Why Natural Skin Care Products Are A Must! Harmful Ingredients To Avoid

Harmful Ingredients to Avoid in Your Skincare Products

Do you make a habit of reading the labels on skin care products before purchasing them? If not, then you might want to start now. An awful lot of skin care products contain harmful chemicals, so we decided to look into why natural skin care products are a must in our eyes!

Learn which ingredients you should be avoiding in whatever beauty products you use to prevent any adverse effects on your long-term health and wellness. 

The truth is that consumers cannot always count on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to keep tabs on what goes into every single beauty product that people use.

Hence the same way a nutritionist looks at food labels, you should start doing the same with the skin care products you buy.


Natural Skin Care Products Are A Must

There are countless chemicals in everyday use when it comes to the manufacture of skincare products. The global skincare industry is worth an estimated $134.5 billion as of 2018 and is expected to soar up to $180.4 by 2024.

To meet such demand, many companies resort to the use of all sort of chemicals to make production more manageable and more profitable, with little government review and approval before they become available to consumers.



They also often turn to a marketing ploy called ‘Greenwashing’ that basically markets prods as natural and green where they are far from it!

What small approval process exists is mainly for color and active ingredients that are not considered over the counter drugs.

Many of the chemicals used in skincare products turn out to be skin irritants, hormone inhibitors and even carcinogenic.

It would be impossible to go through all of them but here are a few that you would do well to avoid in your skincare products.

And try and always buy natural skin care products if you can!


What specific ingredients should you watch out for?


Parabens are commonly utilized preservatives that avoid the development of bacteria, mold, and yeast in cosmetic items. That does not sound so bad so what’s the big deal?

Well, recent studies have shown that Parabens have an estrogen-mimicking effect that has been linked to the development of breast cancer cells. Parabens are readily absorbed through the skin and traces of the chemical have been identified in breast tumors.

Despite the risk, Parabens are a common ingredient found in makeups, antiperspirants, shampoos and facial cleansers. You can likewise see the chemical in pharmaceutical products and processed foods.

Always look for natural skin care products that are labelled are Paraben Free.


Artificial colors

Check the labels on your skin care products (and hair care too for that matter) for anything that says FD&C or D&C — these initials refer to artificial colours. The F stands for “food” while D&C  for “drugs and cosmetics. These letters precede a colour and number.

The problem with artificial colours is that they are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Artificial colours are presumed to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in kids.

The European Classification and Labeling (ECL) consider it as a human carcinogen, and the European Union bans the ingredient altogether.

Still, use of artificial colours continues to proliferate outside the UK.


Artificial scents

Avoid skincare products that merely have “fragrance” or artificial scents on the label as these can be particularly worrisome.

While the label was created to protect the “secret formula” of the manufacturer, consumers in turn, have to take a significant amount of risk using a product that may contain ingredients that are dangerous to one’s health.

Such concoctions are believed to be a contributing factor in allergic reactions, breathing problems, dermatitis, and reproductive disorders.



A group of chemicals used in numerous products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care items include the following:

  • dibutyl phthalate in nail polish
  • diethyl phthalate in perfumes and creams
  • dimethyl phthalate in hairspray


The chemicals mentioned above are classified as endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and congenital reproductive disabilities in males and women.

Regrettably, it is not divulged on every item as it’s contributed to scents (remember the “secret formula” not listed), a significant loophole in the law.

These ingredients are commonly used in antiperspirants, perfumes/colognes, hair sprays and moisturizers.



Triclosan has been extensively used as an antimicrobial chemical even though it is a known endocrine disruptor (thyroid and reproductive hormones, and a skin irritant).

Studies raise concerns that triclosan adds to making germs antibiotic-resistant.

Likewise there is not enough supporting evidence that washing with antibacterial soaps containing triclosan has any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.

We would always advise to go for natural soaps!

Triclosan is a common ingredient in deodorants, antibacterial soap, and toothpaste.


Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/ Salt Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

Both are surfactants (compounds that lower the tension between two or more substances) common in more than 90% of personal hygiene and cleaning products.

These chemicals are known as a skin, lung and eye irritants but that is not all!!

Perhaps the biggest problem with the surfactants is that they can combine with other chemicals to create nitrosamines — an extremely carcinogenic substance known to cause respiratory and kidney disease.



Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRP’s) chemicals are utilized in numerous cosmetic products to help stifle microbial growth.

Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen and has been linked to various types of cancers — nasal and nasopharyngeal.

It is also known to cause allergic skin reactions, and it might likewise be damaging to the body’s immune system and leave you vulnerable to infection and disease.



A petrochemical derived from petroleum or coal tar sources, toluene is a strong solvent able to liquify paint and paint thinner. This chemical can cause skin irritation, nausea, and respiratory illness.

Pregnant women must avoid skincare and beauty products that contain the latter as it can prove harmful to a developing fetus.


One life and one body

It is impossible to prevent every chemical or synthetic ingredient from getting into our body, but there is plenty that you can do to reduce your exposure.

Make an effort to eat healthily and avoid chemical-laden processed foods. Instead of artificial drinks, take in lots of water and keep cells hydrated throughout the day.

Opt for products that are certified organic from the fruits and vegetables that you eat to the beauty and skin care products that you use every day.

The best thing that you can do is to educate yourself and do your research before you buy just about anything for your skin.

Consider investing in natural skin care products that contain none of the ingredients mentioned above.

We only get one life and one body, and if we do not take better care of it today, then we may find ourselves dealing with consequences later on in the form of a debilitating illness or disability.


Let Us Know

Do you have some fave natural skin care products you use? We’d love to hear in the comments below.


Aiza Tordil

Aiza Tordil is a beauty and health blogger from Love Thyself offering helpful advice on beauty tips and healthy living which she practices to keep looking healthy and attractive. She is passionate about sustainable living and always up on the hottest natural and organic skincare products from reputable brands like Weleda Australia. Ultimately, she hopes to tell stories that strike a chord with people and provide them the importance of using only natural and organic products.

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