Amber De Gama
Category: Articles
Chemistry Infographic Set - Monitoring and Control Laboratories

The world of organic beauty can be a bit overwhelming to enter into, which is why we’re giving you a hand by breaking down the top offenders on cosmetic ingredient lists!
Below, we have a look at petrochemicals, which is a set of ingredient used in almost all skincare products found in department stores and on pharmacy shelves.
What are they?
Petrochemicals are most commonly found on your ingredients list as ethylene, propylene, benzene, butadiene or xylene.
Where are petrochemicals derived from?
There are many different things that petrochemicals can be derived from, things like natural gas and coal, however, most of the petrochemicals that we make use of today are made from petroleum.
Why are they used?
There are many different types. But one of the most common uses is to extend the shelf life of cosmetics and sometimes to “water down” or just to increase the spread ability of products.
Petrochemicals can also be used to add and disperse fragrance throughout a product.
Why are petrochemicals bad for us and our skin?
In the past, there have been a few claims that have linked petrochemicals to illnesses and conditions such as cancer, however, this is still yet to be determined.
It is however, quite common for petroleum derived products to be sensitizing, irritation and very drying on your skin, it can also cause pore clogging.
What alternatives are there?
Unfortunately, the natural products are not always going to last as long as a commercially available counterpart, but there are many natural preservatives that will allow them to see through a good six months or more once opened.
Rosemary extract, citric acid and natural sea salt are very frequently found on your product ingredient lists.
And as for fragrance and spread-ability, there are so many wonderful skin and earth loving oils available that work wonders.
At Monitoring & Control Laboratories we have a petrochemical division that is extremely strong and offers great product brands and an experienced team of service and sales staff with almost 100 years of combined experience. We are also capable of offering application and products. For more information, visit our website on

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