5 Toxic Compounds You Should Avoid in Your Makeup

A lot us these day ignore claims made in multiple cosmetic ads as unrealistic like instant removal of fine line or dark spot, looking 10 years younger etc before finally getting hooked up by a product which we believe can be helpful to us or whats the harm in trying it once! Well! they may be harm and we mean it!

Even today a lot of compounds used in everyday cosmetics are toxic and are known to cause reproductive, respiratory and other vital organs toxicity and even cancer. Despite regulations preventing the use of such compounds in cosmetics, manufacturers still uses them as they are vital for their bottomline. We have documented a few of them for you and their natural alternatives.

1. HYDROQUINONE ( Skin Whitening Products)

Toxic effect of Hydroquinone cosmetic like Skin lightening/whitening creams, face wash and facials for brightening skin, hair conditioners and nail coating products etc

USED IN: Skin Lightening/Whitening creams, Face Wash and Facials for Brightening skin, Hair Conditioners.

WHY: Hydroquinone is used as a bleaching agent in products targeted towards women of color.

DANGER: Cancer, organ-system toxicity, respiratory tract irritation.

LABELED AS: Look for Hydroquinone or Tocopheryl Acetate on Product label.

Hydroquinone is banned in EU and concentration limited to 2%v/v in The US. However products containing Hydroquinone are easily available everywhere and are especially marketed in South East Asia.


HOW: Sea Fern Extract works be detoxifying skin which reduces dark spots and dead skin and prevent pigmentation or concentration of melanin in the skin making it bright and healthy.

2. Phenoxyethanol (Soaps and Frangrance)

Toxic effect of Phenoxyethanol cosmetic like Baby Soaps, Fragrance, Conditions, Shampoo, Body wash, Moisturizer, Deodorants. etc

USED IN: Baby Soaps, Fragrance, Conditions, Shampoo, Body wash, Moisturizer, Deodorants.

WHY: Phenoxyethanol is used as a preservative in cosmetics and as stabilizer in soaps and fragrance/perfumes.

DANGER: Severely affect the nervous system in infants, eczema and mild to severe skin allergies in adults.

LABELED AS: Look for Phenoxyethanol, Euxyl K® 400, PhE, 2-Phenoxyethanol on Product label.


HOW: Anise berry preserves the organic compound in cosmetics without the side effects of Phenoxyethanol. It is used in oil based products.

3. PTFE, Aka Teflon( Foundation, Blush and Mascara)

Toxic effect of PTFE(Teflon) cosmetic like foundation Foundation, Bronzer, Blush, Eye Shadow, Mascara, Shave Gel, Lip Balm etc

USED IN: Foundation, Bronzer, Blush, Eye Shadow, Mascara, Shave Gel, Lip Balm.

WHY: Fluorinated compounds like PTFE(Teflon) are extremely stable and as a result do not break down under extreme humidity or temperature variations and provide a a smooth, sleek finish.

DANGER: Cancer especially Breast cancer, Reproductive Toxicity, Endocrine Disruption, Delayed Puberty and bioaccumulation leading to environmental pollution.

LABELED AS: Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether, Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), DEA-C8-18 and Teflon on Product label.

Use of Phenoxyethanol is limited to 1%v/v in in EU.


HOW: Mineral makeup is based on time tested way of nourishing skin through the use of minerals known to be good for human skin. Its origin can be traced back to ancient civilizations of Egypt. Minerals such as iron oxides, talc, zinc oxide, and titanium dioxide are micronized, or ground and milled, into tiny particles to create makeup.

4. Retinol or Retinyl Palmitate (Anti Ageing Creams)

Toxic effect of Retinol cosmetic like Anti Ageing Creams, foundation etc

USED IN: Anti Ageing Cosmetics, Moisturiser and Foundation.

WHY: Retinol is the chemical form of Vitamin A which is essential for healthy skin and hair but is dangerous when applied in certain forms.

DANGER: Cancer when exposed to sunlight, Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity.

LABELED AS: Retinol, Retinyl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, All-Trans Retinoic Acid, Tretinoin.

All-Trans Retinoic acid is banned in EU.

NATURAL ALTERNATIVE: Natural Oils containing Omega Acids.

HOW: Natural oils like Rosehip oil, Acai oil, Hemp oil and Sea Buckthorn oil cantains a good mix of Omega acids essential for skin and can be a good alternative to toxic cosmetics.

5. Carbon Black (Eye Liners, Mascara)

Toxic effect of carbon black cosmetic like eye liner, mascara, lipstick, Rougue, foundation etc

USED IN: Eyeliner, Mascara, Eye Shadow, Blushers, Rouge.

WHY: Carbon Black is used as a pigment in cosmetics used for highlighting.

DANGER: Lung diseases and Cancer.

LABELED AS: Carbon black, D & C Black No. 2, Acetylene/Channel/Furnace/Lamp/Thermal Black.

Restricted in The US and EU.

NATURAL ALTERNATIVE: DIY alternatives based on Activated Charcoal.

HOW: DIY recipes for creating eye liners and Mascara include Activated Charcoal, Castor oil, Wax and color. All of these are safe for your body.