While some cosmetic products cause skin and eye irritations, there are toxic chemicals that cause vomiting, depression, and even coma. Polyethylene glycol, for example, is potentially carcinogenic and weakens the immune system. Propylene glycol is another toxic chemical that leads to kidney, liver, and brain abnormalities. Workers that handle this chemical are required to wear goggles and protective clothing and gloves. Yet, many deodorants, lotions, and make-up products contain it.
Formaldehyde is a substance used as a preservative and disinfectant. Some eyelash adhesives and nail polishes contain it. This chemical is banned in the European Union because it poses health risks. It is associated with asthma, genetic and immune system damage, different types of cancer, and respiratory problems. Lead, which is a known neurotoxin, is an ingredient of some lipsticks. Even a low concentration of lead can lead to developmental problems and brain damage. Sodium lauryl sulfate is one of the most dangerous chemicals in personal care cosmetics. Combined with other chemicals, it is transformed into a powerful carcinogen that can cause immune system damage. Laboratory animals exposed to sodium lauryl sulfate experience skin irritation, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, eye damage, and death.