Cosmetics and Personal care products-Toxic Chemical story

Cosmetics and Personal care products-Toxic

This post is not only for girls who use make up products and its for everyone who use cosmetics and personal care products like shampoo, soaps, hair gels and so on…If makeup is daily part of your routine then it’s vital to think about what are you putting on your skin.  Many beauty and skin care products are hitting the market today. Have you ever thought are they safe? What are they consists of? There are thousands of chemicals in your products, many of which are being absorbed into your body. Some are toxic chemicals…!

Sodium laureth sulphate is so toxic, Mineral oil is full of carcinogens, toluene causes short term neurological effects, Phthalates and parabens causing endocrine disruption effects which are used in cosmetics and personal care products. Yet we all use these products in our daily routine.

But what about the claim that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer? Recently the issue hit the headlines when Johnson & Johnson was ordered by the courts in the US to pay $72 million to the family of a woman who used its baby powder and died of the cancer.

This post may take little time to read and you will be informed about some of the toxic chemicals you have to avoid in your cosmetics and personal care products. Before buying just check the product labels for ingredients used. Some names might vary from product to product becuase some of the chemicals have different nomenclature.



Where: Butylated compounds such as Butylated Hydroxy Anisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxy Toluene(BHT) used in Lip products, hair products, makeup, moisturizers, sunscreen, antiperspirant/deodorant, fragrance.

Why: Used as preservatives. in lipsticks, moisturizers and other cosmetics. Also widely used as food preservatives.

Health concerns: These induce allergic reactions in the skin, it can cause cancer and interfere with hormone function.

What to look in the label: BHA and BHT


Where: Coal tar is a known carcinogen used in dandruff treatments, shampoo, soaps  and some colouring dyes are also derived from coal tar.

Health concerns: cancer and organ system toxicity

What to look in the label: Coal tar solution, tar, coal, carbo-cort, coal tar solution, coal tar solution USP, crude coal tar, estar, impervotar, KC 261, lavatar, picis carbonis, naphtha, high solvent naphtha, naphtha distillate, benzin B70


Where: Ethanol Amines are found in Soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners and dyes, lotions, shaving creams, paraffin and waxes, household cleaning products, pharmaceutical ointments, eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases, foundations, fragrances, sunscreens.

Why: DEA (diethanolamine) are used to make cosmetics creamy or sudsy. DEA also acts as a pH adjuster by counteracting the acidity of other ingredients.

Health Concerns: DEA and its compounds cause mild to moderate skin and eye irritation. In laboratory experiments, exposure to high doses of these chemicals has been shown to cause liver cancers and precancerous changes in skin and thyroid.

What to look in the label: Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate.


Where: Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde releasing preservative are found in Nail polish, nail glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap, body wash, color cosmetics.

Why: these are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products.

Health concerns: Risks of cancer and skin irritation.

What to look in the label: Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.


Heavy metals like Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, Nickel etc., are used in many cosmetic products.

Where:  Found in Lip products, whitening toothpaste, eyeliner, nail color, foundations, sunscreens, eye shadows, blush, concealer, moisturizers, eye drops.

Health concerns: Exposure to metals has been linked to health concerns including reproductive, immune and nervous system toxicity.

What to look in the label: Lead acetate, chromium, thimerosal, hydrogenated cotton seed oil, sodium hexametaphosphate.

Note: products that contain contaminant metals will not list them on ingredient labels.


Where: Mineral oil is used in baby oil, body lotions, soap and makeup products.


Why: Used as a sealing and building material, Also it serves as a preserving agent and assists in retaining moisture.

Health concerns: Mineral oil may be contaminated with PAHs, which are associated with cancer. If mineral oil is absorbed into the skin, then it may affect the functioning of the liver. When mineral oil is applied to the skin it often prevents skin from breathing. Mineral oil can clog the pores of the skin leading to acne and other skin problems.

What to look in the label: mineral oil, white oil,  liquid paraffin,  paraffinum liquidum, liquid petroleum, ervol, filtrawhite, fonoline, frigol, glymol, nujol, oil mist, parol, paroleine, peneteck, saxol, f triona b, uvasol, voltesso 35 and many more names…


Where: Parabens are used in Shampoos, conditioners, lotions, facial and shower cleansers and scrubs.


Why: Parabens are the most widely used preservative in cosmetics. They are also used as fragrance ingredients, but consumers won’t find that listed on the label. Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets, so manufacturers are not required to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients. An estimated 75 to 90 per cent of cosmetics contain parabens.

Health concerns: Endocrine disruption, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity.

What to look in the label: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, other ingredients ending in – paraben.

Corked Portable Aromatherapy

Where: Widely used in conditioners, moisturizers, deodorants, etc

Why: PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers.

Health concerns: PEG’s can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which can cause cancer.

What to look in the label: Carbowax, GoLYTELY, GlycoLax, Fortrans, TriLyte, Colyte, Halflytely, Macrogol, MiraLAX, MoviPrep


Where: Found in lotions, comsetics, hair products, lip balm/lipstick, and skin care products

Why: Petrolatum is a petroleum jelly, and is used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin in a variety of moisturizers, also in hair care products to make your hair shine.

Health concerns: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in petrolatum can cause skin irritation and allergies.

What to look in the label: Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly, Paraffin Oil, Mineral Oil and White Petrolatum


Where:  Color cosmetics, fragranced lotions, body washes and hair care products, nail polish and treatment.

Why:  Dibutyl phthalate or DBP is used mainly in nail products as a solvent for dyes and as a plasticizer that prevents nail polishes from becoming brittle. Phthalates are found in some nail polishes and hair sprays, and are commonly hidden on ingredient labels under the term “fragrance”. Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets.

Health concerns: Toxic to reproduction and may interfere with hormone function. They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer.

What to look in the label:  phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP


Where: These are used in products that foam such as shampoo, cleansers, bubble bath.


Why: SLS or SLES are used in cosmetics as a detergent and also to make products bubble and foam.

Health concerns: Over-exposure to these chemicals has been linked to eye damage, depression, laboured breathing, diarrhoea and severe skin irritation.

What to look in the label: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, SLS, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, SLES


Where: Triclosan is  found in antibacterial soaps, detergents, toothpaste and tooth whitening products, antiperspirants/deodorants, shaving products, creams,  and color cosmetics.

Why: Triclosan may contribute to make bacteria antibiotic-resistant.

Health concerns: Triclosan can pass through skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption).

What to look in the label: Triclosan (TSC) and triclocarban (TCC)

It’s difficult to avoid every single toxic chemical, yet you can do your part in limiting the amount of toxins your body is exposed to. Be sure to look for products that are certified organic if you want to avoid these toxic chemicals.

Educate yourself and do your research before you buy. Consider something you completely adore, use the same