WHAT IS IT? Cheap, standardised colours used for skincare and food products to make them look more attractive – AKA FD&C colours / “E” Numbers / “Red 17”, “Yellow 4”, etc.
HEALTH RISK: You see these at the end of every ingredient list, but many cause skin sensitivity and irritation, or even oxygen depletion in the blood. Most are made from coal tar, and studies show that almost all of them are carcinogenic. For example, FD&C Red #4 is no longer available for use in foods because of a known threat to the adrenal glands, urinary tract and bladder. It is considered a carcinogen but is still used in non-food products such as skincare.