Top 20 harmful chemicals for skin and body in cosmetic products

harmful chemicals for skin

 Living a vibrant lifestyle needs to incorporate more than healthy eating and regular exercise. Yes, you guess it right. You need to take care of your skin as it reflects your personality. People love to get appreciated for their illuminating skin. However, getting the same is not a much arduous task rather than using the right products. There are many harmful chemicals for skin and body in cosmetic products.

 How do you choose the right beauty products that contain no chemicals?

 Knowledge is the ultimate power. That being said, you should have a clear and concise idea about the beauty products you are choosing. Once you feel confident, hatch up on your next step.

 Does it make sense?

 According to a study, few products contain unique chemical ingredients, especially women exposing themselves to these kinds of products. Eliminating the same is of utmost necessity in order to save yourself from any severe skin issues.

 Swap the toxic beauty products that contain chemical ingredients. It’s that simple by gaining knowledge about the harmful chemicals for skin. We will shed light on unhealthy ingredients so that you can avoid them straight.

Some of the harmful chemical ingredients to avoid


Ethanolamines can be found in many consumer products, including cosmetics, household cleaning products, and personal care products. Both of these chemicals have been linked with liver tumors. To reduce the risk of contamination by carcinogenic nitrosamines, the European Commission has banned diethanolamine (DEA) from cosmetics.


Many products contain methylisothiazolinone, some of which claim to be natural. This includes shampoos and conditioners as well as cleaning products, lotions, and sunscreens. The European SCCS declared that there is no safe level of MIT in any leave-on products. It has been banned in Canada from cosmetics. MIT is often linked to skin reactions, skin sensitization, and painful rashes.


Manufacturers use paraben to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. It includes isobutyl parabens, propyl parabens, and methyl parabens. It acts as a preservative that contains a chemical family. These are the endocrine disruptors means they alternate the hormone mechanisms. This ingredient is most commonly found in facial cleansers, body wash, and body lotion.

4.Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Ensure you are checking your cleansing products like face washes, soaps, and shampoos for the harsh sulfates. It is a very irritating product that causes the disrupting the endocrine system. Besides, it can also cause irritation and severe allergic reaction.

5.PEG-10 Laurate

If you need makeup for a common purpose, then you need to be extra cautious with the same. Makeup products that have a thick, moisture-heavy texture can contain PEG-10. It affects hormone health.

PEGs are primarily used in a plethora of products. You can see the same in hair dye products, creamy makeup products, and moisturizers. Ensure you are avoiding these products, as it causes allergies and other skin infections.


It is a synthetic form of Vitamin A. Anti-aging skincare products contain retinol that can develop skin lesions and tumors on the sun-exposed skin. Besides, it can cause skin irritation and photosensitivity. Try to avoid this during pregnancy or nursing. It is one of the harmful chemicals for the skin.


According to the studies, formaldehyde may have detrimental effects on your skin. Most of the large skincare brand manufacturers are using this as a preservative. It is a known carcinogen that is directly linked to neurotoxicity, asthma, and developmental toxicity. It works as the general irritant to the eyes, skin and lungs.


These are the synthetic antioxidants that are used as stabilizers for extending the product’s shelf life. These are the carcinogen and endocrine disruptors. On top of that, they can damage the liver as well. It is commonly found in moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.

9.Benzalkonium Chloride

You should avoid benzalkonium chloride if you are prone to allergies. It is an organic salt that acts with the surfactant of cosmetics. Therefore, it can irritate the skin, eyes, and even the respiratory system. It is mainly found in sunscreens and moisturizers.


It is mainly used for skin bleaching and lightening. Organ toxicity and cancer are related to hydroquinone. Its found primarily on complexion whitening products, which can be dangerous for your skin. Instead, you can try lemon to get the maximum benefits. The benefits of lemon on the face are significant, and it has its prolonged effects. You can also try Vitamin C or licorice extract.


Make sure you are checking your nail polish for Toluene. This solvent is very toxic for the liver and immune system. Recently, few brands have started an awareness against this poisonous material.

12.Triclocarban and Triclosan

Triclocarban is used as an antimicrobial agent. As it’s a preservative in nature, the product is primarily used in face wash, body wash, and hand soap. The product is harmful to the entire reproductive system and aquatic life as well. Avoid this harmful component and choose the other ones.

Triclosan is mainly found in scented soaps. This chemical is a hormone disruptor and can be an irritant to your skin. However, this same is used in other products, including face wash, toothpaste, and deodorant. Mainly it’s an antibacterial agent, antiperspirant, and preservative.

13.Octinoxate and Oxybenzone

Most of the chemical sunscreen includes Octinoxate and Oxybenzone. They have received an E-safety grade as they are harmful chemicals for the skin. Instead, look for the ingredients, including Zinc oxide, Titanium Dioxide, and Avobenzone. Make sure you are checking the sunscreen products before buying the same.


You can find lead in lipsticks, blushes, eye-shadows, compact powders, body lotions, and even in shampoos. Lead is a carcinogen itself that can damage people’s kidneys, blood, and nervous system.

15.Coal tar

It is a byproduct of coal processing that is one type of carcinogen and respiratory toxicant. It is mainly found in hair dyes and anti-dandruff shampoos.

16.Synthetic Fragrance

This simply means the engineered scents that contain several stock chemical ingredients. Some companies use this word to hide proprietary blends. During shopping, if you found fragrance, you won’t ever know the chemicals hidden behind it.

 These fragrances can be irritating and may cause allergic reactions. Harmful ingredients like phthalates can be hidden behind this label. Shop fragrance-free products if you are concerned about your skin.


Methylchloroisothiazolinone is a preservative that acts against bacteria, yeast, and fungi. It is used in the production of water-based cosmetics, personal care products, and other chemicals. MCI is an ingredient in cosmetics and has been linked to allergic reactions.

18.Cocamidopropyl betaine

Cocamidopropyl Betaine (aka CAPB) is a sticky yellow liquid with a slight “fatty” smell. It is naturally derived. Raw coconut oil is mixed with dimethylaminopropylamine, a colorless liquid, to make CAPB.

Contact dermatitis symptoms can occur after discontinuing use. They can last from a few days up to a month. Itching, redness, tightness, blisters, and sores are some of the symptoms. Eye irritation can be caused by facial cleansers or makeup removers that contain CAPB. Eye irritation can cause redness, itching, and eye pain. However, these symptoms usually disappear once the product has been washed off.


Phthalates can be found in hundreds of products such as vinyl flooring, lubricating oil, and personal-care products (soaps and shampoos, hair sprays, etc.).

20.Polyethylene Glycol

It is used primarily in toothpaste and skin creams. There are some indications of genotoxicity. If applied to broken skin, it can cause irritation or systemic toxicities.

The Bottom line

You don’t need to be scared enough after reading the previous paragraphs. Instead, choose the chemical-free to allow your skin to breathe. Ensure the products are not entering your body so that you don’t need to visit a skin doctor now and then.

 There are thousands of beauty products in the market that are chemical-free. Maybe they are slightly pricey, but they will never let you down. Keep glowing round the clock, followed by choosing the right products for you.

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