Chemicals in Cosmetic Products and Their Hazards to Health

health effects of cosmetics

Chemicals in cosmetic products and their harm to health When we say the word, of course, we think of various cosmetic products that we use during the day. We are exposed to many chemicals during the day without realizing it, and unfortunately, we are not even aware of most of them. Especially cosmetic products that look very innocent and that we actually use for our beauty and care, from our hair to our skin, contain various chemicals that can affect our health.

Chemicals in cosmetic products not only harm their users. to the waters and even to the land in various ways. it also harms the environment. It is very important for consumers to be conscious so that manufacturers do not use these chemicals, since harming the environment we live in means harming all humanity. Having knowledge about the harms of cosmetic products, we need to make purchases accordingly.

Must Read: Environmentally Friendly Cosmetics

With the increase in consumer awareness in recent years, companies have started to remove these harmful chemicals from the products they produce and use them in their marketing. However, knowing the chemicals in cosmetic products and their harms will help us make the right choice in our shopping.

harmful chemicals

Studies have shown that a woman's body 515 different chemicals is implementing. Although it seems very difficult to remove the chemicals in cosmetic products from our lives, it is possible to reduce them significantly after having sufficient awareness.

In order to be healthy, we must be selective both in our diet and in the cosmetic products we use. Unfortunately, most of the highly acclaimed cosmetics available on the market today synthetic and toxic substances contains. For this reason, it is very important to be conscious about the harms of cosmetic products.

Click: Two Chemicals That Provide Silky Consistency in Cosmetics Are Banned in Europe

The inscriptions written on any part of the product packaging you buy, such as natural, herbal, produced entirely from plant extracts, do not make any sense. If these products are truly all-natural and do not contain toxic chemicals, the best way to find out is to review the ingredients section. If a cosmetic product has an organic certificate, we can be sure that it is really pure and clean, that is, it is 95% free of chemicals. For this reason, if the phrase "natural" is seen on the product packaging, it is possible to search for a certificate symbol on the packaging to understand whether it is really natural.

Is Organic and Natural Cosmetics Possible? Organic Makeup Materials

Organic cosmetic in brands Sante Kozmetik is committed to not containing any chemicals that may harm nature and human beings., with the organic and natural nature of all its products, is taking strong steps to close Turkey's natural production gap and reduce dependency on imported products.

Specializing in organic make-up materials, having a wide range of products from foundation to lipstick, from mascara to shampoo. Sante Cosmetics You can safely use the brand's products.

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Chemicals in cosmetic products and their harm to health Let's examine.


It is found in almost all cosmetic products and methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben Paraben, which can be included in cosmetic products in different forms such as bacteria, prevents the formation of mold and extends the shelf life of the products.

In 2004, in England, Dr. In the article published by Philippa Darbre, it was stated that paraben was found in biopsy samples taken from cancer patients. Dr. In his article, Darbre explained that he detected 20ng/g of paraben accumulation in tissues collected from 20 breast cancer patients. Other studies on the subject Paraben increases the risk of breast cancer supports the results.

Then, in a study conducted in Japan in 2006, methylparaben was exposed to UV rays. increases skin damage brought out the result.

In Turkey, the Ministry of Health in 2011. The statement made by the company refutes all these studies. In the statement made by the Ministry of Health; Parabens have been widely used as preservatives and in very low doses as excipients all over the world since 1924 due to their antimicrobial effects in medicines and cosmetics. According to the chemical structure of parabens, there are derivatives such as methyl, propyl, butyl paraben. Parabens show similar effects to the estrogen hormone in the human body. However, these effects are only one-tenth of a thousandth of that of estrogen.

in medicine and in cosmetics The effectiveness of the most widely used methyl paraben is 2 million 500 thousandths of the estrogen effectiveness. It can be accepted that it does not have an estrogenic effect with the amount found in drugs and cosmetic products. Therefore, it is not expected to have a carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting effect. Also, when parabens are used as medicine or cosmetics, they are broken down very quickly and excreted from the body in the urine. When taken orally, their breakdown is high due to the acid environment in the stomach and the amount that passes into the blood is negligible.

There is no proven scientific data showing that this substance accumulates in the body to a degree that creates a toxic effect and that it directly causes cancer in humans. With the scientific studies carried out, the subject is closely followed by the scientific world.

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It is found in PEG, polyethylene, polyoxyethylene, polyethylene glycol, nonoxynol, oxinol, polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 80 chemicals. It is used in the pharmaceutical industry, cosmetics, some paints, detergents and plastic containers. Dioxin can cause cancer by accumulating in the body in long-term use. In foaming cleansers, shampoos and bath foams PEG, oxinol, nonoxynol, polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 80, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, -poly or -oxinol may be included in such terms. Especially ethylene oxide It is used extensively in baby shampoos to reduce irritation.

Cosmetic colorants – Synthetic dyes

FD&C and D&C texts in the content section of cosmetic products indicate that artificial colorants are used in these products. These synthetic colorants, obtained from petroleum and its derivatives, fall into the category of carcinogenic substances and seriously threaten human health. After researching on coloring substances written starting with FD&C (such as FD&C Orange 5 Lake), these substances are definitely carcinogenic was declared. In these synthetic dyes, lead, aluminum, potassium and barium are also used as a fixing agent to prevent the colors in lipstick from running and smearing.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate 

SLS with its short name, namely sodium lauryl (lauryl) sulfate, is used in 90 percent of cleaning personal care products such as shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream, mouthwash, soap, laundry detergent, acne medicine, facial cleanser, shower gel, bath foam. appears as an item. SLS, which is shown as one of the substances harmful to health skin and eye irritation why is this happening.

toothpaste health benefits

SLS is gelatin used to create foam and to make fixed or volatile oil emulsions. Mouth ulcer, skin inflammation, itchy head, dry skin, burning eyes It can cause various health problems such as The American Poison Sciences Association reports that SLS causes degradation in cell membranes due to its protein-altering properties, and that even with minimal use of these products, significant damage may occur to the skin.

Other Known Harms of SLS 

1) It has a skin irritant feature. If you have dry skin, dandruff, skin inflammation, mouth sores especially from toothpaste, or other skin problems, SLS may be the cause.

2) It releases toxic gases when heated. When SLS is heated, sulfur oxide and sodium oxide are released. For this reason, it is very harmful to take a hot shower with a shampoo containing SLS.

3) It pollutes our underground water resources. SLS is also highly toxic to aquatic organisms and has potential for bioaccumulation. Bioaccumulation means accumulation in the bodies of fish. Since it is not possible to filter in municipal water filters, it may leave your shower or sink and return to the water you use at home.

4) Causes eye irritation. It has been determined that the use of SLS in adults causes cataract formation in the eye.

5) It is used as a plant and insecticide. SLS is a widely used tool for killing plants and insects. SLS manufacturers have recently applied for permission to produce SLS for organic farming purposes. This application was rejected due to the serious harm it may cause to the environment due to the harmful substances it contains.

6) It has abrasive properties. According to the American Poison Sciences Association, this corrosive property also seriously damages the fats and proteins that make up the skin and muscles. SLS is found in garage floor cleaners, engine oils, and car wash soaps.

7) Penetrates body tissues in long-term use. A study by the University of Georgia School of Medicine found that SLS has a risk of penetrating the eyes, brain, heart, and liver.

8) It contains the impurities of nitrate and other solvents. Toxic solvents are used in the production of SLS, including carcinogenic nitrates. They can be found later in SLS content as well.

9) SLS production also causes serious damage to the environment. Very harmful substances such as volatile organic compounds, sulfur compounds and air particles that cause cancer are released.

10. It leaves your body vulnerable to the ingress of other chemicals. SLS is a penetration facilitator. This means that the molecules in it are so small that they can easily pass through the membranes of your body cells. When there is passage through cell membranes, cells become more vulnerable to the penetration of other chemicals.

Talcum powder


talcum powder harms

It is mainly found in powders, eyeshadows, bronzers, blushes, lip balms and baby powders. Studies have shown that this substance causes cancer. In the past days, it has come to the agenda that Johnson & Johnson company paid a total of 22 billion 4 million dollars to 650 women who claimed that they had ovarian cancer due to the use of talcum powder. Click on the link below for the details of the news.

Click: 4 Billion 650 Million Dollars Compensation to Johnson & Johnson!

BHA and BHT 

BHA&BHT is found as a preservative in the content of many cosmetic products, but also as an additive in foods. As a result of the researches, long-term use of BHA and BHT causes allergic reactions.

Phthalates The chemical named is used to soften the plastic content. Phthalates, especially used in nail polish, perfume, lotion and hair spray, increase the risk of breast cancer and also harm breast development in adolescent women.


The legal limit for the addition of formaldehyde, which is found in cosmetic products such as soap, shampoo, shower gel, shampoo, nail polish and eyelash glue, to cosmetic products is at the maximum level of 0,2%. However, prolonged exposure to formaldehyde irritates the respiratory system, triggers asthma and damages the immune system.


Formol, found in mascara and nail polish, is a carcinogenic substance. Especially polyquaternium-15, DMDM ​​Hydantoin and Diazolidinyl UreaIt is located in. These substances penetrate the body through the skin and nail corners. You can also be exposed to formol during manicures and pedicures.

D&C Red pigments

It is found in eyeshadows, skin tonics, shampoos, face powders, lipsticks and lip balms. These pigments are synthetic colors made from coal tar and contain heavy metal salts. Studies show that almost all of these substances are carcinogenic. Especially xanthan, monoazoanilines, fluorane and indigoides It has a pore-clogging effect.

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D&C red pigments Since they are mostly used to make the face pink, they are responsible for acne in the cheekbones area. the most dangerous D&C Red No. 9'Stop. a natural red pigment Karmen While it does not clog the pores, it gives as good results as D&C red pigments in blushes.

PABA (Para-aminobenzoic acid, Padimate-O, Octyl dimethyl PABA)

It is found in face moisturizers and sunscreens. Research shows that it can cause skin cancer.

sunscreen harms


It is found in moisturizers, facial cleansers, toners, eye creams and serums. Most organic and semi-organic cosmetic brands phenoxyethanol from grapefruit they are getting. For this reason, the appearance of phenoxytanol on the labels of natural products does not mean that it is harmful.


The main feature of oxibenzone, a chemical used in sunscreens, is that it absorbs ultraviolet light. In addition to oxybenzone hormone disruption and cancer formation known for its cause. Oxybenzone, a very harmful chemical, irritates the skin, enters the bloodstream and acts like the hormone estrogen in the body. However, it can trigger allergic reactions.

Studies have shown that excessive accumulation of oxybenzone in the body causes serious health problems. A different study found that oxybenzone was found to be high in older women. endometriosis disease found to be triggered. It has been determined that oxybenzone taken in large amounts during pregnancy leads to births with low weight.


Petrochemicals, which are among the chemicals in the content of cosmetic products, are included in the product ingredients in the forms of isopropyl alcohol (or isopropanol), methyl alcohol (methyl alcohol or methanol), butyl alcohol (butanol), ethyl alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol). of petrochemicals kidney, brain and respiratory system known to be harmful. When petrochemicals are absorbed through the skin and enter the body, they have very harmful long-term effects.

harmful cosmetics

Antibacterial / Triclosan

Antibacterial Triclosan, which is stated to have properties, is found in many products such as liquid soap and toothpaste, and this substance not only destroys harmful bacteria in the body, but also It also harms health by killing beneficial bacteria. In addition, triclosan can transform into chloroform and dioxin, which are carcinogenic substances, by interacting with the chlorine substance in water, and when they are absorbed by the skin, they directly carcinogenic effect they can create.

Triclosan has negative effects on thyroid hormones as well as causing eczema. In addition, they can lead to the development of new bacteria resistant to antibacterials.


It is found in cleansers and moisturizers, sunscreens, eye makeup removers, eye creams, brushes, bronzers, eyeshadows, lip balms, and acne treatment products. It has the effect of being wrapped in a plastic wrap, causing the skin to become coated and the pores to become clogged.


It is found in lip balms, lip glosses and moisturizers. Since it is obtained from sheep's wool, chemicals used in this direction with lanonia can break it. It causes acne by clogging the skin pores.

artificial fragrances

Products containing synthetically produced essences irritate the skin, while at the same time cause hormonal irregularity and seriously pollute breast milk, body fat, umbilical cord blood and the environment. Inhaling these products can trigger asthma, as well as cause damage to the immune and nervous system.

About the Author

Pinar Ozurganci Eskin

Environmental Engineer, nature lover, founder.

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