7 Ingredients to watch out for in your beauty products

Check your beauty products for these ingredients. They might be doing more harm than good.

7 Ingredients to watch out for in your beauty products

Chances are your beauty station has at least one of these ingredients.


Even though they might not pose health risks, they could be sabotaging your efforts to have clear and healthy skin.

Sometimes these ingredients go unnoticed because they go by different names.

Here's a comprehensive list of common beauty product ingredients that you should think twice about before purchasing.


On cosmetics labels, alcohol could be called ethanol, methanol, denatured alcohol, or ethyl alcohol.

It is usually found in perfumes but some lotions, creams, and serums have alcoholic ingredients.

Depending on concentration levels, it can cause excess skin dryness and peeling. With time the skin loses its natural integrity.

Moreover, due to excessive dryness, the skin is forced to produce excess oil. This can make acne-prone skin worse along with similar skin issues.


Parabens are preservatives used in products to make them last longer.

They are linked to hormonal disturbances and allergies. Unfortunately, they are used in almost all beauty products from shampoos to toothpaste.

Reducing the number of beauty products you use may reduce your exposure.

Safer alternatives exist like extracts of grapefruit seed, rosemary, and neem, essential oils of thyme, oregano, and tea tree, phenoxyethanol, and potassium sorbate.


Cosmetic label names for formaldehyde include formalin, bronopol, and glyoxal.

This compound is common in eyelash glue, foundation, hair serums, and nail polish.

It has a stinging reaction which can cause a burning sensation in the throat, nose, and eyes. It is also known to induce wheezing, nausea, and skin irritation.

It is a powerful ingredient in corpse preservation.


Safe alternative ingredients include honey, coconut oil, castor oil, and olive oil.

Talc is common in powder-based makeup like blushes and eyeshadow. Unfortunately, talc contains a cancer-causing mineral called asbestos. Inhaling asbestos is linked to mesothelioma cancer.

Search for safer alternative ingredients like starch from maize, corn, tapioca, oats, arrowroot, or baking soda.


Phthalates are used as binding agents and preservatives in perfumes, deodorants, shampoo gels, lotions, and hair sprays.

If a product contains these compounds, it increases your risk of respiratory issues, behavioural and reproductive issues. Avoid them completely.

'Fragrance' is a nice umbrella word for ingredients that may wreak havoc on your health.

Fragrances are especially unkind to people who have allergies or high risk to develop allergies.


They could also contain some of the other ingredients mentioned like phthalates.

Whether described as natural or synthetic, they can trigger respiratory problems, allergies, and rashes. Avoid them at all costs.

Metals like mercury, zinc, and lead, are used in beauty products to give them a metallic sheen.

They are highly toxic and can lead to a wide range of health problems.


Opt for tint-based colours, natural surmas, and neutral shades in makeup.

Expert advice was obtained from:

Dr. Greeshma Nair of The Ayurvedic Company.

Dr. Niketa Sonavane, dermatologist and founder, of Ambrosia Aesthetics


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