Majority of the population today uses makeup or skin care products to enhance their personal beauty. It is mainly applied to the face, but how many persons really know what exactly they are putting on their faces? Your True Shade’s core value is to enhance beauty without compromising health. As a result, we incorporate as much natural and healthy ingredients as possible.

Many conventional makeup utilize various synthetic chemicals and substances in order to produce the perfect product for that sought after “perfect appearance”. However, these chemicals may be doing more harm to your skin than good. There are thousands of chemicals in conventional cosmetics, many of which are being absorbed into your body. What is more frightening is that a number of these chemicals have the potential to create long lasting effects on the health of your skin. Many of these synthetic chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disruptors and carcinogens.

Common Harmful Substances

Throughout the cosmetic industry, many manufactures utilize various combination of numerous ingredients in order to get the “perfect blend”. Even though there is such a wide variety of ingredients, there are still some common that are necessary for some products. The purpose of these ingredients are normally the same and so are the side effects and dangers.

Santoro (2017) wrote an article that encompasses a few common products, their uses, the dangers they pose and the type of products in which these substances are normally seen. They are follows:


Purpose Concerns

Found In

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) antioxidant, preservative, stabilizer, fragrance ingredient skin irritation, hormone disruption lipstick, eye shadow, some petroleum products
Diethanolamine (DEA) pH adjuster, foaming agent skin irritation, possible organ system toxicity, contamination concerns variety of face makeup and hair products
Phthalates dibutyl phthalate (DBP), dimethyl phthalate (DMP), and diethyl phthalate (DEP) plasticizer, solvent, fragrance ingredient male reproductive system damage nail polish, hair sprays, perfumes, lotions, soaps, shampoos
Formaldehyde (formaldehyde releasers: bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15) preservative carcinogenic impurity, skin irritations, high rates of skin allergy reactions, rashes nail products, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap, color cosmetics
Fragrance (perfume, parfum, essential oil blend, and aroma) chemical combination to create scents skin irritation, allergic reactions, cancer or reproductive toxicity with long-term exposure most personal skincare products
PEGs (polyethylene glycol or ceteareth) conditioning and cleaning agents contamination concerns variety of skin-care and makeup products
Parabens (specifically propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, and isobutyl- parabens) preservative hormone-disrupters makeup, moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, facial and shower cleansers, shaving products, and scrubs
Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate cleansing and emulsifying agent skin irritation, possible impurity contamination toothpaste, shampoo, and hand soap
Triclosan antimicrobial agent disrupt thyroid and reproductive hormones, bacterial resistance development oral products, shaving products, creams, and color cosmetics
Siloxane (ingredients ending in -siloxane or -methicone) softening, smoothing, moisturizing hormone disrupter hair products, deodorants

More Harm than Good

There are some special chemicals that are used that should especially be carefully with. The products are normally extremely dangerous and may result in serious health problems such as development of allergies, cancer or severe skin disease sometimes these chemicals may even cause a fatality. Unlike certain foods and drugs, personal care products aren’t required to announce the harmful byproducts and carcinogens they may contain. Therefore, the laws governing cosmetics and personal care products are so limited that known cancer-causing chemicals, or carcinogens, are legally allowed in personal care products.

In an article published by Safe Cosmetics they stated that of the 113 agents listed by IARC as known human carcinogens, at least 11 have been or are currently used in personal care products. The list of these cancer-causing chemicals or carcinogens is as follows: Formaldehyde, Phenacetin, Coal Tar, Benzene, Mineral oils (untreated and mildly treated), Ethylene oxide, Heavy Metals, Cadmium and its compounds, Arsenic, Chromium and Silica.

Avoiding and Protecting Yourself

As you may have realized by now, not everything that glitters is gold, and therefore we advise you to be mindful of the products you use and what they may entail. Below is a list of ways through which u can protect yourself against or reduce the effects of these harmful substances.

READ your labels

  • Learn which cosmetics companies avoid or are phasing out harmful chemicals
  • Avoid wearing perfume and using other products with fragrance
  • Avoid products whose content labels list placenta, placental extract, estrogen, or other hormones
  • Look for personal care products marked “fragrance-free” instead of “unscented”
  • Avoid personal care products that list parabens as ingredients

Safe Cosmetics. (2018). Carcinogens in Cosmetics – Safe Cosmetics. Available at:

Santoro, E. (2017). Carcinogenic Ingredients in Your Personal Care Products?. Healthline. Available at:

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