Cosmetic industry is growing with a lot of innovation and usage. Some of the cosmetics are enhanced to give the best result. However, good result does not mean safe ingredients just like what explained in Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics Products & Caution & Ingredients. Cosmetics has been known to be one of industrial products that contain some of the most harmful chemical and some belong to restricted cosmetic ingredients. If this is the case, thus a saying beauty is pain may as well true for it takes a risk for health just to improve beauty.
With this case, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of United States has issued the list of prohibited and restricted chemical contained in cosmetics. Some of the banned ingredients have been tested as causing hazardous side effects to either human’s health or to the environment. Here is the list of prohibited and restricted cosmetic ingredients by FDA.
1. Halogenated Salicylanilides
Halogenated Salicylanilides is a compound used for antibacterial in soap and acne cream. The chemical has many advantages to get rid of bacteria and fungi. Before the discovery of the danger, this compound is used widely in pharmacy and cosmetic industry. Salicylanilides and the variation is also used as antiseptic and anti parasite
However, research later found out the chemical to be toxic and hazardous, especially toward animals. With its potent nature of photosensitizer, the chemical can also endanger human’s skin. Frequent use of cosmetic that contain this as the ingredients can cause disabling skin. Because of this, halogenated salicylanilides use in any level is prohibited under FDA’s Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
2. Mercury Compounds
Mercury (Hg) is a chemical element formerly used for thermometer and fluorescent. The mercury usually is silver-colored liquid. Was once largely used in industry, it gradually declines as the chemical later proved to be toxic. The most hazardous mercury is the soluble one in the form of methyl mercury, or mercuric chloride.
Some illegals cosmetic largely whitening products, are found to contain mercury compounds. The irresponsible party used the chemical as a mean for instant whitening. Mercurial products indeed give fast result. However, the mercury will accumulate and seeped through skin. If this happens, cancerous cell or carcinoma may grow. The most apparent side effects are skin problem starting from red patches and chronic acne.
Since mercury is hazardous to human’s body, the list of prohibited and restricted cosmetic ingredients by FDA. being on the shortlist of restricted cosmetic ingredients. Mercury compound is also found to be banned in Philippines as listed in List of Banned Chemicals in Philippines and Severely Restricted.
3. Chlorofluorocarbon Propellants
Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants is chemical compound often used in aerosol products. It is also used as cooler in refrigerator and air conditioner. Because of its colorless form, CFC is often used in cosmetic products especially aerosol products such as perfume and skin mist. Once research proved the chemical to be dangerous to environment, CFC is no longer permitted to be used in any kind of industry or to be exported and imported just like other chemicals listed in List of Toxic Chemicals Severely Restricted for Import and Export.
The biggest harm it can cause is global warming. Research has found Chlorofluorocarbon as a chlorine chemical, once it gets released to air, it will affect the ozone layer. Ozone layer is part of atmosphere functions to shield the earth from ultraviolet ray.
However, the use of chlorofluorocarbon propellants contribute to the depletion of ozone layer, causing the sun ray becomes less filtered and trigger global warming. Depleted ozone layer also cause UV ray to enter earth and cause many dangerous disease from skin cancer to mutation in organism.
4. Methylene Chloride
Methylene chloride was once used as aerosol in hair spray. When the harm was not detected, industry highly favors it because it has slightly sweet smell. The chemical is colorless and cannot degrade easily on water despite not having solid form. This one is also used as solvents. Methylene chloride formed when methane or methyl ethane meets chlorine gas.
The process’ product later was discovered to be too toxic to environment. The biggest risk ot exposes is lung cancer. Severe damage on cells both found within animal and human’s body. The chemical also triggers malignant and cancerous cell in part of body exposes most to it. The persistent nature of it also make it highly possible to be pollutant to environment.
5. Hexachlorophene (Nabac)
Hexachlorophene or well-known as Nabac was highly utilized chemical in both agricultural and cosmetic industry. (See List of Banned Agricultural Chemicals that People Still Use for agricultural use). In agricultural industry it was used as disinfectant while in cosmetic, it was often used as medicinal cosmetics such as antiseptic in soap, mouthwash, shampoo, and deodorant. It is also found in skin-care routine products such as cleanser, mask, and anti-acne cream.
When the chemical is found out to be harmful, FDA made regulation to restrict the use of hexachlorophene. It must not exceed 0.1 percent in cosmetic, not to be applied in lips, and can’t be used with other preservatives. The harm it exposes includes skin problem in excessive use and discharged nerve system. When it is used by infants, the high use of it can also lead to death.
Another chemical formerly used as anti bacteria is bithionol. Some of the common products that were once have this chemical as the ingredient is shampoo, cream, detergent bar, and antiseptic. Bithionol was largely used until expert found the chemical to the expose certain risk to human’s health. Thus, it becomes one of restricted cosmetic ingredients.
The bithionol proved to cause photosensitivity to human. The risk of getting it is when chemical is used for products applied topically. Therefore, it may cause injury or damage to body part exposed to it. Because of this very reason, FDA of United States prohibit the use of it in any cosmetic products.
Under FDA’s Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, some substances are mentioned for their safety. Different countries may have different law and regulations just like List of Banned Chemicals in Malaysia & Highly Toxic . To further understand and be aware of the chemical around us, check . Cosmetic has been widely used and the beauty standard will not change the fact that some harmful chemicals out there may still lurking around. Hence, it is better to do prevention to prevent further damage.