When it comes to skin, hair and make-up products, the list of ingredients to look out for seems to be growing by the minute. While some chemicals are vilified without much proof, lets discuss the ones that are being called out for, well, being toxic.A recent peer-reviewed (a study done by experts that is reviewed by other specialists) study by theEnvironmental Science Technology(USA) revealed over 52 per cent of 231 beauty products tested for chemicals, contained organic fluorine. What is organic fluorine, you might wonder, and why is everyone talking about it? Well, it is an indicator of PFAs (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) aka forever chemicals. These compounds, as their names suggest, tend to accumulate in the body for a long time. Over time, they can affect your thyroid, reproductive organs and a lot more, explains Dr Kiran Sethi, dermatologist and founder of Delhi-based skincare clinic, Isya Derm. Thats not all. When you (double) cleanse these PFA-spiked make-up products off your skin, they end up in water bodies and the soil, contaminating them.The study also found that many products that contained larger doses of PFAs did not disclose the details in the product list, making it impossible for consumers to know what to look out for. Some of the toxic products claimed to be water-resistant and long-wearing.To know more about these harmful chemicals and the role they play in beauty products, keep readingWhat do PFAs do?Their purpose in cosmetics is to act as conditioners. They smoothen skin, make it shiny and improve the overall texture of it, explains Dr Sethi. This is why theyre also commonly found in lotions, cleansers, nail polishes, apart from being present in lipstick, eyeliner, foundation, mascara and eyeshadow formulas.What are some common names of PFAs found in beauty products?Dr Sethi says, Look out for compounds like PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), perfluorooctyl, triethoxysilane, perfluorodecalin and perfluorohexane. But keep in mind, some products may contain PFAs, even though they dont disclose it on the ingredient list. Other than beauty products, PFAs are very commonly found in non-stick pans, fast food packaging, water-resistant clothing and cleaning products.So, what next?Before you decide to panic-throw all the beauty products in the trash, take a minute to think about the products you use on a daily basis. These should be the ones you replace, as and when you can. Look out for websites likeSkip DeepandINCI Decoderthat break down ingredient lists,and rate skincare and make-up products based on their safety levels.