Understanding ingredients in skincare products

As we try to navigate the importance of establishing a good skincare routine, we often look for  ingredients that we want in our skincare products.  But what about the ingredients that we should avoid? With all of the information available to us online, it can be confusing to determine which ingredients we should avoid and why. Let’s break down the ingredients you should steer clear of in your skincare product

Ingredients to avoid in skincare products

1. Parabens

Parabens are preservatives commonly found in skincare products and makeup. In addition to skincare products, parabens have been used as common preservatives  in food and pharmaceuticals for decades. Parabens can be beneficial: they increase the shelf-life of products, tend to be less allergenic compared to other preservatives, and are relatively inexpensive. Safety concerns regarding parabens arose over the fact that they mimic estrogen and bind to estrogen receptors, acting as possible hormone disruptors.

While studies in the United States have not found any conclusive evidence of hormone disruption with parabens, the European Union (EU) has banned five parabens from personal care products and strictly regulates others. Major retailers in the United States, including Whole Foods, CVS, Target, and Walgreens have taken steps to restrict parabens in their personal care care products.

2. Phthalates

Phthalates are commonly found in skincare and personal products to fix and hold color and fragrance. They are often found in moisturizers, skin softeners, and nail polish as anti-cracking agents. The major concern regarding phthalates is their potential to act as endocrine disruptors. Studies in rodents have shown that exposure to phthalates have resulted in  hormonal and reproductive problems, including birth defects.

3.  Sulfates

Sulfates are often added to skincare products to clean oils and residue. Sulfates have had a bad reputation over the years due to their production process and the myth that they are carcinogens. However, the biggest issue with sulfates is irritation, they can often leave your eyes, skin, and scalp feeling inflamed and raw. Opt for a gentler cleaning agent to soothe your skin instead.

4.  Acrylates

Understanding the implications of acrylates in personal care and other beauty and cosmetic products can be quite confusing.

Acrylate monomers are often used as adhesives in beauty products – typically nail cosmetics and often in eyelash extension glue. This ingredient can cause significant allergic reactions in a number of people.  

Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer is a synthetic ingredient used to improve the texture and feel of skincare and cosmetic formulations. According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel, this crosspolymer is noted to be safe for its approved uses and has not resulted in any significant skin irritation.

Paying attention to what’s in your skincare products is extremely beneficial for the health and wellness of your skin. Looking for natural, organic ingredients, and steering clear from harmful chemicals (especially those you can’t pronounce!) can help keep your skin shining and free from irritation. 

Shop Skin Wise Organics products today – free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, acrylates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. 


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