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Many of us use cosmetics on a daily basis. For those who don’t, skincare, shampoo, and shower gel should be items that are familiar to you. With these items playing such a huge role in our lives, you would think that we will be more cautious with the ingredients that go into these products. Yet, most of us do not take an interest in ingredient labels and have no idea what goes into the products we use. Here, we have five ingredients you should really try to avoid, and another five that can be good to have.

In This Article
  1. Think Twice

Think Twice

Note that some research has been done on these ingredients but none have been conclusive about their negative effects. This list helps you decide if you want to avoid certain products if you’re cautious.

1. Phenoxyethanol

attractive asian woman skincare image

What it is: Phenoxyethanol is used as a stabiliser in perfumes as well as an anti-bacterial in cosmetics. While it can be derived from natural sources such as green tea, it is usually synthetically-produced when used in cosmetics.

Look out for these in: Skincare products

Potential negative effects: Worsening of Eczema, damage to the brain and nervous System, reproductive complications

2. Formaldehyde


What it is: Formaldehyde is a colourless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical used in cosmetics.

Look out for these in: Nail polish, nail hardeners, eyelash glue

Potential negative effects: Eye irritation, respiratory problems

3. Triethanolamine (TEA)


What it is: It is an amine produced by reacting a highly toxic chemical, otherwise known as ethylene oxide with ammonia

Look out for these in: Eyeliners, mascara, eyeshadows, blushers

Potential negative effects: Allergic reactions, including eye problems, hives (depending on concentrations)

4. Parabens


What it is: It is an inexpensive and effective synthetic preservative used to prevent bacterial growth in cosmetics.

 Look out for these in your: Deodorants, moisturisers

Potential negative effects: Decreased sperm levels, increased UV-induced damage

5. Talc


What it is: A soft mineral used in foods, drugs, cosmetics and industrial applications. This is used as an absorbent as well as an anti-caking agent to improve the feel of the product.

Look out for these in: Eyeshadow, blush

Potential negative effects: Ovarian cancer

Go to the next page to see what are some great ingredients to have in your products.