Bad Boys of Skincare: The ingredients you want to avoid

To help you determine whether your cosmetic product is safe we have rounded up the ultimate bad boys in skincare. They might be tempting and pretty on the outside - but don’t be fooled.
This is a list of ingredients you want to avoid at all cost!

Author: Brittany 

By now we know some ingredients lurking within our cosmetics may not be safe. Before a product hits the market, the safety testing has usually been left to the manufacturers of the ingredients or the producers themselves, which means some not so great ingredients may be able to slip through the cracks. It’s up to the educated consumer to determine whether or not a product is safe. Trying to determine whether a product is good for you, why it isn’t good for you and what to use instead, can be downright confusing.

Stick to this list of ingredients to avoid and feel better knowing what goes on your skin is pure goodness.

1: Paraben Squad (methylparaben, benzylparaben, ethylparaben):
This is a gang of preservatives that should be avoided. They are added to products because they are a cheap way to ensure a longer shelf life but have been known to affect hormone function and have been linked to allergic reactions as well as being found in breast tumours. Five of these bad boys have been banned in Europe.

2: Phthalates:
These synthetic ingredients are used to plasticize products. They act as a ‘clinging’ agent and allow products to last longer. When used long term they can cause damage to internal organs and your reproductive system (affecting reproductive health and fertility). You will find them in baby toys, plastic bags and cosmetics.

3: Formaldehyde:
This is a strong chemical that is actually used to build walls. It is also a carcinogenic and can be found in your deodorant, lipstick and nail polish.

4: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate:
This ingredient creates foam so it is commonly found in shampoos, bathing lotions and hand soaps. It can be very drying, skin irritating and may lead to rashes.

5: Polyethylene Glycol (also known as PEGs):
This is a group of petroleum-derived ingredients that may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. 1.4 dioxane is a known carcinogen and is listed as a by product so it will not show up on product labels. It has been linked to cancer and nervous system damage and since you can’t tell if its in the product or not, its a good idea to stay clear of PEGs altogether.

6: Apricot Pits:
These are found as beads in exfoliants and scrubs. Although they sound lovely, they tend to be harsh and can cause irritation of the skin. It’s better to avoid and stick to exfoliants that are gentle and soft.

7: Mineral Oil (and petroleum jelly):
This can be confusing because mineral oil doesn’t really sound that bad for you. It is an inexpensive moisturizer, derived from petrochemicals and can clog pores and hinder the skins natural processes. With so many great plant based alternatives it’s best to avoid.

8: Triclosan: 
An antibacterial agent found in soaps and hand sanitizers, this ingredient has been proven to be irritating and has been linked to hormone disruption. It also doesn’t degrade easily and contributes to pollution.

9: Hydroquinone:
This is a skin and hair lightener that has been banned in Europe and Asia. It can cause cancer and affect your immune system and reproductive health. It has also been associated with developmental problems when younger kids are exposed.

For products that are both safe AND effective shop our clean beauty section 




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