The Blacklist – 101 Skin Care Ingredients That May Kill You Over Time

hospital bedThe ingredients in the skincare products you use every day may be killing you. Scientists, researchers, authors and public safety advocates have been trying to inform people for years.

In some cases, they have fought to have products removed from the market, but the government continues to side with the cosmetic industry. The industry has always tried to cover-up what is actually included in their products.

They list the ingredients on the package label, but the list is incomplete. They are not required to reveal the chemicals used to create the fragrances or those used in the manufacturing processes.

Most chemical fragrances are composed of aromatic hydrocarbons, which are known or probable carcinogens. Traces of the chemicals used in the manufacturing processes are found in the completed product.

Manufacturers are not required to test for contaminants. They are not required to safety test ingredients before including them in their products.

People do not usually die suddenly from exposure, although there have been instances of life-threatening allergy-related anaphylaxis. The industry blames all reactions on consumer sensitivities. They never blame themselves, but they are killing us slowly.

The ingredients popular with cosmetic manufacturers accumulate in our skin. They pass through the skin and enter our bloodstream. Once in our bloodstream, they accumulate in the tissues and organs of our bodies. For example, parabens, which are artificial preservatives, have been found in breast cancer tumors. Talc has been found in uterine tumors.

There are safe alternatives, but the safe alternatives cost more and would require manufacturers to change their processes. They do not want to change. They will not change until someone forces them to do so.

The best way to bring about change is to avoid products containing toxic chemicals. That’s why I created this list. If everyone stops buying skincare products containing the 101 ingredients listed below, then eventually the manufacturers will either have to change or they will simply go out of business.

The ingredients below can be found in major well-known brands like L’Oreal and Revlon. The price of a product is not an indicator of quality. Expensive and cheap skincare products alike contain them.

There are safe alternatives and the better companies use them. Not a single one of the 101 listed below is essential for skin care.

Most of the ingredients on the list are known to or suspected of causing cancer in humans. Mineral oil and talc for example are on the American Cancer Society’s list of known carcinogens, yet the cosmetic industry continues to maintain that mineral oil and other petroleum-based ingredients are safe. They continue to make facial powder containing talc, when it is known that inhalation of talc causes lung cancer, because it contains asbestos.

Some of the ingredients are known to combine with others to form carcinogens. For example, the antibacterial agent triclosan combines with chlorine commonly present in tap water to form trihalomethanes, which are known carcinogens.

Then there are ingredients that cause an increase in the number of free radicals present in the skin. The sunscreens on the list are examples. While they are supposed to protect us from skin cancer, they may actually contribute to it.

Free radicals cause mutations of cellular DNA changing the healthy cell into a cancer cell. So, any ingredient that causes an increase in free radicals increases our risk of cancer.

Another problem is that we tend to use a number of different products on a daily basis. So, we have multiple sources of exposure. According to the Environmental Working Group, the multiple sources of exposure further increases our lifetime risks of cancer and systematic organ failure by creating a burden on our bodies.

So, while a cosmetic company can maintain that a single ingredient is safe at the concentration included in the product, a person who uses 5 or 6 different products is exposed to 5 or 6 times the “safe” amount.

There are even a few ingredients that are not only known carcinogens. They are also toxic to the nervous system and damage the human reproductive system. Acrylamide is an example.

To make it easier for you to browse through the list, they are categorized according to what they are normally used for or where they are commonly found. A few of the ingredients might fit into more than one category, but for brevity they are included only in one.

Without further ado, here’s the black list.

101 Skin Care Ingredients That Can Kill

danger poisonous skincare

Antibacterial agents & Cleansers

1. Triclosan

2. Sodium laurel sulfate

3. Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS)

4. Sodium laurel ethyl sulfate (SLES)

5. Benzalkonium chloride

6. Alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride (ADBAC)

Artificial preservatives

7. Bronopol

8. Quaternium-15

9. Parabens

10. Methylparaben

11. Ethylparaben

12. Propylparaben

13. Butylparaben

14. Isobutylparaben

15. Isopropylparaben

16. Benzylparaben

Fragrance ingredients

17. Toluene

18. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

19. Toluol

20. Benzene

21. Aromatic hydrocarbons

22. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

23. Acenaphthene

24. Acenaphthylene

25. Anthracene

26. Benz[a]anthracene

27. Benzo[a]pyrene (has the distinction of being the first carcinogen to be discovered)

28. Benzo[e]pyrene

29. Benzo[b]fluoranthene

30. Benzo[ghi]perylene

31. Benzo[j]fluoranthene

32. Benzo[k]fluoranthene

33. Chrysene

34. Coronene

35. Dibenz(a,h)anthracene

36. Fluoranthene

37. Fluorene

38. Indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene

39. Napthalene

40. Ovalene

41. Phenanthrene

42. Pyrene

43. Triphenylene

Skin Lighteners

44. Phenol

45. Carbolic acid

46. Hydroquinone

47. Mercury

48. Tretinoin

49. All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)


50. Acrylamide

51. Formaldehyde

52. Nitrosamines

53. 1,4-Dioxane

54. Dioxane

55. Free Radicals

56. Ethylene oxide

57. Trihalomethanes

Ingredients added to balance pH, confer a creamy texture, or create a foaming action

58. DEA (Diethanolamine)

59. Cocamide DEA

60. DEA-Cetyl Phosphate

61. DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate

62. Lauramide DEA

63. Myristamide DEA

64. Oleamide DEA

65. MEA (monoethanolamine)

66. Cocamide MEA

67. ETA (Ethanolamine)

68. TEA (Triethanolamine)

Petroleum Based Carrier Oils

69. Liquid paraffin

70. Petrolatum

71. Mineral oil

72. Petroleum-based Waxes

73. Paraffin wax


74. Oxybenzone

75. Benzophenone

76. Octocrylene

77. Octyl methoxycinnamate

78. Retinyl Palmitate

79. Micronized titanium

80. Zinc oxide nano-particles

81. PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid)

82. 4-aminobenzoic acid

83. Phenylbenzimidazole (PBI)

Artificial Colors and Miscellaneous Ingredients

84. Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate

85. Talc

86. CI 77499

87. D&C Red 30

88. D&C Red 7

89. D&C Red 6

90. D&C Yellow 5

91. FD&C Yellow 6

92. FD&C Blue 1

93. Chromium Oxide Greens

94. Chromium Hydroxide Green

95. Iron Oxides

96. Lecithin

97. Magnesium Alumina Silicate

98. Mica

99. PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone)

100. Silica Crystalline Quartz

101. Tetrasodium EDTA


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