by Jane Brooks July 12, 2017

Toxic chemicals found in cosmetic products

Beauty products should make you beautiful, and chemicals in cosmetics clearly do not contribute to the health of your skin. Many cosmetic companies use cheap chemicals or simply add in ingredients for no apparent reason. As a responsible consumer, you should be aware of which ingredients in your products are toxic or detrimental in any manner to your health.

Remember that your skin is the largest organ in your body, and what you put on it gets absorbed into your body, so treat your skin well by steering clear of these toxins.


Below are most common toxic ingredients in cosmetics:

  Imidazolidinyl Urea

Located in most water-based cosmetics, deodorants, hair dyes, shaving cream, and face masks.


Parabens usually used with imidazolidinyl urea, so they are often found in similar products. This product act as preserving agent and can be found in, makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and shaving products.


Triethanolamine (TEA) is a base that changes the pH of the products it is in. This chemical is highly absorptive in nature and can irritate the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Long-term exposure to TEA has caused asthma and allergic reactions.

Polyethylene Glycols

Polyethylene glycols (PEG) is account for a class of ingredients that are petroleum-based and used in various creams as a moisturizer. PEGs are known to have low toxicity but their impurities, ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, are not. 1,4-dioxane targets the liver and kidneys when inhaled or absorbed by the body.


Phthalates are most frequently used in cosmetics: dibutylphthalate (DBP), dimethylphthalate (DMP), and diethylphthalate (DEP). Phthalates are used to make plastic or vinyl soft and flexible. Phthalates that are used in lubricants, plastic wrap, wood furnishing, insecticides, and detergents.

Stearalkonium Chloride

Found mainly in hair conditioner to control frizz As an antistatic, preservative, and surfactant, stearalkonium chloride has a variety of uses. It is best to avoid this chemical because of its allergenic properties.

Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic fragrances might be allergens to some may contain the aforementioned group of chemicals known as phthalates. Avoid fragrances if you are allergic.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate, SLS, is acting as a detergent in cosmetics, , can produce drying of the skin, allergic reactions, and irritation. SLS assists in the removal of oil and dirt from the skin and can have a lasting effect by damaging the hair follicles of the skin.

PVP/VA Copolymer

Functioning as a binder or fixer mostly in mostly hair, nail, and skin care products, PVP/VA copolymer is a synthetic vinyl polymer. The copolymer is sometimes considered a toxic substance and skin irritant.

Synthetic Colors

In order to make desired color, synthetic or artificial colors or dyes are used in cosmetics, but the safety of adding these colors is debatable. The FDA, however, has allowed for seven dyes to be added to products in the United States despite the questionable safety of doing so.


Always be sure to read the ingredients label whether it is lip balm, mask or shaving cream.

 All the best to you!

Jane Brooks
Jane Brooks


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