Beauty, skincare, and hair care products are made up of thousands of chemicals that end up being absorbed by the skin and enter the bloodstream. Many of these chemicals are detrimental to the skin and may have repercussions on your health.

Because companies only list a certain percentage of their product’s ingredients for us to see, there’s no way to fully know and avoid every synthetic chemical that may exist in these products.

However, you can start with the ones you find on their ingredients list. We’re highlighting 10 of the most common toxic ingredients which many beauty, skincare, and haircare products contain.


This synthetic preservative, whose purpose is to prevent bacteria growth in skincare and beauty products has cancerous side effects because of its estrogen-mimicking component. Parabens are found in deodorants, makeup, shampoos, and any many other common cosmetic products.


Products that have ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ listed as part of its ingredients usually trigger allergies, respiratory problems, dermatitis, etc. in many of its users. On the flip side, most products from hair to skincare, beauty to perfumes all have fragrance.


This irritant can be found in hair dye, nail polishes, and it’s incredibly harmful, even poisonous to an extent.


While this may be an active ingredient for skin lightening products, it is very toxic and has been linked to certain types of cancers and reproductive issues. It’s banned in several countries.


This one is unfortunate because it’s in baby powder. Talc has been linked to not just respiratory diseases but equally ovarian cancer.


Mercury traces can be found in mascara, and it is a known allergen that represses one’s brain development.


You will not see this listed as an ingredient in most products (hopefully) because it’s more of a contaminant than an ingredient. Its traces can be found in hair dye, lipstick, and some crayons.


Companies usually flag toluene under ‘fragrance.’ You can find toluene traces in hair and nail products, which has negative effects on the immune system.

Propylene glycol

This ingredient is more of dermatitis, causing skin irritant found in makeup, sunscreen, shampoo, and other skin products.


Forms of phthalates can are in nail polish, hairspray, perfumes, and lotions. This ingredient increases one’s breast cancer risk, and it’s also an endocrine disruptor.

These ingredients, however toxic, constitute a vast majority of products in circulation. Before using anything on your skin, do your research and look into all the ingredients on the label to stay safe.