20 Harmful Ingredients in Makeup

20 Harmful Ingredients in Makeup

Surprisingly, a lot of people are asking good ol’ Google if makeup causes cancer. Trust me, I was a little taken aback when I first saw this. I didn’t really want to believe it. That being said, it’s a completely valid question.

Now, I know that there’s a lot of chemicals in household cleaners and certain foods. There’s a lot of things that slip by that probably shouldn’t, so it makes sense that makeup would also have some of those maybe not-so-great things.


What should I avoid?

Don’t think for a second that I was going to leave you empty-handed with this information and NOT tell you the harmful ingredients in makeup. Here’s what I came up with:

  • BHA & BHT
  • chromium
  • cadmium and its compounds
  • crystalline silica (or quartz)
  • DEA-related ingredients
  • dibutyl phthalate
  • ethylene oxide
  • formaldehyde
  • formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol)
  • benzenecoal tar (p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI”)
  • mineral oils (untreated or mildly treated)
  • parabens
  • phenacetin
  • parfum
  • PEG compounds
  • petrolatum
  • siloxanes
  • sodium laureth sulfate
  • triclosan

These are just a FEW chemicals found in makeup. Unfortunately, there’s plenty more that still haven’t been researched extensively.


How can I avoid these chemicals?

If you don’t want to research every time you buy makeup, making your own products is actually very easy. HERE are some natural alternatives. They won’t harm your skin AND they’re cheaper.


Where are these chemicals found?

These chemicals are found in ALL types of makeup, but not in all brands. The only way that you can avoid these chemicals is to do your research to make sure that you’re not investing in any questionable products.


Why are these toxins allowed in makeup?

Makeup companies only study the brief, short-term effects of using their products. They check to see if their makeup cause rashes, allergies, among other things. Obviously, certain products may not produce a noticeable effect in the weeks or months that the companies test them. The people that create these products simply don’t have time for that. Others don’t have the resources.

Should companies be required to test the long term effects? Yes, BUT it’s almost never required.

This is why a lot of harmful chemicals are allowed to slip in. Now, I’m not saying that companies are using shady ingredients JUST because they want to make money. (Of course, there are exceptions). I’m sure that they, like us, don’t know enough to make better decisions.


Is organic really better?

Right now, with the current regulations, the only thing that you can do is be a more conscious consumer. I’m not saying that you have to give up makeup altogether. There ARE some great products out there and it’s NOT as difficult to research them as you think.

You might not think to look at it, but don’t be fooled for a second that “natural” or “organic” makeup is safer. There are lots of naturally occurring chemicals that will do you a great deal of harm. Arsenic and lead, two “organic” ingredients, were once very common in makeup. And guess what? They led to a multitude of health issues for the women and men who used them.


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