chemicals to avoid, skin care

Better Safe Than Sorry. Chemicals To Avoid in Skin Care

The beauty industry has an ugly secret. Most skin care products contain harmful chemicals. Our makeup, face cream, skin moisturizer, or cleanser may deliver short-term smoothness and brightness, but it may disrupt your hormones and fertility, expose you to known cancer-causing pesticides, and deliver dangerous toxins that penetrate and age your skin too, especially if they contain harmful chemicals. To protect your skin and keep it looking young, firm, and bright, look for these chemicals in all skin care products and avoid them.



Whether it is a cleanser, lotion, toner, blush, foundation, or mascara, without preservatives like parabens, these everyday items would become overloaded with bacteria, mold, and fungus, making them harmful to skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. The FDA acknowledges several studies linking parabens, which mimic estrogen, to breast cancer, skin cancer, and decreased sperm count, but has not ruled that it is harmful. 



Phthalates are multifunctional chemicals that are used in a variety of consumer products including cosmetic and personal care products. Phthalates work as softeners in personal care products such as cosmetics and shampoo, as well as flexible plastics like children’s toys. There was no connection made to the number of phthalates and any reproductive problems, but the study got a lot of attention because the questionable chemicals were in products especially targeted toward babies.


Boric Acid

Since it’s considered a natural ingredient, it’s often utilized in hair and beauty products because the agent helps to prevent or retard bacterial growth. Borax and its relatives can cause irritation to the skin and eyes and disrupt hormones. Intense exposure may harm the male reproductive system. Beware when using these chemicals around children or while pregnant.



This one might be the scariest but this is considered a trade secret which means that companies don’t have disclosed what ingredients are inside. Often, the ingredients include tons of chemicals that can cause allergies, hormone disruption and lead to bigger health problems reproductive issues and infertility.



Be wary of imported skin lighteners, don’t buy products without ingredients clearly labeled. The FDA warns that this skin-bleaching chemical can cause a skin disease called ochronosis, with “disfiguring and irreversible” blue-black lesions on the exposed skin. Illegally imported skin lighteners can contain mercury, which can poison adults and children and is especially toxic during pregnancy.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

SLS has been shown to cause or contribute to skin irritation, canker sores, disruptions of skin’s natural oil balance and eye damage. It is also widely believed to be a major contributor to acne around the mouth and chin.



Though it can help soften wrinkles, it’s got some negative sides too. They have the opposite intended effect and become carcinogenic in sunlight, making it extra important to only use them at night and to avoid any sunscreens containing retinol-derived ingredients.