In the pursuit to be chemical free at the cosmetics counter – and in turn, further prevent potential problem skin – we’ve been pouring through chemical manifestos. Let’s be frank, these detail hundreds of ingredients used in our favourite skincare products. Some pose serious side effects including allergic reactions. And while we don’t claim to be experts on chemical compounds in cosmetics, we do know that we don’t intend to continue feeding our skin with poison. Rather here’s what we discovered about ten of the most commonly used (and harmful) chemicals in cosmetics. We’ll let you decide how you want to absorb the information (pun intended).
Go Chemical Free, Ditch These Ingredients
Labeled as: Aluminum Allantoin Ate, Aluminum Carbonate, Aluminum Chloride
What is it? Aluminum is usually in a finely ground powder form that helps to hold colour.
How does it affect my skin? Highly toxic, this chemical goes beyond the skin and into the body, which can cause allergic reactions, cancer, asthma and dementia.
Which products will I find it in? Antiperspirant deodorant, eye shadow, nail polish, mascara.
Labeled as: Butylated Hydroxy Anisole (BHA), Salicylic Acid.
What is it? This synthetic antioxidant also works to stop essential oils going rancid.
How does it affect my skin? Said to be a carcinogen, this chemical is toxic and can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions.
Which products will I find it in? Cleansers, sunscreens, moisturisers, perfumes, lipsticks.
COLOURS (THOSE THAT AREN’T CHEMICAL FREE)
Labeled as: Red 40, Yellow 6, etc.
What is it? Colours (some approved by the FDA, some not) are made from sodium, potassium, aluminum, barium, calcium strontium, tar, coal or zirconium.
How does it affect my skin? These colours, besides from not being chemical free, are said to cause skin irritations, allergic reactions and cancer.
Which products will I find it in? Make-up, hair dyes, shampoo, body wash, soaps.
Labeled as: Fragrance (Perfume).
What is it? A combination of essential oils, synthetic scents, solvents and resins that results in a smell.
How does it affect my skin? Can cause nausea, allergic reactions, behavioral changes and skin discolouration.
Which products will I find it in? Products that smell too good to be true – shampoo, body wash, makeup, cleansers, toners, perfumes.
Labeled as: Imidazolidinyl, Diazolidinyl Urea, Formalin, DMDM Hydantoin.
What is it? A preservative used in skincare products to ensure shelf life.
How does it affect my skin? Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic (a cancer-causing substance), that can result in allergic reactions of varying degrees.
Which products will I find it in? Shampoo, make-up, nail polish, eyelash glue, deodorant, moisturisers.
Labeled as: Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, anything ending in –Glycol.
What is it? As part of the alcohol family, glycols are generally synthetic compounds that work to allow for easy application of make-up (generally) to the skin.
How does it affect my skin? Said to cause skin sensitivity and even an allergic reaction, which can lead to skin conditions.
Which products will I find it in? Make-up, moisturisers.
Labeled as: Methylisothiazolinone (MI) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI).
What is it? These two ingredients are preservations and are commonly found together in products.
How does it affect my skin? Said to cause eczema and skin irritations.
Which products will I find it in? Body wash, moisturisers, suncreams and washing-up liquid.
Labeled as: Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben.
What is it? Parabens are one of the most commonly used chemicals in cosmetics because they prolong the shelf life of products. Natural, chemical free, alternatives are available.
How does it affect my skin? Said to cause allergic reactions, skin irritations,
Which products will I find it in? Shampoo, moisturisers, make-up, shaving products.
Labeled as: Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS).
What is it? This foaming agent ‘cleans’ the hair and body with synthetic suds.
How does it affect my skin? It is said to actually remove the skin and scalp of essential oils, which alludes to that ‘clean’ feeling. However, glands can then over produce causing oily hair and scalp.
Which products will I find it in? Products that foam – shampoo, body wash. It’s also used to degrease engines.
TEA & DEA
Labeled as: Triethanolamine (TEA) and Diethanolamine (DEA).
What is it? DEA and TEA work to alkaline products and balance pH levels.
How does it affect my skin? Said to cause scalp irritation, allergic reactions and in severe cases this chemical can cause illnesses such as cancer or hormonal disruptions.
Which products will I find it in? Shampoo, soap, moisturisers, make-up and household cleaning products.
ONNE is proud to announce that in the formulation of all our products, no synthetic chemicals are being used. While we can’t say the same for the other products in your beauty bag, so do as we did: scour your bathroom, scan the labels, weight up the effects of natural skincare vs chemicals in skincare and purge those that aren’t chemical free.