Health and Beauty

11 Skincare Ingredients You Should Avoid

skincare ingredients to avoid

Have you been eyeing the next skincare product to purchase? Well, if you are, then you may want to stay a bit longer and continue reading through this article. It can be enticing to buy skincare products because of the many benefits that they manifest on the skin. While both women and men have now been introduced to more skincare products in the market that promise to improve the skin, there are still a few more things to consider before buying a certain skincare product, and that’s the ingredients. Whether you’ve been into skin care for quite some time or you’re just starting out with a routine, it’s vital to keep in mind that not all products contain ingredients that are safe for your skin, more so, your health. So to prevent you from making the mistake of buying skincare products containing harmful ingredients, here’s a list of the ingredients you should avoid:

1. Parabens

If you’ve been watching skincare vlogs or you’re fond of trying out different skincare products, you might be familiar with parabens. The “no parabens” or “paraben-free” on the label of skincare products particularly gets the attention of users, and mostly deems that product as “safe.” Parabens have been around for quite some time; they are groups of chemicals that have been used to preserve cosmetics and other body care products. They are normally found in moisturizers, shampoos, serums, creams, lotions, and kinds of toothpaste – not to mention, almost all makeup products contain parabens. These preservatives are considered to be a big no when it comes to skincare product ingredients as they are harmful not only to the skin but also to the overall health of a person.  

Parabens boost damage caused by UV exposure to the cellular levels, which can lead to skin cancer. They can also make the skin sensitive and cause allergic reactions. In addition to that, parabens are easily absorbed by the skin and tend to stay in the body tissues and fluids, hence why they can still be detected in breast milk, urine, and seminal fluids. These groups of chemicals have different types, but the most common ones that you’ll find in skincare and cosmetic products are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben. They can mimic estrogen in the body, which can potentially lead to hormonal imbalance and infertility. And with butylparaben and propylparaben having high levels of estrogenic activity, this can result in the development of breast cancer. Keep in mind as well that even if the label says that it’s paraben-free, doesn’t mean that the product is free from chemicals, so do your research. 

2. Fragrances

Fragrances aren’t the best ingredients to include in skin care products. Although it may not make sense for some who got used to buying skincare products with fragrances, it’s actually another ingredient that you need to avoid. These chemical additives can cause allergic reactions and skin irritations. So if you have sensitive skin, it’s best that you go for skincare products that don’t contain fragrances. Fragrances often contain endocrine disruptors, carcinogenic compounds, and more. See to it as well that you watch out for skincare products that contain eau de toilette, perfume, essential oils, and aroma. 

3. Oxybenzone 

Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3 is a typical ingredient found in chemical sunscreens and other skincare products. It blocks UV rays and slows down the skin absorption of harmful UVA and UVB rays. Despite its beneficial properties, it’s still not the safest skincare ingredient out there. Oxybenzone causes skin irritation, allergic reactions, and hormone disruptions that affect estrogen production in women and testosterone production in men. It has some unpleasant side effects such as rash, dizziness, and itching or swelling. 

Aside from the harmful effects of oxybenzone on humans, it’s also damaging to the environment as it’s seen as “a skeletal endocrine disruptor.” Oxybenzone damages the DNA of the coral, which means that when its concentration increases, the degree of coral bleaching also increases. So if you’re not so particular about the type of sunscreen that you use, now may be the best time to check if what you’re using contains oxybenzone. 

4. Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is commonly found in lotions, lip products, cleansers, and makeup removers. This ingredient may contain carcinogenic chemicals and skin irritants. So beware of skincare or cosmetic products with ingredients such as paraffin oil, white mineral oil, mineral oil, white petroleum soft paraffin, and liquid paraffin because when you use high amounts of this ingredient, you can put yourself at a higher risk of cancer. Although, if you’re going to use or you’re already using products with mineral oil, make sure that you use that product in low amounts because it will be less damaging to your health. 

5. Formaldehyde

Same as mineral oil, formaldehyde, when used in low amounts won’t be dangerous and when used in high amounts, can cause skin and health concerns for the person. Formaldehyde is usually found in cosmetic products, hair straightening products, and nail polish. Being highly exposed to this ingredient can cause skin sensitization, sensory irritation, and cancer development. 

6. Triclosan

With the pandemic at present, the use of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers have been rampant, which is why you can say that a lot of us are very much exposed to triclosan. Triclosan is another harmful ingredient that you should avoid as it has quite a number of health effects and can increase allergic reactions, skin irritation, and dermatitis. It’s also been associated with having a negative impact on the thyroid and reproductive hormones of humans. 

7. Carbon Black

Carbon black is not found in skincare products but it is found in cosmetic products such as mascaras, eyeliners, eyeshadows, blushers, foundations, and more. It has organic contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs. PAHs have been known to cause some health concerns, and contain carcinogens. That’s why high exposure to PAHs may increase the risk of cancer and also result in tumors on the lungs, bladder, and skin. 

In addition, carbon black has other terms that you may want to watch out for: acetylene black, thermal black, lamp black, furnace black, channel black, and C.I. pigment black. Check the label and read through the ingredients list of the cosmetic product that you’re buying. 

8. Phthalates

Phthalates are used to help fragrances stick to the skin. It’s also the one responsible for helping eyelash adhesives and nail polish stay for a longer period of time. As much as it may seem useful, phthalates are actually harmful because they are still considered to be endocrine disruptors, which causes hormonal and reproductive issues and birth defects. Skincare products that contain phthalates can also cause skin irritation. 

9. Ethanolamines

If you have sensitive skin and tend to react to certain ingredients, you may want to take note of ethanolamines. Ethanolamines are found in skincare and cosmetic products, and are used to remove dirt and oil by dissolving grease and easily mixing with main ingredients. Despite its seemingly helpful benefits, it’s still an ingredient that may have some hazards to the skin and the overall health of humans. Ethanolamines can trigger skin allergy, irritation to the nose, throat, and lungs, which can lead to coughing, wheezing, and/or shortness of breath. On top of that, high exposure to ethanolamines may affect the nervous system, and damage the kidney and liver. 

10. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate is mostly found in various body care products such as shampoos, cleansers, and body washes. It’s used as an emulsifier to help products create a consistent texture, hence making the solution thicker and more stable. However, sodium lauryl sulfate is also seen as an ingredient that frequently causes irritation and allergic reactions in the skin. If you’re using skincare products containing sodium lauryl sulfate, see to it that you’re washing it off properly because its residue may be left on your skin, which may dehydrate your skin and decrease its level of ceramide

11. Methylisothiazolinone

Methylisothiazolinone or MIT is a preservative that is used to stop the growth of bacteria. This ingredient is usually found in liquid cosmetics, body care, and cleaning products. It can be of some help but only to an extent since it can still be moderately to highly severely toxic to the skin, mouth, and eyes, leading to irritation. And when inhaled, it can also cause some health problems. Despite being used in small amounts, it’s still better to stay away from methylisothiazolinone as it can trigger allergic reactions, as well as burning, itching, and hives in the skin.

Everything that we are exposed to now may affect our health. Checking what’s in the skincare and cosmetic products that we use is much like checking what’s in our food, and the ingredients that it contains. Does it cause allergies? Will it be good for our health? With various chemical substances included in the products that we use, we should be more cautious and learn more about them before deciding to buy. 

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