8 Chemicals to Avoid in Skincare

Skincare products are flooding the market, but one should not be too reckless to trust on every big claim made by multinational brands out there. The same applies to regional brands which market themselves in a similar fashion. The point is that skincare industry has become a box of mindless experimentation and many brands engage in chemicals which most certainly harm your skin more than protect it.

In this article, we have covered 8 chemicals you should avoid as they are dangerous to your skin and may leave permanent damage. Thus, do read the ingredients of the products before buying them for your own sake.

8 Chemicals to Avoid in Skincare

1. Boric Acid

Boric Acid or Sodium Borate interferes with our body hormones and results in infertility in men. Periodic exposure to these chemicals may lead to low sperm counts. The chemical is usually used in diaper creams and is considered highly dangerous for infants. The chemical has been banned in a number of countries such as Canada.

2. Formaldehyde-producing preservatives

Quite infamously known as a carcinogenic agent, formaldehyde damages the brain, stymies bodily and mental development in kids and is known to cause asthma. It can cause allergic reactions, and in case you have felt itching upon using a skin lotion, you might be dealing with formaldehyde.

3. PEG compounds

PEG compounds come by many names such as polyethylene glycols, propylene glycol, or polyoxyethylene, as they are basically petroleum-based compounds. These chemicals, howsoever named, are usually contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is a chemical that many regulatory authorities across the globe, including the US Food and Drug Administration, have banned due to its carcinogenic properties.

4. Oxybenzone

Sunscreens usually use oxybenzone to absorb the UV rays. When used on humans, this chemical triggers allergic reactions and causes skin irritation. Studies report that it is an endocrine disruptor and affects hormonal activity in humans.


Mercury, consumed in any form, is injurious to humans, and if you apply a product containing it on your skin, you might be inviting a lot of trouble.

Many cosmetic brands use mercury for lightening the skin. It absorbs readily in the skin and can cause mercury poisoning which is lethal. Stay away from products labeled “Mercurio”, “Calomel”, “Mercurio chloride” or just mercury.

6. Fungicides

Fungicides are used in dandruff shampoos. When rinsed off the hair and watered away into the drain, they mix with natural cycle and harm key organisms that sustain major balances in nature. Fungicides are known to kill organisms such as algae and prevent growth in fish and plant.


Toluene is a chemical most commonly used in nail polish as well as paint thinners. Many studies suggest that it interferes with theimmune system and may be linked to malignant lymphoma.


Retinol is a vitamin A compound which is not safe for skin care purposes. When broken up under sunlight, retinol releases radicals which may trigger skin cancers. It is advised that products containing vitamin A chemicals should be avoided.


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