Dangerous Chemicals Used in Cosmetics and other Personal Care Products

Ugly side of beautiful cosmetics!

Averages of 515 chemicals are unknowingly applied through personal care products/cosmetics by the people.
chemicals used in cosmetics, personal Care products

Cosmetic chemists are always looking for interesting and exotic ingredients that improve skin's appearance and health. A vast set of compounds are required to supply these products. The latest edition of the Cosmetics Toiletries and Fragrance Association (CTFA) Dictionary lists more than 10,000 raw materials.


What is cosmetic?

Cosmetics are care substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics are mixtures of chemicals, products from natural resources.



“Products that are applied to the human body for



Attractiveness without affecting the body’s structure and functions”.


Why do really people use cosmetics?

Few people would whip out a chemistry set, uncork the vials, and slap the compounds on their face through cosmetic products.

Reasons behind the cosmetic products are purchased and used by many users around the world are

  • Psychological reasons

  • Self-esteem

  • Self caring etc


What do cosmetics contain?

Most cosmetics contain a combination of at least some of the following ingredients:

  • Water
  • Emulsifier
  • Preservative
  • Thickener
  • Color
  • Fragrance and
  • PH stabilizers


What are personal care products?

A non-medicinal consumable product that is intended to be used in the topical care and grooming of the body and hair and that is rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to a body, human or animal, for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions.

Personal care products are specifically for use in such activities as cleansing, toning, moisturizing, hydrating, exfoliating, conditioning, anointing, massaging, coloring/decorating, soothing, deodorizing, perfuming, and styling.


How many chemicals are present in everyday personal care products?

Like the compounds in a chemistry set, makeup products consist of chemicals.

Averages of 515 chemicals are unknowingly applied through personal care products/cosmetics by the people.

Most of the chemicals used in cosmetics are generally used in

Household cleaners

Preservatives etc


Commonly found chemicals in personal care products/cosmetics

To produce the rainbow of shades on today's makeup racks, chemists derive dyes and pigments from a variety of compounds.


Impact in humans

Phthalates Liver and kidney lesions, early puberty
1, 4-dioxane Carcinogen
Parabens Endocrine disruptors
Ethylene Oxide Carcinogen
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Breast cancer causing agents
Lead Affects nervous system
Aluminum Affects DNA
N-Nitrosamines Affects nitrogen content of proteins
Titanium dioxide Affects DNA
Triclosan Weakens immune system, birth defects
Hydroquinone Neurotoxin
P-Phenylenediamine Affects nervous system, lungs
Mercury Affects kidneys, nervous system
Coal Tar Carcinogen



The type of base used depends on where the product is supposed to be applied.


Coal tar, chromium oxide, aluminum powder, manganese, iron oxide, and mica flakes are just a few examples of mineral ingredients used to add color to our faces.


Esters are added to make a lipstick shine and make the rather dry oil-and-wax mixture glide onto lips more smoothly.


Paraffin and carnauba palm wax are added keep lash-darkening pigments stuck to the eyelashes through water and tears.


Butylated hydroxyamisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and parabens are used as preservatives to kill microorganisms or stunt their growth in the makeup products


The Animal Ingredients List

  • Animal Fats and Oils

  • Bees Wax
  • Carotene
  • Casein
  • Estrogen
  • Glycerin
  • Lecithin


One of the best methods to avoid cosmetic chemicals effects are:

Reduction in cosmetic usage

Usage of natural or organic products as makeup products


[1] © From http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/chemicals-linked-to-breast-cancer/cosmetics/

[2] © From http://www.healthytomorrow.org/attachments/Cosmetics_FactSheet.PDF

[3] © From http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/a-guide-to-going-green-with-your-skin/


To contact the author mail: articles@worldofchemicals.com

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