10 Ingredients in your Beauty Products you Should Avoid
Most skincare purchases are guided by brands' Marketing messages. Trusting consumers respond to ads that are carefully crafted to capture their attention, getting them to make purchases. There is nothing wrong with that as long as the product, in fact, lives up to its promises, and doesn't cause harm. Unfortunately that cannot be said for most skincare products. This is exactly why The Beauty Doctrine was founded - to serve as the consumers guide to better, informed purchases.
I always say; ingredients say the full story, not the print on the box or bottle. This blog delineates popular ingredients that are best left out of your skincare products and offers better alternatives.
There is a loophole in US FDA regulation that extend brands the right not to disclose what chemicals are used in fragrance. So often, just one seemingly benign ingredient can hide 100's of toxic chemicals. Additionally, Most synthetic fragrances use the fixative Phtalates, which has been linked to infertility and other hormonal issues. To learn more about the dangers that come with synthetic fragrances, check out our blog here.
St.Rose fragrances use over 97% natural origin ingredients in their formulations, and are also vegan and cruelty-free. Juliet In White is a beautiful composition of sweet florals and spiced woods. For more clean fragrance options please visit our holiday fragrance blog here.
2- L-Ascorbic Acid
This is the most commonly used Vitamin C ingredient. there is a lot of research supporting its efficacy, but this is mostly done in controlled environments. This ingredient is very hard to stabilize, so it can oxidize quickly, causing aging. It is also quite harsh on the skin, potentially causing irritation. To learn more about Vitamin C's harmful properties, please visit our blog here.
An amazing alternative to this ingredient is Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, offering you the same benefits of Vitamin C while still being tolerable for the skin. You can find this ingredient in Versine's Gentle Actives Clarity Serum.
3- Physical Scrubs
No matter how gentle the brand can claim this ingredient is in their formula, physical scrubs are completely unnecessary & can be damaging to the delicate skin surface. A great alternative would be a gentle chemical exfoliant such as Lactic Acid or Mandelic Acid.
Mandelic Acid is an even larger molecule making it the best choice for sensitive skin types. Versine Gentle Actives Clarity Serum also, contains this ingredient.
This is generally recommended as a skin whitener and a dark spot reducer. while many chemicals are silent killers, this one can show immediate visible damage to the skin by turning blue or black when used in the sun. This is an irreversible skin disease called Ochronosis. Additionally, it has been linked to skin cancer, and can be packed with Mercury in some imported products.To learn more about other toxic ingredients please check out our blog here.
A fantastic alternate ingredient is Azelaic acid. At a certain dose, the acid fades dark spots formed from hyper-pigmentation. It also works by preventing the formation of tyrosinase. Versine Gentle Actives Clarity Serum + Azelaic Acid features this amazing ingredient along with powerful ingredients such as, Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Kakadu Plum Extract, Ceramide. This multi-tasking serum has got you covered!For a more comprehensive list on the best ingredients for hyper-pigmentation please visit our blog here.
Graydon Blue Majik Face Foam Unscented Cleanser also, contains Azelaic acid and its formulation is completely vegan, paraben-free and gluten-free.
This ingredient may come as a great surprise but despite the fact that many doctors consider it safe, along with medications that come with long lists of side effects, the fact that can not be disputed is the great potential for containing a dangerous carcinogen named PHA's.
Petroleum goes through a 'refining' process where it is heated by a furnace and toxic chemicals are implemented. One of the refining agents is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PHA's), which is recognized by the European Union as a carcinogen. We go more in-depth on this topic in our blog which you can find here.
Instead of reaching for your vaseline, Vivaiodays Olive Oil All Purpose Rescue Balm Gel will become your new best friend. This ulta-nourishing, 97% organic, skin-saving balm-gel, magically transforms into a soothing cream, on contact with skin's own water content to bring instant relief.
Avoid products with penetration enhancers like EDTA. They are destructive to the skin surface, which means your skin will be more susceptible to damage and will also suffer water loss, leading to aging and other issues.
In order to avoid this it is crucial for you to carefully take the time to read your products' ingredient lists. Do your best to only use clean products that do not have this ingredient.
7- Synthetic Retinol
Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative touted as the gold standard for wrinkle reduction and acne treatment. It's currently the highest-trending skincare ingredient and with this growing surge in popularity, there has been an increase in misinformation regarding its use. With dozens of influencers promoting the hottest and newest products. But, if it's new or trending, that does not mean it's good for you!
Synthetic retinol has a number of potential negative side effects on the skin. Some of which include irritation, increased sensitivity, inflammation, and susceptibility to sunburn. These awful side effects can be completely avoided using plant retinol alternatives that provide you with the same efficacy as traditional retinol, but in a gentler, tolerable formulation for your skin.
These fantastic alternative ingredients are bakuchiol, rosehip oil, moth bean, AHA's (Phytic Acid & Lactic Acid), and niacinamide. We dedicated an entire blog post going over products that contain these ingredients, in-depth. Check it out to here to learn more!
Black Tulip's Overnight Retinoid Serum has bakuchiol as its main ingredient and is perfect for those with sensitive and reactive skin.
Graydon's Fullmoon serum harnesses the amazing benefits of amino acids along with moth bean. Perfect for those looking to use a serum that is both firming and hydrating.
8- Chemical sunscreen
Chemical sunscreen is unstable and breaks down overtime, therefore requiring penetration enhancers, preservatives, and various other chemicals to protect the formula. They also require more frequent application, which means higher toxic load on the body, increasing susceptibility to photo-allergies and contact dermatitis, with long term use.
This is only just the tip of the iceberg, we delve much deeper into this topic along with more amazing sunscreen options here.
Bloomeffects Tulip Dew Sunscreen is a 100% mineral SPF 50 sunscreen serum enriched with essential multivitamins for everyday protection and a dewy glow. It contains Non-nano Zinc oxide which, is the best sunscreen filter.
9- Citrus Essential oils
Bergamot, neroli, lime, lemon, grapefruit. If you are sensitive do not use any products that contain these ingredients. If you are not sensitive, it is probably safe to use them on occasion in a product you like as long as they are low on the ingredient list. Also, if you must use a product that contains citrus oil make sure to apply it at night. Citrus oils are photo-sensitizing, which means they can cause pigmentation when the skin is exposed to the sun.
If you are on the hunt for an amazing facial oil that doesn't contain these sensitizing ingredients, look no further than Henné. Henné Organics Illumine Face Oil is a luxurious formulation brimming with vitamins, essential fatty acids and phyto-nutrients that work collectively to brighten, hydrate and revitalize the skin.
10- Lavender Essential Oil
This one can be particularly deceiving as we always associate lavender with calm and soothing properties so it is easy to for you to assume that a product that contains this ingredient would be designed to calm irritation or reduce rosacea. However, the calming effects of lavender are limited to aromatherapy, not topical skin application. It is a very volatile essential oil that can be highly allergenic and disruptive to the skin's delicate lipid barrier.
Lina Hanson is another luxurious oil serum that's packed with nourishing and calming plant oils, and is 100% essential oil free.
I hope this sheds some light into the most common ingredients that are used in cosmetics, but are no necessarily good for long-term use on your skin. The beauty industry does not make it a priority to make us aware of what goes into their products. So it's up to us to stay informed. I hope this at least sends you in the right direction. If you have questions about your current makeup or skincare? Write to us in the comments below.
Be well. Be safe. Be beautiful!
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