They Put What In There? 9 Ingredients to Avoid in Popular Skincare Products

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Naveen December 11, 2023 3 min read 4 Comment
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They Put What In There? 9 Ingredients to Avoid in Popular Skincare Products

We all want to take the best care of our skin. I mean, who doesn’t want to glow?

With an endless sea of skincare products on the market, picking the right ones can seem like a part-time job. However, it’s not just about choosing the right product; it’s also about being aware of the ingredients used in them.

Many skincare brands use ingredients that can cause irritation, inflammation, or even damage to our skin, literally the opposite of glowing. These ingredients can cause allergies, hormonal imbalances, and worse!

Keep your face and body clean by avoiding these 9 common skincare ingredients:

1 Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Here’s one that you’ve definitely seen, even if you can’t pronounce it.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS, is easy to find in many skincare products, including cleansers and shampoos. While it is great at removing dirt and oil, it can also strip the skin of its natural oils, causing dryness and flakiness.

Found in:

  • Soaps
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving creams
  • Bath bombs
  • Bubble bath

Also labeled as:

  • SLS
  • Sodium Monolauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate
  • Sodium Dodecane Sulfate
  • Lauryl Alcohol

2 Parabens

Parabens are a group of preservatives used in skincare to prevent bacteria and mold, which is essential. But parabens also have nasty potential side effects when used over time, like disruption of hormone function.

While the FDA deems parabens safe in small concentrations, I prefer to avoid them altogether.

Found in:

  • Like, all makeup
  • Face, skin and hair moisturizers
  • Shaving cream

Also labeled as:

  • Ethyl Hydroxy Benzoate
  • Benzoic Acid
  • 4-Hydroxy
  • Methyl Ester
  • Methyl-4-Hydroxybenzoate

3 Phthalates

Phthalates are common in skincare products and fragrances. However, they have been linked to hormone disruption and reproductive toxicity.

These carcinogenic chemicals have been banned from being used in cosmetics in the European Union but are still found all over the beauty and skincare products in the West.

If your gov won’t ban Phthalates, impose a self-ban!

Found in:

  • Any products that contain perfume
  • Deodorants
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Skin cream and lotion
  • Body wash
  • Nail polish
  • Aftershave lotions

Also labeled as:

Diethyl Phthalate is the most common, but anything with the phthalate label.

4 Mineral Oil

Mineral Oil is made from petroleum (gross) and is often used in makeup and all kinds of moisturizers. However, it can and will clog pores and prevent the skin from breathing, leading to pimples, redness, and irritation.

Not to mention Mineral Oil has also been linked to organ toxicity and environmental harm. Save the animals, the planet, and yourself by avoiding Mineral Oil.

Found in:

  • Liquid makeup, especially foundation or tinted moisturizers
  • Face and body moisturizers
  • Hair conditioner
  • Nail polish

Also labeled as:

  • White Oil
  • Paraffin Oil
  • Liquid Paraffin

5 Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a confirmed carcinogen commonly used as a preservative in skincare products. When inhaled repeatedly, it can cause irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory issues. Plus, Formaldehyde that stuff they use to embalm dead people- gross!

What’s even more tricky is that while Formaldehyde is not always listed as an ingredient, it can be contained in other ingredients like preservatives.

Found in:

  • Face and body washes, especially cream cleansers
  • Eyelash glue
  • Nail hardeners
  • Shampoos
  • Hair gel
  • Deodorants

Also labeled as:

  • Methylene Glycol
  • Formalin
  • Methylene Oxide
  • Paraform

6 Methylisothiazolinone

Methylisothiazolinone, or MI, is a preservative found in skincare products. However, MI has been linked to skin irritation, allergies, and even chemical burns…yes, you read that right- chemical burns.

Environmentally, Methylisothiazolinone can harm ocean life when washed down the drain. It is also used in household cleaners as a substitute for Formaldehyde… yuck.

Found in:

  • Shampoos
  • Lotions
  • Emulsions
  • Sunscreen

Also labeled as:

  • MI
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)
  • 2-methyl-4-isothiazoline-3-one
  • Neolone 950 preservative
  • OriStar MIT

7 Aluminum

If you’ve spent any time on the all-natural deodorant scene, you know that Aluminum is a frequent ingredient in antiperspirants and can be absorbed through the skin. Besides, Aluminum can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions, hard pass.

Found in:

  • Eye shadows, especially if it has shimmer or glitter
  • Foundation primer
  • Face and body moisturizers
  • Shampoos
  • Deodorant
  • Body sprays and glitters

Also labeled as:

  • Aluminum Oxide
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Aluminum Chloride
  • Aluminum Sulfate

8 Oxybenzone

You know I’m a big advocate of sunscreen. However, not all SPF products are created equal. Oxybenzone is a chemical sunscreen ingredient linked to cell damage, skin irritation, and allergic reactions.

Thinking of our aquatic friends, Oxybenzone is harmful to coral reefs and other marine life, which is why it’s banned in beautiful places like Hawaii. Instead, use sunscreens with safer ingredients like Zinc Oxide.

Found in:

  • Sunscreens
  • Makeup or hair products with SPF
  • Hair spray
  • Nail polish

Also labeled as:

  • Enzophenone-3
  • Milestab 9
  • Eusolex 4360

9 Ethanolamine Compounds (MEA, DEA, TEA)

Ethanolamine Compounds, such as DEA, MEA, and TEA, are used in skin care products to adjust pH levels and improve skin texture; who doesn’t nice texture and balanced skin? However, they have been linked to skin and eye irritation, plus organ toxicity.

My advice is to ditch the MEA, the DEA, the TEA, and all their friends ASAP.

Found in:

  • Makeup like eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, blush, and foundation
  • Body and hand soap
  • Shampoo
  • Hair conditioners, dyes, and deep treatments
  • Lotions, body creams
  • Shaving cream

Also labeled as:

  • Monoethanolamine (MEA)
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)

Keepin’ It Clean With Naveen

Feeling the ick? Same. Comment below, and we can cringe together. Then, keep it clean with my other articles all about natural skincare.

4 thoughts on “They Put What In There? 9 Ingredients to Avoid in Popular Skincare Products

  1. Naveen

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  2. Naveen

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  3. Naveen

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  4. Naveen

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About AuthorU

Naveen
NaveenFounder & CEO
Hi! My name is Naveen and I'm your new guide to perfect skin. As for my journey, my passion for natural and organic skincare has brought me to the City of Angels – Los Angeles, California. Here, I’ve learned that good skincare isn’t actually skin deep, AKA, it’s not just about looking good; it’s about understanding the delicate dance between our skin, nature, and the planet. It’s about leaving a mark… a good mark, not the kind you need to laser off. So, stay tuned in to my website, social media and even podcast for continuous skincare tips and product reviews.