INCI of cosmetics, you know what you are applying on skin Part 15, are BHT and BHA safe?
In beauty products such as creams or lipsticks the two synthetic preservatives BHA and BHT may appear, these substances are considered carcinogenic and able to interfere with the body's hormones.
The INCI is the label that, by law in all Western countries, lists the ingredients included in cosmetic products such as face or body cream, nail polish or shampoos. The problem is that reading the INCI is not easy because the substances appear with names that are often incomprehensible to those who are not experts in the field. However, understanding the substances we are dealing with is very important because unfortunately, and this happens too often, the ingredients included in that beauty cream or in that serum that promises a luminous skin can be irritating, even carcinogenic or may interfere with hormones. Other ingredients are, on the contrary, beneficial and can really nourish the tissues. For this reason, we are dedicating our attention to the INCI in order to help you choose the best cosmetics for your beauty and also for the health. Today we are speaking about two preservatives, BHT and BHA. SPACE BHT and BHA - Butylhydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylhydroxytolol (BHT) are preservatives of synthetic origin and are often added to creams and lipsticks to preserve their color and to avoid oxidation, and therefore rancidity, of the fatty components such as oils and butters. However, these substances are considered carcinogenic with a particular toxic action on the stomach, liver and lungs, unlike for example vitamin E, another antioxidant added to cosmetic products to protect the fatty components but that does not present the same harmful effects (Kahl et al, Z Lebensm Unter Forsh, Apr 1993). Moreover, BHA is considered able to interfere with the body's hormones (Anca Pop et al, Clujul Med, Feb 2013). Clearly, to cause damages, BHA and BHT must be taken at high doses for a prolonged period of time and so this is not the case if you use once a cosmetic containing these preservatives. The problem is when you use many cosmetics containing BHT and BHA every day for years since these undesirable substances penetrate beyond the skin and tend to accumulate in the liver (Conacher et al, Food Chem Toxicol, Oct-Nov 1986 - Lanigan et al, Int J Toxicol, 2002). Finally, these substances are also considered to be irritating to the skin. So, even if there are currently limitations on the percentage of BHA and BHT used in cosmetics it can be a good choice for the health of your skin and body to avoid cosmetics that contain these two substances. Pay attention, however, also to food labels because BHA and BHT can appear as preservatives with the codes E320 and E321, the foods to pay more attention to are chewing gum, nuts, ready-made-soups, just to name a few.