SKN-RG The Dirty Dozen: 12 Toxic Skincare Ingredients To Avoid

SKN-RG is on a mission to spread the word about our clean skincare. Why? Because its time, we all detoxed our beauty regime. 

But it is hard to know where to start? We get it – learning to read skincare ingredients needs a careful eye and time to research, sometimes it can feel like your having to learn a new language. From working out how to recycle your product to working out what plastic or harmful ingredients are contained in the actual liquid, SKN-RG have you covered.

We could begin with by telling you all about the things “we don’t use” or the more common”free-from” list, but we feel a more holistic approach is needed. 

We thought it would be useful to write a single condense post about toxic ingredients that should be avoided, full stop. So we create our top Dirty Dozen to share with you so you can begin taking steps to create a regime that feeds and nurtures you. 

Simply bookmark this and next time your searching you can take a look to see if it product you are buying contains the top no no’s!

1. Paraben Preservatives

Parabens, which are common ingredients in personal care products, may interact with growth factors in the body to increase the risk of breast cancer and cause harm when in combination with other ingredients. A recent study discovered that when measuring Paraben preservatives in isolation it may not show the full picture. But when used in conjunction with other ingredients Parabens have the potential to cause harm. 

2. Parfum or Fragrance

Thousands of chemicals can be used in fragrance and companies can hide chemicals under this section. Most fragrances are stabilised with phthalates which is a large class of chemical compounds used through the industry. In the past few years, researchers have linked phthalates to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes and male fertility issues. 

3. PEG Compounds

Can be used as a combining agent or thickener and also assists in delivering other ingredients. As PEG compounds are typically made from synthetic materials, we recommend not using it for its potential to harm the environment. And as the jury is still out as to whether it is or is not a damaging ingredient, we feel using the plant-based ingredient to be more beneficial all round. 

 4. Petroleum

Generally found as an additive to lock in moisture in skincare and has been linked to cancers as well as causing dryness, cracking and over sensitisation. Petroleum has no nourishing effect, not will it allow other beneficial ingredients to be absorbed or moisture. They can clog up the skin causing breakouts and more lasting acne conditions. 

5. SLS Sodium Laureth/Laurel Sulfate

I get asked a lot “Should I go Sulfate-Free? Sulfates are derived from petroleum. They are controversial due to their origin, the biggest concern is the long term side effect of sulfate production. Linked to climate change, pollution and greenhouse gases so they come with a long list of the reasons why we shouldn’t use them. Found mainly as an additive to wash foaming style products. If you are reactive to SLS then steer clear, the EWG Skin Deep website it classifies SLS as “expected to be toxic or harmful”. 

6. DEA

Typically found in foaming style or creamy style products and can dry out the skin. As with parabens as a standalone ingredient they “may” not be an issue however when combined (and this is what they are designed to do) with other ingredients they may form carcinogenic compounds. 

7. Formaldehyde Preservative

A highly toxic ingredient and is known human carcinogen found in a range of product mainly nail polish and is used as part of the embalming process to preserve deceased individuals.

8. Dibutyl phthalate

Mainly used in nail polish and coloured cosmetics it is a plasticiser, also known as liquid plastic. 

9. Siloxanes

Are manmade industrial polymers that coat or smooth to give an enhanced skin feeling. Used to create a surface in a vast majority of liquid colour cosmetics including foundations as well as shampoos, deodorants and moisturisers. 

Classified as “ok” in small doses, however, the EU has plans to restrict Siloxanes (D4 and D5). We all need to really look at what we are using is ultimately going down the drain to rivers and seas. Our rivers arent unlimited resources we need to protect them. I feel another blog post coming on!

10. Triclosan 

The FDA banned Triclosan in soap and body products in the USA yet in the UK it is still found. Linked to bowel cancer, diminishing gut bacteria and Inflammation of the bowel disease. 

11. BHA & BHT Preservative

Found in cosmetics as a synthetic antioxidant and cited as having a degree of toxicity and possible carcinogen.

12. Coal Tar Dyes

Is a thick liquid and still produced as a range of soaps and shampoos and can contain heavy metals such as aluminium which are toxic to the brain.

We have loved writing this for you, so all you need to do is bookmark it and take a few small steps toward a cleaner routine.


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