8 Popular Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

8 Popular Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

Dec 11, 2023
by Bonnie Giangrande minute read

When it comes to your skincare products, there are certain ingredients that you should avoid altogether. It’s important to note that not all skincare is created equally in terms of ingredients and environmental impacts. "The Importance of Knowing How Your Skincare is Sourced" is crucial in todays world where the list of skincare products to choose from is endless. Everyone is on the pursuit of healthy and radiant skin, and trying to find skincare products that will nourish your skin and aren’t harmful can be hard to navigate. With that being said, let’s get into the top 8 popular skincare ingredients to avoid when on the hunt for clean skincare that will nourish your skin while helping you achieve that healthy and radiant look!

Moisturizer cream by Renu Naturals

1.) Fragrance and Parfum

What is fragrance and parfum? In skincare these refer to synthetic ingredients added into products in order to achieve a certain scent.

It’s no secret that synthetic fragrances and parfums can be very irritating to the skin and even disrupt the skin's natural barrier. Some even suffer allergic reactions such as inflammation, itching, and redness. While added fragrances may add a nice scent to the product, they can be detrimental when it comes to our skin's health. When you’re on the hunt for clean skincare and checking the ingredients list, make sure the product doesn’t contain fragrance or parfum, and seek out natural essential oils instead.

2.) Sulfates (SLS and SLES)

What are sulfates? Sulfates are detergents and foaming agents that are often found in many personal and skincare products. Many times these are added into your products to create that satisfying lather.

Sulfates are harsh on the skin and can strip away at your skins natural oils, which is why you should avoid using skincare products that use sulfates. The stripping of your skins natural oils can lead to irritation and dryness, especially if you’re already prone to dry and sensitive skin. If you suffer from eczema or dermatitis, sulfates are shown to exacerbate those symptoms as well. Overall, choosing products that are sulfate free can help you to maintain your skins natural oils and will promote healthier skin. Cocamidopropyl Betaine (From Coconut) is a natural option to look for.

3.) Parabens - Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

What are parabens? Parabens are a group of compounds that are used as preservatives in many skincare and beauty products.

Parabens should be avoided because there are concerns of impact on your hormonal balance. There have been studies showing the detection of parabens in human tissue that are believed to mimic estrogen which is a hormone that helps to regulate the body function. This is worrisome because of the potential disruption in the endocrine symptom. Research is still being done into parabens, but some studies have suggested a link between parabens and breast cancer. Findings for this are still inconclusive, but with products out there that don’t contain parabens and are just, as if not more effective, why risk it? If you’re looking for a cleaner skincare regimen, it may be wise to opt for paraben free skincare!

4.) Mineral Oil/Petroleum

What are mineral oils? Colorless and odorless oil which is derived from petroleum and comes from the distillation of crude oil to produce gasoline. It is often used in skincare products as an occlusive agent which forms as a barrier on the skin's surface to prevent the loss of water and retain moisture. You’ll often find this ingredient in moisturizer, ointments, and baby oils. 
What is petroleum? Petroleum is similar to mineral oil as it’s used to form a protective layer on the skin that helps to keep moisture trapped in. Petroleum jelly is often used in products such as lip balms, ointments, and creams.
It may be wise to consider skincare products that don’t have mineral oils or petroleum because of their concern of being potentially comedogenic and leading to clogged pores and skin issues. If you’re aiming for a lighter and non greasy skin care formula that still provides hydration, look into an alternative that uses other more natural ingredients that achieves this such as hyaluronic acid, shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, aloe vera gel, argan oil, rosehip seed oil, and coconut oil. You'll find many of these nourishing alternatives in Renu Naturals skincare products. 
Renu Naturals Advanced Night Cream

5.) Synthetic Colors - Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

What are synthetic colors? Synthetic Colors refer to artificial dyes and pigments that are often added to cosmetic and skincare products to create a specific color for aesthetically pleasing purposes.
Synthetic colors just aren’t good for your overall health in general. From skincare to even the food that we eat. Many artificial colors in skincare are derived from coal tar or petroleum to enhance the aesthetic of a product. However, synthetic colors could pose a risk to your health and skin such as skin irritation, allergic reactions, sensitivity, and even cacogenic issues. Overall, opting for skincare products that don’t use synthetic colors is much healthier for your skin.

6.) Phthalates

What are phthalates? Phthalates are a group of synthetic chemicals that are commonly used in part of the fragrance formulation process or to improve the texture and scent of a product.
Phthalates raise concern because of their potential to disrupt the endocrine system, similar to the use of parabens. Phthalates can be absorbed through the skin and studies have even suggested a link between the exposure of phthalates and adverse health effects such as hormonal disruptions, developmental problems, and even reproductive issues. If you’re looking for cleaner skincare products, we recommend choosing products that are phthalate free.

7.) BHA and BHT Preservatives

What are BHA and BHT preservatives? Both BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are synthetic antioxidants that are used to prevent oxidation of oils and fats in many skincare and cosmetic products.

BHA and BHT are both considered “safe” for cosmetic use by regulatory agencies, but many try to avoid them because of the potential health concerns that they pose. Some studies raise questions about the long term effects of these synthetic antioxidants. It may be wise to avoid products that use synthetic antioxidants and opt for products that contain real antioxidants.

8.) Propylene Glycol - Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

What is propylene glycol? This ingredient is often used in skincare products as a penetration enhancer to help with the absorption of other active ingredients to be more effectively absorbed into the skin. Propylene Glycol is typically derived from petrochemicals.(Not to be confused with Propanediol which is derived from corn)

Many choose to avoid the use of propylene glycol in their skincare products because of potential irritation to their skin. While this ingredient is generally considered “safe”, many people suffer skin irritation and if you live in a particularly dry climate, it could potentially draw moisture from your skin. We suggest considering alternative formulations that don’t use propylene glycol in the ingredient list.

Will Your Be Steering Clear of These 8 Popular Skincare Ingredients to Avoid?

After shedding light on these top 8 popular skincare ingredients that you should avoid in skincare, we hope your journey to finding cleaner skincare has become easier. Knowledge is power, and since our skin is the largest organ in our body, we must protect it. There is a direct correlation between the health of your skin and your overall health, so it is important to take good care of it. Our clean skincare products will not only give you radiant, glowing skin, but will also nourish your skin with quality ingredients that you can feel good using. For a simple yet effective skincare lineup, we have everything you'll need from moisturizers to oils and serums to creams. Have questions? Leave a comment below. We’d love to help with your skincare journey! In the meantime, follow the Renu Naturals Instagram page to keep up to date with the latest! 


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