Is your Make Up And Shampoo Toxic? Read the Label

A rundown of toxic chemicals that keep making their way into our beauty products.

3 min read
Is your Make Up And Shampoo Toxic? Read the Label

Shampoo, lotion, body wash, nail polish, cleanser, toothpaste, deodorant... No this is not a monthly supplies list, but the number of beauty and personal care products that contain harmful chemicals.

Surprised? Yeah, so are we!

With over a thousand available options, it is very easy to get carried away with the shiny packaging and the mesmerising smell of these products.

But just take a moment and flip the product.

Do you see a list of complex chemical names listed under ingredients? Did you know that some of them get absorbed into your body even if you wash them away?

Now that we have your attention, let’s delve a little deeper into these serial offenders that keep making their way into our beauty products despite enough studies pointing to their carcinogenic properties.


Parabens are widely used in products to stop bacterial growth. They are normally listed as ‘butylparaben’, ‘ethylparaben’, ‘propylparaben’, ‘methylparaben’ on the product labels. Look for these on your product!

Considering their wide usage in pharmaceutical drugs, parabens must strictly be used in moderation or completely avoided, if possible.

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)


Commonly used in toothpastes and mouth washes, triclosan is added to prevent bacterial contamination and act as a preservative. But it makes the bacteria antibiotic-resistant, which means that no amount of chemicals would prevent bacterial growth in the product.

It is also widely used in detergents, hand sanitizers, facial tissues and antiseptics. Triclosans are known to cause skin and eye irritation. They are listed under the same name on the labels. Watch out!

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS is found in more than 90% of beauty and personal care products. Also listed as ‘Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)’ on the labels, it is commonly used to make the product lather and foam.

Apart from its harmful effects on the liver, kidneys and lungs, SLS may be retained in the body up till five days and cause more damage to the heart.

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)


Commonly listed as ‘Formalin’, ‘Formic Aldehyde’, ‘Methanediol’, ‘Methanal’, ‘Methylene Glycol’ on the product labels.

Formaldehyde off-gases from products and gets absorbed by the skin. Apart from its scary carcinogenic properties, it is also known to cause skin and eye allergies.

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)


Toluol or Toluene is a petrochemical which is a common paint thinner and solvent. Its presence in all nail treatment products can lead to serious respiratory ailments and lower the body’s immunity levels.

Pregnant women are often advised against any exposure to Toluene as it can have adverse effects on the fetus.

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

Even the synthetic colors and fragrance added to the products harm the human body and are commonly linked to allergies, respiratory diseases, and dermatitis.

It is important for you to research and buy products that are free of such harmful chemicals. And such products are available. Look for them now!

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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Topics:  Carcinogenic Toxins   Cosmetics   Chemicals 

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