Ten Harmful Chemicals Used in Skincare Products — COUI Skincare

Ten Harmful Chemicals Used in Skincare Products

Continuous use of chemical skin care products can result in unhealthy skin and acne, dermatitis, eczema and/or psoriasis, premature aging and increased toxin levels in the body. Chemical ingredients can add to the "body-load" of undesirable substances. Further, recent studies have been raising alarm bells about the accumulation of chemicals in the unborn babies.

The following ingredients are commonly used in skin care and cosmetic products. Some have molecules much too large to be absorbed through the skin. Instead, they tend to suffocate the skin and block normal skin respiration by forming a film that traps moisture, toxins, and waste while preventing the intake of oxygen.

Some of these chemicals have been implicated in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. The use of Phthalates in particular, is a very serious cause for concern. This is a gender-bending; carcinogenic chemical and a common ingredient in hair spray and skin care. Chemicals like the synthetic musk found in virtually all chemical deodorants and perfumed skincare products are causing serious concern because of the high levels being found in fat tissues.

perfume spray

Let us examine 10 chemical skincare ingredients and their known harmful side-effects.


Extracted from wool and commonly used in skin care and lotions. It may contain residue of pesticides and herbicides. Recent tests conducted on lanolin samples showed up to 26 different chemicals were contaminating this product. Lanolin is now considered a skin sensitive substance that may cause allergic reactions.


These ingredients are used in: cigarettes, shampoo, face cleansers and body wash, soap, bubble bath.

An alarming feature of these ingredients is they are Nitrosamines contaminated, which is a known carcinogen. Large amounts of nitrates can enter the bloodstream after just one shampoo. 

Nitro-Sating Agents

Probably, the most potent cancer-causing compound currently used in skin care and is not required to be listed on the ingredient label because it is an impurity. It contaminates other chemicals, e.g. Formaldehyde, D.M.D.M., Ammonium Sulfate, Sodium Methyl, DEA, MEA, TEA, PEG.

Nitro-sating compounds are present in tobacco smoke and studies indicate, even in low doses, there is evidence of endocrine disruption.


Furthermore, known as mineral oil jelly, Vaseline, paraffin, liquid and baby oil. It can lead to photo-sensitivity and strips the natural oils from the skin cause dryness, and premature aging. 


It prevents elimination of toxins, can cause acne and other disorders. The most recent research has confirmed that during the manufacturing process of petroleum jelly, Nitroamines are formed, which are highly carcinogenic and dangerous to long-term health.

Because of the newest finding's petroleum or petrolatum, has been banned in the EU. This is an example of a commonly used chemical (40 years or more) now proving to be unsafe and in fact, dangerous to health.

Propylene Glycol

Used in liquid makeup, creams, and lotions, including baby lotion. Safety data sheets indicate that propylene should not have direct contact with the skin. It may cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage and can also be a strong skin irritant.

They have been linked to problems with the immune system; changes the skin's natural moisture factor; damages cell membranes and inhibits cell growth. These are regularly used as industrial anti-freeze and in brake and hydraulic fluid.

Artificial Musk

Artificial Musk is cheap fragrance ingredients commonly found in the majority of chemical's skin care products and deodorants. They are also found in shaving creams and after-shave lotions.

These persistent chemicals accumulate in our fat tissue and can be found in breast milk. They play no part in the body and these chemicals will prove to be very dangerous to human health in the long-term.


P.A.B.A. is found mostly in sunscreens. Like DEA, it is a Nitro-sating forming agent. There is rising concern that the energy absorbed by these P.A.B.A. using sunscreen is then turned into free radicals, which may actually increase the risk of skin cancer!

sunscreen spray

Studies show the massive increase in skin cancer, melanoma, directly relates to and is in proportion to the vast increases in sales of chemical-based sunscreen products

Prior to the common use of chemicals on the skin, melanoma rates were static from decade to decade.

Mineral Oil

Derived from petroleum, mineral oil may block normal respiration and suffocate the skin. This ingredient has the potential to cause cancer.


The ingredient is used in body cream and hair products, antiperspirants and nail polish this formaldehyde forming preservatives can cause joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pain, chronic fatigue, and asthma. It can also weaken the immune system and even cause cancer.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

These ingredients are used in approximately 25% of skin care products such as baby oils and lotions, hair dyes, shampoo, lipstick, face, body and hand creams. These ingredients are derived from coal, crude oil, and petrol and are another name for toxic chemicals.

Research into the combined effects of chemicals would require the complete commitment and allocation of financial resources from all manufacturers often to their product detriment. The combined effects' chemicals have on the body are an unknown field and may probably remain this way. As a result, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is now so common.

Testing for combined effects of chemicals may never happen and consequently, our well-being and that of our children will be the worse. Chemical accumulations in cells and fatty tissues can reach very harmful levels if allowed to continue to a build-up day after day - year after year... Just like the toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke accumulate in the lungs of smokers! We are all aware what damage these causes.

smoker bad skin

Your skin is no barrier to chemical absorption!

The body has no process for excretion of harmful chemicals when the chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin.

It appears to be clear when evaluating cosmetic, skin care, beauty products, you should follow these simple steps:

  1. Read carefully the ingredient label on the back of the product.
  2. Have an understanding what the ingredient names mean.
  3. Avoid ingredients that have question marks about their safety or there is a strong ongoing debate about its safe use.
  4. Look for products, which contain ingredients that are: skin compatible; skin tolerant and work in harmony with the skins' natural system to deliver effective product performance.
FREE SPIN Spinner icon