Some cosmetic ingredients in your bathroom do not necessarily want you to be good. Irritant, toxic, allergenic, carcinogenic, polluting, which substances should be avoided?
Where can we find them? In moisturizers, soaps, make-up removers and shampoos.
How to find it on the label? Under the name of diethanolamine.
Why it is dangerous for you? Diethanolamine is used to make creamy or sparkling cosmetics and adjust pH, neutralizing the acidity of other ingredients. But laboratory experiments on rodents have shown that this chemical compound can have harmful effects on the skin. And regular use even led to liver cancers in mice.
Where can we find them? In anti-bacterial gels, some toothpastes and deodorants.
How to find it on the label? Triclosan.
Why it is dangerous for you? Used as an antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiscalant and preservative, triclosan is suspected to be an endocrine disruptor, as are parabens, phthalates or bisphenol A. It is also suspected of increasing the resistance of some individuals.
Where can we find them? In some shampoos and hair gels.
How to find it on the label? Under the names DMDM hydantoin, methenamine, diazolidinylurea or sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.
Why is it dangerous for you? Formaldehyde is used to embalm the dead and it is also present in several beauty products as antibacterial. In addition to being flammable, it is known to be carcinogenic. In June 2004, the International Agency for Research on Cancer changed the classification of formaldehyde from ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ to ‘proven human carcinogen’, which explains why it presents under another name on the labels. Countries like Sweden and Japan have simply banned it.
4. The petrolatum
Where can we find them? In skincare products, moisturizing lip sticks and several cosmetics.
How to find it on the label? Under the names of Vaseline, petrolatum.
Why is it dangerous for you? Notably used to soothe and moisturize chapped lips, petrolatum is classified as a carcinogen. In Europe, petrolatum can be used in cosmetics only “if the complete history of refining is known and it can be established that the substance from which it is produced is not carcinogenic”. But studies have revealed that it can cause skin irritation and allergies.
5. BHA and BHT
Where can we find them? In lipsticks, lotions or moisturizers.
How to find it on the label? Under the names of butylated hydroxyanisole or butylated hydroxytoluene.
Why is it dangerous for you? Used as preservatives in lipsticks, BHA and BHT can produce allergic reactions. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified BHA as potentially carcinogenic to humans. Long-term exposure to high doses of BHT has also been shown to be toxic to mice and rats, causing liver, thyroid, and kidney problems, impairing lung function and coagulation. Be careful, BHA and BHT are also used as food preservatives.
Where can we find them? In shaving gels and various cosmetics products like blush.
How to find it on the label? Polytetrafluoroethylene.
Why is it dangerous for you? It would not occur you to rub your nonstick frying pan with a fork, why accept to rub your skin with PTFE? Because PTFE and Teflon are one. Used as a base in powders that can be fixed in the body, PTFE can be a source of hypertension and cause certain cancers.
7. The dyes derived from coal tar
Where can we find them? In hair dyes and eye shadow.
How to find it on the label? Under the heading P-phenylenediamine, or the letters CI followed by a five-digit number.
Why is it dangerous for you? Coal tar has not only the power to give vibrant colors to the hair. It is recognized as carcinogenic for humans. In addition, some dyes may contain slight traces of heavy metals, others are associated with an aluminum substrate, all toxic to the brain.
Where can we find them? In makeup powders and foundations.
How to find it on the label? Under the title of CI 77019.
Why is it dangerous for you? Mica used as a dye is a white powder obtained from a naturally occurring mineral, muscovite mica. Muscovite mica is mainly composed of potassium and aluminum silicate. The substance is considered toxic to the human respiratory system. And several animal studies have also shown moderate-dose gastrointestinal effects.
9. The Quaternium 15
Where can we find them? In styling products.
How to find it on the label? Under the heading of benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, quaternium 15, guar chloride, hydroxypropyltrimonium and Cetrimonium bromide.
Why is it dangerous for you? Quaternium 15 is a preservative (bactericidal and fungicidal), likely to trigger allergic reactions. It can be mainly responsible for eczema (most often in the form of red patches more or less dry and fissured with small vesicles and crusts accompanied by itching), which can persist for several days or weeks.