Banned Ingredients in Cosmetics: 5 You Need to Know

All Posts, Sebameducation September 27

The ingredients list on your skin care bottles, tubes, and jars can seem daunting at first glance. A lengthy series of botanicals and chemicals that are impossible to pronounce? No thanks. Yet, we think you should start paying attention to that list. American skin care may contain cosmetic ingredients banned across the world. Scary, right? We’ve rounded up 5 banned ingredients in cosmetics to know. Keep this list handy when shopping for skin care so you can find products that give your skin the love it deserves.


As a known carcinogen and sensitizer, formaldehyde is extremely dangerous for those of us with sensitive skin. Products containing formaldehyde often lead to allergic reactions and skin irritation and may also cause other health issues. You’ll most often see it on product labels as methylene glycol.
Now, in addition to watching out for formaldehyde in your skin care, you also should be wary of formaldehyde-releasing ingredients. Keep an eye out for diazolidinyl urea and quaternium-15. These ingredients are typically found in face and hair products and makeup products, respectively.


You may be hesitant to give up products containing petroleum just because it provides skin with intense hydration. But, it has been linked to cancer and using it for long periods of time may not be safe. Sure, it makes your skin super smooth, yet wouldn’t you rather use a moisturizer full of natural, nourishing ingredients? Our Moisturizing Body Lotion is just the ticket!


When it comes to banned cosmetic ingredients, parabens are one that many of us are familiar with. As scary as it sounds, parabens built up in the body over time have been linked to reduced fertility and breast cancer, according to a Harvard study. Parabens also have characteristics very similar to estrogen and can disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. If you ask us, your skin care shouldn’t interfere with your hormones, so ditch the parabens sooner rather than later.


Typically found in skin-brightening and lightening treatments, hydroquinone will kill skin cells and chromosomes if used too frequently. This eventually leads to some forms of cancer. Despite this information, many American prescription and over-the-counter products still include hydroquinone. We suggest steering clear.


Like many other banned cosmetic ingredients, phthalates have been linked to cancer, as well as hormonal disruption in men and women. If you need us, we’ll be avoiding them like the plague!

The great thing about Sebamed is that you won’t find any of those banned cosmetic ingredients in our skin care. Because our products are formulated in Europe, we scrap banned ingredients and instead search for natural solutions. We carefully test each ingredient in a dermatological setting. Our wide range of cleansers, lotions, and creams protect against skin conditions and support the natural function of your skin barrier. Check out our complete product lineup here.

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