Cosmetic products are used in large quantities across the world. An increasing number of chemical compounds are being added to the formulation of cosmetic products as additives, fragrances, preservatives, stabilizers, surfactants, dye and shine to potentiate their quality, property and shelf life. Owing to their widespread use, active residues of cosmetic products are continuously introduced into the environment in several ways. Many of these chemicals are bioactive and are characterized by potential bioaccumulation ability and environmental persistence, thus exerting a major risk to humans and the health of ecosystems. Hence, the indiscriminate consumption of cosmetics may present a looming issue with significant adverse impacts on public health. This review intends to spotlight a current overview of toxic ingredients used in formulating cosmetics such as parabens, triclosan, benzalkonium chloride, 1,4-dioxane, plastic microbeads, formaldehyde, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, sunscreen elements (organic and inorganic UV filters) and trace metals. Specific focus is given to illustrate the biological risks of these substances on human health and aquatic system in terms of genotoxicity, cytotoxicity, neurotoxicity mutagenicity, and estrogenicity. In addition to conclusive remarks, future directions are also suggested.
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