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6 Carcinogens That Are Found in Cosmetics

Amelia Grant

July 30, 2019


1. Parabens

Parabens, which are often found in shampoos, moisturizers and shaving products, are intended to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold in the product. Sure, this function is extremely important.

Many manufacturers try to produce products without parabens because scientists still don’t know how they affect the body with regular exposure at low levels. But there is no guarantee that such formulas are better for health. Methylchloroisothiazolinone is often used as an alternative to parabens. This is an allergen that can cause irritation and a rash all over the body.

2. Phthalates

Earlier, phthalates could be found in almost all types of cosmetics, but today they can be found only in perfumes. Changes in the market occurred after studies have found the negative effects of phthalates on human reproductive function. It is also known that at least one phthalate can cause cancer, including skin cancer

3. Formaldehyde

Yes, it is true that gel polishes and ordinary nail polishes may contain potentially dangerous formaldehyde. And, by the way, it’s sometimes contained in products for long-term hair styling.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies formaldehyde as a carcinogenic substance. But the truth is that the health of salon clients is not threatened in any way. And many studies have shown this. But the same can’t be said about the health of masters who spend hours every day in clouds of toxic compounds.

A hood or working in a respirator may improve the situation. It’d be best to buy products for hair styling that don’t contain formaldehyde. But everyone should note that if the product doesn’t contain formaldehyde, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain other dangerous substances.

4. Lead

Lead is sometimes contained in lipsticks and eyeliners but in safe amounts. But you should be more careful with traditional eyeliners, such as Kohl and Surma, which, according to the FDA, "contains more heavy metals than is permissible". Lead is a neurotoxin, which in extreme cases can lead to brain damage. But that’s only if you will eat your liner for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

5. Sulfates

Sulfates, hard detergent components that are often found in shampoos, have a bad reputation among consumers. But experts say that the only group of people who really need sulfate-free shampoos are the owners of very sensitive scalps and colored hair. In the first case, sulfates can cause itching and irritation, and in the second case, they will provoke the leaching of color by raising the hair cuticle. But if you have thin hair and you have long dreamed of volume, sulfate shampoo will be the best choice for you.

6. Triclosan

Triclosan is another cosmetic component created to prevent the growth of bacteria in shower gels and mousses, antibacterial soap, and some kinds of toothpaste. Science is still exploring triclosan, but data from a number of studies suggest that it can affect the thyroid hormone, which regulates metabolic processes in the body. In addition, it has been suggested that triclosan is capable to make some bacteria more resistant to antibiotics. But all these conclusions, of course, require evidence.


Healthcare & Nutrition