Manufacturers Are Betting You Don't Have a Chemistry Degree There's nothing wrong with glossing over the ugly parts -- except in your cosmetics. Alcide says many skin care lines use chemical names of ingredients to make them sound less scary or gross to consumers. Example: you'd probably be wary of slathering your face in formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), but you probably wouldn't bat an eye at "methanal" on the ingredient list. According to Alcide, it's the same thing, and you'll find this preservative in everything from hair-smoothing products to makeup remover. The same goes for common household bleach, which lives incognito in your beauty products under the name "sodium hypochlorite." This chemical has been linked to allergies and is classified as "toxic" by Canada, but it shows up in U.S. stores as an ingredient in disinfectant products meant for skin rashes.
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