Advertisement

What's in cosmetics?

Fragrances and preservatives are the main ingredients in cosmetics. Fragrances are the most common cause of skin problems. More than 5,000 different kinds are used in products. Products marked "fragrance-free" or "without perfume" means that no fragrances have been added to make the product smell good.

Preservatives in cosmetics are the second most common cause of skin problems. They prevent bacteria and fungus from growing in the product and protect products from damage caused by air or light. But preservatives can also cause the skin to become irritated and infected. Some examples of preservatives are:

  • Paraben
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea
  • Quaternium-15
  • Dmdm Hydantoin
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Formaldehyde

The ingredients below cannot be used, or their use is limited, in cosmetics. They may cause cancer or other serious health problems:

  • Bithionol Mercury Compounds
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Halogenated Salicyanilides
  • Zirconium Complexes in aerosol sprays
  • Chloroform
  • Methylene Chloride
  • Chlorofluorocarbon Propellants
  • Hexachlorophene

This answer is based on source informationfrom the National Women's Health Information Center.

Continue Learning about Skin & Makeup/Cosmetics Use

Worst Case Scenario: Sleeping With Makeup On
Worst Case Scenario: Sleeping With Makeup On
At the end of a long day, it’s all too easy to skip a step in your nighttime routine and go to sleep without washing your face. But you may be doing m...
Read More
What products can I use to prevent skin reactions to makeup?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Products labeled "hypoallergenic" are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. "Noncomedogenic" pr...
More Answers
What lipstick shade should I use if I have yellow teeth?
Jonathan B. Levine, DMDJonathan B. Levine, DMD
First of all, it's easier to get rid of the yellow teeth than gray, because typically they're st...
More Answers
Are Oxygen Skin Care Products As Effective As Oxygen Facials?
Are Oxygen Skin Care Products As Effective As Oxygen Facials?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.