When it comes to makeup, most people don’t really think to take a closer look at what ingredients their beauty products are composed of. Out of all the healthy beauty tips, the number one would be to avoid products that are loaded with chemicals that can have serious consequences. The FDA may regulate food, but there are virtually no standards when it comes to makeup. From cosmetics to personal care, there are hundreds of unregulated chemicals lurking and ready to be absorbed into your skin.

Essentially, companies are able to use a number of ingredients that are unregulated and have not been approved by the government. There is an approval process, but it only applies to color additives and ingredients that are over the counter drugs. Not only are some of these chemicals not preferable, some are downright harmful. From penetrating the skin to disrupting the endocrine system, irritating the skin, and even potentially causing cancer, here are some of the chemicals in makeup you should look out for. Avoid buying products that contain these toxic ingredients.

1. Parabens
These preservatives prevent anything from growing on the product, but they also can increase your risk of breast cancer, thanks to deadly estrogen mimicking properties. You could be increasing your risk of breast cancer as the chemicals absorb through your skin. Found in not only makeup but shampoos, body wash and deodorants too, stay away from products with these chemicals.

2. Artificial Color
Artificial colors are man-made and often included in makeup. If you see a product that has letters on the side like D&C and FD&C, that stands for included synthetic color (f for food, d&c for drug and cosmetics). The problem is that these colors come from petroleum or even coal tar. They are a suspected skin irritant and human carcinogen, so bad that the European Union has banned them.

3. Fragrance
Fragrance is different according to each perfume. It’s a vague term that allows companies to hide their formula for each individual perfume. However, this means that you could be putting a different dose of chemicals onto your skin in a fine mist. The chemicals absorb into the skin quickly and can cause a number of side effects such as allergic reactions, effects on the reproductive systems, respiratory distress, and more. Fragrance is in a variety of beauty products, including makeup, body wash, moisturizers, shampoo and more.

4. Phtalates
These chemicals are used to keep plastic soft and flexible and are mainly included in nail polish, perfume, lotion and hairspray. They may cause an increased risk of breast cancer as well as an endocrine disruptor. It will not be included in perfumes as it is part of the ‘fragrance’ formula, but it can also be found in deodorant.

5. Triclosan
This endocrine disruptor and skin irritant is used for its antimicrobial purposes. It can make bacteria more antibiotic resistant and can be found in deodorant, antibacterial soaps, and toothpaste.

SLS and SLES stand for sodium lauryl sulfate and laureth sulfate, a surfactant found in the majority of personal cleaning products. These chemicals irritate the skin, lung, and eye and can potentially combine with other chemicals to form carcinogenic nitrosamines, which can cause other major organ damage. They are found in mascara, acne cleaners, shampoo, and body wash and cleanser.

7. Formaldehyde
There is formaldehyde in many a beauty product because it inhibits bacteria growth. It can also cause nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers and may even be the cause of skin reactions and a depressed immune system. You can find formaldehyde in eye shadow, nail polish, body wash, shampoos, conditioners, and more.

8. Toluene
This chemical is derived from coal tar– what could go wrong? This solvent can dissolve paint and may be lurking in your nail polish and hair color. It also goes under benzene, phenylmethane, toluol, and methylbenzene. It can cause immune system toxicity and also affects the respiratory system, causes nausea, and irritates the skin. Fun times!

9. Propylene Glycol
This organic alcohol is a skin penetrator and irritant, causing hives and dermatitis in people. It’s usually used as a skin conditioning agent and can cause effects in concentrations that are as small as 2%. You can find this chemical in makeup, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, moisturizers and sunscreen.

Avoid these nine chemicals at all costs! It’s always worth it to scope out makeup before you buy and make sure your makeup buys are as non-harmful and non-toxic as possible. When it comes to the makeup world, it’s best not to risk it. Follow healthy beauty tips and guides to organic makeup lines that source natural ingredients instead of harmful and unnecessary chemicals.