The Toxic Dozen – Top 12 Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid

After a lot of guides and tips for skincare, this time we’re here to discuss an important part of skincare—the toxic cosmetic ingredients to avoid.  As we all know, our skin is the largest organ in our body, yet we tend to ignore it most of the time when it comes to pampering. So, we need to be quite mindful of what we put on our skin, especially while trying out new ingredients in skincare

When it comes to beauty products and ingredients in beauty products to avoid, it seems like the list of toxic cosmetic ingredients to avoid is growing with every passing minute. But that does not necessarily mean you should demonize every ingredient. Instead, marketing has a lot to do with your choice. New science oftentimes comes out offering evidence-based information about new cosmetic ingredients, whether they are good for your skin or not.

There are a lot of differences from person to person as well. A certain ingredient may cause sensitivity for you, but, at the same time, it might work well for someone else. It’s more about education, nuance, and transparency. Still, learning about the prominent chemicals in makeup or other skincare products by reading the ingredient labels is important.

Which Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare?

When shopping aisles for beauty products and being conscious about which cosmetic ingredients to avoid, it is quite difficult to decipher and navigate the long list of ingredients. Thankfully, there are apps and sites that can help you make the process easier. At Secret Behind Words, we are eager to help you out choosing the right cosmetic products for yourself.

So, let’s find out what are the most toxic cosmetic ingredients you have to avoid.

1. Chemical Sunscreen

Recent research shows that six common chemical ingredients in sunscreens are absorbed into the bloodstream. What’s bad about this absorption is that these ingredients exceed safe levels greatly. For example, one such ingredient—oxybenzone—shows an absorption rate 188 times the safe level just after a single application. 

Oxybenzone is also an endocrine disrupter and causes significant consequences for fertility. It is one of the toxic cosmetic chemicals to avoid during pregnancy since it has been linked to birth defects. However, all the chemicals stay elevated in the blood for 1–21 days.

2. Methylisothiazolinone

It is a preservative used in most water-based cosmetic products like cleansers and shampoos. Although it is used in small concentrations. It is still a strong allergen that can cause itching, burning or even hives. If you have sensitive skin and you are looking for what ingredients to avoid in your beauty products, methylisothiazolinone is one of those harmful ingredients for you.

3. Sodium lauryl sulfate

A very common cleansing agent, found in a wide range of personal care products. Like body washes, cleansers, and shampoos is Sodium lauryl sulfate. It causes frequent irritation and can give rise to allergic responses in the skin. If not washed off properly, the SLS residues can leave your skin dehydrated and even reduce the levels of ceramide in the skin.

4. Acrylates

Acrylates (including Ethyl Acrylate, Ethyl Methacrylate, and Methyl Methacrylate) are mainly used as adhesives in false eyelashes and artificial nail products. They are among the most common cosmetic ingredients that tend to cause contact allergies in relatively more people. Moreover, different acrylates are also associated with major concerns including carcinogenic. 

5. Parabens

Parabens are one of the best-known ingredients in cosmetics that are harmful. But still, they are incredibly pervasive. Parabens are derived from petroleum and are used as preservatives in cosmetic products. They are capable of causing hormonal imbalances and infertility since they are endocrine disruptors and are linked to breast cancer as well. 

6. Coconut Oil

Although coconut oil has been endorsed widely as an effective treatment for acne spots. Recent research shows that it actually worsens the acne breakout by clogging the surrounding pores. It can be irritating even in those small concentrations. So, if you have got acne and you are using some coconut oil-based products, keep in mind that it is one of those skincare ingredients to avoid for acne-prone skin. 

7. Fragrances

Although fragrances make products more acceptable, we should actually make sure that no synthetic fragrances are added before sniffing any cosmetic products. A wide range of products is based on purely chemically produced fragrances which can cause various health issues along with allergic reactions on the skin.

8. formaldehyde

There are certain products for hair straightening. Formaldehyde is one of the popular ingredients used in products for curly hair and we need to avoid it. It is also used in nail polishes and other cosmetic products for skincare. Although it is used as a preservative against bacterial growth, it can pose higher risks of developing cancer if exposed in higher amounts.

9. Toluene

A chemical found in hair dyes and nail polish, toluene is a volatile petrochemical. It is basically a solvent and is considered a toxic cosmetic ingredient you need to avoid since it affects the immune system. Also, since toluene can cause birth defects, it is one of those ingredients to avoid in cosmetics when pregnant.

10. Phthalates

Phthalates are basically used in fragrances and cosmetic products that involve fragrances. They are among the most common cosmetic ingredients used in skincare products. Moreover, phthalates are well-known endocrine disruptors and tend to cause reproductive problems, birth defects, and hormonal imbalances.

11. Triclosan

Triclosan is probably something almost all of us have been extensively exposed to. It is an ingredient found in antibacterial soaps. Since triclosan causes antibiotic-resistant bacteria and disrupts the endocrine system, it should be included in our list of cosmetic ingredients to avoid.

12. Mineral Oil

The most common ingredient found in your cleansers, makeup, and SPF, mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum and contains carcinogenic chemicals. Just like formaldehyde, mineral oil is one of the chemicals in makeup that puts humans at a higher cancer risk when used in high amounts.

The Bottom Line

Our skin is one of the most important organs in our body, and it needs proper attention and care. While providing it with nourishment, we need to understand that there are certain cosmetic ingredients to avoid applying to our skin. These ingredients are a lot more harmful than beneficial to our skin; avoiding them can bring us safety.

We have jotted above the list of the 12 most unsafe cosmetic ingredients that should be avoided.
So, next time you buy a cosmetic product, just read the ingredients label before being fascinated by its packaging and fragrance. Moreover, if you want to read more about skincare-related posts, just click here. We would like to share our social media accounts as well. You can join us there on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Stay safe, stay beautiful!

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