The Dirty Dozen Chemicals in Cosmetics

The-Dirty-Chemicals-01Lipsticks never fail to make that pout more kissable. Mascara always works wonders to open up peepers while that Mac blush-on is always a help when things go a little bit paler. For some women, nothing does the trick better than a set of makeup, but for others, natural ways to keep skin looking younger and healthier is still the best choice to glow. While most women believe that make up does wonders, most women are not digging this fact since reports about the presence of chemicals in cosmetics have surfaced. This may sound horrible, but it’s true that these beautifying products actually contain substances that may harm your skin in the long run. Let’s take a look at some of the chemicals that you might be putting on your face day to day.


What has antibacterial goodies got to do with your skin? After all, it’s important to use products that help fight off bacteria, right? First of all, antibacterial substances aren’t only found in make-up as they’re also found in soaps, lotions, and in some products that are supposedly used to help keep the skin at bay from bad microorganisms and to keep it glowing. However, studies showed that excessive use of products that contain antibacterial properties may do harm to the body instead of good because it kills good bacteria residents in our skin. Its fighting properties against certain bacteria like E. coli may be diminished in the long run as well. Triclosan, an active ingredient present in all antibacterial products, is found to disrupt certain hormone activities and to active cancer cell as well.

The-Dirty-Chemicals-03Butyl Acetate

Present in nail polishes and strengtheners and it’s called as such because it is a combination of n-butyl alcohol and acetic acid. Aside from its presence in nail polishes, butyl acetate is also a staple ingredient in polish removers because it is a good solvent. This chemical is known for its effects on dry and cracked skin when it’s exposed to the product for a long time.

Coal Tar

Coal tar is an indispensable substance in anti dandruff shampoos and in creams and lotions that relieve itchiness. Coal tar is good in softening scaling and reducing itching, making it a staple ingredient in products mentioned above. It is also a good colorant, which makes it a component in most toothpastes and mouthwashes. However, excessive exposure to coal tar can trigger cancer cells because it has carcinogenic effect.


Whether it starts with methyl, propyl, or ethyl, parabens are a big no-no as an ingredient to your cosmetics. Studies about the health issues brought about by continued exposure to parabens show that it can alter estrogens and can cause breast cancer in the long run. It is mostly found in lotions, toiletries, and perfumes because it is used to add fragrance to these products. If you love to lather yourself with lotion each day, make sure to pick a brand that’s paraben-free.


The-Dirty-Chemicals-02Formaldehyde is not only known for its strong scent, but it’s also known as a contributor to a wide variety of adverse health effects like skin cancer. This substance is mainly used in hair dyes, baby soaps, nail polish, and in most cosmetics. It is absorbed immediately by the skin and it’s one of the causes of skin allergies to people with sensitive skin. On the one hand, you may not see this content written in the ingredients’ list of your favorite hair dye because it is a product of the breakdown of diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and quarternum compounds.


If you think that those women who have stopped using cosmetics and skin care products after knowing of their pregnancy are just over reacting, think again. A lot of these products contain phthalates, certain chemicals that are easily absorbed to the skin and are found in most skin care products like lotions, creams, and facial cleansers. Phthalates are known for its damages on the reproductive system of the user, which can also bring harm to an unborn baby. When exposed to small doses, it can cause delay of the baby’s development.


This chemical is pretty common in most skin lighteners and moisturizers. One of its adverse effects is skin allergies, which cause the skin to swell, redden, and darken. It can cause drastic action to the applied parts, especially when it’s exposed to the sun’s rays. This is one of the reasons that people who use skin lighteners externally are not advised to expose their skin to broad daylight.

Lead and Mercury

Do you remember the time when a number of brands were recalled because of its lead content? Lead is an element used in most make up products and in some toiletries since these give color and sheen. However, constant exposure to both chemicals can trigger cancer cells in the long run. Brands like YSL, Clinique, Lancome, Shiseido, Christian Dior, and some Chanel lip gloss are found to be positive in both lead. Lead is also responsible for those color lasting lipsticks last, so the longer the color stays on the lips, the higher is its lead content.

As they say, beauty has its price, but it should never be your health. Vanity may also be important for us to look younger and healthier, and one of the ways to do so is to have a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle. Start ditching those products that contain these chemicals and go for au natural cosmetics instead.