WHAT IS IT? Primarily used as food and cosmetic preservatives, BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are synthetic antioxidants found in most lipsticks and moisturizers.
HEALTH RISK: Along with finding their use in cosmetics, these two synthetic ingredients are also present in many pharmaceuticals, jet fuels, rubber, petroleum products, electrical transformer oil and embalming fluid. They have been linked to cancer, allergic reactions, liver, thyroid and kidney problems along with lung function impairment and problems in blood coagulation. Moreover, they mimic estrogen and can have an adverse impact on reproduction. The moral of this story? Don’t apply a product to your face or body that contains the same ingredients as those found in the likes of industrial fuel and oil.
HOW TO AVOID: Becoming an avid label reader is key to avoiding ingredients you don’t want on your skin, but check out sites like the EWG’s Skin Deep database as well to easily search for toxin-free beauty products.