10 Harmful Ingredients in Your Everyday Beauty Products

Personal care products are a major part of our everyday lives in such a way that we cannot help ourselves using these products. We use different types of skin and hair care products to keep ourselves looking and feeling great! But not all of these products are really actually good for us at all. Overuse of a low-quality product can be harmful to human hair and skin.

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Moreover, not all products are meant for everyone. Some products may perform well on your friend’s skin but won’t do any good for you. It makes sense, as we have different skin and hair types. So, it is mandatory to know the harmful toxins or the ingredients in beauty products before buying one for you.

Harmful Ingredients in Beauty Products

Harmful Ingredients in Beauty Products

Here are the top 5 toxic chemicals that are used in our regular beauty products:

Mercury in Skin Creams

You know that saying “mad as a Hatter?” Well, guess what made all of those hatters so mad? Yup, mercury. Yet for generations, it was one of the main ingredients in many skin creams!

While most US-based products removed mercury generations ago, an FDA investigation in 2016 revealed that skin creams imported from Latin, Asian, and Middle Eastern markets still contain toxic levels of mercury and other heavy metals. Using these products means major risk of mercury poisoning, which can cause things like tremors, memory problems, changes in hearing and visions, and yes, even “madness.”

Bacteria in Mascara

Okay, so this one isn’t really an ingredient that’s packaged with your mascara, but it quickly becomes an issue if you don’t regularly swap it out with a new tube. One study found that nearly 80% of all mascara tubes found in women’s purses were contaminated with staph and other bacteria.

Along with bacteria, fungi were also found. When you keep your mascaras in your bag or purse, heat will degrade the preservatives and make the bacteria multiply faster. So, if you use mascara a lot, try to store it in a cool place, never use one tube for longer than 2-3 months.

Parabens in Lotions, Makeup, and Hair Products

Parabens are used in beauty and hair care products to prevent the growth of the bacteria, mold, and yeast and prolong the shelf life of hair. In beauty products, it may sound great to you but in reality, parabens do worse than we think.

First of all, parabens have estrogen-mimicking properties which are one of the causes of breast cancer. This chemical can leech into our bodies through our skin and scalp.  Besides, parabens also affect hormonal balance and cause skin irritation. Overuse of hair products that contain parabens, can result in hair loss as well. However, we strongly recommend buying your hair care product or any beauty product which is parabens-free.  

Lead in Lipstick

Lead is a dangerous ingredient for the human body. There is no safe level of lead and it should be at 0 in percentage level in order for a product to be safe. Here’s the thing, though, the FDA only limits the amount of allowable lead in lipstick; they don’t outright ban it. So you’ll need to pay close attention to labels to make sure you’re buying one that has absolutely NO lead at all.

Phthalates in Fragrances and Nail Polish

Phthalates are extremely common ingredients that can be found in most of nail polish and fragrances. This chemical helps products absorb into the skin and causes thyroid disruption, infertility and reduces the sperm count for men. However, Phthalates are found in fragrances and nail polish. Beware of using too many of these products.

Harmful Ingredients in Hair Products

Harmful Ingredients in Hair Products

Here are the top 5 harmful toxic ingredients that are used in our regular hair products:


Sulfates are the number one prohibited ingredient from hair experts and dermatologists. These ingredients are mostly used in shampoos as they are very good at making foams and cleaning like detergent. You may think that the shampoo which produces nice foam and lather in your hair is generally good at cleaning. 

But ladies, remember from today that sulfates cause separation of skin layers, damage the immune system, make rashes on the scalp and intensify the skin by making it dry and irritated.

At a minimum, sulfates can strip the essential oils from your hair, break down protein, and interrupted healthy hair growth.  The worst form of sulfates is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate. So, never forget to check whether the sulfate is in the ingredient list or not on the label of the shampoo.

Formaldehyde in Hair Straighteners

Formaldehydes are found in hair straightening products like keratin-based hair straightenersBrazilian Blowout, etc. Many companies and labels on the products claim of being “formaldehyde-free” though, after a thorough test, formaldehyde was found in many hairs straightening products. Formaldehyde is unhealthy for humans and may create asthma, neurotoxicity, etc.

If you apply a keratin-based hair straightener a few times a year, that would be okay. But more than that can be harmful to you.

Cocamide DEA in Shampoos

Cocamide DEA is used mostly in thickening shampoos and conditioners. It is often found in shampoos and people think of it as a good ingredient as it is derived from coconut oil. But actually, it is a modified version of the natural form of coconut oil which is actually an unnatural toxic. However, this ingredient had been added on the list of chemicals known to be linked to cancer in 2012, by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). So, beware of using any product that uses Cocamide DEA.

Silicones in Shampoos and Conditioners

Silicone is not a major enemy to our hair but it has no long-term benefits either. It actually functions like petroleum. It can coat your hair and make it waterproof which can keep the locks from soaking up humidity. The coating also makes the hair shiny, polished and easier to comb. But after time goes, it becomes sticky and weighed down the hair strand, which completely will destroy your hairstyle and your mood. At some point, your hair can get limp and dull.

Isopropyl Alcohol in Anti-freezing Conditioners

Isopropyl Alcohol is mostly found in some conditioners today, which is used to make reduce frizziness of the hair. But the conditioners with this ingredient in them are very harmful as they can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause damage. However, all alcohol should be avoided especially when it is in your conditioner or any hair products. So, never forget to check the ingredients listed on any beauty products label and avoid alcoholic products by any means.


Do not forget that your body is like your temple. Do not use such chemicals that can be harmful to the temple and you get sick. Or it can be your beloved skin and hair will get damaged.

Skin and scalps absorb bad chemicals. After days of using bad chemicals on it, it will become spoiled that will be irreparable in most of the cases. So, beware of the ingredients we have discussed above, avoid the products that include harsh chemicals never forget to check the ingredients list on the product’s label before buying.