The 12 toxic ingredients to avoid in cosmetics and skincare products

The 12 toxic ingredients to avoid in cosmetics and skincare products

There are 12 toxic and carcinogenic compounds found in some beauty products which wreck havoc on our body and skin. We absorb up to 100 percent of what we put on our skin, so it’s very important to choose the right cosmetics and skincare products.

Here is the list of toxic chemicals to avoid in skincare products, and don’t worry, you won’t find any of these 12 toxic ingredients in our Ultraceuticals and Thalgo specialised in-clinic skincare ranges.

Toxic ingredient: Benzoyl Peroxide
Used in:
Acne products
Associated health issues: Possible tumor promoter; produces DNA damage in human cells; toxic by inhalation

2. Toxic ingredient: DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine); TEA (Triethanolamine)
Used in: Commonly found in shampoos, soaps, bubble baths and facial cleansers
Associated health issues: Skin / eye irritant; causes contact dermatitis; easily absorbed through skin to accumulate in body organs and the brain

3. Toxic ingredient: Dioxin
Used in: Often in antibactaerial ingredients like triclosan, emulsifiers, PEGs and ethoxylated cleansers like Sodium Laureth Sulfat
Associated health issues: Causes cancer; reduces immunity; nervous system disorders; miscarriages and birth deformity

4. Toxic ingredient: DMDM Hydantoin and Urea (Imidazolidinyl)
Used in: Hair color, shampoos, in particular those to treat head lice, soap and ointments
Associated health issues: Two preservatives that release formaldehyde. May cause joint pain, cancer, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness and insomina

5. Toxic ingredient: FD&C Color and Pigments
Used in: Everything from body washes and cleansers to deodorants and body lotions
Associated health issues: Coal tar contains heavy metal salts that deposit toxins in skin, causing skin sensitivity / irritation. Absorption can cause depletion of oxygen and death

6. Toxic ingredient: Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl)
Used in: Used as preservatives and not always labeled. Deodorants and other skin care products
Associated health issues: Have been found in breast cancer tumours. May contribute to sterility in males, hormone imbalance in females and early puberty

7. Toxic ingredient: PEG (Polyethylene glycol)
Used in: Everything including personal care, baby care, some sunscreens and spray-on oven cleaners
Associated health issues: PEGs take the protective oils off the skin and hair, making them more vulnerable to other toxins.

8. Toxic ingredient: Phthalates
Used in: Commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals
Associated health issues: Damage to liver / kidneys, birth defects, decreased sperm count and early breast development in girls and boys

9. Toxic ingredient: Propylene Glycol (PG) & Butylene Glycol
Used in: Petroleum plastics. EPA considers PG so toxic it requires gloves, clothing, goggles and disposal by burying
Associated health issues: Brain, liver and kidney abnormalities if skin contact occurs

10. Toxic ingredient: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Used in: Car washes, garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and 90% of personal care products that foam
Associated health issues: Eye damage, depression, laboured breathing, diarrhea, skin irritation and death

11. Toxic ingredient: Suncreen chemical: benzophenone
Used in: Sunscreens
Associated health issues: Damages DNA and can lead to cancers

12. Toxic ingredient: Triclosan
Used in: Antibacterial cleansers, toothpaste, household products
Associated health issues: Triclosan disrupts hormones; can affect sexual function and fertility and may foster birth defects