10 Toxic Makeup Ingredients to Avoid in 2022

Buying makeup is no longer as simple as spotting it on the shelf and adding it to the cart.

There is a lot of research behind it before you buy it. After all, it sits on your skin for hours, and therefore, it is extremely important to be careful about it.

These days, makeup products include several harmful ingredients that cannot only be toxic to your skin but your health.

So, if you want healthy skin and lead a happy life, you must stay away from these chemicals.

Do you want to know what makeup ingredients to avoid? If yes, keep reading; we have got your back. You will find everything you need to keep your skin away from toxic material.

Makeup Ingredients to Avoid

Related: Fast Fashion Brands to avoid

Harmful Makeup Ingredients to Avoid:

According to our research, parabens, BHA, Formaldehyde, Phthalates, SLS, Coal Tar Dyes, Triclosan, and Lead are the harmful makeup ingredients to avoid.

Let’s go in-depth to find out more about these harmful ingredients.

1. Parabens

We have included parabens at the top of our list because they are the most common ingredient found in makeup products.

Those who do not know what parabens are a group of preservatives that prevent the makeup from getting spoiled and increase its longevity. 

However, we fail to understand that parabens can disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. In addition to this, it might also lead to breast cancer among women.

The good news is that the majority of the brands are now avoiding the use of parabens in their makeup products.

But, some are still using it. So, do not forget to read the label before buying any makeup product.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Leads to breast cancer.
  • Disrupts the hormonal balance of your body.
  • Prevents natural nutrients from reaching the skin.

2. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole is a synthetic antioxidant commonly used as a preservative in moisturizers, lipsticks, and other cosmetic products. Additionally, it is used in food preservatives as well.

However, BHA is known to cause allergic reactions on the skin. What’s more, the International Agency for Research on Cancer also classifies this antioxidant as a possible cause of human cancer.

Due to its toxic properties, it is listed by the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption as a category 1 substance. This means that it can interfere with your hormone functionality. 

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Causes allergic reactions on the skin.
  • Interferes with your hormone functionality.
  • Possible cause of human cancer.

3. Formaldehyde

Even after years of research on formaldehyde and classifying it as a possible cause of cancer, brands still use this ingredient in nail polishes, eyelash glues, hair straightening, and other cosmetic products. 

When used in nail polish, this ingredient makes the nail brittle and weak. As a result, the chances of breakage increase.

When used in other makeup products, it might lead to skin allergy and irritation.

So, look out for the label on your makeup product. Avoid buying it if it contains formaldehyde, methylene glycol, or formalin.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Possible cause of cancer.
  • Makes the nail brittle.
  • Leads to skin allergy and skin irritation.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are chemicals that affect the texture of the makeup and make it more flexible.

For this reason, you will find this chemical in a variety of cosmetic products such as nail polishes, perfumes, lotions, hair sprays, and cleansers. 

Of all the phthalates, dibutyl phthalates are the most common ones used in makeup.

According to experts, this ingredient possesses the ability to cause cancer and mess with the hormones in the human body.

The increased level of phthalates in your body can even decrease the sperm count and its quality and might lead to male infertility.

That its the main reason why we incorporated it in the makeup ingredients to avoid it.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Causes cancer.
  • Messes with hormones.
  • Leads to male infertility.

5. SLES or SLS

Also known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate, chemicals provide foam and lather to beauty products.

Apart from the makeup, these chemicals are also found in shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, and face washes.

According to experts, these chemicals are not safe to be used in makeup products as they can cause skin irritation and rashes.

Not only this, the chemical also has some toxic effects on your body. We would advise you to stay away from the brands that use SLES or SLS in makeup.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Causes irritation to the eyes.
  • Leads to problems in breathing.
  • Linked to skin irritation and rashes.

6. Mineral Oil

Next time, take a long hard look at the next expensive beauty oil bottle you intend to buy.

If mineral oil is included in the list, put it back on the shelf immediately. Mineral oil is used as filler in various oils, lotions, and creams. 

However, it has earned a bad reputation in the world of cosmetics because experts believe that it coats the skin and clogs the pores. This can lead to pimples and acne. 

According to Beverly Hills, a celebrity beautician, you should stay away from mineral oil as it is extracted from petroleum, and the skin doesn’t absorb it.

As a result, the oil remains on the surface of your skin and makes it a reflector to the sun leading to damage.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Coats the skin.
  • Clogs the pores.
  • Leads to pimples and acne.

7. Lead

Lead is often found in makeup products such as eyeliners and lipsticks. Not a long time ago, the presence of lead in lipsticks was considered to be an ‘urban legend’ as per FDA.

However, when the FDA tested hundreds of lipsticks, 100% of lipsticks had the lead. What’s more, this amount was not even negligible. 

When your body absorbs the lead present in the makeup products, it reaches your bones, soft tissues, and blood.

Even though it might not cause cancer, it is still dangerous to health. As per resources, exposure to lead can lead to severe health issues such as seizures, learning disabilities, and death.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Causes seizures.
  • This leads to learning disabilities.
  • It might even cause death.

8. Coal Tar Dyes

Coal tar colors or dyes are extensively used in cosmetic products. For example, P-phenylenediamine is a special coal tar color used in most hair dyes.

The dyes that offer darker hair colors contain more of this chemical than those that provide lighter colors.

Since coal tar is derived from a mixture of chemicals, it is considered harmful to human health.

Continuous exposure to coal tar can lead to cancer and other deadly diseases.

These colors are also contaminated with low levels of heavy metals such as aluminum compounds. These compounds can be highly toxic to the brain.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Leads to cancer.
  • Toxic to the brain.
  • Causes tumors. 

9. Triclosan

Triclosan is an antimicrobial ingredient often found in makeup removers and cleansers. In addition to this, you can also find it in hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps.

This chemical is used in makeup products to stop the growth of bacteria inside them and prevent them from spoiling.

However, this ingredient is known to impact reproductive hormones and thyroids seriously.

For this reason, it is even banned in many countries. When it comes to the US, it is banned in antiseptic soaps.

But, it might still show up in mouthwashes, deodorants, shaving creams, and toothpaste.

On a lower note, triclosan is linked to skin irritation, contact dermatitis, and allergic reactions, especially in children.

That’s why we will not recommend using this chemical in makeup products.

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Impact on reproductive hormones.
  • Increases the chances of the thyroid.
  • Linked to skin irritation and contact dermatitis. 


10. Octinoxate

Octinoxate is commonly found in cosmetic products and sunscreens. Its main purpose is to shield the skin from the harmful rays of the sunshine, such as UVB.

Another name for this chemical is octyl-methoxycinnamate. 

Even though there is insufficient research as to whether this chemical is harmful or not, a few studies suggest that octinoxate has a minimal effect on the health of humans. 

For example, this chemical can cause acne. In addition to this, some experts even claim that it also causes contact dermatitis in humans.

So, if you have acne-prone skin, you must look out for this ingredient in your makeup.

Reasons to avoid:

  • Causes acne

Final Words: Worst Toothpaste Ingredients

Some ingredients in beauty products might not make us look pretty. In fact, they might do the opposite of it.

Therefore, you should know about these worst makeup ingredients to steer clear of them.

To find out if your makeup uses any of the products mentioned above, all you need to do is look at the label of your makeup product and check the ingredient list. Easy, isn’t it?

Still, need to ask something else? Feel free to contact us. We will be happy to assist you in all possible ways.

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