Harmful chemicals

Harmful chemicals

Going organic is the new fad in town. From opting for an organic diet to using organic cosmetics, people have slowly, but consciously, shifted their preferences to all things natural.

However, not all products with labels that scream ‘organic’ may stand true to their claim. Therefore, it is important to do some research and learn to read the labels. Check whether the products contain any of the following ingredients that can have a negative impact on your body. 


It is a colourless, flammable gas that is widely used to protect cosmetic products from bacterial contamination. Eyelash glues, soaps, make-up, shampoos, lotions, hair gels and nail polishes commonly contain this gas. The chemical often triggers allergic reactions and prolonged use is bound to harm the brain and interfere with growth and development in children.


Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate produce a rich lather and are commonly found in shampoos, face wash, shower gels, etc. On the flip side, they drain moisture from hair and skin. When used over a period of time, they weaken the hair structure, thus leading to breakage.


Parabens are a group of chemicals extensively used as low-cost preservatives in moisturisers, body wash, mascara, anti-ageing serums and cleansers. Look out for methylparaben, propylparaben, isoparaben and butylparaben. They are known to contribute to the development of cancerous tumours.

Cosmetic petrochemicals

Almost all skin care products contain synthetic substances like petroleum. Look out for ingredients like paraffin wax, mineral oil, toluene, benzene, phenoxyethanol, etc. Petroleum products are known to cause cancers and their excessive use has also resulted in anaemia, kidney degeneration, and nerve damage.


They are used as a plasticiser in products like nail polish (to make the coating less brittle). Dimethylphthalate is used in hair sprays (to avoid stiffness), while diethylphthalate is used as a solvent and fixative in perfumes. Increased exposure to phthalates can have an adverse effect on human reproduction and development.

Cosmetic fragrance

While all of us love soaps and other cosmetics that smell good, these artificial fragrances are created using low-quality synthetic chemicals which replicate the natural aroma of substances that already exist in nature. Avoid such products as these chemicals can cause skin irritation and rashes.

(The author is co-founder, SeaSoul Cosmeceuticals​)

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