8 Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid — And Why You Should Avoid Them

8 Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid — And Why You Should Avoid Them

1. Parabens
Parabens are commonly found in body washes and facial cleansers, and that’s bad news when it comes to your health. These chemicals can actually mimic estrogen in the human body and are linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. In fact, they’ve even been found in biopsies of breast tumor tissue.

2. Phthalates
You’ve probably heard that phthalates are skincare bad guys, and that’s because these chemicals are associated with an increased risk of reproductive birth defects and breast cancer.

3. Formaldehyde
Most people are shocked to learn that formaldehyde is used in skin care products like body wash and face cleansers. While formaldehyde can reduce bacterial growth, it’s also considered a human carcinogen that’s been linked to nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers, immune system disorders and allergic skin reactions.

4. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is heavily used in skin care products worldwide, but the emollient isn’t beloved by dermatologists. In fact, many experts advise steering clear of this ingredient due to its tendency to clog pores. Some skin care products combine mineral oil with paraffin, which can potentially dehydrate skin or even damage the skin barrier.

5. Synthetic Fragrances
Synthetic fragrances are in almost everything these days, but that great scent may come at a high cost. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has linked these add-ins with dermatitis, allergies, respiratory conditions and even reproductive issues.

6. Triclosan
If you regularly use antibacterial skincare products, you may want to double-check their labels for triclosan. This widely used antimicrobial chemical has a reputation as an endocrine disruptor and can wreak havoc on your thyroid and reproductive hormones. Some studies have even linked triclosan with making certain strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

7. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
You may associate sodium lauryl sulfate with lathering shampoos, but it’s also used in popular skin care products such as body wash and acne treatments. SLSs are known to cause hair damage, but they can also irritate the skin, lungs and eyes. Even worse, these agents can potentially interact with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, i.e., carcinogens.

8. Propylene Glycol
Commonly found in sunscreen and moisturizers, propylene glycol is a skin irritant that’s been shown to cause dermatitis and hives in even tiny concentrations.

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