Skincare Products| 5 Harmful Ingredients To watch Out For

A couple of years ago, i thought if i got a skincare product that was suited to my skin type, all would be well in beauty land, little did i know how wrong i was. My first introduction to the harmful chemicals in skincare product was the dreaded hydroquinone!

Suddenly females wanted to look lighter and more foreign. I could barely recognize a few acquaintances. I then thought to look into the active ingredient that was responsible for a few too many lighter complexions and lo and behold, i discovered HYDROQUINONE.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, Hydroquinone is a chemical ingredient that is thought to remove scars, spots on the skin and generally make one lighter by eliminating and disrupting the production of melanin in the skin.. But what people do not know is that it can cause cancer and other serious side effects. Enough said.

Today, i’m going to be introducing you to five other harmful ingredients in your skincare products that can cause equal harm.

1  Mineral oil – This a by-product of petroleum that often times aggravates acne – pimples and blackheads and is linked to endometriosis, ovarian disfunction and poor immune system. can be found in lipbalms and lotions.

2  Parabens – Parabens are one of the cheapest forms of preservatives being used in the cosmetic industry. You can recognize them as methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben in your body and bath products. These compounds contributes to premature aging and it equally affects the male reproductive system. A study published by Dabre, in the Journal of Applied Toxicology in 2004, detected parabens in breast tumours.

3  Lead – Lead is poisonous substance that could prove fatal when inhaled or ingested. It is toxic to the heart, kidney, reproductive and nervous systems. It is often used as a colour additive in cosmetic dyes.

4  Mercury – Mercury is usually found alongside hydroquinone in skin bleaching creams and possesses the same harmful characteristics. Mercury has been known to be carcinogenic (cancer causing).

5  Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is a colourless gas that is often used in cosmetic products like nail polishes, hair gels, lotions etc It is linked to skin irritation, scalp burns, hair loss and has been linked to cancer.  A few preservatives used in cosmetic and skincare products are formaldehyde releasing preservatives, eg urea.


These are just a few ingredients you should be on the watchout for. There are quite a few more out there. Local laws can only protect us so much, it is therefore our responsibility to ensure that things we introduce to our bodies are quite safe for our consumption.

In subsequent posts we would be sharing more on this topic even as we introduce you to safe alternatives that can be found in your kitchen.

Until then, stay beautiful.

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