April 18, 2023

How chemicals in commercial skincare can affect you health

How chemicals in commercial skincare can affect you health

Blog written by Emma Sun, graduate in science and communication.

How chemicals in commercial skincare can affect your health

In an article published in Chemosphere,(Shanaz et al. 2023), a journal communicating research discussing chemicals in the environment found promising news. The article (referenced below) observed that actively reducing daily usage of parabens and phthalates - two commonly used chemicals – reversed the accumulation of cancer-associated phenotypes within breast tissues.  

Put simply, both parabens and phthalates are two chemicals frequently used as synthetic preservatives across the commercial cosmetic industry. These chemicals cannot be broken down by the detox mechanisms within the body and therefore are left to amass within vital body systems. An emergence of studies have linked them to a myriad of significant health conditions such as asthma, altered hormone functioning and skin irritation.

The good news? You can take immediate steps to reduce these effects. The article studied 41 individuals reducing their daily use of parabens and phthalates over a 28-day period. It was found that in the absence of these chemicals, the body was able to recalibrate itself back to normal functioning as well as mitigate breast cancer development.  

Decreasing your exposure to these chemicals assumed ‘safe’ allows your body to reverse the accumulation and ultimately minimise the risk of health issues such as the proliferation of cancerous cells.

But how should this influence your decisions when it comes to skincare moving forward? As a baseline, it should be skincare you trust. Skincare that is foremostly transparent with their complete list of ingredients and use natural preservatives. The simpler the better, understanding what every ingredient is, is a safe indication of natural skincare. We discuss this more in-depth in a previous blog post: Why use natural skincare?



Remaining aware and being selective of what you’re applying to your skin will have resounding effects on your general wellbeing.  

Links for information given:






Shanaz H. Dairkee, Dan H. Moore, M. Gloria Luciani, Nicole Anderle, Roy Gerona, Karina Ky, Samantha M. Torres, Polly V. Marshall, William H. Goodson III. Reduction of daily-use parabens and phthalates reverses accumulation of cancer-associated phenotypes within disease-free breast tissue of study subjects. ChemosphereVolume 322, 2023, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.138014.

Emma Sun is a graduate from University of Queensland with a double degree in science and communication.  She offers free-lance writing in science.