Top Harmful Ingredients To Avoid In Your Skincare
Have you ever read or glimpsed through the ingredients label in your skincare? Parabens, silicones and carcinogenic substances can be found in your daily skincare products which could lead to significant health issues. Let’s dive in!
1. Parabens are used to prolong shelf life and inhibit bacteria formation. However, the fact that it mixes with hormones in your body can be dangerous. Your body mistakes parabens as hormones as it enters the body, thus causing hormonal imbalance and various cancers.
Find in product label: Ethyl paraben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, others-paraben-terminated compounds
2. Phthalates, also known as plasticizers, are used to make plastics more durable. In skincare, they are used as softeners and when absorbed into the skin, these chemicals can affect reproductive and respiratory health.
Find in product label:
3. Sulfates do not cause harm to health itself, but as a powerful grease remover and foaming agent usually found in soaps and cleansers, it removes the natural protective layer of the skin, leaving the skin remains without its protective bacterial microflora. Excess sulfates can cause skin irritations, dryness, redness, eczema, dermatitis, and allergies.
Find in product label: Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), PEG compounds, chemicals named “xynol”, “ceteareth”, and “oleth”
4. Silicones are widely used to create the pleasant slippery illusion of silk-soft skin. Consequently, silicone forms a dense layer on skin that separates the skin from the outside, and does not allow it to breathe and excrete the residues, locking in moisture, grease, bacteria, and sweat! This means toxins can’t be released from your body, and this can prevent cells from renewing themselves, eventually drying out the skin and disrupting the skin’s microbiome.
Find in product label: “-cone” compounds such as Dimethicone, Methicone, Trimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Amodimethicone, Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, & “-siloxane” compounds like Cyclopentasiloxane, Polydimethylsiloxane, & “-conol” compounds like Dimethiconol preservatives
5. Mineral oil is synthesized from crude oil, which is essentially the same substance that is used as car fuel. So mineral oil is not really oil, but is actually a plastic. Imagine wrapping yourself in a film. Skin can’t breathe, cells are exhausted, skin starts thinning due to lack of nutrients, wrinkles start forming, and for these reasons, different skin disorders such as eczema can occur.
Find in product label: Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly, Paraffin Oil, Mineral Oil, White Petrolatum, Petrolem Oil, Paraffinium
6. Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent for depigmentation. It eliminates dark spots by bleaching your skin and studies have now shown this chemical to be cytotoxic, meaning that it prevents the cells from producing melanin pigments.
Our body naturally produces melanin to protect our skin against sun damage. If the melanin-producing cells are damaged, the outer layer of our skin will be exposed to UV radiation, increasing our chances of skin cancer and premature wrinkling.
Find on product label: Hydroquinone
7. Polyethylene Glycols (PEGS) are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used to thicken and soften skincare products. However, PEGs are also known as moisture absorbents--they will slowly absorb the moisture out of your skin by draining the natural oils out of your body.
Find in product label: PEG, PPG, Polysorbate – (20, 30, 80, etc.), E490
8. Synthetic dyes and fragrances are found in almost every skincare product out there for sensorial pleasures. Artificial colorants and perfumes can cause irritations to the skin and mucous membranes, block pores, and sensitize skin.
If you have tried October Beauty's cream, they contain a hint of floral herbal scent. This is to combat the natural odor coming from Bletilla Striata and dandelion root extracts. Some may be able to withstand, but overall, they never add synthetic fragrances. The scent comes from the essential oils we add instead and are NOT used at more than 0.5% of naturally derived fragrances. To learn more about their formula, click here.
Find on product label: the word “colourant”, or specifically FD&C Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue FCF) (E133), FD&C Blue No. 2 (Indigo tine) (E131), FD&C Green No. 3 (Fast Green FCF), FD&C Red No. 3 (Erythrosine) (E127), FD&C Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine) (E102), FD&C Yellow No. 6 (Sunset Yellow) (E110), FD&C Copper complexes of chlorophyll (Green) (E141) and FD&C Green S(Green) (E142)
9. Formaldehyde is a strong-smelling colorless gas that acts as an antibacterial and antifungal agent, and is a common ingredient in many cosmetics products such as nail polish, creams, blush, and mascara. Although this chemical is a very good preservative, studies have proven that it is very toxic and has a direct link with the development of various cancers.
Find in product label: Formaldehyde, Quaternium-15, DMDM Hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, Polyoxymethylene Urea, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol (Bromopol), Glyoxal, Benzylhemiformal, 5-Bromo-5-Nitro 1,3-Dioxane, Methenamine
Other harmful ingredients include:
Aluminium, Nanoparticles: Fullerenes, Micronized Zinc Oxide, Nano Zinc Oxide, Micronized Titanium Dioxide, Micronized Quartz Silica, PABA and its derivatives: PABA, OD-PABA, Padimate O, 4-Aminobenzoic Acid, Para-Aminobenzoic Acid, P-Aminobenzoic Acid, Et-PABA, 2-Ethylhexyl Ester, P-Carboxyaniline, Benzophenone and its Compounds: Octinoxate, Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone, Oxybenzone, All Compounds Containing Benzophenone (e.g. Benzophenone-2), BP + Number (e.g. BP2), Sulisobenzone, Sulisobenzone Sodium, Others: Homosalate, Homomenthyl Salicylate, HMS, HS; 3,3,5-Trimethyl-Cyclohexyl-Salicylate, BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene – E321), BTA (butylated hydroxyanisole (BTA – E320), Triclosan, Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA)
So how do you properly care for you skin?
1. Read the product labels. If you cannot totally avoid, at least minimize the use of them.
2. Find alternatives. There are many natural skincare products out there such as our Brightening Moisturizing Cream. Feed your skin cells with antioxidant-rich ingredients to help them provide you with youthful dewy skin!
3. Keep outdoor activities in moderation, especially during summertime, and use sunscreens/sunblocks with proper ingredients.
4. Most importantly, eat well, drink well, sleep well, exercise well--your skin will thank you.