List of most dangerous chemical substances found in cosmetics

Unfortunately, the cosmetic products that we use on a casual or even daily basis might contain chemical substances that are harmful. These ingredients might be carcinogens, pesticides or toxins. One thing is clear, they are bad for your health and the environment.

Substances that you should watch out for

Whether you are shopping for new cosmetic products to replenish your beauty stock or are simply looking for a new product to try, it is important to read the labels and see if the following substances are listed as ingredients.

  • Dibutyl phthalate
  • Not only is this substance harmful to fish and other animals, it is also suspected of disrupting endocrines and is a toxin to reproductive organs. Dibutyl phthalate can be found in nail products.

  • Parabens
  • This is a common ingredient in many cosmetic products whose primary purpose is to act as a preservative. It interferes with endocrines and may disrupt male reproductive functions. This is because parabens are known to mimic the female sex hormones.

  • BHA and BHT
  • These substances are commonly used in moisturisers and cosmetics. They act as preservatives. However, they are suspected to be carcinogenic and interfere with the proper functioning of endocrines.

  • Parfum or fragrance
  • Even unscented products can have some form of fragrance or parfum in them. But, those that list parfum as one of its ingredients are worse. Fragrance is known to trigger allergies and asthma. Some parfums are also linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.

  • Petrolatum
  • This ingredient can be present in hair products, lip balms, lipsticks and moisturisers. They can cause cancer especially those that contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

    Other dangerous substances

    In addition to the ingredients listed above, you should also look for these harmful substances on the labels of your beauty products:

  • Siloxanes - hair products and deodorants
  • Sodium laureth sulfate - shampoos and cleansers
  • Triclosan - toothpaste, cleansers and deodorants
  • PEG compounds - beauty creams and moisturisers
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives - nail polishes
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