Even if you love the villains in your favourite films, you gotta know how to avoid them in your beauty routine and products. Unlike the European Union, which has some strict rules about what goes into cosmetics, the stuff you find in Indian markets isn’t as well regulated. That means some not-so-good ingredients might sneak into your beauty stash. We’ve made a handy list of these dodgy beauty ingredients that you should be checking labels for before you buy.

1. Parabens


Parabens are additives present in loads of skincare products. They’re there to keep your products fresh for longer. But here’s the catch—they’re not good for your skin. They can lead to cracking, swelling, and a messed-up skin barrier if you use them for too long. Try opting for products with natural preservatives, and always check that expiry date!

2. Synthetic Fragrance


That sweet scent in your lip balm might not be as sweet for your lips. Synthetic fragrances can cause irritation, inflammation, and even darken your skin. Look out for “fragrance” or “parfum” on the labels, and try switching to fragrance-free products, especially if you’ve got sensitive skin.

3. SLS/SLES


If your product foams up, there’s a good chance it’s got SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) in it. This stuff can dry out your skin and hair by stripping away the moisture. Plus, it’s an unnecessary irritant. There are plenty of cleansers and shampoos that clean just as well without this foamy troublemaker.

4. Formaldehyde


Another sneaky preservative often lurking in skincare products. It might go by different names like DMDM, hydantoin, Methylene glycol, and 3 dioxanes. This stuff can cause irritation, itching, and scaling of your skin, especially if you’re using products like nail polishes or eyelash glue that have it. Be extra cautious, especially in salons!

5. Talc


You’ll find talc in setting powders, blushes, eyeshadows, and even matte lipsticks. It’s there to soak up moisture and lighten the colour of the product. But beware—talc can rub against your skin and cause irritation. And if you have breathing issues, steer clear of it. There are plenty of talc-free beauty options out there!