It’s important to be mindful of the ingredients we’re using on our skin, especially if we have sensitive skin. Some components can be harsh and cause irritation. Some chemicals have been linked to cancer and other health problems.
There are many safe and healthy skincare products on the market, so there’s no need to compromise your health in order to take care of your skin. With a little bit of research, you can find the perfect products for your individual needs.
Here are a few ingredients to avoid using in your skincare routine:
Alcohol can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and irritated. It can also cause redness and sensitivity. Some fatty alcohols, like stearyl, cetearyl, and cetyl, can have beneficial emulsifying effects, meaning they help ingredients mix together, and these are less likely to cause irritation. But ethanol, isopropanol, and propanol are denatured alcohols that should be avoided.
Fragrances can be a leading cause of skin irritation. They can cause contact dermatitis, redness, dryness, and may even be a primary cause of eczema. Synthetic fragrances may be more likely to cause irritation than natural fragrances, but if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid fragrances altogether, especially if you notice a bad reaction.
Parabens are a type of preservative used in cosmetics to prolong shelf life by preventing microbial growth. They have been shown to mimic estrogen, and there is some concern that they may be linked to breast cancer. There is no definitive evidence that parabens are harmful in minimal amounts, but if you want to avoid them entirely, look for products that are labeled “paraben-free.”
Formaldehyde is much less common in skincare products than it used to be due to its known harmful effects. It can cause skin irritation, contact dermatitis, and even cancer. Formaldehyde is typically used as a preservative – you probably learned about it in science class for its use in preserving biological specimens. If you see formaldehyde listed as an ingredient, it’s probably best to avoid that product.
Safe and Healthy Skincare
Most cosmetic manufacturers are learning not to use harmful ingredients, but it’s always good to read the label and check for anything that looks unfamiliar or concerning.
If you notice any bad reactions to a particular skincare product, stop using it immediately. When it comes to our skin, we want to make sure that we’re using only the safest and healthiest products possible.