14 Dangers That Hide In Your Makeup

Bacteria, banned chemicals, toxins and more, it’s all hiding inside of our favorite beauty products. The ones we use every morning, freshen up with at night and restock when low, most are chalked full with hazardous ingredients that are poisoning our health – and most of us don’t even know about it, let alone think to read the labels! Fortunately, we’ve decided to divulge several of the many dangers that are being kept behind closed doors and shielded away from public knowledge.

From lipsticks to eyeshadow, your daily routine is scattered with ingredients that could be causing harm to nearly every inch of your body. Even that sunscreen that you slather on to keep your skin safe from the sun’s rays and the possibility of skin cancer could be causing some serious concern. Educate yourself and learn a bit about the dangers that are hiding inside of your makeup.

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14 Parabens/Preservatives

Parabens, also known as preservatives when it comes to beauty products, were first looked down upon in 2004 – according to Prevention. Dr. Phillippa Darbre released a study that found high concentrations of parabens in human breast tumors, and the panic ensued. Although these ingredients, common in a variety of beauty products including moisturizers and body lotions, keeps bacteria from developing inside these items, they also mimic or interfere with estrogen inside the body.

13 Lead

According to Forbes, the once-rumor that lipstick contained lead turned out to be very true when the FDA decided to test hundreds of different products – with two consecutive investigations finding lead in 100% of the lipsticks tested. And it didn’t even matter how expensive the brands were – none were exempt, even those that cater to “all natural” ingredient lovers were found in the middle of the pack for amounts found. And even though the FDA subsequently noted that when used properly the lipstick holds no danger, that means that you just can’t ingest any part of the products (example: no eating, drinking, kissing, licking your lips or the like while wearing it).

12 Coal Tar

Coal Tar is found in eyeshadow and it’s just another ingredient found in our favorite products that are linked to cancer. Lipstick can hold coal tar as well which helps to create so many of the different pigments we see on the shelves. And it’s so “scary” that the EU has even banned it from its use in their products. Furthermore, it’s not only used in makeup, it can also be found in dry skin treatments and certain kinds of shampoos as well.

11 DBP

In an article from ABC News, a toxic chemical known as dibutyl phthalate, or DBP, is being placed inside many shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics, nail polishes and other hygiene products. There was even a test done by the CDC where DBP was found in every single person – with the highest levels present in reproductive-aged women. And what’s frightening about this fact is that this toxin causes severe birth defects in animals, leaving the question of what it is and will do to those using the products for days, months and years on end.

10 Bacteria

Unfortunately, there is a hideous amount of bacteria that can be found throughout our used cosmetics, especially our dirty makeup brushes! Although we’re advised to clean them at least once a month, forgoing the cleansing can leave us exposed to Staph, pink eye, extra breakouts and more. And no matter what, please do not share your brushes, that’s just leaving yourself vulnerable to even more nastiness!

9 Triclosan

Despite its dangers, triclosan is still allowed to be placed into soaps, cosmetics and even some toothpastes! Not only does this “germ-killing” ingredient pose a danger to our own health, but it can also prove to be harmful to the planet. Triclosan has been studied to be quite harmful to aquatic life in particular, but also alter how our thyroids work throughout our bodies, increasing resistance to antibiotics and may even make our allergies more severe – according to Prevention.

8 Formaldehyde

Classified as a carcinogen by the FDA, formaldehyde can be found in everything from cosmetics to fertilizer … even those Brazilian blowouts that you love getting. Now why do our cosmetics – what we are putting on our face everyday – sharing ingredients with fertilizer? Well, that’s a question we all need to be asking more of. And even though it’s used to protect those products from certain types of bacteria its cancer link is clear and can also cause skin irritation and hair loss. Products that have been found to contain formaldehyde include makeup, nail hardeners, nail polishes, eyelash glue, hair gels, shampoos, lotions, and deodorants, and more.

7 Phthalates

Phthalates help manufacturers dissolve a variety of ingredients into one, consistent solution – for example, they help to make nail polish less brittle and keep hairspray from making hair too stiff, according to Washington Post. And just like parabens, phthalates can result in decreased sperm counts and insulin resistances. When tested, phthalates were found in every person’s urine but it’s not certain, just yet, that the level found is causing any known risk.

6 Talc

Talc is a mineral but when processed, the fibers similar to asbestos aren’t eliminated. Are you scared yet? If not, think about this little fact. Talc has been known to cause tumors in the ovaries and lungs. And where can you find talc being used? All of those powder puffs or other powdery products you find down the beauty aisle may have this non-regulated ingredient inside. Try going for products that use cornstarch or other alternatives instead.

5 Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol, the same thing found in antifreeze, could also being taking stock inside our best beauty products. It can also act as an allergen to a variety of people’s skin, causing rashes, breakouts and the like. And even though you can go for more natural products that don’t include “antifreeze” inside their face cream, you may find that those lipsticks too could cause similar allergic reactions.

4 Mercury Compounds

The FDA regulates the use of mercury compounds for use as a preservative in eye shadow and other eye makeup – according to Healthline. Mercury is known to be a very toxic element that may be absorbed through your skin and cause brain damage. There’s also some evidence, although controversial, that has linked mercury exposure to autism in children.

3 1, 4 dioxane

1,4 dioxane is an impurity of polyethylene glycols (used in moisturizers) and when absorbed or inhaled into the body it will target the liver and kidneys. There have been some studies done on animals using PEGs (propylene glycol) which show the danger of its toxicity, but there isn’t conclusive evidence concerning our beauty products or its harm to our bodies. Although, the renal failure it causes among animals whose open cuts were covered in PEG is proof alone of the caution we should all be taking, especially since it has been found to induce cancer in rats.


Healthline states that DEA is a compound in shampoos, lotions and other cosmetics as an emulsifier and a foaming agent. Some animal studies show that DEA may induce tumors but official evidence has been inconclusive, leaving DEA off the list of carcinogens for humans. But the induction of tumors leaves evidence enough that there may be some type of danger involved in the use of this compound.

1 Expired Products


Even the best makeup you can buy can be dangerous, if you’ve forgotten to check the expiration date! Besides not working like it did when first bought, expired makeup can cause some serious harm to your skin. According to Women’s Health, after a certain amount of time, makeup will breakdown into something else entirely. And this breakdown can cause your skin to become inflamed, acne to pop up, rashes to spike and more.


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