Unhealthy Items to Avoid in Beauty Products

Just because it makes you look beautiful doesn’t mean that it’ll make you feel beautiful, too. Beauty products contain a lot of synthetic, complex, and downright strange ingredients. Some can cause cancer. Some are terrible for the environment. Some can even affect reproduction and cause cellular damage. We know, we know … the list of things that cause us harm grows by the day.

But you’re a loyal Healthversed reader, so you already know the importance of informed decision making. Today, we’re going to look at a few ugly chemicals used to make you pretty. Let’s go!


We start today’s journey with a chemical commonly found in shampoos, shaving gels, makeup, and a bunch of pharmaceuticals. Parabens are a class of preservatives, included in beauty products to help increase the item’s shelf life. Which they do! Quite well, too, up until 2004 when a paper was published that linked parabens to breast cancer. Unfortunately, parabens are still used in a lot of products today. So be sure to read the label and avoid them wherever possible.

LenaPl / Shutterstock


Please, don’t ask us to try and pronounce this one. Not only is this common chemical compound a mouthful, it’s also incredibly dangerous. Phthalates are used to soften various plastic compounds. They’ve been used in cosmetics for decades, in things like nail polish and hair spray. They work really well. Unfortunately, they have been linked to yes, you guessed it, cancer. They’re pretty much in everything to be honest — food, moisturizers, plastic bags — so unless you live on the moon, they’re almost unavoidable.

bimka / Shutterstock
1 of 5