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For grooming the modern industry offers a variety of cosmetic products. Nice color and smell, compact and beautiful packaging, the promise almost instant results attract a buyer. However, not all manufacturers comply with the technology conscientiously and take care to ensure that the products were truly useful. Often components are replaced by cheaper and more hazardous to health. It is important to know what harmful substances may be contained in the skin means to consciously consider their choices.


  • What is present in the composition of cosmetic products
  • Harmful cosmetics ingredients
    • A list of hazardous substances
    • Table of substances and their harmful effects
    • What dangerous ingredients are in cosmetics specific
    • Hazardous ingredients in baby cosmetics
  • What the harmful effects cosmetics can have on the body
  • Factors that increase harmful effects
  • How to choose the most safe cosmetics
  • Best cosmetics (according to consumers)

What is present in the composition of cosmetic products

The specific composition, of course, depends on the purpose of the cosmetic. The most common components that give them the necessary properties are:

  • Surface-active substances (surfactants). They need to create a lather in shampoos and shower gels, and additives in the bath.
  • Preservatives. Protect media from prokisaniya and development of moulds and fungi.
  • Perfumes (fragrances). Give a pleasant and persistent odor.
  • Dyes. Are added to give different shades.
  • Mineral products derived from oil are used to create desired consistency.
  • Fillers of natural or synthetic origin. Improve consistency, increase water absorption, in the scrub help to remove dead skin particles.
  • Moisturizer. Added to creams, lipsticks.
  • Not all of these components are useful to humans, but without most of them cosmetic not made.

    Harmful cosmetics ingredients

    Under the most popular means of cosmetic means for care of hair, skin, teeth, and also decorative cosmetics (hairsprays and nail Polish, lipsticks, powder, eye shadow, hair dye). Their composition can be present as components of natural origin, and “chemistry”.

    Even some natural ingredients dangerous for human if it has, for example, allergic to them. Chemical compounds moreover should not exceed the permissible limits. And the presence of certain components in such funds generally may cause irreparable damage to health.

    A list of hazardous substances

    The list of the most harmful substances, included in cosmetics, are:

    • formaldehyde and phenol-formaldehyde resin;
    • halogenated organic compounds containing iodine, bromine and chlorine;
    • parabens;
    • mineral oil;
    • benzene;
    • toluene;
    • ethyl alcohol;
    • phthalates;
    • aluminium;
    • paraffin;
    • polymethyl methacrylate;
    • talc.

    Tip: when Choosing cosmetics, it is better to focus on those that contain these components in the smallest quantities or did not have them in the squad.

    Table of substances and their harmful effects

    Compound name

    The English name and the markings on the packaging

    The purpose of the components and their harmful properties

    Formaldehyde. Other names that may appear on the packaging: formalin (aqueous solution), diazolidinylurea, methenamine, Katerini-15. Also used formaldehyde resin


    A preservative, an antimicrobial additive. Proven carcinogenic effect on the skin when the concentration in shampoos and funds from sweat higher than 0.2%, in toothpastes is above 0.1%. Severe poisoning leads to death as a result of damage to the nervous system, kidneys, respiratory system.

    Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium Laureth sulfate, dodecylbenzene sulfonate sodium, polyethylene glycol, polypropyleneglycol

    Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Polyetylenglycol (PEG), Polypropylenglycol (PPG).

    Synthetic emulsifiers (surfactants). Can degrease and irritate the skin, destroy the beneficial microflora and reduce the local immunity.

    Parabens: metagen, propain, methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, butyl – parabens, oxybenzone

    E 214 – E 219

    Preservatives protect cosmetics against mold and fungus. There is a debate over their Carcinogenicity. It is expected that butyl – and propyl – derivatives affect the condition of a hormonal background, can provoke the development of hereditary diseases.

    Halogenated organic compounds (PEG-derivatives)

    Artificial flavors. Their accumulation and breakdown in the body leads to liver damage.



    Chemical element of salt which, as components of dyes present in any cosmetics. Aluminium enters into the composition of some parabens. Able to poison the brain to trigger development of Alzheimer’s disease.


    Very hygroscopic mineral. Used in powders, including in children’s. Absorbs sweat and prevents chafing of the skin. Harmful action may have in a powdery state, getting into the respiratory system. Liquid talc is harmless. In talc may be carcinogenic impurities of asbestos.



    The product of processing fat. Used as a moisturizer in various creams. However, at low humidity begins to absorb moisture contained in the skin resulting in its dryness and need to use more moisturizer. As a result, the skin condition is worsening.

    Phthalates (derived benzylcarbamoyl acid)


    This so-called perfumes (fragrances) – the clips of the odors used in nail polishes, toilet products, deodorants, shampoos. The ingress of such substances into the body leads to the development in women’s hormonal disorders, polycystic ovaries, tumors of the breast. In cosmetics are used in minuscule quantities.


    The Abbreviation EtOH

    Is added as a solvent and disinfectant. The systematic use of cosmetics with this ingredient, it makes degreasing and dryness of the skin, hair damage and hair loss.



    It is used as a solvent in nail Polish, and in hair dyes. Its typical properties are allergenicity, Carcinogenicity, damaging to immune cells.



    Usually used as a solvent in the production of cheap cosmetics. A dangerous allergen and extremely toxic substance.

    Mineral oils: paraffin, vaseline, ceresin, petrolatum (petrolatum), microcrystalline wax

    Paraffin, Vazeline, Zeresine, Petrolatum, Microcrystalline wax

    Used as moisturisers, as form a film on the skin’s surface, preventing the removal of moisture. However, accumulation of sweat, dead skin particles, infection, accelerated aging of the skin. Similar products produced from petroleum.

    Ammonia (used in the form of ammonia)


    Very volatile substance, irritating and traumatic mucous membranes of eyes and respiratory system. It is added for alkalizing cosmetic formulations. Ammonia is used in tools for lightening and perming hair. It is an allergen. Due to the presence of negative properties it less used in cosmetics. Manufacturers try to emphasize that the tool does not contain this component.



    Component that improves blood circulation in the skin, and disinfecting them. Has a lightening effect (removes freckles and age spots). Added to cosmetics for oily skin. Product found in nature and is produced artificially. Long-term use can manifest itself as a carcinogen.

    Note: the package does not always specify the components, the content of which is less than 1%. Not to give the exact formulation, some names (e.g., dyes) mask, using the set of letters and numbers. Sometimes in front of a + / – sign. This means that it is possible to use several shades (+/- С114270, С120470).

    The ingredients listed on the package are listed in the descending order of their content in the cosmetic product.

    What dangerous ingredients are in cosmetics specific

    Each of the types of beauty products has its own lists of undesirable components:

  • In the composition of cosmetics usually are benzene, phthalates, talc, formaldehyde, parabens, and stabilizers, fillers and solvents (benzyl benzoate, triclosan and others).
  • In caring the skin used mineral oil, petrolatum, phthalates, components for protection against UV rays higher SPF 15 (hydroquinone), emulsifiers, urea derivatives, propylene glycol, acetate of aluminium.
  • In Soaps, gels, means of hygiene of an oral cavity are the most harmful emulsifiers (sodium lauryl, sodium Laureth sulfate), as well as ethanol, propylene glycol, sodium fluoride, triclosan.
  • Consisting of hair dyes, masks, foams can meet toxic substitute for protein stearalkonium chloride, and synthetic dyes (indicated on the packaging of D&C, FD&C), synthetic esters (fragrance), Allergy, cough, headache.
  • Hazardous ingredients in baby cosmetics

    The use of children’s cosmetics is essential for the treatment of diaper rash, protection from inflammation and exposure to sunlight, cleansing of mucous membranes, nourish the skin, relieve the pain of teething and care of the oral cavity.

    Buying children’s funds, you must pay special attention to labeling and price of the product. Cheap funds do not usually indicate the presence of substances with controversial properties.

    The most commonly in baby creams, shampoos, powders are talc, boric acid (disinfectant, which hit in the mouth and internal organs can lead to heavy poisoning). In the mass of the sun is used oxybenzone (Oxebenzone), often causing skin irritation. Though in smaller doses, but use preservatives and antiseptics.

    Video: the dangerous cosmetics

    What the harmful effects cosmetics can have on the body

    Effects on the body similar ingredients varied. Special care must comply with pregnant and lactating women because the chemical activity affects the development of fetus and health of the newborn.

    Allergic reactions. Many of the components are allergens. People do not pay attention to the cosmetic composition, after use, often a rash, experience itching, swelling, peeling of the skin. Particularly dangerous manifestations of Allergy are coughing and choking.

    Carcinogenic effect. Synthetic components of some cosmetics can trigger the development of cancerous tumors in various organs.

    Gene mutations. Some chemicals can cause mutation of human genes. Chromosomal abnormalities affect immediately, but will appear in the next generation of the defects of mental and physical development.

    Phototoxicity. The so-called ability to enhance the toxic effects of ultraviolet radiation, obtained by tanning under the sun or in the Solarium. After applying certain creams to the skin increases its sensitivity to UV light. This leads to destruction of cells, thinning and drying of the skin, reducing its protective function.

    Reduction of local immunity. This factor contributes to the emergence of infectious diseases (a fungus of skin and nails, herpes, papillomatosis).

    Poisoning. Getting on the skin and in various organs, harmful components can cause intoxication of the organism.

    Hormonal disturbances. Acting on the organs of the endocrine system, some of them provoke a breach of the production of certain hormones, including sex. May suffer reproductive health.

    Factors that increase harmful effects

    The danger of using cosmetic products is increased if it is bought “from hands”, the casual seller.

    Harmful substances in cosmetics stronger show its effect if it is used not according to instructions, for example, a cream smeared face, give the child the toothpaste is intended for adults. It is not recommended to use care products (shampoos, gels, creams) are not appropriate for the type of skin. To properly store them. For example, photosensitive drugs quickly deteriorate if they are stored in a lit area.

    Often it is impossible to degrease the skin with products containing alcohol, and continue to use the same moisturizers.

    Special attention should be paid to the use of intimate cosmetics. Allergic reaction or irritation corrosive substances leads to inflammation of the mucous membranes, infection of genitals and internal reproductive organs.

    The use of cosmetic clay in the form of masks used for skin with large pores often causes obstruction and inflammation.

    Video: What makeup to choose

    How to choose the most safe cosmetics

    When buying from a tan should not get involved sprays. Spraying of harmful ingredients makes it easier to keep them out of the respiratory system, causing severe reactions as a result of distribution throughout the body with blood.

    Manufacturers of products that is credible, clearly observe the rate of content of specific substances in their vehicles and are making detailed instructions with a list of possible side effects. Often it is emphasized, that means there are no harmful components. For example, the label on the nail Polish is “5-free” means that it is missing 5 very toxic substances: toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate (used to increase the strength of the varnish may exhibit carcinogenic properties), and camphor.

    In good cosmetic product that is claimed as the basis of specified first in the list (for example, jojoba oil, Royal jelly).

    As a rule, composed of high-quality cosmetics are vitamins a, E, C, whose content is also indicated. There is a marked “hypoallergenic” cosmetics for children it is better to choose with such a marking.

    You need to choose the creams and other cosmetics that was released recently. If product for more than 2 years, it is toxic, as preserved thanks to the huge levels of preservatives.

    Cosmetic products you need to buy only in specialty stores or large shopping centers, where their quality will be checked, to observe the rules of storage and sale. On products, the logo about certification.

    Of course, high quality cosmetics is worth more than a fake or expired product. However, the main thing – it’s all the same composition, as often the price is overstated due to the original packaging.

    It is preferable to use cosmetic products of famous companies involved in its production. Useful before buying, read the customer reviews.

    Best cosmetics (according to consumers)

    Well-known cosmetic companies manufacturing high quality products, are the “l’oreal”, “Maybelline”, “Garnier”, “Lancome” (France), “Mike” and “Tony Moly” (Korea), “Nivea”, “Balea” (Germany), “Akure” (USA), as well as firms producing cosmetics containing mud from the Dead sea (Israel).

    For children quality cosmetics producing company “HIPP”, “Uriage”, “Our mother”, “childhood World”, “Sanosan”.

    Olga Piskunova

    About the author.