We love makeup. The packaging is usually adorable, there are so many shades of so many things, there are many options, and it can be fun to change the way we look or just enhance our features. Bottom line: makeup is fun!

But sometimes we are putting things on our skin and lips that are not so fun... There are sometimes nasty chemicals hidden in our makeup, and we are here to give you the top 10 ingredients to avoid.

1. Parabens

This nasty chemical preservative mimics estrogen and is linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and development disorders. Look for "paraben free" on the packing of any beauty product that you're considering to purchase. There is more than one type of parabens, and they are in a lot of products.

2. Fragrance

Fragrances can have many different chemicals in them, of which you do not know of because there is no requirement to list the ingredients in fragrance. So unless the company tells you that they are using pure essential oils as their fragrance, you have no idea what is in synthetic fragrances that many cosmetic companies use. 

3. Oxybenzone

A very popular sunscreen ingredient, this chemical sunscreen is the worst of all of them. It mimics estrogen and disrupts hormones. It acts as a UV absorber for plastics-- we can't treat our skin the same as we treat plastic.

4. Sodium Lauryl Sulfates

A skin irritant which may be linked to some cystic acne. It is found in many products and is an inexpensive surfactant.

5. BHA

Found in a lot of fragrances, BHA may cause damage to the liver and studies point to BHA as a carcinogen. This is why avoiding synthetic fragrances is so important!

6. Triclosan & Triclocarban

Found in many antibacterial soaps among other personal care products, this actually has caused bacterial resistance, hormone disruptions, decreased immune systems, and allergies. 

7. Retinyl Palmitate, Retinyl Acetate, Retinoic Acid & Retinol

Retinols become a carcinogen in the sunlight, so if you do end up using them, make sure you are only using them at night, and you are wearing a strong sunscreen. 

8. Petroleum Distillates

Often in mascara and other makeup products, they often are contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals.

9. Hydroquinone

This is a common skin lightening ingredient that is linked to a disease called Ochronosis. If you are getting a skin lightener that is imported, they can often be contaminated with unknown chemicals, so be aware.

10. Coal Tar (Aminophenol, Diaminobenzene, Phenylenediamine)

This is a known carcinogen that is in a lot of hair dyes and in some shampoos. This ingredient is banned in Europe. However, U.S. regulations aren't as strict, so it is crucial to keep your eye on the lookout.

It's always good to look at the ingredients on your makeup and familiarize yourself with what they are if you don't know. Hidden chemicals in seemingly harmless products can build up in your body and cause inflammation and health issues. We hope this helps you on your makeup and skincare journeys.

The Zoja Beauty Team