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Ingredients to Avoid in Your Skincare Products

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.

Among many, our top choices for ingredients to be avoided are:

  • Parabens
  • SLS
  • Mineral Oil
  • Alcohol
  • Triclosan
  • Fragrance

Let’s take a closer look at the effects that each of these ingredients has on both your skin and your health.


Parabens are preservatives that can be found in almost any water-based product. They work to keep bacteria from growing but are known endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen and can lead to hormonal imbalances.

If you are suffering from acne, there is a good chance that you are already having some problems with balancing your hormones, and, therefore, you should avoid any chemical that would mess with your hormones further.

Parabens can be listed under several different names, including Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl, Benzyl, Butyl, and Isobutyl.

If you notice any of these ingredients in your skincare products, be sure to ditch them ASAP.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Also called Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or SLS for short, these are foaming agents used most often in face washes that give you that bubbly, all-foamed-up cleansing experience.

Despite the perceived experience of thorough washing, SLS is actually quite harmful to your skin. It causes your skin to dry out, tricking it into producing even more oil than it normally would.

If you are suffering from oily skin, in particular, you should definitely forgo any product that uses SLS as you do not want your skin producing even MORE oil.

On top of this, they are also believed to be carcinogenic.

It’s best to avoid SLS at all costs.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is derived from petroleum, yes, which is where gasoline, kerosene, and diesel also come from.

Often listed under the names Paraffin, Paraffin Wax, Microcrystalline Wax, Cera Microcrystalline, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Unspecified Waxes, Mineral Spirits, Petroleum and Distillates, they are used for their hydrating properties.

Reasons to avoid Mineral Oils include the facts that:

They are loaded with toxins

They are known to clog your pores, which is exactly the opposite of what you want when dealing with skin issues.

They do not provide the skin with any benefit. Mineral Oils are just an extra heavy ingredient that sits on top of your skin preventing water loss.

The best approach to skincare is to avoid all unnecessary ingredients. We advise you to go ahead and add Mineral Oils to that list.


When dealing with oily skin we’re sure you’re looking for a quick fix for oil-elimination. Alcohol variations listed under the names SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol work to degrease your skin with a quick-drying finish.

Unfortunately, stripping your skin of all its natural oils will lead to an over-production of oil in the long run.

It’s important to cleanse your skin regularly, but avoid over-drying it in order to avoid excess oil being produced later.


Although this ingredient has been banned from usage in soaps, it is still widely found in mascara, foundation, as well as toothpaste.

It is an antibacterial agent which can contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Also a known endocrine disruptor, you want to remember to avoid all chemicals that can mess with your hormones.

Solving any skin-related issue requires your hormones to be in balance, so please, be sure to avoid any and all endocrine disruptors.


This all-encompassing term can include up to 4,000 different ingredients or chemicals. Companies are not always required to list these ingredients clearly on labels, so be sure to do your research on trustworthy companies who do not use any fragrances in their products.

These chemicals are widely linked to causing allergies and respiratory conditions. They are also known to aggravate skin conditions leading to inflammation and red discoloration.

Learn how to choose the best ingredients

Learning how to identify harmful chemicals will help you to choose the most beneficial skincare products available.
Follow our suggestions on ingredients to avoid and you will feel more confident next time you need to buy a new product!

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How do chemicals in skincare products affect your skin?

  • They disrupt your hormone levels
  • They can over-dry your skin leading to excess oil production
  • They are believed to be carcinogenic
  • They can clog your pores
  • They are known endocrine disruptors
  • They irritate your skin causes redness and discomfort
  • They can cause allergies
  • They can lead to respiratory conditions

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