13 Toxic Elements of Skin Care Products You Need to Avoid!

Updated: September 25, 2019
Toxic Elements of Skin Care Products You Need to Avoid

Clean and beautiful skin is a sign of good health, but many cosmetic products contain ingredients that are not only unsafe to the appearance of the skin but also are shown to be very harmful to our health.

Since a number of certain chemicals might be within FDA standards, the companies might include them to their products in ‘safe quantities’ as per FDA rules. Toxic elements, even in low doses after some time can cause skin issues, allergies, for example, hives, skin inflammation, and dermatitis.

Although there might be a small amount of toxic substance in one product, there are many products we use in our normal routine like body wash, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, face wash, face cream, and so on. The everyday use can cause skin issues and might risk your health causing cancer.

It has been proven that the toxic elements in your healthy skin items contain lots of synthetically produced chemicals. This can cause nervous system problems or even cancer. As you are applying these products directly on the skin, it has a direct link to your blood stream. So, be choosy while picking up beauty care products.

You might get puzzled while picking up products that, whether they are safe to use or not? But, there’s no need to worry. Our beauty editorial staff has researched out 13 toxic elements of skin care products that you really need to avoid, to get a flawless skin.

1. Coal Tartoxic elements of skin care products you need to avoid

Coal tar is a known human carcinogen, which is a byproduct of coal processing. It is highly used in hair colors, dandruff and psoriasis shampoos, which is approved by FDA.

But, an excessive use of this product can be risky. It is even used in certain skin products like soaps, face wash, and body lotion. Coal tar has been restricted in the European Union for its potential link causing cancer and insertion of poisonous aluminum compounds. Its clinical name is phenylenediamine, and it is very risky for amphibian living beings.

2. Formaldehyde

It’s cancer causing agent, which harms the brain as well. It even interferes the growth and development in kids, and cause asthma problem. These preservatives gradually discharge formaldehyde to keep the healthy skin item from ruin.

These trigger allergic reactions on the skin. If you’ve ever come in contact with any kind of allergy after using creams or cleansers, then stop using them in future. The chemical cause skin irritation and may affect your immune system in the future with links to various cancers.

3. BHA/BHTtoxic elements of skin care products you need to avoid

BHA and BHT are considered by the National Toxicology Program as an imaginable cancer-causing agent. It is used to make the skin lighter. Studies have shown that they’re bad for the environment, causing harm to fish and other wildlife. These chemicals create stomach disease and liver damage. It further leads to develop problems like thyroid and reproductive organs. It is highly restricted in Europe.

4. Sodium Borate / Boric Acid

These chemicals meddle with hormones and cause barrenness in men. Normal exposure is linked to low sperm counts. It ingests effectively through the skin and is used as a part of diaper creams. Restricted in Europe and Canada, and the cosmetic industry says that it’s unsafe to use.

5. PEG Compoundstoxic elements of skin care products you need to avoid

PEG Compounds go by many names like polyethylene glycols, Propylene glycol, or polyoxyethylene as they are oil based compounds. If you see a word with “–eth” or “–oxynol” in your product, it’s feasible one of these PEGs ingredients is available in it.

Read Also: 10 Best Cleansing Oils for Acne Prone Skin

According to the FDA, these chemicals can be infected with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. The main purpose of this compound is to, open up all the pores, and let other chemicals get into your skin.

6. Mercury

You know mercury is bad for your skin, but a few cosmetics use mercury to make the skin bright. Mercury is used as a preservative in eye shadow or eye makeup. It soaks effortlessly through your skin and with enough use can form into a very toxic element damaging your brain. Avoid products with “calomel”, “Mercurio”, “Mercurio chloride” or plain old “mercury”.

7. Hydroquinonetoxic elements of skin care products you need to avoid

This causes a skin infection called ochronosis, that includes components such as black and blue lesions. While using it on animals, studies have shown that it leads to tumor development.

8. Lead Acetate

Lead is a risky metal related to neurological and organ toxicity. It even plays a role in the growth of cancer. Lead poisoning is very risky for our skin, for all age groups. Although the FDA has approved lead in certain hair dyes, and other cosmetic products like lipsticks. So, check the ingredients before buying, and for a safety reason, keep all cosmetics away from the reach of children.

9. Oxybenzonetoxic elements of skin care products you need to avoid

Sunscreens use oxybenzone to soak UV rays. In people, this substance causes skin aggravation and allergic reactions. It acts as an endocrine disruptor and interferes with hormone activity.

10. Triclosan

This is commonly found in many antibacterial hand soaps and hand sanitizers. But, at the same time, it’s used as a part of antiperspirants, skin chemicals, and toothpaste. It’s another endocrine disruptor that damages your thyroid and reproductive hormones. Triclosan has been related to brain hemorrhages, paralysis, suppression of the immune system, and heart issues. It is generally used as a part of antibacterial chemicals, toothpaste, and family products.

11. Parabenstoxic elements of skin care products you need to avoid

You might have seen many products saying they are “paraben-free”. These chemicals take off estrogen and lead to hormone lopsidedness. One must avoid skin care products with parabens to prevent reproductive problems like slow development, infertility, and growth issue in kids.

Parabens are neurotoxins and are connected to hormone disruption, reproductive toxicity, and skin bothering. Avoid anything with “paraben” in its name, and also benzoic acid and propyl ester.

12. Phthalates

Dibutylphthalate (DBP), diethylphthalate (DEP), and dimethylphthalate (DMP) belong to a class of chemicals known as phthalates: It is a common ingredient found in fragrances, Hairspray, nail cleaner, and cleanser. As per the FDA, phthalate exposure from cosmetics is safe for people but may cause health risks, including risks to an unborn child. These risky chemicals have been applied to an increased risk of breast cancer.

13. Retinol, or Retinyl Palmitate/Acetatetoxic elements of skin care products you need to avoid

These Vitamin A compounds are not safe for skin use. Sunlight breaks them down and creates free radicals that raise the risk of skin cancers. Stay away from all kinds of skin care products with any of these vitamin A chemicals.


It is important to give careful consideration to the ingredients in your skin care products by carefully reading the labels and understanding what are the ingredients to stay away from.

Another way to care for your skin from some toxic chemicals in cosmetics is to use natural healthy skin products with all-natural ingredients that won’t stun or hurt your skin and body. Go for the organic products with ingredients, like Coconut, Aloe Vera, and Cinnamon.

Follow the article, and strictly avoid skin care products with above mentioned toxic elements.

Are we missing any of the toxic elements that you think important to mention? Or, do you want to share your beauty journey with us? Then, do write to us in the below-given comments section.

Alinn Smith DLT Beauty AuthorAuthor Bio: Alinn Smith is an introvert, internet trailblazer, blog aficionado, creator, avid thinker and hardcore yogini. Currently, she is studying dermatology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and writing about Numbing Cream. She loves to write upon skincare.

How We Pick The Product

We recommend products by researching Amazon best-selling items, user’s reviews, YouTube reviews, talk show interviews, higher rated products, most reviewed items, celebrity gossip, daily publications, and magazine interviews with celebrity, dermatologist or doctor.

We research the product’s literature from the trusted sources. We frequently refer many leading publications – Elle, Allure, Cosmopolitan, She Knows, Good Housekeeping, Reader’s Digest, Best Reviews, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Vouge, Buzzfeed, etc.

We also often analysis the product’s information from the reliable sources (who make the deep testing) like Cook’s Illustrated, America’s Test Kitchen, Consumer Reports, Consumer Testing Laboratories, etc.

It’s better to note that every product does not work for everyone. The result may be varied for different skin tones, types, and conditions. So, often your dermatologist may give you the better recommendations which product you should use for your skin.


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