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Ten toxic ingredients that should be avoided

27th October 2012  : 

Make-up may be an unavoidable necessity in today's world, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be selective about which products you use. There are many ingredients in cosmetics that are best to be avoided if possible.


These chemicals come in a range of forms and are predominantly used to lengthen the shelf life of dermatology products. Unfortunately, they are also known to cause rashes and allergies, and have even been found in forms of cancerous tumours.


This is a type of foaming agent found in skin care treatments that can cause irritation to the eye and dryness of the skin. It has also been known to cause cancer in animals in lab experiments.

Imidazolidinyl Urea

Again, this chemical is used as a preservative in skin care products, yet has been found to be a leading cause of dermatitis in patients. The urea also released formaldehyde, another poisonous chemical, as a side effect.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This is a cleaning agent used in shampoos, mostly because its strength as a detergent mean most dirt is removed. However, it is so strong that it can cause irritation to the skin. It may be classed as "coming from coconuts", but it is still dangerous.


This oil can block the pores, and so inhibit the body's natural ability to cleanse itself. It is predominantly used in cosmetics because it is cheap.

Propylene Glycol

Occasionally this is made from vegetable extracts and a drop of alcohol, but more often than not it is created from other chemicals. It has been found to cause eczema on people with sensitive skin.

PVP/VA Copolymer

This chemical is used mainly in hair products, although if inhaled it can damage the lungs and is actually considered toxic by most definitions.

Stearalkonium Chloride

Fabric conditioners that contain this product are usually available for a low price financially, although this is ingredient is still dangerous and contains very few natural proteins.

Synthetic Colors

A wide range of artificially-created colours can be carcinogenic, leading to complications in later life.

Synthetic Fragrances

Similarly, these non-specific ingredients cover a multitude of sins and can cause headaches, rashes and breathing problems.

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