Harmful Ingredients in Skincare Products

by - 6:00 PM

Harmful Ingredients in Skincare Products

Skincare is an essential part of my daily routine. Even though I love makeup, I admit that I invest more in my skincare products as they treat my skin overnight, giving me a smooth and flawless skin in the long run rather than the temporary benefits that makeup provides.

However, harmful ingredients are added in these products for some purposes which we consumers have to be informed so that we could prevent further damage to our skin. And for this post, I'd like to share some ingredients that I tend to search before committing and buying a certain product.

Note: I'd like to add that most of the time, I buy beauty products online to give me time to research reviews or ingredients of a potential product I want to buy. Or simply make sure you have internet connection while you are window shopping at the mall to be able to look up online about the product you want to buy.


I recently bought an eye cream that amazed me of how affordable it was in the store. I was nervous at first, thinking it is too cheap for this brand. When I got home, I immediately tested the product out then did my research on it only to find out that it contained a harmful ingredient to prolong its shelf life and that is parabens.

Commonly found in: food and pharmaceutical products.

Parabens are commonly used as preservatives to prevent bacteria growth, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. Dermatologists and chemists explains that they are inexpensive, effective and 85% of cosmetics have them. Paraben mimicks estrogen properties which links to increase in the risk of breast cancer and reproductive issues. Hence, experts recommend to limit paraben levels in cosmetic products. However, there are some critics who concluded that there's no scientific evidence to support any link with any form of cancer and considered safe at low levels (US FDA). 

If possible, opt for paraben-free products or brands such as Aveda, Burt's Bees, Origins, etc.

Source: Real Simple and Huffington Post


Commonly found in: perfume, cologne, conditioner, shampoo, body wash and moisturizers.

It sometimes bothers me that a certain beauty product has an odd smell. I would often tell myself, "Oh they should have added something to hide this plastic smell." However, we consumers don't know that "fragrance" is a term that a company uses to hide their "secret formula". Fragrance, as defined by the FDA, is a combination of chemicals that give each perfume/cologne/other products its distinct scent. It may be derived from petroleum or natural raw materials.  The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) lists more than 3000 materials used in fragrance compounds and some have evidence linking them to health effect including cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, and sensitivities. Vulnerable populations specially include pregnant women and infants. For more info of these materials in fragrance, read here

Source: Huffington Post and Safe Cosmetics


Commonly found in: moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, shampoo, conditioners and hair sprays.

Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin-conditioning agent or texture enhancer. When added in cosmetics and beauty products, it is able to keep products from melting in high heat or freezing, help the skin retain its moisture and active ingredients to penetrate the skin. It is also classified as a skin irritant and has been associated with causing dermatitis as well as hives in humans. While some reports say that prolonged exposure to the ingredient is normally considered non-irritating, there are people who are sensitive to it. Hence, its inclusion within a cosmetic formulation shouldn't necessarily be a cause of concern unless you are sensitive to the said ingredient.

Source: Huffington Post and Paula's Choice

There are still so many chemicals out there that is added to our favorite beauty product but it is scary to know that this could possibly harm our skin and overall health. After reading some, there are products that are known to be harmful. But in small amounts, its not as dangerous as we think. Hence, with a little bit of research we could be one step away from potential risk.

I do hope you found this post helpful and persuade you to peek the ingredients of an over-the-counter beauty product before purchasing it 😊.


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