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Dangerous Chemicals in Skin Care Products

Today the market is flooded with various skin care products that claim to be the “secret for eternal beauty” and are selling like hot cakes too. But have you ever wondered whether the claims made by the companies are actually true or just a marketing gimmick? Does any one bother to tell the consumer what chemicals are there in the product and about its potential side-effects? Unfortunately the answer is no. Thus as an end-user it is your responsibility to double check the chemical composition of your cosmetics before just applying them blindly. And this is not just for make-up products, this holds true for toothpastes, fragrances, hair care products, creams, lotions and all those products that you use on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at what are the chemicals that are present in skin care products and how they may pose to be a threat to your health and well-being.


Skin Care

Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)

This product which is commonly found in soaps, disinfectants, antimicrobial soaps, dish washing soaps and hand-wash liquids pose immense threat to the nervous system. Strong advertising by companies manufacturing these products makes people believe that by using these products they are immunizing themselves to any bacterial, microbial and viral attack. They create an impression that surroundings are so unhealthy and it’s essential to use these products to stay healthy. In order to keep the environment healthy you are inadvertently creating an environment in which resistant stains of bacteria are thriving. These are potentially harmful bacteria that can give rise to serious nervous disorders like Alzheimer.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is found in all those personal care products that act as an emulsifier, surfactant or a degreaser. It is basically a foaming agent and has been known to be carcinogenic i.e. repeated use over a period of time may cause cancerous growth in the body. The main reason why SLS is a threat is because its use does not remain superficial but it gets absorbed by the body and gets deposited in the organs. Unfortunately all your personal care products have it. Be it toothpastes, soaps, detergents, cleansers, shaving creams etc., the list is endless.


This is one chemical that is proven to be carcinogenic in nature. You must have heard of “long-lasting” lipsticks that claim that the lipstick would stay on for hours at a stretch. Ever wondered what makes it stay so long? The answer is high mercury content. Yes, mercury. All the while when you are admiring the lipstick on your lips you are unconsciously licking mercury. Mercury gets absorbed by the skin and is highly toxic in nature. Apart from causing cancer, it may give rise to allergic reactions too. Do not get carried away by the brand names thinking they are environment friendly; in the cut throat world of marketing and sales the biggest brands do not shy from using chemicals that are a serious threat to mankind and the environment.

Coal tar

This chemical is commonly found in products you would use for treating dandruff and psoriasis. It’s also present in creams that are used in treating itching and eczema. Coal tar is also a known carcinogen that can be absorbed by the skin, get deposited inside the body and create havoc in the future. It is an irritant for the eyes, nose, throat and the skin and can cause various permanent allergies. Its harmful nature can be understood by the fact that all EU cosmetics are banned from using this chemical.


This is basically a preservative that is used in many skin care and hair care products. Shampoos, moisturizers, toothpastes, lubricants are some of the products where you would find it. The reason why the product has come under the scanner is because it has shown carcinogenic properties and it has been seen that it is present in patients having breast cancer tumor. Not only it is present but it also exhibits the tendency to actually cause breast cancer as it behaves in a very similar fashion as the hormone that causes breast cancer.

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