Harmful Skin Care Ingredients for Women & Pregnancy


Butyl paraben, IIsoparaben, Methyl paraben, and Propyl paraben are chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast. It is a low-cost synthetic preservative used by many large cosmetic brands. Cosmetic empires have funded studies that might prove its safety. Likewise, the FDA has not regulated its use in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Parabens have been linked to carcinogenicity and estrogenic effects. Estrogen stimulates breast cancer, and these chemicals have estrogen-mimicking qualities. It is a medical fact that chemical absorption through the skin is 10x more concentrated compared to an oral dose. These chemicals have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Parabens can also contribute hormonal imbalances, sterility, and developmental disorders. These chemicals are found in body washes, deodorants, facial cleansers, makeup, moisturizers, shampoos, shaving gels, and spray tans.


Phthalates is a group of toxic chemicals that cosmetic industries persistently make use of. Dibutyl phthalate in particular, is used in perfumes and lotions to make the product easily absorb into the skin. They are also found in colognes, deodorants, hair sprays, and moisturizers. These chemicals disrupt the normal functions of the endocrine, increase the risks of breast cancer, and cause reproductive defects. L’Oreal is the only mass market company that continues to use them. Other companies continue to sell products with this harmful ingredient.


Fragrance can also be the term used for a company’s secret ingredient that they do not want their customers to know. Nonetheless artificial fragrances, made from coal or petroleum, causes negative effects to your skin and the environment. Fragrance made using low-cost synthetic chemicals to replicate the natural scent of certain plants. Cosmetic industries use artificial fragrances are affordable compared to natural scents. These artificial fragrances can act as hormone disruptors that affect the reproductive system. They are also associated with allergies, dermatitis, and other respiratory problems. Fragrance is often incorporated in colognes, perfumes, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and moisturizers.

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Similar to artificial fragrance, synthetic colors are carcinogens. They can irritate the skin. The European Union has already banned its use. Synthetic colors are usually derived from petrochemicals.


Face washes, cleansers, body washes, mouthwashes, toothpastes, and anything else that foams and cleanse has sodium lauryl / laureth sulfate. Nine out of 10 personal care products contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, and is in fact the second most concentrated ingredient found in shampoos. As much as you can find them in personal care products, you can also find them in engine grease removers, floor cleaners, laundry detergents, car soaps, etc. This chemical can strip away the natural oils of your skin just as much as it dissolves grease on car engines. It can cause permanent damages to the eyes. What is more frightening is the fact that it can produce carcinogens when combined with other nitrogen bearing ingredients. These combinations impair the immune system and cause kidney and lung problems. According to the Journal of the American College of Toxicology, this harmful chemical is capable of altering the genetic makeup in cells.


Triclosan and triclocarban are among the prime ingredients in antibacterial products. Triclosan are mostly found in liquid products while triclocarban are found in bar soaps. The two chemicals are hormonal disruptors. They have also been linked to impaired immune system, impaired muscle function, and hypersensitivity. In spite of the fact that triclosan and triclocarban are widely used as antimicrobial ingredients in soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, etc., there remains no sufficient evidence that they resist disease-causing bacteria.


The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) has long declared that this chemical is a human carcinogen. It causes allergic skin reactions and is very toxic to the immune system. However, many cosmetic brands still use this chemical in body washes, shampoos, conditioners, cleansers, makeup, nail treatments, etc. despite of the claim made by the IARC. Cosmetic industries use formaldehyde to prevent bacteria growth and lengthen the shelf life of a product.


Harmful chemicals found in sunscreens include benzophenone, PABA, homosalate, ethoxycinnmate, and avobenzone. These chemicals absorb ultraviolet light but also cause cellular damage and cancer.


Petroleum based products have been linked to dermatitis and cancer. Petrochemicals affect the respiratory system and irritate your skin.


BHAs are mostly found in exfoliating products. The National Toxicology Program classifies BHAs as human carcinogens. Likewise, the European Union considers it toxic. Recent studies show that BHAs causes liver damage, stomach cancers, and abnormal hormonal functions during animal testing.


If your exfoliating products do not contain real seeds, grains or wax esters, then it must be tiny plastic beads made from polyethylene. PEGS are human carcinogens that penetrate deeply into the skin.