5 harmful ingredients to avoid in cosmetics

There are many ingredients present in beauty and skincare products that are dangerous to your health. Not only do they effect your skin over time, but they can also cause damage to our internal body processes and disrupt hormones. For example, only 11 cosmetic ingredients are banned in the US, while Europe has banned over 1,300. Although there are many potentially harmful components in cosmetics and skincare, we've comprised a list of 5 of the most harmful to lookout for when purchasing cosmetic products.


Phthalates are used as solvents in cosmetics and different skincare products. They can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled. In the previous years, researchers have linked these dangerous chemicals to diseases such as asthma, breast cancer, plus- attention deficit disorders, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development when absorbed during pregnancy.

Phthalates are a carcinogen and are banned from cosmetics in the European Union. However, they still remain prevalent in U.S. cosmetics and skincare products.


Tons of beauty and skincare products such as face cleansers, body washes, body lotion, shampoos, and foundation have parabens in them. Parabens are classified into butyl parabens, ethyl parabens, propylparaben, and propylparaben. These ingredients are used in prolonging the shelf life of these products. Parabens are linked to breast cancer, and they are hormone disruptors, which can cause fertility and reproductive complications.

Artificial fragrance.

A synthetic "fragrance" is a trade secret that is used by many profit-maximizing cosmetic and beauty companies with the sole aim of hiding the toxic chemicals that make up the fragrance. Usually, the many chemicals in artificial fragrances can trigger allergic reactions and hormonal disruptions to their users, leading to significant health problems. 

Environmental Working Group Researchers discovered that over 75% of products listing the ingredient "fragrance" contained phthalates, which cause reproductive disorders linked to obesity, breast cancer, and liver complications. Artificial fragrances are commonly found in body moisturizers, hand creams, and several hair care products. Even products labeled as "scented" or "unscented" can still contain harmful chemicals in them. To remain on the safe side, choose products marked as "fragrance-free."


Diethanolamine irritates your skin and eyes and also causes health difficulties in the liver, kidney, red blood cells, and nervous system. Diethanolamine is sometimes referred to as iminodiethanol or DEA.


Polyacrylamide is an ingredient used in cosmetics to stabilize products and bind ingredients together. This ingredient consists of anti-static, foaming, and lubricating characteristics. It is usually present in face moisturizers, anti-aging products, body lotions, hair care products, and many others. Polyacrylamides can break down into acrylamide, a carcinogen and a hindrance to reproductive health and body development. When searching for polyacrylamide in a product, avoid using products that include polyacrylamide, acrylamide, polyacrylate, polyquaternium, and acrylate. 


Before using any beauty and skincare products, ensure that you check the ingredients list on the label and avoid those with harmful components.

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