Alert: Various chemicals in Cosmetics: Must read

It was seen that leading cosmetics brands both Indian and abroad used toxic chemicals in some of their products.

Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by The Health Master

Alert: Various chemicals in Cosmetics: Must read

A study by the American Environment Working Group shows that a person can apply up to 168 different chemicals on their skin. In another study done by the Pollution Monitoring Lab at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2014.

It was seen that leading cosmetics brands both Indian and abroad used toxic chemicals in some of their products. There was excessive use of hazardous heavy metals, including mercury, in many of the products. This accumulates over time causing skin issues. 


The most prominent preservatives are parabens and sulfates. Since the 1920s, parabens have been added to beauty care products to slow down the rate of biodegradation of the ingredients used in them.

They help increase the product’s shelf life. However, parabens can cause hormonal imbalance, fertility issues, and increase the chances of getting breast cancer.


Sulfates, SLS or SLES found in shampoos and body washes are skin irritants that can lead to excessive dryness, dermatitis, itchy skin, and eczema. For those prone to acne, sulfates can clog pores. Also, mineral oil is your worst enemy as it forms a barrier over the skin and clogs the pores. 


Phthalate, often shown as a synthetic fragrance, is harmful for young children. In India, a chemical preservative called hexachlorophene is banned for use in beauty products. Similarly, manufacturers have been asked to control the use of fluoride in toothpaste. If included, it has to be mentioned on the packaging.

To control the use of such toxins in beauty products, the government is working on setting up a Central Cosmetics Laboratory that will keep track of the actives being put into creams and lotions.

Now it has become compulsory for beauty care product manufacturers to declare all the ingredients that they are including, so it is your job as a consumer to read the fine print carefully.

By Manish Chowdhary
The author is Co-founder, WOW Skin Science, a #MakeInIndia skincare and wellness brand

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