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7 Shocking Ingredients in Beauty Products
Posted by Total Beauty on 06/16/2010 at 4:33pm

E-mailWe’re constantly looking for the next quick fix when it comes to our appearances -- creams, solutions, powders, etc. As part of a $170 billion worldwide industry, cosmetic companies feed off our desire for easy, artificial perfection, pumping new product after new product onto the shelves. But we don’t always pay attention to, nor understand what goes into these products, and, in this case, what we don’t know might hurt us. Next time you reach for that tube of mascara (see top-rated ones here), bottle of shampoo (read reviews of the best drugstore buys here), or jar of eye cream (view 16 of our readers' faves here), take a second to check the label for any of the following seven ingredients you might want to consider avoiding.

Found in: bar soap
Also known as: elastin
Potential danger: Commonly known to be derived animal fat, collagen can suffocate, corrode, or even over-moisturize the skin.

Found in: nail polish (view 10 chip-free polishes here), skin cream, shampoo
Also known as: formalin, formic aldehyde, oxomethane, oxymethylene
Potential danger: No, you’re not mistaken; this is the same substance used to preserve dead bodies. In certain products it has been known to cause skin irritations, allergic reactions and its fumes have been linked to asthma and certain cancers.

Found in: sunscreens (see a list of the best and worst sunscreens here), skin lighteners, hair bleaches, concealers, facial cleansers
Also known as: 1,4-Benzenediol, 1,4-Dihydroxybenzene, P-Dioxybenzene, 4-Hydroxyphenol, P-Hydroxyphenol,1,4Benzenediol
Potential danger: Hydroquinone has been linked to certain cancers, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and developmental and reproductive toxicity.
Mineral Oil

Found in: lipstick, lotion (see the best 13 lotions here), makeup remover, liquid foundation
Also known as: liquidum paraffinum, paraffin oil, paraffin wax
Potential danger: “Mineral” may sound organic, but mineral oil is derived from petroleum. Mineral oil can act like thick film on the skin, a plastic wrap, inhibiting the skin’s natural ability to breathe and clogging pores.

Found in: perfume (find the right scent for you by taking this quiz), fragrance, nail polish, moisturizers, soap, shampoo
Also known as: DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, DNOP
Potential danger: In the body certain fragrances can act as estrogen-mimickers and cause unnatural effects on the endocrine system, which affects your hormones. Fragrances may affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity and irritability. In the UK, certain forms -- DEHP, DBP, and BBP -- have been banned in cosmetics and toys.
Propylene Glycol

Found in: deodorant (see which sticks rate highest with consumers), shampoo, hair conditioner, hand and body lotion, skin cream
Also know as: humectant, MSDS
Potential danger: Propylene Glycol is considered an industrial anti-freeze used in automobile brakes and hydraulic fluid, but in skin products can cause strong skin irritations and liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Found in: toothpaste, cosmetics, shampoo (see top-rated ones here)
Also known as: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate, Anhydrous Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Irium, SLS, SLES, MSDS, ALES, ALS
Potential danger: SLS acts like a detergent, which can dry out skin and can even form carcinogenic compounds when combined with certain other chemicals. Several companies use the ingredient because it creates foam, but some companies use it to test other products on because of how it irritates the skin.


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