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Avoid These 6 Scary Beauty Ingredients At All Costs

You make it a priority to take good care of your body. However, what you put on your skin is just as important as what you put into your body. You may not be aware of how many scary beauty ingredients lurk in the products you buy and regularly apply to your skin. Many of these scary beauty ingredients can damage your health and the environment. Make sure you read labels to watch out for some of these scary beauty ingredients.


Toluene is a common ingredient in nail polish. Consumer pressure led to the decision by several major brands like OPI and Orly to remove toluene from their products. Toluene is a petroleum-based chemical and it’s the ingredient that gives nail polish its distinctive smell. However, it also irritates your lungs and affects your central nervous system. Choose brands that advertise that they don’t contain toluene. If they don’t specify whether they have it, they probably do.


You think that you’re doing something good by wearing sunscreen every day to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun, including the risk of developing skin cancer. However, some sunscreens contain a scary ingredient called oxybenzone. The European Union requires companies to label products containing more than 0.5% oxybenzone, but the U.S. does not. The Environmental Working Group labels oxybenzone as an endocrine disrupter, which disturbs your hormone balance and may cause many health problems, including obesity and fertility issues.


Parabens are preservatives that are used in a wide variety of cosmetics and other beauty products, including hair care and skin care. Parabens are a big concern because they are known to have estrogen-like effects on the body, which may contribute to breast cancer risk. Parabens are linked to multiple health problems, including cancer, birth defects, reproductive problems and disruption of the endocrine system.


Technically a contaminant rather than an ingredient, a 2012 FDA report confirmed that traces of lead were found in more than 400 lipstick samples. Even though the FDA isn’t concerned enough to crack down on lead in lipstick, you should still be concerned. Lead builds up in your body over time and causes memory loss, weakness and anemia. Since you basically eat your lipstick, it’s a good idea to look for natural cosmetics that don’t contain lead.


Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastic stretchier and easier to mold, such as in children’s toys. Phthalates are also used in many cosmetics, body washes, hair care products and fragranced lotions. They are linked to cancer, reproductive problems and birth defects. Children and pregnant women are at particular risk, but phthalates aren’t really safe for anyone. Even though phthalates are already banned in the European Union, they’re still widely found in U.S. products.

Coal Tar & Benzene

Coal tar and benzene are known carcinogens. Coal tar is a common ingredient in hair dye, shampoo, dandruff treatment and products to treat redness or rosacea. Benzene, which is derived from coal tar, is commonly found in hair conditioner and styling lotion. Because both of these ingredients are linked to cancer, it’s important to find non-toxic alternatives.