Carefully reading the labels on cosmetics is becoming increasingly important, because some harmful ingredients are still widely used, and only public pressure can force companies to find less dangerous alternatives. If you don’t want to expose your skin to toxins and chemicals that are already outlawed in some countries, discover which are the most dangerous ingredients in cosmetics.

Even when you don’t have an instant reaction to beauty and makeup products that may end harming your skin, repeated exposure to certain chemicals can have lasting effects on your body. Keep these controversial ingredients in mind, and choose cosmetics that are free of possibly harmful chemicals, even if you don’t have sensitive skin.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

Most commonly found in shampoos, hair conditioner along with plenty of other cosmetics, SLS and SLES are especially damaging to children, but they can also affect the skin of adults. When combined with other ingredients often found in cosmetics, they can produce carcinogens and allow more nitrates to penetrate the skin.

Dangerous Ingredients In Makeup

Isopropyl Alcohol

Found in everything from hand lotions tofragrances, isopropyl alcohol is one of the most dangerous ingredients in cosmetics when inhaled in large quantities. The side-effects of exposure to this type of alcohol often found in cosmetics include migraines, dizziness, nausea and even depression.

Antibacterial Compounds

Often a selling point for soaps, antibacterial compounds have proven themselves to have harmful effects that outweigh the benefits. The most common ones are triclosan and chlorphenesin. Two issues plague these cosmetic ingredients: they don’t just destroy harmful bacteria, but also affect natural occurring bacteria which actually protects the skin, and they don’t break down in the environment, possibly causing bacterial resistance.

PEG (Polyethylene Glycol)

While the carcinogenic effects of PEG have yet to be proved beyond any doubt, it’s one of the most dangerous ingredients in cosmetics because it dries the skin. Without its natural moisture, the skin becomes less effective in protecting your body from harmful bacteria and chemicals in the environment.

PG (Propylene Glycol)

Found in high concentrations in stick deodorants, PG is also on the list of ingredients in some brand of toothpaste and mouthwash. As the active component in antifreeze, PG should be avoided in all cosmetics, including hair products, but can be especially harmful in makeup or after-shaves.

List Of Toxic Makeup Ingredients

DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine)

Used in lots of products that produce foam, DEA, MEA, and TEA are some of the most dangerous ingredients in cosmetics because they are easily absorbed in the skin and they can elevate cancer risks. Children are even higher at risk than adults and repeated exposure to the these chemicals has been linked with cases of kidney and liver cancers.

Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin

Two of the most common formaldehyde-releasing ingredients are preservatives still used widely for cosmetics and beauty products. Aside from irritating your respiratory system, and aggravating allergies and asthma, formaldehyde can also lead to joint and chest pain, and can also harm your immune system.

FD&C Color Pigments

Coloring used both in food and cosmetics can be dangerous for the skin, since it leads to dropping oxygen levels in your body. Animal studies have shown colors made from coal tar can induce the risk of cancer and they’re one of the most dangerous ingredients in cosmetics that are still widely used in many beauty products and even in drugs.

Synthetic  Fragrances

When you’re reading labels before purchasing cosmetics, you can often overlook the fragrance. More and more cosmetic companies are offering fragrance-free products, and these limit exposure to almost 4,000 synthetic ingredients commonly found in fragrance. They’re one of the most dangerous ingredients in cosmetics and they don’t always cause skin rashes. Sometimes they can simply affect your nervous system, and lead to different changes in your mood, from depression to hyperactivity.

See also: Is Lead in Lipstick Dangerous?What Is Makeup Made Of?