If you pull any product out of your beauty draw and attempt to read the ingredients list, there will probably be a few words that you won’t know how to pronounce – let alone what they do to your skin.
There are many ingredients that you expose your body to every day that could be seriously harmful to your health. Here are a few chemicals and toxins lurking in your skincare products that you might want to avoid.
Widely used in makeup and moisturizers, parabens are common chemicals in beauty products with links to impairing regular hormonal function. Studies have shown that parabens can mimic the effects of estrogen, which in an imbalanced state could lead to breast cancer for women and interfere with male reproductive function. Therefore, beware of parabens, including ethylparaben, butylparaben, isobutyl paraben, isopropyl paraben methylparaben, and propylparaben.
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) & BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
Petroleum-derived antioxidants used to extend the shelf life of products, BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in the skin. They may also be carcinogens and hormone disruptors. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has listed these chemicals as potential carcinogens. They’re not restricted in the United States, but California includes BHA on its list of chemicals that must be listed on product ingredient labels as potentially cancer-causing.
In high doses, hydroquinone can be carcinogenic. This skin-lightening ingredients also become toxic in high doses and can cause nausea, seizures, and bluish skin. Hydroquinone can be a cause of ochronosis, which is a skin condition that causes a blue-black skin discoloration. Several countries have banned hydroquinone.
It can keep skin hydrated, which is why it’s often added to skin-care and hair-care products. But these products can easily become contaminated with carcinogens. Commonly known as petroleum jelly, petrolatum is a skin protectant that is a by-product of petroleum. It typically contains the impurity polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which have been linked to cancer.
Coal Tar Dyes Or PPD
Usage of coal tar dyes is a very common ingredient in the makeup industry. Due to its feature of providing long-lasting and rich hair color, its usage is famous in cosmetics all over the world. But researchers claim that like all the petroleum-based products coal tar dyes also carry severe health risks, which includes non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Present everywhere, even in products marketed as “unscented” (it may also be listed as “scent,” or “fragrance”). Parfum is actually not one single ingredient—it’s a compound of many chemicals and, sometimes, essential oils. Since there are no regulations requiring companies to disclose the ingredient lists of their signature scents, the blanket term parfum is used.
This ingredient is commonly used as a bleaching product. It is toxic to the immune system and can also disrupt hormones. It has also been linked to cancer, but the evidence is limited.
Dibutyl phthalate is widely known for keeping the nail polishes from chipping, making the PVC remain lithe and flexible and a common ingredient in dyes and fragrances. What we don’t know is that this chemical can interfere with the hormonal functions of females, especially during their pregnancy. It also affects males and can decrease their sperm count.