Did you know that Europe has banned over 1,300 harmful chemicals from use in skincare products?
Unfortunately, in the US only 11 harmful chemicals are banned.
With almost no regulation on what ingredients are used in skincare products, it is up to YOU to educate and inform yourself about the harmful, but common, chemicals that should be avoided in your skincare routine.
At the end of this article, you will know what are these chemicals that should be avoided and you will know what to do and how to try to identify them.
Avoid These Toxic Ingredients For Healthier, Clearer Skin
With minimal regulation on skincare ingredients in the US, it's important to educate yourself on potentially harmful chemicals commonly found in many products. Avoiding certain toxic ingredients can help you achieve healthier, clearer skin.
Parabens are preservatives used in many skincare and cosmetic products to prevent bacteria and mold growth. However, research shows parabens mimic estrogen and can disrupt hormone function. This may impact fertility and increase breast cancer risk.
Parabens also strip skin of natural oils, causing dryness, irritation, and breakouts. Ditch products containing parabens and choose natural preservatives like vitamin E, rosemary extract, and grapefruit seed extract instead.
Drying Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
- Dries out skin
- Triggers inflammation and acne
- Makes skin overproduce oil
SLS is a detergent that creates foam and lather in products like face wash, shampoo, and toothpaste. Although it feels cleansing, SLS strips natural oils, leading to irritation, inflammation, and acne over time.
Opt for SLS-free cleansers with gentle, non-foaming botanicals like aloe vera, glycerin, and plant oils. Your skin will feel clean without tightness or dryness.
- Linked to cancer
- Causes allergic reactions
- Irritates skin
Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) are used in many skincare and cosmetic products. However, formaldehyde exposure is linked to cancer. FRPs also cause skin reactions and contact dermatitis.
Avoid anything containing formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, and diazolidinyl urea. Thankfully, many clean beauty brands now offer formaldehyde-free products.
Skin-Damaging Alcohol Denat
- Extremely drying
- Damages collagen and elastin
- Promotes inflammation and breakouts
- Accelerates visible signs of aging
Alcohol denat in toners, masks, and acne spot treatments might feel refreshing initially. However, alcohol severely dries skin and strips natural moisture over time. This causes collagen and elastin breakdown, leading to sagging, wrinkles, and dullness.
Alcohol also destroys skin's acid mantle, promoting sensitivity, redness, and breakouts. Choose alcohol-free toners, essences, and serums with soothing aloe, chamomile, green tea, glycerin.
- Suffocates skin
- Prevents hydration
- Slows cell turnover
- Clogs pores
Petrolatum, paraffin, and mineral oil create a plastic wrap-like coating on skin. This prevents hydration and oxygen from reaching cells, while clogging pores. The result is congestion, blackheads, and breakouts.
For serious moisturization, use nourishing plant oils like jojoba, almond, grapeseed, and coconut instead. These oils absorb beautifully while providing vitamins and fatty acids.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)
Sulfates like SLS, SLES, and ALS strip away natural oils damaging skin's protective moisture barrier. This leads to dryness, redness, rashes, sensitivity, and accelerated aging.
Avoid anything with "sulfate" in the name. Opt for gentle, sulfate-free cleansers made from coco or vegetable-derived ingredients.
Harmful Synthetic Fragrances
- Trigger allergies and reactions
- Disrupt hormone balance
- Contain hundreds of undisclosed chemicals
Synthetic fragrance formulas often contain phthalates and volatile organic compounds linked to hormone disruption and other issues. They are also common triggers for skin allergies, rashes, and dermatitis.
Instead, look for products scented with natural essential oils or no fragrance. Essential oils provide aromatherapy benefits without harsh chemicals.
Choose Safe, Nourishing Skincare
By avoiding these potentially toxic ingredients, you can enhance your skincare routine and reveal healthier, glowing skin. Focus on non-toxic products made with nourishing oils, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and skin-loving botanicals.
Carefully read labels and avoid harmful ingredients. Discover clean, green beauty brands that formulate without toxic chemicals. Give your skin the high-quality, natural ingredients it needs to look radiant and clear.