12 dangerous ingredient to avoid in skincare


In today’s beauty industry, there are thousands of locally made and foreign skincare products manufactured in the market. Although this has been orchestrated to meet our skin demand, for beautification nonetheless not everything is needful.

The makeup, shampoos, lotions and other products you apply to your skin can be a plus or minus. As anything you put inside your body just like the food we consume, the same goes for the skin. Our skin needs nourishment to remain healthy and fresh.

Ingredients found in face washes, lotions, sunscreens and more have been linked to everything from allergic reactions to hormonal imbalance to cancer. What’s worse is that they sink directly into your bloodstream and accumulate over time when applied to the skin or hair.

While there are numerous studies with a variety of perspectives on this topic, everyone can agree that using more natural products or—better yet, making your own—is the surest and safest bet for you.



1. Hydroquinone

This has caused more harm than good. Mostly common in skin lightener moisturizers. Also referred to as bleaching agent for most creams and lotions. These are the result of skin burns and fata- coke coloration of the skin.


The FDA warns that this skin-bleaching chemical, when used chronically, can cause a skin disease called ochronosis, with “disfiguring and irreversible” blue-black lesions on exposed skin. illegally imported skin lighteners can contain mercury, which can poison adults and children and is especially toxic during pregnancy. Be wary of imported skin lighteners, don’t buy products without ingredients clearly labeled, and always avoid products with “mercury,” “calomel”, “Mercurio” or “Mercurio chloride.”


If your skin goal is overall evenness, there are three natural alternatives that don’t involve harsh chemicals: neroli oil, orange oil, and chamomile.

2. Sodium lauryl sulfate

This compound is mostly found in some creams, shampoo, body wash, foundation, face wash, mouthwash, and toothpaste.


SLS has been shown to cause side effects over time such as skin irritation, canker sores, disruptions of skin’s natural oil balance and eye damage. It is also widely believed to be a major contributor to acne (especially cystic acne) around the mouth and chin. Opt for a natural shampoo and try making your own chemical-free body wash and toothpaste.

3. BHA

Mostly common in creams, exfoliants, perfumes.

The National Toxicology Program classifies butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” It can cause skin pigmentation.

In animal studies, BHA produces liver damage and causes stomach cancers such as papillomas and carcinomas. It also interferes with normal reproductive system development and thyroid hormone levels. The European Union considers it unsafe in fragrance. Opt for a BHA and phthalate-free perfume.

4. Parabens

This is very common in most creams and lotions (moisturizers), makeup, shaving gel, shampoo, personal lubricant and spray tan products


The FDA acknowledges several studies linking parabens. They mimic estrogen, to breast cancer, skin cancer, and decreased sperm count, but has not ruled that it is harmful.

According to the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products. Longer chain parabens like propyl and butyl paraben and their branched counterparts, isopropyl and isobutylparabens, may disrupt the endocrine system. So, cause reproductive and developmental disorders. Look to avoid ingredients with the suffix “-paraben.” Also, paraben-free products will be labeled as such as they are safer to use.

5. Triclosan and triclocarban

Found in gels, creams especially those in tube forms, toothpaste, deodorant, and antibacterial soap.

Triclosan was all the rage as antibacterial products became ubiquitous in the 1990s. Even the FDA agrees that there is no health benefit to humans who use triclosan. In 2013 ruled that manufacturers using it had to demonstrate that there were no long-term detrimental effects.

Triclosan (in liquid products) and triclocarban (in bar soaps) have been linked to hormonal disruptions, bacterial resistance, impaired muscle function, impaired immune function, and increased allergies. Instead, use naturally antibacterial and antiseptic agents like tea tree oil, neem oil or lemon.

6. Aminophenol, Diaminobenzene, Phenylenediamine (Coal Tar)

This can be seen in hair dye, and shampoo products.

Coal tar, a byproduct of coal processing, is a known human carcinogen. According to the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Hairstylists and other professionals are exposed to these chemicals in hair dye almost daily.

Europe has banned many of these ingredients in hair dyes. While FDA sanctions coal tar in specialty products such as dandruff and psoriasis shampoos, the long-term safety of these products has not been demonstrated.

7. Polyethylene/PEGs

Found in scrubs, body wash, makeup, and toothpaste.

Mostly tiny plastic beads found in the face or lip scrubs and exfoliating washes are made from polyethylene. (used because they’re gentler on the skin than natural exfoliators like walnut shells).

These synthetic chemicals are frequently contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. The U.S. government considers a probable human carcinogen and which readily penetrates the skin. Polyethylene has been noted as a skin irritant and should never be used on broken skin.

Polyethylene beads in scrubs and body washes also are not filtered by our sewage systems, meaning they can collect pollutants and travel into waterways, where they’re consumed by fish and marine animals.

8. Retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate

Majorly present in moisturizer, lip products such as lipsticks, lip balms, anti-aging products, sunscreen.

Retinol products (often found in anti-aging products) have the opposite intended effect and become ineffective in sunlight. Making it extra important to only use them at night and to avoid any sunscreens containing retinyll-derived ingredients. Try frankincense, a natural replacement for retinol, or Bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative.

9. Petroleum distillates

Typically found in mascara.

Petroleum-extracted cosmetics ingredients may cause contact dermatitis and it is often contaminated with cancer-causing impurities. Usually produced in oil refineries at the same time as automobile fuel, heating oil, and chemical feed-stocks. Find a non-toxic mascara to use instead.

10. Fragrance

Almost every skincare beauty product has a fragrance that defines each item’s uniqueness. We all want to smell good no wonder it present in cosmetics. But it will surprise to say that product with no fragrance is best for your skin. Usually found in moisturizers, deodorant, lotion, face cream, shampoo, conditioner.

Federal law doesn’t require companies to list on product labels any of the chemicals in their fragrance mixture. Recent research from Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name-brand fragrance products, none of them listed on the label. Fragrances can contain hormone disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world.

I recommend you buy fragrance-free or a product containing health beneficial essential oils wherever possible.

Read more here:  14 best carrier oils used in essential oils

11. Oxybenzone

Often present in most sunscreen.

One of the highest-risk chemicals found in sunscreen. Acts like estrogen in the body, alters sperm production in animals and is associated with endometriosis in women.

Studies on cells and laboratory animals indicate that oxybenzone and its metabolites may disrupt the hormone system. It also has high rates of skin allergy.

Opt for safe, physical sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium oxide instead. These are chemical-free, mineral-based ingredients. And don’t forget to cover up with a hat and clothing.

12. dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde

Found in nail polish and other nail products, perfume, makeup remover.

This chemicals, known as the “toxic trio,” have been linked to birth defects, endocrine disruption, headaches, and respiratory problems—especially concerning nail salon workers and those who frequently get manicure or pedicure. So, It is advisable that pregnant women avoid nail products altogether. Non-toxic nail polish brands like OPI and Zoya have pledged to remove these chemicals from their products. Look for “toxic-trio-free” products.

Learn how to make just about any DIY personal care product on this blog, there are a whole lot of natural recipes available to learn from all pages. You might even become a total DIY beauty routine lover.

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