Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

With so many skincare products on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose. In order to help you narrow it down, we have compiled a few of the ingredients that you should definitely look out for in your skincare products in order to avoid them. It can be difficult to know which ingredients are bad when so many have long complicated names that you’ve never heard of or can’t pronounce. Well, this should help!


This strange word means it is the salt or ester of phthalic acid and is used in a wide variety of products from hairspray and moisturiser to nail polish and perfume. In order to avoid phthalates in your skincare and cosmetics, look out for ingredients; “Phthalate, DBP, DEHP, DMP, DEP, with variations on dibutyl/diethyl ester or 1,2-benzenedicarboxylate.” These products are known hormone disruptors and suspected carcinogens and so very important to avoid. They are gradually being phased out in the European Union and the United States due to these health concerns but it is still worth looking out for them just in case.


Many skincare and cosmetic products are beginning to be labelled as paraben-free as the damaging effects of these products are becoming realised. They are used as a preservative and kill moulds and fungi before they can spread and damage the products. However, for humans, they can contribute to the development of cancerous tumours as well as causing hormone imbalances. Among the parabens you should look out for, there is methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben.

Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS is commonly found in shampoo, facewash, toothpaste and foundation. It is thought to be a major contributor to acne and has been known to cause skin irritation and disruptions to the skin’s natural oil balance. It can cause intense dryness. There is also evidence that it has carcinogenic qualities meaning it could contribute to cancerous developments, however the evidence is not backed throughout the scientific community. Regardless, it does cause skin irritation and effects that result in acne breakouts so it’s worth avoiding.

This list is by no means exhaustive and we encourage you to always try and understand the ingredients that are in the skincare products you are using. It will help you towards understanding your own skin better too!

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