The Beast of Beauty: Environmental and Health Concerns of Toxic Components in Cosmetics
School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian 223003, China
Key Laboratory of Protein and Peptide Pharmaceuticals, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Campus Monterrey, Ave. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, Monterrey, NL CP 64849, Mexico
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cosmetics 2020, 7(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics7010013
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 21 February 2020 / Accepted: 25 February 2020 / Published: 28 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Cosmetics in 2020)
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.