Look out for These Harmful Ingredients When You’re Picking up Skincare and Makeup Products

The beauty and skincare products you use can be beneficial as well as harmful.

Every woman loves to look good and for this reason, many invest a lot of money in different kinds of beauty products.

However, the downside is that there are thousands of chemicals in these products that are harmful to your health. Have you ever taken the time to read the ingredients in the tiny print on the back of all those bottles in your bathroom? Cosmetic companies are hardly regulated and for this reason, there is no pre-product approval before a product hits the market and enters your home.

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Many of these synthetic chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disrupters and are carcinogenic. There are some chemicals that you should look out for when buying skincare or makeup products.

Here are the ingredients you should avoid.

1. Hydroquinone

Found in: skin lighteners.

This skin-bleaching chemical can cause a skin disease called ochronosis, with “disfiguring and irreversible” blue-black lesions on the exposed skin. Illegally imported skin lighteners can contain mercury, which can poison adults and children and is especially toxic during pregnancy.

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2. BHA

Found in: exfoliants, perfume.

Studies reveal that BHA is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. It can cause skin depigmentation. In animal studies, BHA produces liver damage and causes stomach cancers such as papillomas and carcinomas and interferes with normal reproductive system development and thyroid hormone levels. The European Union considers it unsafe in fragrance.

3. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

The can be found in; shampoo, body wash, foundation, face wash, mouthwash, and toothpaste.

SLS has been shown to cause or contribute to skin irritation, canker sores, disruptions of skin’s natural oil balance and eye damage. It is also widely believed to be a major contributor to acne (especially cystic acne) around the mouth and chin.


Found in many products; such as perfume, cologne, conditioner, shampoo, body wash, and moisturizers.

This particular category is pretty scary. The term fragrance was created to protect a company’s secret formula but as the consumer, you could be putting on a concoction that contains tons of chemicals that are hazardous to your health.

Fragrance mixes usually have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. Some fragrance ingredients are known neurotoxins, and many can irritate the skin. Some also make asthma worse.

5. Parabens

Mostly found in makeup, moisturizer, shaving gel, shampoo, personal lubricant, and spray tan products. Several studies have proven that parabens, which mimic estrogen, to breast cancer, skin cancer and decreased sperm count, but has not ruled that it is harmful.


According to the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, longer chain parabens like propyl and butyl paraben and their branched counterparts, isopropyl and isobutylparabens, may disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorders. Look to avoid ingredients with the suffix “-paraben.” Also paraben-free products will be labeled as such.


Olamide Ayeni 

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