The Dirty Dozen: Cosmetic Ingredients To Avoid

The Dirty Dozen: Cosmetic Ingredients To Avoid

We live in an age where many of us are becoming more conscious of the ingredients that we put into our bodies, from food to skincare. What goes on your skin is just as important as what you eat, and there are certain ingredients that you should avoid when selecting cosmetic products. Keep reading to find out which twelve ingredients have been dubbed “The Dirty Dozen” of cosmetics and why they should be avoided.

Cosmetic Ingredients To Avoid


Parabens are preservatives commonly used in cosmetics and personal care items such as lotions, shampoos, deodorants, and shaving creams. They help keep products fresh by preventing bacteria growth. However, parabens have been linked to endocrine disruption and may even lead to fertility issues in women. Parabens can also cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some people so it is best to avoid them if possible.


Fragrance or parfum is a blanket term for a variety of synthetic scents that are often used in shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, perfume, etc. These fragrances can contain hazardous chemicals such as phthalates which have been linked to endocrine disruption and reproductive toxicity. Fragrances can also cause allergic reactions or asthma attacks so it’s best to opt for fragrance-free products whenever possible.


Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) that has been linked to leukemia and other types of cancers such as nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). It is commonly found in nail polish and eyelash glue but can also be found in hair products like shampoo and conditioner. It is important to always read labels carefully before buying any product with formaldehyde listed as an ingredient since it can easily cause skin irritation or allergic reactions if not handled properly.


Sulfates are cleaning agents commonly found in shampoos, body washes, facial cleansers, etc., that help create a lather by breaking down oils on the skin and hair shafts. While sulfates do a good job at removing dirt and oil from the skin/hair they can strip away too much of the natural oils causing dryness or irritation which could lead to breakouts or even eczema flare ups if used over time. It’s best to opt for sulfate-free shampoos or body washes if you have sensitive skin/scalp conditions that may be aggravated by harsh detergents like sulfates.

Cosmetic Ingredients To Avoid

So there you have it! The ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of cosmetic ingredients you should avoid when selecting your skincare products! By avoiding these ingredients you will reduce your risk of exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals while still getting the results you want from your cosmetics routines! Be sure to always read product labels before purchasing any new beauty products so you know exactly what ingredients are being used! Doing this will ensure your safety while still allowing you enjoy all of the benefits that come with using quality skincare products!

Leave a comment