I firmly believe that you shouldn't have to play an ingredient guessing game every time you go to buy new skin care products. Here are the top 11 ingredients to avoid in skin care products.

A market research recently conducted by us has shown that the average adult uses 9 products like these every day, typically totaling up to 126 unique chemical ingredients. Every day one in 13 women is exposing herself to ingredients that have also been identified as known or probable human carcinogens - any substance that causes cancer, through those very same skin care products sitting on your bathroom shelf. 


Sulpahtes: Sulfates are chemicals used as cleansing agents. They're found in household cleaners, detergents, and even shampoo. Two main types of sulfates are used in shampoo: sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. The purpose of these sulfates is to create a lathering effect to remove oil and dirt from your hair. The chemical nature of sulphates leads to dry hair and skin as they rob them of their natural oils. Using sulphates can lead to skin, eye, and scalp irritation along with severe inflammation.

Parabens: Parabens including methylparabens, isobutylparabens, proplyparabens, and others are a family of preservatives that manufacturers use in skin care products to help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. There is strong evidence to indicate that this family of chemicals act as endocrine disruptors, meaning that they alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. There is also evidence to indicate that this class of ingredients is an allergen.Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.

Alcohol: Alcohol is actually one of the worst, most aggressive compounds to destroy your skin. Alcohols can damage the skin's natural protective layer and seriously reduce the presence of the natural oils your skin needs to stay healthy. They are very drying and harsh on the skin, causing irritation and detracting from the skin's natural regeneration.

Aluminum: Most antiperspirants, on the other hand, do contain aluminum. Two-in-one products — meaning they’re both a deodorant and an antiperspirant — will also include aluminum. Antiperspirants help you sweat less by blocking your pores, the tiny openings in your skin that sweat comes out of. Antiperspirants contain many ingredients, including aluminum salts. Aluminum salts dissolve on your skin and melt into your pores. This helps plug up your pores and stop some of your sweat. The most common concern about aluminum in antiperspirants and other topical products is that it’s linked to breast cancers. There’s little evidence that typical exposure to aluminum causes cancer or any other health condition, though.

Synthetic Fragrances: This term covers any and all engineered scent agents. These bad boys can contain any combination of 3,000+ stock chemical ingredients. Found in: Practically all types of cosmetics. If it says fragrance or perfume in the ingredient list it can contain any of these chemicals – including phthalates.

SLS/Harsh detergents: SLS is a foam booster and cleansing agent that can cause irritations for your skin, eyes, and lungs. It can also trigger allergies. There are also concerns of it causing non-reproductive organ toxicity as well as being an environmental toxin. Most commonly found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.

Triclosan: Both triclosan and triclocarban are antimicrobial agents and preservatives found in skin care products and household cleaning supplies (yuck!). As you might expect, this ingredient causes skin, eye and lung irritation. Research also suggests that repeated exposure causes bioaccumulation. Both of these ingredients may also be endocrine disruptors and impact both reproductive and non-reproductive organ system toxicity. Found in: liquid soap, soap bars, toothpaste.

EDTA: This is a binding agent added to cosmetics to improve stability and decrease the reactivity of any metal ions that may be present in your products. While it is listed with a relatively low risk score through, EDTA is noted as commonly causing skin, eyes and lung irritations, and it may also be toxic to your organs. Found in: hair color, moisturizers

Mineral Oil: This common ingredient found in your makeup, SPF, and cleansers is a byproduct of petroleum. It can contain carcinogenic chemicals, which as we've learned from formaldehyde, is thought to put humans at a higher risk for cancer if used in high amounts.

Silicones: The easiest way to identify silicones is to look for words that end in one of these: –cone, –conol, –silane or –siloxane. Silicone fluids are widely used in sunscreen formulations because of their ability to reduce the oily and sticky skin feel associated with high levels of organic sunscreen oils. They can cause acne and breakouts - Trapped dirt and impurities can clog your pores and cause acne and breakouts. Dermatologists suggest that people with sensitive skin or acne-prone skin should strictly stay away from silicone as it can make acne worse for them.


Artificial colors: When absorbed into your skin, artificial colours can lead to irritation, blocked pores, inflammation and sensitise the skin. Artificial dyes have been primarily associated with acne troubles; they disturb the natural oil balance in your skin's microbiome and lead to increased blemishes.

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