Ingredients in Cosmetics That You Should Avoid
September 30, 2013
By Sano Mag staff
Ingredients to Avoid in Cosmetics
Did you know that a lot of what you put on your skin is toxic? A lot of brands of makeup and cosmetics, as well as shampoo, face cream, deodorant, lotions and body washes, are loaded with chemicals and carcinogens.

In fact, research shows that people who use makeup every day absorb 2.3kgs of chemicals into their bodies every year. And that's not even taking into account the chemicals absorbed through shampoo, deodorant and other lotions and creams.

These chemicals can lead to a host of health problems and serious diseases. It is for this reason that you need to check the ingredients in your cosmetics. Or better still, make the switch today to natural cosmetic alternatives such as mineral makeup. Why? Because even we can't say how many chemicals are in your cosmetics. It is still to this day not mandatory for cosmetics companies to list all ingredients on the label.

However, the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health puts the number of toxic chemicals found in cosmetics at around 900!

Always Check for these Ingredients in Makeup and Cosmetics

Here are some of the major toxic ingredients and chemicals found in beauty products, lotions, makeup and cosmetics that you should definitely avoid:

Parabens: Parabens are chemicals found in deodorants, makeup, some shampoos and many other cosmetics that mimic the female hormone oestrogen, which can form breast tumours. Look for these ingredients on the label of the beauty product:

  • Propylparaben
  • Parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Parahydroxybenzoate
  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid
  • Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid

Phthalates: Phthalates are plasticising ingredients linked to birth defects and low sperm motility, among other problems, including cell mutation.

Mercury: Mercury is incredibly dangerous and can damage brain function. Find out about the dangers of skin contact with the metal in this article. Mercury is used in mascara, gels, and even eye drops. It may be listed as "thimerosal".

Lead: Lead is found in many brands of lipstick. Studies show there is no safe level of lead, and lead will stay in your body for your entire lifetime. Lead is a neurotoxin and can cause learning, language and behavioral problems. It is also linked to infertility and miscarriage.

Sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate (SLS or SLES): Sodium lauryl sulphate is a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier that is used in thousands of cosmetics, including almost all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair colour and bleaching agents, as well as toothpastes, body washes, cleansers, foundation, liquid hand soap, laundry detergent and bath oils. Sodium lauryl sulphate is contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen.

Musks: Musks are used as fragrances and can actually accumulate in your body. Musks have been linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption and cancer.

Artificial fragrances: Artificial fragrances can cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks and are among the top five allergens. These artificial fragrances can also contain neurotoxins and cause hormone disruption.

Petroleum byproducts: Petroleum byproducts are used in numerous toiletries, including makeup, shampoo, baby shampoo and face creams. Petroleum byproducts have been linked to cancer and are often not listed on the label.

Methylisothiazolinone (MIT): Methylisothiazolinone is a chemical which is used in shampoos to prevent bacteria from developing, and can cause problems to your nervous system.

Toluene: Toluene is made from petroleum or coal tar, and is found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure to toluene is linked to anaemia, low blood cell count, liver damage, kidney damage, and can be dangerous to foetuses.

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum: These products actually coat your skin like plastic, clogging your pores and causing toxins to build up. They have been linked to slow cellular development, early ageing, cancer and disrupting hormonal activity.

Choose Natural and Organic Cosmetics or Make Your Own

In order to avoid these dangerous ingredients, we suggest buying all natural or organic makeup, shampoos, deodorants and other cosmetics. There are a bunch of companies that sell all natural cosmetics that are free of parabens, SLS and other toxic chemicals, such as these products by Pharmaoil, or these mineral cosmetics by Musq Cosmetics.

Alternatively, you can make your own cosmetics! Here are a couple of suggested recipes for making your own 100% natural skincare and beauty products. Most of these include ingredients already found around your house: For more information on toxic chemicals found in cosmetics, check out this article by our columnist Sonya Shepard entitled The Truth about Chemicals in Hair Products.
"Research shows that people who use makeup every day absorb 2.3kgs of chemicals into their bodies every year. "