5 Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup Products

5 Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup ProductsHundreds of years ago, using makeup could be dangerous and even lethal because some products contained toxic ingredients, such as white lead. Of course, present-day beauty products can’t contain anything explicitly toxic, but there are plenty of makeup ingredients that can cause various kinds of skin problems, from irritation to blackheads and pimples. Here are 5 ingredients you should avoid in your makeup products.


BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole, E320) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene, E321) are organic compounds with antioxidant properties. They are used as antioxidants and preservatives in many products, including cosmetics. Although they are generally recognized as safe in low concentrations, these compounds have been linked to possible cancer risk. In fact, the state of California has listed BHA as a possible carcinogen.

Check this out: 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Moisturizers


Parabens are another type of preservatives found in many beauty products, from lotion to makeup. They are so widely used because of their bactericidal and fungicidal properties; unlike most preservatives, parabens protect from both bacteria and fungi. Parabens used to be linked to breast cancer. Although the link hasn’t been confirmed, a lot of people avoid them just to be on the safe side. In addition, methyl paraben may react with ultraviolet, leading to DNA damage, premature skin aging, and increased risk of skin cancer.

Check this out: 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Face Wash


Oxybenzone is a popular sunscreen ingredient that provides wide-range UV protection. It can be found in makeup products with SPF, such as foundation, primer, setting spray, lip balm, lip tint, tinted moisturizer, BB cream, etc. This ingredient is the most common allergen found in sunscreens, so if you have sensitive skin, you should avoid it.

Check this out: How to Choose the Best Sunscreen for Your Face

Petroleum Distillates

Petroleum jelly used to be a common ingredient in mascara; in fact, the first ever commercial mascara developed by Eugène Rimmel consisted of petroleum jelly and coal powder. Most mainstream mascaras are still made with petroleum distillates that may cause contact dermatitis and irritate your eyes. To prevent swollen eyelids and other allergic reactions, opt for mascaras based on natural waxes.

Check this out: 8 Toothpaste Ingredients You Need to Avoid

Aluminum Powder

Aluminum powder is used in eye and facial makeup as a colorant. It is essentially a by-product of aluminum production. Since cosmetic manufacturers use naturally sourced aluminum, it may contain trace amounts of heavy metals. So it would be wise to avoid lip products with aluminum powder in order to prevent ingesting aluminum. Aluminum powder in mascara can lead to eye irritation and allergies.

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