Labels on cosmetics products sound like Chinese for most of us. And sadly, most people don't read them at all. That's a big mistake, because some ingredients can affect your beauty and health. Each ingredient might have a side-effect that you wouldn't like to experience at all. However, mainstream beauty product brands (both high-end and cheap ones) use several standard chemicals that are cheap, but not so healthy for our bodies. Let's look through the list of the most harmful ingredients, so you will be able to recognize them and avoid them. There are natural products or natural ingredients used for body care as well. You don't have to damage your health in order to look great.

Propylene Glycol. It is a byproduct of petroleum and it is used for locking humidity. Results of several researches report that it causes kidney and liver damage simply through skin contact! Propylene Glycol is toxic and our organism tends to ‘refuse' it with various allergic reactions. If these are not enough for you, here's the last argument: you can find Propylene Glycol in industrial anti-freeze.

DMDM Hydrantoin is used in cars as anti-freeze. Does it sound OK to put some anti-freeze on your skin?

Both Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea are still used as preservative materials. They keep products suitable to use for a long time, but they cause inflammation of skin. Sadly, these are very popular preservatives in the industry; only parabens are more commonly used then these two.

Ethyl, Methyl, Propyl and Butyl Parabens. You can find a certain combination of these materials in almost every beauty product, because they inhibit microbial growth and greatly extend product's use time this way. Parabens are popular because they are very cheap ingredients. But you may suspect that cheap doesn't mean healthy. Parabens irritate skin and cause allergic reactions because they are highly toxic.

Synthetic Colors are not good for you as well. You can recognize them as they are labeled as ‘D&C' or ‘FD&C' with a color number next to them. Most lipsticks contain these synthetic colors, so when you put on a lipstick, you put on these ingredients as well. These materials are dangerous, because they are based on coal-tars that are carcinogens.

Petrolatum is used as moisturizer, although it actually works the other way around. Petrolatum is so called mineral oil jelly; it coats a skin (which is very unhealthy effect), stimulates sun damage and inhibits natural moisturizing processes of skin. Why is it used in the industry then? You can guess it easily: it is extremely cheap.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. You can find the name of this harsh detergent on almost every shampoo label. It is used because of its lathering characteristics. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate causes allergic reactions, eye irritations, scalp problems (similar to dandruff), hair loss, skin rashes, genital disorders, urinary system, bladder and kidney infections. Pretty nasty side-effects of simple hair wash, don't you think so? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a toxic ingredient; you should avoid any products that contain it.

Behentrimonium Chloride is a toxic compound of ammonia. If the concentration of this ingredient is too strong (more than 0.1% or equal to this amount) it can damage eyes by causing tissue death of mucus membranes. This material can be deadly to ingest.

Synthetic Fragrances. These can be causes of many diseases and side-effects. If a label simply mentions ‘synthetic fragrances', there's no possibility to know what ingredients were used to create the smell. Synthetic fragrances usually refer to many cheap, toxic and synthetic materials that you don't want to put on your skin or hair.

Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA). They are used to regulate pH balance, but they are not suitable for this. These toxic ingredients actually damages pH balance and causes dry skin and hair. But these effects are not the only ones. DEA and TEA are linked with kidney degeneration, liver damage, nerve damage, anemia and other health disorders. These ingredients were tested with animal in 1994 and some of them died before the research ended.

Remember that not all the brands use harmful ingredients in their products. Read the labels before you buy some make-up mean or skin-care product and you will find companies that don't exchange quality to cheap materials. Do not trust the labels that have a title ‘natural' on them: it doesn't mean that the product is natural for sure. It depends on you whether you take care of your self properly. And don't believe on myths that natural products must cost a lot.