Beauty products’ ingredient list is now as beautiful as it makes you look. According to research, approximately 1 over 8 ingredients found in beauty products are known to be originated from chemical sources- carcinogens, hormone disruptors, reproductive toxins, and so on. Products used in cleaning products and degreasers are used in beauty products – ask yourself what it does to your skin.

Let’s break down the ingredients list and their importance…


Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are synthetic antioxidants employed as preservatives in lipsticks, moisturizers, and other cosmetics. They’re also commonly utilized as preservatives in food.

Health And Environmental Hazards

BHA and BHT are known to cause allergies; on top of this, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies them as a human carcinogen, and many other studies have reported that BHA interferes with the normal functioning of hormones.

Animal tests have reported long-term exposure to high doses of BHT can cause liver, thyroid, and kidney problems and even more severe problems. In a situation of a tumour, BHT can act as a promoter.

Other studies have suggested that BHT can mimic estrogen (female sex hormone); thus, in men, they avert men’s sex hormone, having aftermath on reproduction.

Struggle, Acne, Self Love, Skin, Face

Regulatory Status 

There are a lot of countries that do not allow the use of BHA and BHT in cosmetics. Some ask for labels and others allow the use.


Petrolatum commonly known as petroleum jelly is a mineral oil jelly. It is primarily used as a barrier to lock in moisture- it is present in numerous products namely moisturizers and hair care products.

Health And Environmental Hazards

Petrolatum can be easily contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and according to studies, exposure to PAH can lead to cancer. European Union (EU) has already classified petrolatum as being a carcinogen.

Regulatory Status 

In the EU, it is legal to use petrolatum in beauty products only if the refining history is known.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Commonly known as SLES, sodium Laureth sulfate, is the ingredient found in beauty products and allows them to foam and bubble- for example, it is commonly present in facial cleansers and shampoos. 

Health And Environmental Hazards 

Through the manufacturing process, SLES can be contaminated with ethylene oxide or dioxane, both known as carcinogens. It is very toxic but also takes longer to degrade in the atmosphere. It is quite impossible to detect in products, they should be writing it off the ingredient list. If else, you won’t know. 

It has been noticed that SLES can be irritable for the eyes and skin.

Regulatory Status 

Various countries prohibit ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, but there is no control when it comes to these products acting as contaminants. These ingredients do not meet the criteria to be labelled as ‘toxic’ even though they are. On top of this, its exposure level to humans is minimal, so, it is not considered compulsory to be toxic. 

Several countries have listed it as being a ‘moderate health priority’. 

Clay Mask, Woman, Skincare, Face, Mask


This ingredient is mainly used in hand sanitizers, cleansers, or deodorants. It has many other uses, including medical applications. But they are not only meant for cosmetic products; they are also used in detergent, antiseptics and preservatives. 

Health And Environmental Hazards 

Triclosan iscan act as a hormone interruptor. On top of this, it is known for not degrading; it can be washed down the drain but won’t degrade, it is also very toxic for aquatic animals. 

Regulatory Status 

There is a limit on the percentage of Triclosan that can be used in products. For example, only 0,3 % can be used in cosmetics. 

You should always keep an eye on the ingredient list of some of your favourite products; they may be the culprit for your irritation but may also cause deeper concerns such as cancer. Let us know in the comments if you are used to reading the ingredient list…


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