Found in lotions, perfumes, deodorants, shampoos and cosmetics, phthalates make fragrances last longer and help ingredients penetrate the skin. Scientific studies show they may disrupt the endocrine system, and phthalates have been linked to atopic allergies and asthma, reproductive-health issues such as decreased semen quality, and even obesity. On the ingredients label, these chemicals often appear as “fragrance.”
This natural enzyme obtained from milk is commonly used in moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners and skin cleansers for its antibacterial properties.
A form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant and fat-soluble nutrient used in antiaging skin products to promote cellular renewal and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Extended use can lead to dryness and peeling for those with sensitive skin, and may also increase sensitivity to sunlight.
The antioxidant and moisturizing effects of tocopherol (a naturally occurring compound in vitamin E) make it beneficial in treating eczema, atopic dermatitis, superficial burns and other inflammatory skin conditions such as ultraviolet damage after sun exposure. Tocopherol is also used in foods as a natural preservative to keep oils from going rancid.