Detrimental Effects of Chemicals used in Cosmetics


This posts only points out the chemicals that are detrimental to our health in different ways. Neither we support any brand or product nor we hate any brand. Just as general view, the harmful chemicals that may be present are introduced here.

Cosmetics are like a bottle of water. Many girls and women carry their cosmetic kits with them while outside. Even males use many kinds of cosmetics. But, as you know, these cosmetics products are made synthetically with chemicals, many of them are not desirable for our health rather they have harmful effects on our body.

Coal Tar

Coal tar is a thick dark liquid which is produced through pyrolysis of coal. In some cosmetics, they are present because it can soften the skin and you looks younger. But it can cause dermatitis and most importantly, it is proved that it may cause liver, skin and lung cancer. This means, prolonged use and frequent usage of cosmetics containing coal tar, significantly, may increase the chance of cancers of the above said types.

Detrimental Effects of Chemicals used in Cosmetic



Formaldehyde is colorless, flammable gas with strong pungent odor. Usually it is present in the cosmetics for soothing hair. In the same way, little exposure is not at all a problem but too much exposure may give you allergy in eyes, nose, throat, skin, even Asthma can occur, specially who already have it or family history. This chemical also reported to disturb menstrual abnormality. Some reports immune problems, genetic damage. All these caused European Union (EU) to ban this chemical to be used in cosmetics. Formaldehyde is also linked to cancer. So, it is also classified as carcinogen (substance that have the ability to cause cancer in humans).

Diethanolamine (DEA)

Diethanolamine is a colorless viscous liquid and is organic compound. It has a tendency to absorb water. It is used as emulsifiers and foaming agents in shampoos, shaving creams, moisturizers, etc. Now the hazardous part regarding this chemical is that it disrupts hormone and decreases choline which is responsible for brain development in fetus.


This needs a less introduction. Most of you should Mercury is the only liquid metal on earth. Apart from cosmetics, we use it even in thermometer or Spygmomanometer (the device which is used to measure Blood Pressure). In practice, usage of cosmetics containing mercury have shown allergic reactions, skin irritation, damage to neurons, etc. Although Food and Drug Administration (USA) has permitted upto a level of 65 parts per million in cosmetics, it has been found to damage kidneys, liver, brain. Even cases of Nephrotic syndrome have been reported.


This is a chemical which is obtained fro petroleum and it is also flammable. It has sweet smell and taste. In many home objects we can get toluene as component. In case of cosmetic, Toluene is found in nail polish. You can find nail polish as shining and more over, nail polish do not get off your nail after its application. This occurs due to the presence of toluene. Toluene is found to have damaging effects on liver and kidney. Most importantly, toluene is carcinogenic.


Talc is a mineral made up of Hydrated Magnesium Silicate. It is present in powder, mostly. As it has got a property of absorbing water, it is used in powders for absorbing sweat. It has got another property of sparkling. This is why it is also used in making eye shadow. It is also present in some deodorant and soap. First of all, talc is well known for cancer and cases of ovarian cancer have been found. As we know, asbestos inhalation can cause lung cancer, so does talc inhalation.

Butyle Acetate

This chemical is colorless, flammable liquid at room temperature. It has many uses. It is used in candy, ice-cream for fruit flavoring purpose, synthetically. In nail polish, it is also added. Excessive use of this chemical may lead the skin to crack and become dry. Its vapors sometimes may cause dizziness.


Some cosmetics also contain antibacterials. This is obviously good as it is mostly present in antiseptic soaps. But sometimes, it has been found that these antibacterials can kill the protective bacteria that are present in our body and prevent other harmful infections. Thus, the susceptibility of having harmful infection increases. Another thing is that using antibacterials more often may increase the development of resistant strains.

All these descriptions and explanations are sufficient to give you an idea that how the cosmetic products are doing harm. I should also tell you that do not panic! Because using these products for few days or months will cause nothing as they are mostly comes under scrutiny by the Government authority. But, sometimes, some companies may hide their harmful ingredients or hide the concentration at which a certain chemical is present. All you can do is to check the ingredients before buying. Buy those products which are quite going-well in the market. And most importantly, the product should be tested with your skin and body. Using of cheap products or using of products which no one has ever heard is quite risky. Always keep your money receipt for later follow up. For the first time use, apply a little amount. Then, if it goes well with your body and skin then only you can apply on large scale.

These cosmetics products are not an additive factors of cancer but also other disorders are well caused by them. Like, the sperm count of males have experienced significant reduction and World Health Organization has reports on that. You can check the reports of World Health Organization. Then, many of the chemicals are having bad effects on our vision, skin, etc. Another thing I should share with you. You may have the idea that natural products are better than synthetic products. Actually, the reverse may also be true. The natural having been less refined, can cause more reaction and may be more irritant than the synthetic products. In my experience, I had hypersensitive reaction with aloe vera, one natural product.

So, it is to be remembered that we all should be aware about the cosmetic products that we buy, not only for girls, even for the boys like shaving cream or perfumes.

Most of the above ingredients you have seen are inflammable, that is why, you can find Inflammable written on most the can of perfumes or other cosmetics products.

Be alert and Be Aware, that is the only motto.

Thank you!


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