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Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare

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Not all beauty products are created equal, which is why there are many detrimental ingredients to avoid in skincare. With many health claims and promises, today’s skincare manufacturers often pack products with cheap harmful chemicals, that counter the potential benefits in most cases. To avoid harmful skincare ingredients, take note of what to look out for when you are shopping for your new beauty products.

Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare

Skincare and Harsh Ingredients: The Toxic Truth

From face wash to moisturizers and masks, the average woman uses 12 skincare products per day, which contain a combined average of 168 ingredients (1). You may be aware of what products you are using, but do you know what is actually hiding inside? As a matter of fact, continuous exposure to a multitude of chemicals and toxins found in these skincare products can be very damaging to skin. From the 13,000 chemicals used in the cosmetic industry, it is estimated that only 10% of skincare ingredients are tested and evaluated for safety (1). So the question is, should you be using them? Or is it best to follow the natural path?

Bad Ingredients in SkincareChemical-laden skincare products do not just sit on the skin surface. In fact, they have the capability to permeate the skin, wreaking havoc to the dermal layers and causing irritation. It is also evident that many artificial skincare ingredients have been linked to chronic conditions, such as cancer, inflammation and allergies.

Therefore, it is important to know that exposure to bad ingredients in skincare can add up. Before you pick up the product that claims to give you a clear and radiant complexion, flip the bottle to check if the ingredients match-up. Not sure what to look out for? Here are the top ingredients to avoid in skincare.

Label Lurkers to Avoid

Treat skincare products like food - after all, their role is to nourish the skin. If you check your food labels, why should skincare products be any different? By checking the skincare ingredients, you will be able to assess whether to leave it on the shelf, or toss it into the basket.

Parabens in SkincareAvoid these ingredients to ensure that you are buying a good quality product:

  • Parabens: A whole family of ingredients, you can note parabens in skincare by simply checking the label. Often used as a preservative, parabens may disrupt hormonal balance in the body, leading to potential detriments if used long-term.
  • Phthalates: Used to help soften plastic, this group of ingredients can disrupt the endocrine system.
  • Fragrances: Although they smell lovely, fragrances are often a chemical blend of endocrine disruptors and harsh allergens.
  • Carrageenan: Another major preservative used in the cosmetic industry, carrageenan has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and skin irritations.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS/SLES): Often used as a base in many beauty products, SLS may trigger allergies and skin irritations.

Although these are only 5 groups of bad ingredients in skincare, there are many other carcinogenic compounds that are still used in many products. These are the most common types that are found in skincare formulations. If you are in doubt, be label-wise and follow these tips to help you ditch the nasties:

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  • 5 ingredients or less: If a label is overflowing with text, you know that it is best to stay away. To minimise the risk of harsh chemicals from reaching your skin, aim for natural skin care products that have 5 ingredients or less.
  • Unpronounceable ingredients: Chemical names are often extremely long and difficult to pronounce. If you can’t read it, ditch it!
  • Skincare database: When you are unsure, use a skincare ingredients database to assess the safety of the product that you are seeking. That way, you know exactly what is in your product, and how it may affect your skin.

Finding Natural Skincare Products

Aloe Vera Gel SkincareNow that you know what to avoid, you need to find natural ingredients for skincare purposes. Although a majority of skincare products may contain chemicals, there is still a minority of nourishing, natural, and toxin-free products that can fit perfectly into your regimen.

For instance, aloe vera is an exceptional plant that provides a rich gel, laden in over 75 nutrients that will do wonders for your skin. It is easy to extract your own aloe vera gel at home, or purchase organic 100% aloe vera gel for a convenient and handy product that can be used on any skin type.


Feed your skin with the correct nutrients for a radiating and enviable complexion. Exposing yourself to harsh skincare ingredients may negatively impact the skin and beyond. By adopting a natural skincare regimen featuring quality ingredients, you are guaranteed to nurture your skin with the TLC it truly deserves. 


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