9 Harmful Chemicals to Avoid When Buying Health Products

Health products advertise themselves as ways to boost your health, happiness, and productivity. While many of them indeed do just that, many contain carcinogens and other harmful, sometimes toxic chemicals, that can cause irreparable damage. Harmful chemicals can be hidden in products that you would never imagine, so being vigilant about avoiding them is your best option. To help you in your research, here are nine harmful chemicals to avoid when buying health products:

1. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is one of the most commonly known harmful chemicals that customers seek out when looking at products. This carcinogenic substance is often found in nail care products, soaps, health-based baby shampoos, and other such products. Formaldehyde is known to cause skin irritation, hamper growth in children, slow down brain growth in children, and has even been potentially linked to several forms of cancer. If you value your health or the health of your child, avoiding products with formaldehyde is critical.

2. Parabens

Parabens are fairly rare, but are still used in health care products in some areas of the world, despite being known to be dangerous. This carcinogen is similar to formaldehyde in its dangers. The substance can cause reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruptors, and some types of cancer. Checking out the ingredients of any health product you are unsure of is crucial, and parabens should always be an ingredient that you keep your eyes peeled for. If you find yourself exposed to dangerous medication or products that cause severe side effects, you may be eligible for restitution.

3. Triclosan

Skin cleansers, deodorants, and toothpaste are the most common types of health products that can contain the carcinogen triclosan. The chemical is known to endanger reproductive hormones (similar to parabens), thyroid issues, and can harm endocrine. Being on top of buying healthcare and grooming products that are less chemically laden and being aware of what’s in them, can help you avoid exposing yourself to triclosan. There are many alternative skincare products to seek out that are much safer. 

4. Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone has been used to brighten up human skin in many beauty parlors, and there are many skin brightening products out there that contain this toxic chemical. Sacrificing your health for beauty is always a terrible idea, so you should avoid all products that contain this carcinogen. This is one of the most seriously dangerous chemicals on this list, as it’s likely to cause tumors (both cancerous and benign) if it’s used consistently.

5. Mercury

Mercury is becoming less and less commonly used in products sold in the United States. However, being aware of the potential culprits that can contain high levels of mercury is critical. Baby lotions are the most common offender, and if you want to ensure your baby is not exposed to harmful levels of mercury, you need to heavily research baby lotions that contain no trace amounts of mercury.

6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate is one of the less dangerous chemicals on the list, but it still has the potential to cause damage to your nerve system with excessive, consistent exposure. Soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, and other health and grooming products are the most common products to contain sodium lauryl sulfate.

7. Phthalate

One of the rarer, but more consistently dangerous chemicals on this list, phthalate is known for causing serious harm to testosterone levels, and reproductive system damage that is irreversible. Breast cancer has also been found in studies that look into the effects of prolonged exposure to phthalate.

8. Oxybenzone

Some suntan lotions and other sun-protection health products are known to contain oxybenzone. While your skin will stay protected from UV rays, the oxybenzone you’re exposed to will put you at risk of experiencing irritating, frustrating, and often dangerous side effects that you will want to avoid. Skin irritation, damaged skin cells, hormone imbalance, and other irritating side effects are common. If you like to tan frequently, you must avoid sun-protection products that contain oxybenzone.

9. Coal Tar Dyes

Aminophernol, phenylenediamine, and diaminobenzene are all contained in products that use “coal tar dyes.” Anti-dandruff shampoos and other personal care products are the most common culprits that have coal tar dyes. These carcinogens have led several countries to band all products that contain coal tar dyes. Finding healthier alternatives, and anti-dandruff shampoos that do not use this toxic ingredient is key.

Keep Your Body and Mind Clean

By avoiding these nine dangerous substances, you can keep your body and mind clean, healthy, and productive. It’s easy to accidentally expose yourself to chemicals you’d rather avoid, especially if you fail to study the health and beauty products you use. To push yourself into a healthier, more aware lifestyle, begin looking into every product you buy as though your overall health depended on it (because it likely does).