After that little insight into the world of the beauty industry and its dubious marketing claims, let’s take a closer look at some of the more common harmful ingredients found in skincare products, and find out what kinds of toxic effect have been recorded.

When researching cosmetic chemicals/ üıgredients and the toxicological <lata fot them, we can refet to what is known asa Material Safety

Data Sheet

this is the industry standard for providing information about a specific chemical ot substance. These are easy to find onJine: either simply type in the ingredient name followed by MSDS (e.g. sodium lauryl sulphate MSDS) into a popu-lar search engine such as Google, or look up the MSDS ona specialist website such as that listed in the Resources section of this document.


The most important point to keep in mjnd is that an MSDS only gives information based on the industry use of that substance, so if toxicological data specifies that an ingredient is a known carcinogen or irritant, then this will be based on studies using the undiluted form of that product.

it is imperative there-fore not to take this data as relating exactly to a shampoo or other cosmetic containing a small percentage of the su bstance in ques-tion. An MSDS, however, can be useful for giving a picture of how toxic some of these coırnııon ingredients can be.