Decoding Your Cosmetics: The Ingredients That Could Be Poisoning You

toxic cosmetics

Commercial cosmetic brands spend millions making their products look appealing, promising to transform average into flawless. Because the goal of these big beauty businesses is to get their products into the eager hands of as many consumers as possible, they will sneak cheap, harmful ingredients into their products in order to mass produce inexpensively.

In order to know if the product you’re admiring is worth its price tag and will not be detrimental to your long-term health and beauty, here are a few tips to decode the ingredients listed on the back of your cosmetics.  If you spot these culprits, you should ditch the product as fast as you can.


Ingredients: P-phenylenediamine, “CL-“ followed by a 5-didget number, and FD&C and D&C.

What they do for the company: makes product colors look more visually appealing.

What they do to your skin: when absorbed, they can become carcinogenic and have the potential of being cancerous at substantial amounts.


Ingredients: the word “paraben” with the following prefixes: methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, propyl-.

What they do for the company: provides a cheap and abundant way to preserve a mass amount of products for an indefinite period of time.

What they do to your skin: when absorbed, they can have hormonal interactions within the body, as some have been known to mimic estrogen and have the potential to lead to cancer. As well, the paraben “methylparaben” can cause increased aging on the skin when exposed to the sun.


Ingredients: what to look for: Any PEG or PG with any number attached to it.

What they do for the company: gives a cheap way to make cream-based products retain moisture, remain thick in consistency, and dissolve easily.

What they do to your skin: reduces the natural moisture barrier of the skin, and toxic when applied to broken skin, sneaking into the bloodstream.

Next time you’re shopping for your next skin care splurge, beware! Check against my list to ensure the product will truly reap beautiful benefits without toxic effects.

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