With so much focus these days on the benefits of healthy eating, the promotion of organic, chemical-free produce and growing awareness of the impact of what we eat on our body, I thought it would be beneficial to explore chemicals found in many personal care products. 

It is not only through diet that substances make their way into our body – think of how our skin absorbs moisturiser, those eye pencils and mascaras used so close to the delicate eye tissue and how many times we lick our lipstick-covered lips?  So it makes sense that we take as much interest in what we put on our body as what we put in it.

Today I look at BHA and BHT, also known as Butylated Compounds.

What Are They?

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are synthetic antioxidants, used as preservatives in a wide range of personal care products, hair care products and cosmetics, including:

  • lipsticks and lip glosses
  • blushers
  • foundations
  • eyeliners and eye shadows
  • moisturizers
  • skin cleansers
  • sunscreen
  • deodourants
  • hair care products

These chemicals are also used as preservatives in foods and food packaging. BHA and BHT have been linked to several health concerns ranging from allergic reactions, respiratory irritation, may interfere with hormone production and may be a possible human carcinogen.

How Do I Avoid These Substances in Cosmetics?

Look for BHA and BHT when checking product labels and avoid products that use these substances.  Choose products that use natural preservatives

Pevonia Botanica use, among others, Potassium Sorbate, a mild and natural preservative from berries. 

jane iredale Mineral Makeup use Pomegranate Extract in their PureGloss Lip Glosses.  Pomegranate Extract is a potent anti-oxidant that nourishes lips, prevents ageing, boosts sun protection and is a natural preservative. 

Just as you can remove toxic food from your diet or toxic cleaning products from your home and swap them for natural, healthy alternatives, the same can be done with your skincare and makeup.

How Do I Find Out More?

Contact Melt to find out more about the Pevonia Botanica Skincare Range and jane iredale ‘The Skincare Makeup' and the positive changes these ranges can make to your skin.


National Toxicology Program, “Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition. Butylated Hydroxyanisole,” 2011. https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/results/areas/cellphones/index.html

Environmental Working Group, “Skin Deep. Butylated Hydroxytoluene,” [Online]. Available: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient