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These Are The Chemicals You Do Not Want On Your Skin

These Are The Chemicals You Do Not Want On Your Skin

harmful skincare ingredients

Always read those labels for these harmful ingredients

Girls, the beauty industry is generating billions of dollars a year because that’s how much we would invest in our beauty. All the brands tell you they’ve got the most natural ingredients for your skin and throw a bunch of chemical names you have never heard of at you. It’s confusing, right?

To be fair, over 95% of the beauty products in the market contain some unnatural chemicals in order to achieve the best outcome. Having chemicals in your skincare products aren’t always bad. However, you need to know what exactly is inside. There’re chemicals that you surely don’t want on your skin, yet producers only add them in because they make the products more desirable. Here’re the chemicals that you definitely want to avoid on your next trip to the drug store.

1. Alcohol

Alcohol is definitely something you don’t want on your skin, yet so many brands still choose to add alcohol in their products. Alcohol dries up and irritates your skin, if you have sensitive skin, alcohol can do some real damage. Beauty brands choose to use alcohol because users may find it light and less greasy after using alcohol. It may create an instant effect but it’s surely damaging for your skin in the long run.

2. Sulfates

A widely used chemicals in many cleansing products. It helps create foaming and an illusion that your skin is fresh and clean, when, in fact, your skin is just stripped away from its natural moisture and protections. It may feel clean at first, but it will cause irritation and dryness after a while. Some even dispute that sulfates can cause cancer, although this claim is not scientifically proven. Either way, you don’t want sulfates on your face as that’s also the exact chemical they put in toothpastes, so you can imagine how strong this chemical is.

3. Fragrance

Beauty products smell so good as there’re artificial fragrances added inside. Fragrances are basically a bunch of natural and synthetic ingredients mixed together. Some of the chemicals can cause allergic reactions and irritate your skin. Using skincare products with fragrances is not recommended. Try getting a perfume and spray it on your wrists or neck, areas that are less sensitive than your face.

4. Formaldehyde

Commonly used as preservatives in skincare, makeup and nail polish products. Remember that strong smell in most nail products? That’s formaldehyde. It can cause difficulty in breathing and irritate your eyes and skin. It is recommended to use nail polish in a well-ventilated place and not do it so often. For your skincare routine, try using products that are more natural. Products with a short expiry date aren’t a bad thing, it might just be more natural. Read the ingredients carefully before every purchase.

5. Phenoxyethanol

Don’t bother trying to pronounce that name, we aren’t chemists. Just know that this is a chemical to avoid on your skin. Phenoxyethanol can be extremely harmful to babies and new moms if inhaled or absorbed. It prevents bacterial growth and hence its popularity in this industry. It can damage your brain if used long term. That’s why pregnant moms-to-be are always advised to stay away from cosmetics and dial down on their skincare products as much as possible to avoid any potential harm to the infant.

6. Borates

The use of borates is banned in the European Union, that’s how serious this is. It’s used as a stabiliser in many skincare products. One thing that’s so bad about borates is that it reduces fertility rate for both men and women. It kills sperms and can even lead to birth defects. Although not completely banned, it’s still advised not to use borates in many states.

7. Mercury

You think right. Mercury is indeed banned in the US. However, imported goods containing mercury may still be imported to the US. Buyers need to be careful when purchasing imported goods. Mercury in cosmetics and skincare products can cause mercury poisoning if absorbed through skin. Read the ingredients carefully and if you are still unsure, purchasing from international brands or US brands is your safest choice.

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8. Parabens

Parabens are sneaky little fellas that mimic estrogen and lead to hormone imbalances. Although FDA considers parabens to be safe to use, many international brands have praised themselves for being paraben-free because the it’s widely belief parabens can upset your body’s natural balance if used long term. Due to its controversial nature between the FDA and scientists/experts working in the beauty industry, it’s best to contact your dermatologist for more information and advise if you’re unsure whether you want this on your skin or not.

9. Triclosan

An antibacterial substance found in many hand soups. Triclosan upsets hormone balances and causes liver damages. FDA finally banned triclosan in personal antibacterial products in 2016 after studying the damages it caused on mice. In some states, places such as hospitals are still working on replacing products with triclosan. The process is slow so you still might not be completely safe and triclosan-free in your daily life.

10. Petroleum distillates

Not the same petroleum you’re thinking about. Petroleum distillates are widely used in mascara. The European Union had categorised petroleum distillates as humane carcinogen. It can lead to cancer and even DNA mutation, which can be highly dangerous for pregnant women and infants. It could potentially cause birth defects. The use of petroleum distillates are not as common nowadays because of its health risks, though still used often enough for it to be a problem.


There are so many chemicals you didn’t know can be so harmful to your body, aren’t there? You may have been using these chemicals over the year without realising their side effects. Now it’s a good time to look at all your products carefully to see what they’re made of.

In general, pregnant ladies, infants and children and elderly people belong to the high-risk group. Sometimes it’s not always possible to know the full ingredients in every product we use. Therefore, you should stop using, or minimise the use of skincare and cosmetic products if you belong to the high-risk group. Some harmful effects aren’t instant, over time, they accumulate and become a very serious problem. Always check the label on the products and only buy from trust-worthy brands to be safe.

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