6 Toxic Ingredients To Watch Out For In Your Cosmetics

Trusted Health Products

Are you worried about exposure to troublesome ingredients in your beauty products? Some labels can be confusing and leave you wondering what’s really hiding in your gels, creams, and hairspray.

The good news is that more research is coming out to support safer cosmetics. You can learn more about how to protect yourself from toxic ingredients, and from there, start purchasing better products. Keep this in mind while you read about a few toxins to avoid.


Water-based skincare and cosmetics could contain triclosan including shampoos, suncare, bath products, lotions, and makeup. Triclosan acts as a preservative and is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial listed as an active ingredient. Since it prevents germs growth, it's effective in reducing body odor. You may find it in body sprays, deodorants, and other personal care products.

Continued use of triclosan absorbs into your skin through the skin or mouth. The U.S. has deemed this chemical to be relatively harmless. However, the CIR Expert Panel researched whether it was an endocrine disruptor. They later determined that it was safe so long as you safely applied low concentrations.

The research for triclosan suggests that while low percentages don’t cause health risks, you should be careful about using it in excess.


Asbestos in talc cosmetics is potentially hazardous due to cross-contamination between these two minerals. This threat can lead to adverse respiratory conditions related to asbestos exposure. Talc is in fact comparably safe. In makeup, talc creates a powder-like texture, minimizes wrinkles, and absorbs oil.

If beauty products are tested positive for asbestos, any amount can lead to asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma. All of these diseases affect the lungs. Mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer, has symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, weight loss, and fluid buildup.

Talc products, in general, are FDA-approved but you should use them with caution and understanding of asbestos contamination.


This group of chemical preservatives is often in moisturizers, serums, shampoos, and toothpaste. As a natural antibacterial and mold growth chemical, parabens are found in almost all cosmetic products. On labels, you will see parabens listed as butylparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, or isobutylparaben.

Parabens last in your body tissues and fluids when they absorb into your skin. Research is still needed, but there are claims that parabens increase the risk of breast cancer. They also mimic estrogen hormones which can cause cancer. Studies discovered that ethylparaben on the skin leads to contact dermatitis. Opting for paraben-free beauty products lessens the likelihood of developing serious illnesses.


Also known as petroleum, petrolatum is an ingredient in everything from lipsticks and lip balms to face moisturizers and oils. One of the immediate disadvantages of petrolatum is that it is occlusive. This means that whenever you apply it to your skin, it seals off air and water that blocks the skin’s respiration process. Blocked pores trap in dirt and oil, which can make you more acne-prone.

Petroleum-based beauty products are classified as xenoestrogens which factor into estrogen dominance. When this happens, patients have a high ratio of estrogen and cannot balance the overproduction. Petrolatum can accumulate in the body and long-term exposure can worsen hormonal imbalances.


You’re probably aware of mercury’s health effects. Some skin creams manufactured outside the U.S. contain mercury. The FDA regulates this type of heavy metal, and many know that it can harm the brain and nervous system. Exposure can lead to difficulty walking, shaking, changes in vision, headaches, and overall numbness and tingling. High levels of mercury exposure can cause death.

Mercury is a toxic ingredient found in skin creams that promote blemish, acne, and freckle removal and skin lightening. If you are wary of this happening, you should purchase from credible brands with clear labels. You can also get tested for mercury if you are unsure.


Dying your hair and eyelashes a darker shade requires para-phenylenediamine (PPD), an ingredient in permanent colorants. Nearly every oxidative hair colorant has PPD. It is the most successful ingredient for dying hair.

Although PPD is safe to use for most people, you could develop an allergy. First-time users will initially prime their immune systems, which doesn’t cause an allergic reaction but later will make them more susceptible. An overreaction the second or third time can become problematic. As only a small percentage of the population reacts, you should use products with this ingredient carefully and not overuse them. Generally, it is safe.

Final Thoughts

Thankfully, these ingredients are not in every beauty product. However, they have appeared in many cosmetics. Preventing exposure is easier than treating a disease or health condition. We want you to be safe and well-informed. You have the right to awareness when it comes to your health and beauty is no exception.

Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body OilSubscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tipsnatural healthoral health and skincareIf you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.

Photo by Armin Rimoldi from Pexels

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