The Hidden Dangers of Synthetic Ingredients in Skin Care Products

As a beauty enthusiast, being health-conscious is super important. You have to know the contents of the product you apply on your skin, especially when they are not fully made of natural ingredients. Why? Well, some synthetic ingredients contain chemicals that expose you to cancer and compromise your overall health.

While most synthetic skin care products undergo safety and quality tests, they can still put you at risk of skin-related illnesses. These products are tested individually and are safe that way. But only a few people use a single product. When these products interact, however, your safety may no longer be guaranteed unless you use organic skincare products like organic deodorant from AKT.

In this article, we’ll be highlighting the synthetic ingredients that are harmful to your health and the risks they pose. So keep reading.

  1. Paraben, accelerates the growth of cancer cells

Parabens are used in skin care products as preservatives. Usually, they are found in moisturizers, makeup, and hair care products. They are included in skin care products to protect consumers from mold and harmful bacteria, as they are biodegradable.

When absorbed by the skin, they can cause endocrine disruption. Parabens like propylparaben disrupt gene expression in breast cancer cells, which speeds up the growth of those cancer cells.

  1. Phthalates, causes endocrine disruption

Phthalates are frequently used ingredients in the cosmetic industry. The primary phthalate, dibutyl phthalate is used as plasticizers in nail polish to strengthen them and hair sprays to boost hair elasticity. 

Dibutyl phthalate is also used as a fixative and solvent in fragrances. In small amounts, it may be harmless, but increased exposure can cause endocrine disruption and affect the reproductive system of consumers. Prolonged use of dibutyl phthalate also reduces sperm quality and puts consumers at risk of pregnancy complications.

To avoid these potential health risks, it’s important that you avoid the use of products containing phthalates. However, it may be a lot trickier than you think.

Phthalates aren’t listed directly as part of the ingredients of a skincare product. Instead, they are listed as “Flavor” and “Fragrance” on the ingredient declaration. So, the best way to avoid them is to avoid products with these two ingredients.

  1. Mercury, damages the kidney and nervous system

Another common ingredient found in skin care products is mercury. It is used to eliminate blemishes and lighten dark spots, as it inhibits the formation of melanin in the skin.

However, mercury is another dangerous ingredient and is illegal for skin consumption in many countries. Increased exposure to mercury can lead to mercury poisoning, which causes tremors, memory loss, irritability, and numbness, and even worse, kidney and nervous system damage.

Mercury toxicity is also transferable. Beauty enthusiasts who use products that contain mercury can expose their families and friends to mercury vapor that is released during use.

  1. UV Filters, inhibit hormone production

Protecting the skin from UV radiation has been the goal of the beauty industry for decades. Hence, UV filters are in mass production all over the world. They help keep the skin protected from harmful rays found in artificial lights or the sun, that cause skin cancer and wrinkling.

On the other hand, UV filters can be deleterious to your health. The rate of their absorption through your skin is superfast, causing rapid absorption into your bloodstream and interfering with your hormone production.

UV filters can also activate skin allergies and cause skin inflammation that is abysmal.

  1. Formaldehyde, causes sensory irritation and skin allergies

Just like Parabens, Formaldehyde is used in skin care products as a preservative. However, they are also known carcinogenic and can disrupt the normal functions of the respiratory system, cause sensory irritation, and activate skin allergies when exposed for long periods.

Because Formaldehyde is a gas, it isn’t used in its pure form to increase the shelf-life of these products. Instead, skincare brands use formaldehyde releasers like polyoxymethylene urea, quaternium-15, 3 dioxane, and Diazolidinyl urea. 

So, if you want to stay away from products that contain formaldehyde, look out for formaldehyde releasers on the ingredient label. Many skincare brands do not list it as it is, but disguise it with these other names.

  1. Triclosan, causes dermatitis

To prevent bacteria from growing on skin care products, brands use triclosan. In soaps and deodorants, it is also used as a biocide. 

Triclosan is usually used in wash-off products in lower concentrations and may be safe if used in concealers. Using them on leave-on products like body lotions, however, is where toxic exposure can be increased drastically.

When the skin absorbs a large amount of triclosan, it results in skin irritation or contact dermatitis. Research also suggests that prolonged use of triclosan develops food allergies and sensitivities.


Making informed decisions is the best way to protect your health as a beauty enthusiast. Knowing what ingredients put your well-being at risk, especially when purchasing synthetic skin care products, is paramount. Before you make that purchase, do your research, read the ingredient label, or better still, stick to organic products.