10 Ingredients to Avoid When Buying Skin Care Products

skin care products

10 Ingredients to Avoid When Buying Skin Care Products

If you want healthy, radiant skin, then you should stick to the natural products. Here you’ll discover 10 ingredients to avoid when buying skin care products.


You read food labels, but do you examine the ingredients in your skin care products?

You should.

Skin care products that claim to be organic or natural can contain harmful chemicals. It’s important to read the label before you put something on your body.

Did you know that you absorb 60% of what you put on your skin?

If you want a truly healthy glow, pay attention to ingredients and choose natural products.

The best advice is to look past the advertising and product name. Study the label. If you see one of the ingredients listed below, try an alternative product.

1. Fragrance

Have you ever smelled a cologne or perfume that irritated your nose? It may seem like a personal preference, but there’s more to it.

The Environmental Working Group research shows fragrances may contain chemicals that cause:

  • Allergies
  • Rashes, Dermatitis
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Headaches
  • Reproductive Issues

Fragrance is in moisturizer, body wash, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and perfumes. You also find it in makeup. The word fragrance on a label refers to a mix of ingredients.

Companies don’t have to list the chemicals in their fragrance mixtures. The practice of hiding fragrance ingredients began as a way to keep trade secrets.

Protecting a trade secret hides information from consumers who need the facts.

2. Parabens

Parabens are a preservative made from synthetic compounds. It’s used to prevent bacteria, mould, and yeast from growing in skin care products.

The problem with parabens is the link to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Parabens can act like estrogen. If the body thinks there’s an unusual increase in estrogen it may trigger reactions.

Sometimes the reaction is breast cell division that leads to tumours.

You can find parabens in makeup, moisturiser, shaving gel, shampoo, tanning products, and personal lubricants. All these products are absorbed through the skin.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) says the greatest concern is the way parabens disrupt hormone function. This can lead to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. It may also affect the endocrine system.

3. Phthalates

This group of chemicals is in thousands of plastic products. If the plastic is soft and flexible, it has phthalates.

The Guardian called phthalates chemical enemy number one because they’re in so many products (food and cosmetics). You’ll find them in perfumes, lotions, nail polish, moisturizers, and hairspray. They’re also part of the “fragrance” ingredient.

Phthalates are endocrine disruptors. They’re related to early breast development, breast cancer, and birth defects.

Take the following steps to reduce your exposure to phthalates:

  • Avoid products packaged in code 3 recycled plastic
  • Skip products with fragrance listed on the label
  • Buy organic products
  • Choose glass over plastic containers

4. Synthetic Colours

Artificial colours listed as D&C are in cosmetics. You’ll see the letters paired with numbers, such as D&C Red 27, on the ingredients label.

These synthetic colours come from petroleum or coal tar.

They’re believed to be carcinogens. Artificial colours can irritate skin. They’re also associated with hyperactivity and short attention spans in children.

You can check if a product is toxic in the EWG Skin Deep Data Base.

paraben free skin care products

5. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

You’ll find sodium lauryl sulphate in your shampoo, facial wash, foundation, body wash, acne treatment, mascara, toothpaste, and mouthwash. It’s the additive that makes products foam.

It’s used in more than 90% of personal care and cleansing products.

A known irritant, SLS can cause or promote canker sores, skin irritation, and eye damage.

The biggest danger seems to be the way SLS interact with other chemicals. The combination of chemicals can lead to issues like kidney and respiratory damage.

It’s hard to find SLS on a product label since it’s known by over 150 names. Instead, look for packages marked SLS-free.

6. Triclosan

You may not recognize the name, but you’ve used it. Triclosan is the chemical in antibacterial products.

This chemical can cause problems with your thyroid and reproductive hormones. It may irritate your skin. You’ll find it in toothpaste, antibacterial soaps, and deodorants.

Triclosan makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics. There’s no evidence washing with an antibacterial soap is better than regular soap.

Triclosan is associated with:

  • Hormonal Disruptions
  • Bacterial Resistance
  • Impaired Muscle and Immune Function
  • Increased Allergies

Try to use natural antibacterials and antiseptics instead of products with triclosan.

7. Polyethylene

Did you know those tiny beads in facial and lip scrubs contain polyethylene?

Polyethylene is a skin irritant. Never use it on broken skin.

The natural exfoliants used in scrubs are crushed shells, salt, and sugar. These are organic and biodegradable ingredients.

Manufacturers introduced the polyethylene beads because they’re softer.

Today, plastic microbeads are in many facial scrubs, hand cleansers, and toothpaste. Polyethylene is a synthetic chemical contaminated with the potential carcinogen, 1,4-dioxane.

After washing your face or brushing your teeth, those tiny beads go down the drain. Plastic doesn’t dissolve, so those beads end up in the ocean where they’re ingested by sea life.

8.Retinol Products

Retinol is in anti-aging products like creams, lotions, moisturizers, and foundations.

Retinol is vitamin A. In its natural form, vitamin A helps with vision and healthy skin. But, retinoic acid or retinyl palmitate should be avoided.

These two forms of retinol are in cosmetics and personal skin care products. If you combine these ingredients with sunlight it may raise your skin cancer risk.

Only use retinol products at night. Never buy sunscreen with retinol ingredients.

High quantities of retinol may cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. Don’t consume more than 10,000 IU per day.

9. Sunscreen

The main concern with sunscreen is how much of it we use. The entire body is covered. It’s reapplied often.

Sunscreens contain mineral filters or chemical filters to protect skin from the sun.

The chemical filters are most common. Chemicals include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate.

Mineral filter sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. There are a few products with both zinc oxide and chemical filters.

The chemicals are dangerous because they affect the hormone system.

Oxybenzone may act like estrogen, leading to tumours. It’s linked to endometriosis in women. Studies are researching its ability to alter sperm production.

A product with zinc oxide and titanium oxide is safer than the chemical filters.

10. Siloxanes

Siloxanes make our hair shiny and skin soft. The silicone-based compound dries hair products fast. It makes application of solid deodorants smoother.

You’ll find siloxanes in moisturizers and facial treatments. They’re also in medical implants, windshield water repellents, sealants, and lubricants. That’s quite a range of products.

Siloxanes interfere with hormone function and damage the liver. They can reduce fertility in humans.

Lab experiments revealed high doses of cylcopentasiloxane can cause uterine tumours. It hurts the reproductive, nervous, and immune systems.

Avoid ingredients ending in siloxane. Dimethicone and cyclomethicone are siloxanes.

Natural Skin Care Products

Remember, what goes on your body goes in your body. Why would you use anything besides natural products?

Visit Wholesome Skin Care for our free Natural Skin Care Guide. You’ll find the best natural, eco-friendly, and organic products for you.

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