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Chemicals to avoid

Do You Know What’s in Your Makeup – The Chemicals to Avoid

When you’re purchasing a pretty lipstick or foundation do you check the ingredients? For most of us, the ingredients in our cosmetics are not a major concern. Is it time you started paying attention to the ingredients and knowing which ones to avoid? Here, we take a look inside our makeup bag. You’ll likely notice a wide range of ingredients on a cosmetics label so knowing what to look for can be confusing. However, here are some important chemicals to avoid.


Parabens may be labelled as methylparaben or propylparaben and they are normally used to stop bacteria from growing. They are used in all types of beauty products and many people have concerns over fears they may be linked to breast cancer. This is due to the fact that parabens easily penetrate the skin and can mimic oestrogen, the female hormone.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is an ingredient that has been linked to acne and premature ageing. It’s found in engine oils and is used in makeup to hydrate the skin. Its low cost makes it an easy filler ingredient.


Petrolatum is often found in lipsticks as a hydrating property. It is often contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are associated with cancer.

Synthetic fragrance

Many cosmetics boast synthetic fragrance to make them more appealing to consumers. While synthetic fragrance may be listed as parfum on a list of ingredients, there are around 3000 chemicals that can be used for fragrance purposes. Many synthetic fragrances can cause skin irritation or allergies, while some have been associated with cancer.


Formaldehyde is used to produce plastics and toilet cleaners. It is used in makeup as a preservative and may be listed as methenamine. This chemical is known to be linked to cancer. Another one to avoid.

Image: istock.com/kasto80

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