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You are here Home > Beauty and Grooming > Articles
In our continuing article on chemicals in beauty products, here are some more ingredients for which you should look out.

How do you know if that new shampoo is really as miraculous as it appears? Can it actually be that good or is there a hidden catch? The truth is that most of these products are full of harmful chemicals that may damage your skin irreparably. Read on to find out what chemicals should set off a warning bell when you see them listed as ingredients.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)

This compound may sometimes also be referred to as sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). This is a carbon compound that also has elements like sulphur and sodium in it. It is a surfactant i.e. it encourages the production of foam when mixed with water. It is a major ingredient in detergents and floor cleaners.

Due to its foaming properties, SLS is included in products like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, bubble baths, etc. Since it is a detergent, SLS removes the natural oils from your skin. This leaves your skin dry and irritated, making you prone to skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne. If you use a soap containing SLS and some of the foam accidentally gets into your eyes, it could lead to inflammation.

The real danger though is that SLS can combine with other substances in beauty products and form potentially carcinogenic compounds. This could, in the long run, lead to cancer. Also, SLS may be sometimes contaminated by a substance called 1,4-dioxane that has been classified as a probable carcinogen. These statements have been highly contested by soap manufacturers however, who term these concerns as baseless.


Also called formalin, this chemical is more famous for its use as a preservative. It is used in laboratories and museums to preserve animal specimens. It is also used in morgues, as a constituent of embalming fluid. It is generally produced when carbon compounds are burnt as fuel. It is also a part of the smoke generated during forest fires, exhaust from automobiles, burning of tobacco, etc. Miniscule amounts of this compound are even produced in the human body, as a result of the various metabolic processes taking place. The burning sensation you experience if you are bitten by an ant is due to the formaldehyde in their saliva.

Formaldehyde is often used as an ingredient in shampoos, nail polish, and some creams. It is acidic and is the chief cause of the irritation you may experience when you use these products. In some cases, coming into contact with this substance can trigger an allergic reaction. Studies have also been carried out linking formaldehyde to increased risk of asthma and cancer.


Alcohol can be chemically obtained from a variety of substances, most notably petroleum. Different varieties of alcohol are available for many purposes. Generally, isopropyl alcohol is used in most beauty products. These include perfumes, hair gels and sprays, body lotions, cologne, after-shave lotions, and hair colouring products.

Alcohol dehydrates that area of your skin where it is applied or sprayed. Also, alcohol is toxic in nature. If inhaled in large amounts, constantly applied to the skin, or accidentally ingested, it can cause what is known as alcohol poisoning. This is a serious condition that manifests itself through a variety of symptoms. Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, headaches, reduced functionality of the central nervous system, coma, etc. In extreme cases, it can be fatal.


Talc is a mineral that is primarily composed of magnesium silicate. It is most commonly known as talcum powder. Talc is a constituent of powder foundations, blushes, baby powder, etc. If inhaled, talc causes irritation in the delicate tissue that lines your lungs. Researchers have also linked talc to cancers of the lungs, skin, and ovaries. Talc is also sometimes contaminated with asbestos particles, which is a known carcinogen.

Make it a point to know what the products you use could do to your body. Something that claims to be natural need not always be a safer option. After all, it is your body at stake.

How do you choose beauty products for yourself? Are you tempted by advertisements or do you check to see if they contain harmful ingredients? To share your tips, views, and experiences, click here.

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Name: Naren
City:   Gurgaon
Comments:   Are so many of these beauty products actually necessary? I get very confused when I see the advertisements on TV. I do not even recognise what half of these things are used for. Why does a woman need so many things to make her feel attractive?
Name: Vidisha
City:   Delhi
Comments:   All these beauty products claim to make you look fantastic. However, this comes at a price. These products are extremely expensive. Plus, the ads guarantee results only if you use the products for a particular period which means you have to buy the products at least two or three times.
Name: Preeti Surathu
City:   Hyderabad
Comments:   Actually I am in a very confused state regarding the cosmetics.When we go to a store to buy shampoo seeing an imported brand we get tempted to buy though it is expensive.Here what I feel is those products are made out side India,are according to their climatic conditions and skin tones Of course nail polishes and lipsticks are ok.I really feel all the products comming in the market are they really worth it because on an imported product so many taxes like import duty,sales tax etc are levived which inturn goes from our pocket.Finally there are hunderads of cosmetic brands and companies through out the world can any one suggest me a single lady who is 100% satisfied by using a particular brand,which created miracle to her skin or hair,genarally what all the companies claim ?Every one must have heard about Marlin Mandroo she was considered as a epitome of beauty to my knowledge used to bath with goat milk(correct me if I am wrong),not too far our sweet old grannies used mulatani mitti,curd etc for hair and skin so girls after paying so much of money for that chemical based products are we able to look as beautiful as them,atleast 50%percent of it,think about it? I am also thinking.
Name: vaishali
City:   delhi
Comments:   am very confused what to use and what not to use.After reading this article i got a handful of information but what about the other chemicals are they not harmful... which product shall we choose among the creams all of them do have some or the other chemical then what shall we use pls reply me??
Name: anitha
City:   hyderabad
Comments:   my skin is oily,so what type of foundation cream is suitable for me?please reply to me mamsir.i learn more about this artical.thank u .biii
Name: rhea
City:   mumbai
Comments:   actually there is no need to buy beauty products....we can find out many home remedies for our various problems regarding skin hair etc....if u can give a try to expensive products without knowing actual benefits of it...why can´t u try home remedies when they are much less expensive and don´t have chemicals..just google for home remedies and u can get lot´s of them...:)
Name: bntm
City:   china
Comments:   get rid of dark circle and brown spots on face as well to get brighter and healthier whitening skin.which product is helpful?? whether to use cleanser or exfoliater
Name: JAJA
City:   dTvnlYrr
Name: sume
City:   Himachal Pradesh
Comments:   What product i should use for an oily skin. my age is 28 years. i have fair complexion and sensitive skin
Name: Nidhi
City:   Delhi
Comments:   my hair is oily. it became oily washing after two days. should i apply hair oil? whch hair oil i have to apply sugest any brand? and also suggest me any shampoo whch nt have(SLS) right nw im using dove hairfall shampoo with conditoner. during apply shampoo a hairfall happn. and while apply conditioner agan hair fall so whch shampoo and condin. is best for me whch r avaliable in genral stores?
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City:   CA
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Name: faria nasim
City:   karachi
Comments:   oooooooooo damn.....these product doesn´t work.....and even sometimes not the home remedies....what we should do is to make a better diet plan...don´t you think so??
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