Toxic Ingredients In Skincare: A Brief Guide - YourHappyLife
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Article: Toxic Ingredients In Skincare: A Brief Guide

Toxic Ingredients In Skincare: A Brief Guide

Toxic Ingredients In Skincare: A Brief Guide

Toxic Ingredients In Skincare: A Brief Guide

Not all skincare products work for your skin type. We know you fell in love with many brands, but now you're having doubts. Although the list of cosmetic product ingredients to avoid is growing, you don't have to dislike everything on it. Many recent scientific findings bring evidence-based information on what is and are not healthy for your skin, which has much to do with marketing. Different people, of course, have different experiences. What makes you feel bad might help someone else. All that is required is awareness, understanding, and sophisticated discussion. Still, it's crucial that you learn how to read labels.

Possibly, you are already experiencing discomfort. So let's eliminate these rumors with this quick explanation of cosmetics' harmful ingredients!

Remember These Things On Your Next Beauty Run

  • Phthalates

Synthetic aromas! Can we blame "fragrance" for hiding some sneaky chemical? Phthalates are a chemical that may be found in various products, including nail polish and eyelash adhesive, and are sometimes used to help fragrances stick to the skin. Unfortunately, phthalates are significant endocrine disruptors, with evidence suggesting they can hasten the onset of puberty in both males and females and reduce sperm count in men. Also, they negatively affect the ecosystem, in case you forgot. According to the Environmental Working Group, several businesses have banned phthalate-containing products, although we recommend taking care of the increased smell.

Warning: The words "fragrance" or "parfum" might be a code for hundreds of substances that producers aren't required to list on ingredient labels.

  • Carbon black

This pigment, commonly used in eye makeup products like mascara and eyeliner, has been highlighted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) because of a possible link to lung cancer (not from the topical application). Despite the FDA's restrictions on the number of parabens allowed in cosmetics, parabens are still widely used in these products.

  • Talc

Talcum powder, a common ingredient in mineral cosmetics because it helps smooth the skin, is generally safe. However, it can be contaminated with asbestos, a recognized carcinogen, and respiratory disease inducer.

  • Parabens 

Evidence links butyl, propyl, and ethyl parabens to hormonal disturbances. Parabens, a kind of preservative found in many cosmetics, are probably the most widely recognized chemical to avoid after research in 2004 claimed to find paraben residues in breast cancer tissue samples. 

Cosmetics often only have a trace level of parabens, so they are considered safe under EU and FDA regulations (up to around 0.4 percent, though measurements differ for each paraben). However, parabens may cause skin irritation in certain people, so keep that in mind.

  • Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde has been known to cause cancer for decades, yet it is often found in hair straightening products, nail polish, and eyelash glue. Thankfully, several retailers are starting to take formaldehyde-tainted products off the market. These include Whole Foods, CVS, and Target. Unfortunately, this means that although formaldehyde may not be listed as an ingredient, it may still be present in the product under a different name.

Formaldehyde-releasing agents - Many preservatives used in cosmetics, such as quaternium-15, Diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, and DMDM hydantoin, progressively break down into formaldehyde.

  • Polyethylene glycol (PEGs)

Like petroleum, it's possible to produce the skin-irritating chemicals polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, butylene glycol. These additives are chemical thickeners occasionally seen in cream-based products.

  • Toluene

Butylated hydroxytoluene, often known as BHT, is a dangerous chemical linked to brain damage and especially dangerous for pregnant women to be exposed to. Although the European Union (EU), Southeast Asia, and certain retailers in the United States have banned its use, you may still get it in nail paint, manicure treatments, and hair color.

  • PFCs and PFAs 

Remember how "fragrance" may hide hundreds of chemicals? However, there are thousands of PFAs. Some products that include these fluorinated chemicals are sunscreens, hair conditioners, and shaving creams. They have been linked to severe health problems like cancer, thyroid disease, and even reduced vaccine efficiency.

Waterproof mascara and eyeliner contain a lot of PFCs, so be aware if you use them frequently.

  • Siloxanes

Numerous cosmetic and skincare products include substances that are harmful to the environment and have been linked to endocrine disruption. Yet, they are also commonly used in the cosmetic and skincare industries. However, dimethicone is considered safer in very low doses.

  • Triclosan

Many nations have banned the use of antimicrobial ingredients (present in products like hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap) because of concerns that it may have an adverse effect on the thyroid and reproductive hormones. So even though it's illegal to use antiseptic soap in the United States, you can find it in other products like deodorant, mouthwash, shaving cream, and toothpaste.

  • Ethanolamines

The Environmental Working Group asserts that these compounds, emulsifiers found in foundation, mascara, and skin care products, are safe for cosmetic use. However, they have also been shown to be allergens, so keep that in mind if you are sensitive to specific ingredients. Among them are monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), and triethanolamine (TEA).

  • Teflon

Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon) is a PFA worth mentioning since it is sometimes used to improve the smoothness of cosmetics. However, like other PFAs, it has been linked to hormone disruption and reproductive issues.

  • Resorcinol

Hair bleaching and coloring chemicals have been linked to skin irritation and immune system malfunction. In addition, many animal studies have shown that resorcinol may disrupt normal thyroid function.

  • Oxybenzone

Sunscreens, lotions, lip balms, cleansers, perfumes, and even baby items may all contain oxybenzone, a chemical suspected of disrupting hormone systems.

  • Octinoxate

Recent studies have dispelled the myth that this common sunscreen ingredient harms coral reefs. Still, it might cause mild irritation to those with hypersensitive skin.

  • Homosalate

Sunscreens frequently use this compound as a UV absorber. Although octinoxate and oxybenzone are starting to be recognized by regulations, homosalate is still commonly used. Read the warning labels!

The Takeaway


YourHappy Collagen (Advanced)

No Fear. Knowledge is power, so understandably, you'd like to handle better what you're putting into your body. This list is an excellent place to learn about hazardous chemicals and clean beauty. However, before making a final decision, it is highly advised that you complete your research on each of the chemicals/substances mentioned above.


1. How do I know if a skincare product contains toxic ingredients?

To determine if a skincare product contains toxic ingredients, you can check the ingredient list on the product packaging. If the product contains any of the toxic ingredients mentioned above (such as parabens, phthalates, sulfates, formaldehyde, or mineral oil), it is best to avoid using it. You can also look for certifications such as "organic" or "natural" to help you identify safer options.

2. Can toxic ingredients in skincare products harm my health?

Certain toxic ingredients in skincare products have been linked to health problems, including hormonal imbalances, reproductive and developmental issues, asthma and allergies, and even cancer. It is important to be aware of the ingredients in your skincare products and to choose products that are free from toxic ingredients whenever possible.

3. Are there any natural alternatives to toxic skincare ingredients?

Yes, there are many natural alternatives to toxic skincare ingredients. For example, instead of using products containing parabens as preservatives, you can look for products that use natural preservatives such as essential oils or plant extracts. Similarly, there are natural alternatives to other toxic ingredients such as sulfates, phthalates, and formaldehyde. These may include ingredients such as aloe vera, coconut oil, and shea butter.

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