Ugly Makeup Ingredients

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What makes ingredients Ugly Makeup Ingredients?

  • Toxic to humans
  • Toxic to our world
  • Destroy our future for short term gain
  • There are suitable alternatives
  • They come from non-renewable resources
  • They rely on tax subsidies (instead of investing that same tax money into better resources)
Toxins in cosmetics are killing us and killing our world

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Determining whether or not an ingredient is toxic for humans depends on a number of factors :

  • How much is needed to injure or kill us if it is in our body?
  • Will non toxic ingredients react with other non toxic ingredients to become toxic?
  • Will the ingredients damage our ecosystem such as water, plants, soil, etc?

These are not simple questions to answer. They will take time and money.

So what do we do?

  • Do we add them to cosmetics and hope for the best?
  • Do we not use them and look for alternatives?
  • Do we use suspected ingredients in small quantities?

Let's use lead as an example

  • Lead is toxic
  • Lead is naturally occurring in our world
  • Humans consume lead as a natural process
  • Lead in naturally occurring amounts in our body is non toxic
  • Lead in high amounts will quickly kill humans

Globally, there are 2 main ways to deal with the issue?

1. Add lead to the product in tiny quantities

Factories add suspected toxic ingredients in very small amounts

Conduct a real-time experiment and quickly withdraw the product if there are problems

Using humans for long term testing and only take action after death or injury

Or ...

2. Use a precautionary principle

Use the precautionary principle and ban cosmetic ingredients unless proven not to be toxic

And ban the ones that you know kill or injure

Ban all suspected toxic cosmetic ingredients

Depending on where you live will depend on the policy that your country follows.

To determine our ugly makeup ingredients list, we used the following criteria :

  • if it is toxic in any way, it's ugly
  • whether it is proven or suspected, it's ugly
  • if it is non-renewable or damaging to the environment, it's ugly
  • if it is supplied in a container that is made from toxic ingredients, it's ugly
  • if there is any way that these ingredients will harm our children, it's ugly
  • until it is proven that a suspected toxic ingredient is not toxic, it will stay on the ugly list
Containers made from toxic ingredients
Toxins in baby cosmetics
Cosmetic industry must prove that suspected toxins are not toxic

The Ugly Makeup Ingredients list is by no means an absolute guarantee. Like everything in life, we should always see things in perspective and remember that all living things in our world are unique.

This list does not provide de facto results and information that impacts the life of every living thing in an equal and expectant manner.

In view of this, use this information with common sense and trust your instincts after informing yourself as much as possible.

To quickly find a word, press Ctrl F (PC) in your browser. A find box will appear on your screen. Enter your word and press Enter.

These are only some of the common ugly ingredients. There are many more that you should be aware of. Use this list as an ugly ingredient guide so that you have an idea of what these ingredients are all about.

Over 1 100 cosmetic ingredients are banned in Europe. Most of the world has only banned less than 10 of the same ingredients.

If you know of an ingredient that is toxic, please see the form below and add it to the list


Is used as a stabiliser and solvent and irritates the eyes and respiratory tract and can cause damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidneys.

1,4 Dioxane is a Group 2B carcinogen: possibly carcinogenic to humans because it is a known carcinogen in animals. Under Proposition 65, 1,4 Dioxane is classified in the U.S. state of California to cause cancer.

Direct exposure from accidents has killed people.

Dibutyl Phthalate

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is a commonly used plasticizer. It is also used as an additive to adhesives, printing inks and nail polish.

Banned in the European Union in all cosmetics.

Restricted in the European Union for use in children's toys since 1999.

Added to the California Proposition 65 (1986) list of suspected teratogens in November 2006.

Banned in the USA in children's toys and childcare articles, in concentrations of 1000 ppm or greater.

It is a suspected endocrine disruptor.

A study on CDC data revealed that American men with abdominal obesity or insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) were more likely to have high levels of DEHP and DBP metabolites in their urine than men without those problems.


Some mascaras contain an ingredient that breaks down to produce formaldehyde. The formaldehyde prevents the growth of bacteria. Aged mascara, however, may no longer be producing formaldehyde, allowing bacteria to proliferate.

But, on 10 June 2011, the US National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as "known to be a human carcinogen". There are too many opinions on this chemical as to what is considered safe and what is not safe.

The short story is that it is highly poisonous and it will affect your entire family, directly or indirectly, whether it is in the air, your food, the wood in your house or your makeup.

For some reason, the world produced about 23 million tons of this toxic Ugly Makeup Ingredient in 2005.

In 2005, it was found in Indonesian food, 2007 in Vietnamese food, 2011 in Indonesian food again, 2011 in 2 Carrefour supermarkets – when ingested, formaldehyde has been shown to cause vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and in extreme cases, death.


Toluene is a common solvent. It is sometimes also used as an inhalant drug for its intoxicating properties; however, inhaling toluene has potential to cause severe neurological harm.

Inhaling high levels of toluene quickly can cause light-headedness, nausea, or sleepiness. It can also cause unconsciousness, and even death.

Added to the California Proposition 65 (1986) list of cancer causing and birth defect substances.

Banned in the European Union in all cosmetics.

Not banned in the USA.

Cosmetic companies use Toluene in nail polish and lipstick, as it acts as a good “bonding agent” to the skin.

Why is this list so short?

Just in the European Union, there are over 1 100 banned ingredients and repeating UGLY makeup ingredients at least 1 100 times serves no purpose.

Also, we do not want to spend too much time on Ugly Makeup Ingredients. Why waste time on things that are bad for us? It is unlikely that this list will grow very much unless our community feels different.

If there is a particular ingredient that is an Ugly Makeup Ingredient (like Toluene) and still in abundance in products that are readily available in Europe or elsewhere in the world, let us know and we will add it to this list.

Keywords for you to learn :

  • beeswax
  • bismuth oxychloride
  • cyclomethicone
  • denatured alcohol
  • dimethicone
  • emollient ester
  • emulsifier
  • fatty alcohol
  • hypo-allergenic
  • iron oxide
  • kaolin clay
  • lanolin
  • mica
  • mineral oil
  • oxidise
  • petroleum
  • phenyl trimethicone
  • pigment
  • polymer
  • polysiloxane
  • serecite
  • silicone
  • synthetic wax
  • talc
  • titanium dioxide
  • zinc oxide

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