10 Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup

1 CommentSaturday, 10 October 2015  |  Sarah

10 Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup

There have been some strange “beauty trends” throughout the ages. From the Ancient Egyptians bathing in asses’ milk and using facepacks made out of crocodile dung to Arab women using camel urine to get the gloss for their hair and the Venetians favouring lion’s urine to keep their highlights golden! 

Unfortunately, there are some even less savoury ingredients that have been used through the ages. Arabian women have traditionally used lead to line their eyes and the Victorians used white lead powder to enhance their complexion and even ate arsenic to give them a healthy glow. 

Worse still, some ingredients used in cosmetics today are even more questionable when it comes to thinking about our health and wellbeing. Here are 10 potentially toxic chemicals to avoid when buying makeup -

  1. Parabens (Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben. Butylparaben and Heptylparaben.) - a group of synthetic preservatives often found in liquid cosmetics, such as foundation. Parabens are known endocrine disruptors, meaning they can upset the hormonal balance in our bodies. A 2004 study revealed that parabens are under suspicion of being linked to breast cancer.
  2. Arsenic - an impurity that sneaks its way into products via minerals used as pigments. A suspected carcinogen, arsenic has also been found to reduce the body’s cellular system’s ability to function properly and can cause a variety of ailments, including vascular disease or heart and liver dysfunction. 
  3. BHA and BHT - preservatives often used in makeup, these chemicals are suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer. They are also bad for the environment, harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  4. Coal tar dyes: possible carcinogens and likely to contain heavy metals which lead to brain toxicity.
  5. Phthalate - used in nail products to enhance fluidity, phthalates are suspected endocrine disruptors and toxic to the reproductive system.
  6. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives - in your ingredients list, look out for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. These ingredients become unstable over time and release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
  7. Parfum/Fragrance - can reference any number of synthetic compounds (but also natural = confusing!), some of these chemicals can trigger skin allergies and even asthma, some are linked to cancer and can even be toxic to the nervous system! Some are also harmful to the environment.
  8. PEG Compounds - used to create a creamy product, these can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane due to the process to create the ingredient. 1,4-dioxane is a known carcinogen!
  9. Petrolatum/Mineral Oil/Derivatives - used in SO many products, including lip balms and lipsticks, as a moisture barrier. These ingredients can be contaminated with carcinogenic ingredients.
  10. Siloxanes - used to soften, smooth and moisturise, this group of chemicals (look for ingredients ending in -siloxane or - methicone), these ingredients are suspected endocrine disruptors and also harmful to the environment.

Angela Graves
Friday, 30 October 2015  |  21:43

Scary, it's why I use organic make up, or go without.