body. It performs so many essential roles in the body, which include the protection of other vital organs, muscles, bones, ligaments, and nerves. It is only sensible to be extremely careful about what we are putting on your skin.

Here Is the Reason

Up to 60% of the contents we put on our skin gets absorbed. That means the products we put onto our skin may affect our health and general well being, either positively or negatively. Because skincare products are not regulated by the FDA, almost any ingredient can be mixed in the formula, most of them being highly dangerous to our health.

Most of the ingredients found in traditional skincare products (lotions, sunscreen, face washes, etc.) have now been attributed to health issues such as eczema, cancer, allergies, hormonal disruption, and reproductive problems. So yes, using the wrong skincare products can make you sick!

  • Aluminum

Toxic metals can have estrogen-like effects in your system, hence disrupting the healthy functioning of your endocrine system.

Usually found in entirely every skincare product, especially in antiperspirant deodorants.

  • Toluene

Toluene is a petrochemical reagent found in most nail polish and hair dyes. They can be harmful to our immune systems and might borne risks of blood cancer and birth defects. Avoid using nail polish and hair dyes if you are hoping to be a mother as it can harm the developing fetus.

Toluene can affect the human CNS (central nervous system) and may lead to prolonged headaches, nausea, fatigue, and drowsiness.

  • Mea (monoethanolamine), DEA (diethanolamine), and tea (triethanolamine)

This is a clear, viscous, and colorless liquid typical of ammonia odor. Usually found in skincare products that foam, such as facial cleansers and soaps. They are also present in most eye makeup, hair products, fragrances, and sunscreens.

  • Talc

Just imagine how soft talcum powder appears. This is mainly because talc is the softest occurring naturally mineral. Talc is used to soak up moisture and is mostly found in baby powders, blush, deodorants, eye shadows, and some soap.

However, talc is directly related to ovarian cancer. It became a compound of concern when a woman who was fond of using talcum made by Johnson & Johnson for good 35 years lost her life due to ovarian cancer. Talc can cause lung tumors when inhaled.

  • Urea (imidazolidinyl) and dmdm hydantoin

Most preservatives often release formaldehyde, which often causes skin allergies, loss of sleep, headaches, and joint pain.

It is usually found in skincare products, shampoo cosmetics & conditioners, and detergents.

  • Mineral oil

makeupThese are petroleum by-products that coat your skin like plastic, thus clogging your skin pores. This is extremely harmful because it hampers your skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, therefore raising the likelihood of blackheads, acne, and other disorders.

It is usually found in creams, ointments, lotions, and cosmetics.

  • Lead

Lead is found in products like lipsticks, foundation, eye-liners, and kinds of toothpaste. Lead is not always added to lipsticks but is a prominent contaminant in colorants used in lipsticks. Do you love wearing lipstick everywhere you go? We all do!

Leads are a heavy metal that exists naturally in the earth’s crust. We are exposed to too much lead in our air, water, and food. The United States FDA (food and drugs association) has allowed the use of lead in about 0 to 20 parts-per-million (ppm).

  • Petrolatum

Petrolatum is known for its softening effect and has been recommended for dry skin over time. Moisturizers and lip balms contain petrolatum. While it creates a blockage to prevent water from escaping, it prevents air moisture absorption alongside. Your skin eventually dries out, and this is the more reason you are often tempted to reapply some lip balm. Also, if not well-produced, deadly chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) might be retained in the ointments.

  • Parabens

Parabens are utilized as preservatives in a wide array of skin care products such as shampoos, foundations, moisturizers, and many more. There has been a really huge debate on whether or not parabens are safe to use. Some say the excessive-high amount of exposure to parabens may cause cancer of the breast. Still, some people argue that cosmetic products’ daily usage may expose one to these harmful parabens. People’s skin reacts differently to various chemicals depending on their skin type. If you would love to take caution, you can barely find many products without parabens.

  • PEG (polyethylene glycol)

This ingredient can alter or reduce the skin’s natural moisture factors. It adjusts the melting point and finally thickens products. It is usually found in facial cleansers to dissolve grease and oil.

  • Phthalates

Phthalates are used in cosmetic products such as softeners (lubricants). You can also find phthalates in products such as moisturizers, nail polish, shampoos, hair sprays, detergents, toys, and other variety of products. They are known to disturb the endocrine system connected to breast cancer and birth defects in females and males. Phthalates are also widely known to have some effects on hormones. Unfortunately, these are included in most “fragrances,” therefore making it hard to detect in products.

  • Butylene glycol & propylene glycol (pg)

These are gaseous hydrocarbons which act as “surfactant” in their liquid state. They are easily absorbed into the skin so quickly and can damage cellular protein structure. It is usually used to extract phytochemicals from herbs.

  • Siloxanes

Look out for any ingredient ending with “-methicone” or “-siloxane.” These products are used in various skin care products to soften, moisten, and smoothen the body. They disrupt the endocrine and intoxicate reproductive system (Cyclopentasiloxane).

  • Formaldehyde

makeupFormaldehyde is a flammable gas that is also colorless. It is widely used as preservatives in cosmetics and skincare products. It is mainly used in makeup, nail polish, lotions, and deodorants than in many other products.  A little formaldehyde exposure can cause skin irritation, dyspnea (difficulty in breathing), watery eyes, and nasal blockage when inhaled. If your job or occupation type (such as salon stylist, nail artist, etc.) necessitates your exposure to a large amount of formaldehyde, ensure your work environment is well ventilated and windows open to reduce its potential side effects.

  • Synthetic colors

Synthetic colors are gotten from petroleum or coal tar. Coal tar consists of water, hydrocarbons, and carbon. It is a dark, thick, and viscous liquid with a characteristic smell. Have you been seriously looking for darkly pigmented lipsticks? Now is the time you think about the source of these pigments. The darker the pigment, the higher the coal tar percentage.

Coal tar is also found in many of the available eye shadows. Synthetic colors can lead to irritations on the skin, acne, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and cancers.

  • Sulfates

Sulfates are again, one of those ingredients that are widely argued whether they are safe to use or not. You probably have contact with sulfates daily. Sulfates can be seen in a variety of products, ranging from toothpaste to cleansers to aid foaming. A lot of different types of sulfates are known, but the prominent ones that are used are sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Sulfates are generally known to strip away vital moisture and protective barriers and expose the skin to more irritation. Some people say it causes no problem when used in small amounts, but others claim it does cause cancer when mixed with other substances or when heated.

  • Synthetic fragrances

Anything artificial or synthetic should always raise a red flag. These fragrances are made up of thousands of different chemicals not listed on the label, so you are not sure what you are being exposed to. It is often found in cosmetic products and in many homestead products such as air fresheners, scented trash bags, and candles.

  • Triclosan

This is a chemical that is commonly found in toothpaste, deodorants, and antibacterial soaps. It is highly effective against microbes, but it is also a significant threat to the endocrine system and often causes skin irritation. Some studies confirmed that triclosan can lead to tumor growth and intestinal inflammation in mammals.

Triclosan disintegrates slowly and is therefore considered a potential terrorist to the environment.