5 Common Ingredients in Makeup That May Be Causing You Harm

If you think that a cosmetic product being sold at your local drugstore or at global makeup store chains means that it is safe to use – think again!

Here’s a startling statistic that will make you wonder what exactly legislators are allowing you to put on your eyes, lips, skin, and body: In the EU, more than 1,300 known harmful chemicals to humans are banned or restricted. In contrast, in the United States, only 11 are banned.

As the first step to get educated on the many toxic chemicals in cosmetic products, here are the 5 most common toxic ingredients you need to blacklist from your makeup stash.


Parabens (e.g. Propylparaben, polyparaben, etc.) are a class of ingredients that are commonly found in most cosmetic products, including foundation, lipsticks and skincare, as a preservative.

Unfortunately, it is also known to be an endocrine disruptor – meaning it affects the human body’s endocrine system (glands and organs) responsible for the control and coordination of hormones in the body.

Carbon Black

Carbon black (also known as D&C Black No. 2, thermal black, channel black, etc.) is a highly pigmented colour additive found typically in eyeliner, mascara, and similar eye products.

While it was recently added to the list of FDA’s banned ingredients, there are still many products out there that have already been manufactured with this ingredient.

With studies showing cancer-causing properties, linkages to neurodevelopmental problems in infants, and more, it is little wonder why this toxic ingredient has been banned.

Petroleum Jelly

If you have ever used a moisturizing agent like a lip balm or lotion, chances are it probably contained petroleum jelly also known as purified mineral oil jelly made from refined crude oil.

While it does have a legitimate property as an emollient, the problem arises if it is not entirely purified as it can be contaminated with extremely toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

And it is due to the highly carcinogenic nature of PAHs that the EU has classified petroleum jelly as a restricted ingredient in cosmetics.


Oxybenzone is a synthetic chemical used primarily in sunscreens for its protective properties in absorbing UV rays and reducing skin penetration of radiation.

Despite its useful properties, it comes with a wealth of potential health impacts as well.

From potential reproductive concern due to its impact on oestrogen and testosterone production, thyroid problems, to being harmful to marine life, it is evident that we should steer clear of this substance.


Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of chemicals known scarily as “forever chemicals” used in waterproof, sweatproof, long-wearing cosmetics and to make skin appear shimmery and smooth. The reason? Because they do not break down easily, they keep accumulating in your body and the environment over a long time.

What’s worse, they are linked to many potential health problems such as low birth weights, being carcinogenic and endocrine disruptors, weakening immune systems amongst many more.


Looking To Avoid These Harmful Ingredients in Your Cosmetics?

Wondering how you can avoid these different groups of harmful chemicals altogether? For peace of mind, opt for organic cosmetic brands like Liht Organics!

At Liht Organics, our skin-loving formulations are all-natural, with a high organic content (up to 90% USDA certified organic ingredients), and are free of harmful and synthetic ingredients so that you don’t have to worry about any of these nasties getting into your bloodstream unknowingly.

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