Red flag ingredients in your skincare

Have you ever wondered what nasties could be hidden inside your beauty products? Then when you read the back realise you don’t have a clue what any of them mean! Well your not alone. Here are our top 5 ingredients to stay clear of and why…


Phthalates (DHP, DEHP, DBP5, dibutyl phthalate) are a hormone disrupting chemical found in Artificial Fragrances in products and perfume. Fragrance is top reason for skin allergies and irritation with brands able to hide between 20-100 different ingredients.  Try to find a brand that does full disclosure of ingredients on their website transparency is the key to health.  


Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is an ingredient used in products to create a lathering foam. In skincare this may make a product feel more luxurious but don’t be fooled. SLS causes irritation to the eyes, skin and lungs and has also been known to contribute towards hair loss when prolonged use. Switch to a sulphate free product. 


Parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl, ethyl) are preservatives that mimic estrogen and have been linked to breast cancer and fertility issues. Be vigilant as the sneaky ingredient maybe listed as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates. If looking for an alternative preservative try alcohol or for a plant-based option ethylhexylglycerin. 


Formaldehyde is a preservative that was restricted to professional use only as of 2016 in the UK. This is because it is a highly toxic chemical known to cause cancer. Unfortunately, international products do not have the same restrictions and this ingredient can be found in nail polishes, eyelash glue and hair products. Formaldehyde is so strong it is used to preserve the deceased in the embalming process, if that isn’t enough to give it a wide birth, I don’t know what is!   


Petrolatum is a derivative of Petroleum and Crude oil found in many ‘hydrating’ products such as Vaseline. It creates the illusion of moisturisation when it is in fact suffocating your pores. To separate the petroleum from Crude oil it goes through a process called fractional distillation. Other materials that are separated in this process include heavy fuel oil for power stations, petrol for cars and bitumen to build roads. Recent Studies have also shown this ingredient to cause cancer. 

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