Cosmetic ingredients that are banned in Europe but allowed in the US

There are 1,328 cosmetic ingredients banned in Europe. Meanwhile, this number in the US stops at 30.

Nobody can say which cosmetics have the highest quality. But, this fact can give you some answers. In Europe, there are 1,328 ingredients banned in cosmetics. This number in the United States only stops at 30. You should know that all prohibitions happen for a reason. This truth also shows that you should be more careful in choosing your cosmetics.

It will be difficult to list all 1,328 ingredients. However, here are the 9 popular ingredients in American cosmetics that you should concern.


Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing agent according to European cosmetic standards. In addition, this chemical can affect your respiratory system. Formaldehyde is found most commonly in nail care and hair styling products.



The US FDA does not confirm the degree of danger of parabens. Meanwhile, Europe has banned five different forms of this group, including isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, benzylparaben and pentylparaben. Like triclosan, parabens are considered endocrine disrupting chemicals, with potential for skin cancer and breast cancer. You can find this cosmetic ingredient in lotions, foundations and other products.


Potential for carcinogenicity, hydroquinone is prohibited in the product if its concentration is over 1%. This fairly common cosmetic ingredient can lead to skin conditions that are extremely sensitive to sunlight, causing a number of dermatological conditions, including cancer. Hydroquinone usually appears in products that whiten skin and clear dark spots.


This name is quite familiar in many personal care products such as toothpaste, bactericidal soap, dry hand wash... However, triclosan is banned in Europe because of its ability to cause endocrine disorders, affect the reproductive system. In the United States, this ingredient is still widely used and has not been completely banned.



Lead is prohibited in cosmetics production in Europe, Canada and Japan. This chemical poses a risk of neurotoxicity and affects the reproductive system. However, surprisingly, this cosmetic ingredient is very popular in lipstick in the United States. In an FDA study, 66% of the 33 most popular lipstick brands in the US contain lead. A small amount of lead is not dangerous. However, you should be careful when choosing to buy lipstick from the United States


Petroleum distillates, also known as "paraffin wax", are commonly found in many lines of mascara. It is prohibited because of potential for cancer, although not at high levels.


Often hiding under the name "aromatherapy", phthalates are substances that can cause endocrine disruptions, damaging your health as some of the above. This chemical appears mostly in perfumes, roll-on deodorants and nail polishes.



Europe and Japan have showed their concern over the impact of this substance on the environment. In addition, a report from the National Toxicology Program indicates that this substance has carcinogenic potential. The American FDA has not yet found evidence of the dangers of selenium sulfide at low levels. This cosmetic ingredient is commonly found in anti-dandruff shampoos.


Quaternium - 15 is a potential carcinogen, and can cause allergic reactions if used externally. Some studies conclude that its safety level is less than 0.2%. However, there are very few products that point to this. You can find Quaternium - 15 in eye shadow, shampoo and shower gel.

By: Anna Bennett

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