Eye cream is supposed to give the skin around your eyes a healthy, protective treatment. When you buy some eye cream, you expect it to give you your natural skin back, right?

So why do more damage with some questionable, toxic ingredients that many manufacturers include in their products?

This article is all about the toxic eye cream ingredients you should avoid. These ingredients can cause harmful, long-lasting damage if you aren’t aware of them.

Read on to get all the important information you need to keep your skin safe.

Common Ingredients

Many of these eye cream ingredients are common in eye creams because of they preserve the shelf life of the product or provide a certain hue or coloration.

None of these ingredients actually help take care of your skin. In many cases, they will only do more harm than good.


This ingredient is kind of mysterious where eye creams ingredients are concerned. This is a product category of chemicals used in certain “secret formulas” that are advertised as offering some kind of skin care magic.

This ingredient can mix with the skin to produce certain side effects. People with allergies and respiratory issues are particularly at risk if you buy the wrong formula. Keep away from this ingredient to play it safe.

Synthetic Coloring

Artificial colors can be found in many eye creams that offer an unnatural look when applied to your skin. Ingredient labels will often mark these colors with FD&C. Since the ingredient only affects the color of the product, it doesn’t provide any extra benefit to your skin care.

This ingredient is expected to be a human carcinogen and has even been banned by the European Union. Other common side effects can include skin irritation and minor damage to certain skin types.


Parabens are common preservatives used in eye creams. They can extend the shelf life of a product and are common among many popular brands of eye cream. Unfortunately, this ingredient can do a lot more than simply extend the shelf life of your favorite eye cream.

Parabens often react with estrogen in women and have been known to increase the risk of breast cancer in some cases. Parabens are absorbed into the skin where they can come in contact with cells in the breast tissue. While a direct link hasn’t been proven, the evidence for the connection is enough to play it safe by avoiding these ingredients.


If you ever dissected an animal in grade school, you are probably already familiar with this ingredient. A common preservative, formaldehyde is used by eye cream manufacturers to prevent the growth of bacteria in their products. This is an important concern for many skin care products, but the use of this ingredient can be far more damaging.

The use of formaldehyde can lead to harmful allergic skin reactions and may even harm the immune system. Some research has also found certain links to different types of skin cancers. This ingredient is often classified as a human carcinogen.

Sunscreen Chemicals

Many people seek out eye cream ingredients that will help protect their skin against the harmful UV rays from the sun. Many eye cream brands will add common sunscreen chemicals to their products to offer a certain level of SPF protection. Unfortunately, the combination of these chemicals with other ingredients isn’t good for your skin.

Many of these chemicals are synthetic and can be absorbed into the skin rather easily. Once they enter into the skin, they can cause damage to the cells and lead to certain forms of cancer. They can also disrupt the normal flow of endocrine.

Viscous Oils

Certain eye cream products will include viscous oils like mineral oils into the mix. Some may even add petroleum, which you probably know as a common ingredient in gasoline.

These liquids are thick which can clog the pores in your skin. This can disrupt the skin’s natural ability to absorb moisture. When applied to the eye area, they can also rub into the eyes and cause harmful side effects or affect your sight.

Carbon Black

This is often a specific artificial color found in many eye products like eyeliners and eyeshadow. It is a powder that creates a dark hue in these products, which can harm your skin when applied regularly.

Carbon black has been linked to many different types of skin cancer. Like many of the ingredients on this list, the powder can be absorbed into the skin and damage the cells underneath.

Aluminum Powder

Aluminum powder is a common ingredient in many different skincare and sunscreen products. This powder is used in many eye makeups to create a certain color hue people find attractive on their skin.

The ingredient is a neurotoxin and can affect internal organs if absorbed through the skin. In general, most forms of metal powders should be avoided due to the damage they can cause to skin cells when absorbed.

Heavy Metal

Common metals like nickel, chrome, and titanium dioxide are present in certain eye creams and other eye makeup products. They can provide different hues in makeups, and are similar to aluminum powder in common use.

Like aluminum powder, these heavy metals are considered a neurotoxin and have been linked to brain damage through long term use. Many metals will cause skin irritation and damage. Certain allergic reactions are common where some people have experienced respiratory problems.

Knowing Your Eye Cream Ingredients

Eye care should go beyond the products you use to keep your skin healthy. Knowing what you are putting on and potentially in your skin is equally important. Real damage can result if you aren’t careful.

It’s not difficult to keep yourself safe and protected from these harmful eye cream ingredients. Be sure to look at the ingredients list on eye cream packaging or brand websites.

You can also search for toxic free products online.

We can also help! Check out our eye cream reviews and ingredients analysis to find the best eye cream for you.