10 List of Banned Chemicals in Cosmetics in Europe

Every woman needs cosmetics. Don’t you agree? The need of cosmetics is everywhere, from head to toe. Hair care, body care, skin care and makeup are all part of cosmetics that we use every day.

But, have you ever checked your cosmetics’ ingredients? There are so many kinds of chemicals that we can find in the list of cosmetics’ ingredients. It turns out that not all of chemical can be used in our cosmetics. Some of them are banned because it contains harmful chemical substances. More about harmful chemical substances can be found in Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics Products.

Europe is one of so many countries that ban so much chemicals in cosmetics. The chemicals banned in Europe based on Annex of the EU Cosmetic Regulation (1223/2009) reach up to around 1300 chemicals.  It is so much higher number than US, which only ban around 11 chemicals in cosmetics.

Here is list of banned chemicals in cosmetics in Europe that sometimes can be found in other countries:

1. Talc

Talc is an absorbent mineral which mostly contains chemical substances, such as magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is widely used in cosmetic products in the form of talcum powder. The examples of talcum powder in cosmetics can be found in baby powder, adult body powder, facial powder, etc.

The benefit of talcum powder in cosmetics is that it can absorb moisture well, keeping skin dry and prevent rashes.If it is useful, then why Europe ban this chemical substance in cosmetics? The answer is because as a mineral, sometimes Talc contains asbestos in its nature form.

Asbestos can be harmful to human, especially women, because it may cause ovarian cancer. Other diseases that also have been linked to this chemical substance are gynecological tumors, mesothelioma (kind of rare cancer), and lung cancer.

2. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) 

If you follow the trend of Korean cosmetics, you must be familiar with BHA. Don’t be confused because the two chemical substances are actually different. BHA which is famous can be found in Korean cosmetics stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid.

Whereas, the one we talked about is Butylated Hydroxyanisole. This BHA can be found in several products, ranging from hair products, lip products, makeup, sunscreen, fragrance up to deodorant. Even worse, it also can be found in personal care products as well as food.

Europe has banned this because BHA is a potential endocrine disruptor and carcinogen. The use of BHA in cosmetics is also possible for causing organ system toxicity and reproductive toxicity.

3. Propyl Paraben 

Some women call themselves as an anti-paraben. There are some products in Indonesian market also labelled as no-paraben products. Paraben, which can be found in skin care, make up and haircare is well-known as chemical substance that may cause cancer.

There are several studies that have been done about the connection between Propyl Paraben with cancer. A study in Europe found that parabens are found in breast cancer tissue. No wonder if women being hyper careful of this because the effect can be really harmful. To make it worse, study from Harvard also said that parabens built up in body can reduce fertility. This is one of many list of banned chemicals in cosmetics in Europe. 

4. Formaldehyde 

The term of formaldehyde can also be replaced with methylene glycol. Although Formaldehyde can be found in certain cosmetic products, such as nail polish ( more about chemicals in nail polish is Harmful Chemicals In Nail Polish ), eyelash glue and hair straightening treatments, you still need to put care on this.

Some countries including US, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Brazil have banned this chemical substance. Formaldehyde is banned because it is a carcinogen and sensitizer which means can cause allergic reaction and other health problems. Related to List of Chemicals Banned in Canada.

5. Petroleum 

Petroleum jelly is one of the fascinating invention in cosmetics. It is famous for multipurpose product which can be applied in hair, lips and body. The useful of Petroleum so that people tend to use it all over body is that it is the best at keeping skin moisturized. Petroleum contains petroleum derived ingredients, such as mineral oil, paraffin and petrolatum. Conversely to the its fascinating invention, these ingredients can cause cancer for a long-term use.

6. Salicylic acid 

We have talked a little about Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) before. Now, we are going to give you information about this BHA, referred as Salicylic Acid. Salicylic is one of the chemical substances that has been used since long time ago. It is known to treat pimples or acne treatments. Despite of the benefit, Salicylic Acid could potentially lead you to salicylate poisoning. Since 2014, it was classified as preservative substance. It can also cause Reye’s syndrome in children and young adults. 

7. Fragrance 

Fragrance is not only found in perfume, but also other cosmetic products, such as skin care, makeup and hair care. In each your beauty product which is labelled with fragrance means that it may contains 10 to 100 different chemical substances mixed as fragrance.

This is like the hidden secret of the cosmetic products. But do you know? Some of these hidden secrets are actually can be dangerous to you. Fragrance, like styrene and phthalates have been linked to endocrine disruption and cancer.

8. Triclosan 

Triclosan is a chemical substance which is used to prevent or reduce bacterial contamination. The chemical substance can be found in antiseptic products like bar soaps, body washes and every type of hand soap (liquid, gel, foam). Triclosan is banned because it has been linked to hormone disruption, immune system damage and potentially to skin cancer. Related to Harmful Chemicals in Antibacterial Soap.

9. Oxybenzone 

One of the must have item of the cosmetic products is sunscreen. Sunscreen is believed to be the reason why people seems not aging despite of their ages. As ingredient of your chemical sunscreen, you may find Oxybenzone. Europe has banned Oxybenzone from its cosmetic products because it has been linked to cancer.

10. Hydroquinone 

Several years ago, even in Indonesia, Hydroquinone made problems which is caused by its side effect. Found in facial skin care product, Hydroquinone is used for brightening and lightening skin. But, this chemical substance is really dangerous to human. It is cytotoxic, which means it will kill cells and chromosomes, also lead to some cancer.

Europe doesn’t only ban harmful chemicals found in cosmetics, but also those is food. Here is List of Food Ingredients Banned in Europe are Revealed.