Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare

Posted by Marcus Mcfall on

Paying attention to the ingredients used in your skin care is so important. The FDA does not regulate most skin care products, and because of this just about anything can be put into a formula, no matter how harmful it may be to your health.

Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and most of what we put onto it is absorbed. This means the ingredients we put on our skin can and will directly affect our health and wellness. Even worse, some ingredients used in skin care can make skin problems we are trying to treat even worse.

For all of these reasons we decided to have our team of skin scientists create a go-to list of all of the ingredients to avoid in skincare, so you can be sure you are helping the health of our skin instead of hurting it.


Parabens are a group of chemicals used to prevent the growth of mold & bacteria in your skincare. Parabens come with a long list of negative side effects, and there are safer, natural options that can be used as a preservative instead.

Parabens can disrupt hormones in the body- potentially harming fertility, birth outcomes, reproductive organs, and an increased risk of cancer. They are skin irritants and can hurt our skin instead of helping it. Protect yourself and protect your skin by avoiding parabens.

Seek out a more natural preservative that SAFELY keeps your products fresh. Examples of natural preservatives are sodium benzoate, ethylhexylglycerin, and phenoxyethanol. Look for these when checking your labels!


When checking your skincare label, be sure to watch out for “sodium lauryl sulfate” and “sodium laureth sulfate”. These are the two main types of sulfates found in cosmetic products. Studies suggest that with long term use sulfates can irritate eye, skin, and lungs.

Sulfates cause drying of the skin, which can enhance other skin problems. They are also destructive to the environment. Products with sulfates that get washed down the drain are toxic to aquatic animals. This ingredient is also often tested on animals to measure the level of irritation to people’s skin, lungs, and eyes. Protect yourself, animals, and the environment by steering clear of sulfates.

Synthetic Dyes

Synthetic dyes are flat out unnecessary. The only purpose synthetic dyes serve is to make the color of your skincare product more appealing, but at what cost? Toxins found in these artificial colors increase your risk of skin sensitivity and irritation.

They block your pores, which leads to a greater risk of acne. To top it all off, these chemicals can be absorbed into your body where they cause even greater damage. Our advice? Stay away. Your skincare doesn’t need them, and neither does your skin!


A dirty little skincare industry secret (not in a good way) is having the ingredient “Fragrance” in products. There is no way to know what ingredients go into making fragrance. It could be made up of 100’s of different artificial ingredients to make your products smell like roses (smells great, but your skin will suffer.)

Any of the hundreds of artificial ingredients making up the Fragrance could cause a reaction with your skin. Your best bet is to find products that do not contain Fragrance, but instead use natural oils to give it a desirable scent.


Aluminum is most often found in personal care products like deodorant, but it can be found in other cosmetic and skin care products as well. This is an ingredient you should avoid no matter what type of product it is that you are using as it has detrimental effects to our health.

Aluminum produces oestregen effects in our system and often causes disruption in the endocrine system. Research has even shown that extensive, long term use of aluminum has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.


dibutylphthalate (DBP), dimethylphthalate (DMP), diethylphthalate (DEP) are the most common types of phthalates used in skin care products. Always look for these ingredients on the label of your skincare products as they have been found to cause hormonal problems, birth defects, and reproductive problems.

Pthalates are similar to sulfates in their negative effects and like sulfates should always be avoided. Many times, Pthalates in skin care are found as a fragrance and do not need to be listed on the label as is, just another reason to avoid fragrances in your products all together!

Polyethylene Glycol

This ingredient is most often used as a thickening agent in skincare products and should be avoided because it contains knows carcinogens. Also found as ethylene Oxide and 1,4-dioxane, these compounds are detrimental to your health so much so that they have been completely banned in Canada. This ingredient is a known human respiratory toxicant and it has also been classified as an irritant to the skin, eyes, and lungs. There is also evidence that links the ingredient to cancer.


Preservatives are some of the most toxic ingredients used in skin care products, so they are something you always want to pay attention to when reading the labels. Always make sure that your products use more natural preservatives instead of harsh chemicals like this one, formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde shows up on labels with other names like quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, and imidazolidinyl urea. You will want to avoid all forms of formaldehyde as it has been linked to developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and asthma.


This is a cosmetic ingredient that is most commonly found in products touting the inclusion of SPF. It is often found in chemical sunscreens and lotions that protect against the sun. While it is important to use SPF to protect from sun damage, you want to be sure to opt for more natural and mineral versions of SPF instead of chemical sun blockers.

Chemical sun blockers like oxybenzone’s are harmful not only to your health but to the environment as well. Oxybenzone has been linked to endocrine disruption, thyroid problems, and skin allergies. Always wear your SPF, but to protect your health- opt for the mineral based formulas instead of formulas containing oxybenzone.

← Older Post Newer Post →