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8 cosmetic ingredients to avoid in face care products

The skin is the first contact with the outside world and this organ is the largest in the human body. It is just as important to take care of it as the rest of the body. 10 cosmetic ingredients to avoid in skincare may be worth considering before making future purchases.

  1. Formaldehyde

    In cosmetic products, it acts as a preservative. There are studies showing that Formaldehyde is bad for your health. Studies prove that it is a carcinogen that can cause asthma, cause irritation, is neurotoxic and is toxic for development. The final effect of this ingredient is that it can also be an impurity for other ingredients that are regularly listed in the cosmetic ingredient list. Some examples are: quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), etc.1

  2. Phtalates

    This chemical is part of the same family as DBP, DEHP and DEP which plasticize. They are not present in the list of cosmetic ingredients, as it is regularly present in trace amounts. Phthalates help odors stick to the skin and make the product texture flexible. The chemical nature of this ingredient has negative results on the body such as endocrine disruption and organ toxicity and so it should one of the ingredients to avoid in skincare.2woman using plastic-free skin care products from ATTITUDE

  3. Parabens

    Parabens, methylparabens, isobutylparabens, proplyparabens, and others are all part of the preservative family. Cosmetic products use them in their ingredients to prevent the creation of bacteria or fungus. The negative thing about the use of the above-mentioned parabens is that they unbalance the endocrine and play on the hormones3

  4. Polyethylene glycol (PEG)

    This ingredient is usually found in cleansers to remove oil and grease. Polyethylene glycol is also found in cosmetic products to thicken the substance and help replenish the moisture barrier. So far, the ingredient may seem safe, but regularly it is contaminated with ethylene oxide or 1,4-dioxane. These are carcinogenic substances and should be a part of ingredients to avoid in skincare.

  5. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

    SLES is used to make products foam. It is also present for its cleaning properties. Sodium Laureth Sulfate has adverse effects that are present in reaction to its contamination with 1,4-dioxane which is known to be carcinogenic.

  6. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

    In canning and beauty products, BHA and BHT are present as antioxidants and stabilizers. They are there to make the products last longer. Side effects are only speculative currently, but there are concerns about liver and endocrine effects and carcinogenic properties. These ingredients are to avoid in skincare.4

  7. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)

    Cosmetic ingredients sometimes need a binding agent to make the product in question optimal, but the binding agent is not necessarily good for the skin. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid binds to stabilize and reduce the reaction of metal ions in some products. The latter can be bad, as it is irritating to the skin, eyes, and lungs, in addition to being toxic to the organs.5

  8. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

    PFAS are substances that are found in many areas of our lives: water, seafood, cosmetics, etc. These ingredients are harmful to health, because they remain several months or years in our system and can cause damage. Indeed, the concerns of this ingredient are a disruption of the endocrine system, carcinogenic properties, reproductive problems, and the list goes on.6

Learn more about cosmetic ingredients to avoidingredients from face care products from ATTITUDE

This is a short list of the many cosmetic ingredients that are not recommended to be prioritized in skin care products. The list is long and is relevant to consider before making future cosmetic purchases. Health Canada has published an article on the criteria for an ingredient to be on this list and lists some of them. If you would like to learn more, here is the link to the article: Prohibited & Restricted Ingredients in Cosmetics.

What is good to know is that there are various ingredients that affect the health of the human body. There are ingredients to avoid in shampoos, household products and more.

ATTITUDE, a clean revolutionmicellar foaming cleanser from ATTITUDE

We aim to revolutionize the beauty industry with clean, performance-proven products in eco-innovative packaging to reduce plastic. Our products are PETA and EWG VERIFIED™, which means that the beauty products don’t contain ingredients of concern. Our micellar foams, lip balms, and even our sun creams are designed and created with safe ingredients* while being effective!

*According to EWG.

  1. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Formaldehyde https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/702500-formaldehyde/ https://www.ewg.org/research/exposing-cosmetics-cover
  2. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/701929-DIBUTYL_PHTHALATE/ |
  3. https://www.ewg.org/what-are-parabens
  4. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/700741-BHT/ https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/700740-BHA/
  5. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/702229-edta/
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