9 Nasty Skin Care Ingredients You Should Avoid Now

Feature | Nasty Skin Care Ingredients You Should Avoid Now

Take good care of your skin by getting to know the potentially harmful skin care ingredients you should avoid.

9 Worst Skin Care Ingredients


1. Parabens

Composed of a whole family of chemicals, parabens are the ingredients that help preserve the shelf-life of a beauty product or a pharmaceutical product. What these chemicals (Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, and Ethylparaben) do is imitate estrogen’s activity in the body. But, these toxic ingredients in skin care can actually disrupt your hormonal balance. Parabens have also been found present in breast tumors.

Common Skin Products that contain Parabens:

  • facial wash
  • night creams
  • moisturizers
  • face masks
  • foundation and other cosmetics

Tip: Be sure to purchase only paraben-free skin care products to protect your skin from these chemicals’ harmful effects.

2. Polyethylene Glycol/PEGs

Polyethylene is a synthetic chemical and a skin irritant that can cause further damage to broken skin. This petroleum-based glycol is another common ingredient present in skin care products because it can improve their short-term functions. It helps balance products’ pH levels, making them look thicker and easy to absorb. But, long-term harmful effects await those who use products that contain this ingredient.

Common Skin Products that contain Polyethylene Glycol/PEGs:

  • face creams
  • sunscreens
  • moisturizers
  • facial cleansers
  • serums
  • cosmetic-cream products

3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) | Nasty Skin Care Ingredients You Should Avoid Now

If you have sensitive skin, you must avoid skin products that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). You can often find these ingredients in personal hygiene products so you better check yours now and throw them out if they contain the harmful ingredients.

Why You Must Avoid Products that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):

  • irritate the skin
  • trigger various allergies
  • cause canker sores
  • disrupt the skin’s natural oil balance
  • can cause eye damage

Common Skin Products that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):

  • body wash
  • shampoo
  • toothpaste
  • mouthwash
  • facial wash
  • soaps
  • foundation

4. BHA and BHT

Anticipated as a human carcinogen, these ingredients can cause skin depigmentation and other skin damage. Like the most toxic skin care ingredients, their purpose is to extend the products’ shelf life. But, other serious harmful effects can be caused by these synthetic antioxidants including liver damage, cancer, organ-system toxicity, and endocrine disruption. They are also known to contribute to changes in thyroid levels and reproductive development.

Common Skin Products that contain BHA and BHT:

  • exfoliants
  • moisturizers
  • skin creams
  • lipsticks and other cosmetics

RELATED: 16 Best Natural Makeup Products Your Skin Will Thank You For

5. Lead and Other Heavy Metals

Lead is one of the neurotoxins and heavy metals you need to look out for in skin care products. It can cause serious behavioral problems and lowered IQ if ingested repeatedly. Other toxic effects that metal exposure can cause are reproductive, nervous, and immune system problems.

Common Skin Products that contain Lead:

  • lipsticks
  • lip gloss
  • nail polish
  • whitening toothpaste
  • eyeliner
  • sunscreens
  • foundation
  • eyeshadow
  • moisturizers
  • blush

Tip: Since lead is often not listed in products’ ingredients these days, save the color cosmetics for special occasions. Also, be sure to advise adolescents to wait for the right age to use cosmetics. Be sure to look out for other heavy metals such as aluminum, zinc, mercury, arsenic, iron, and chromium.

6. Triclosan and Triclocarban

Triclosan and Triclocarban | Nasty Skin Care Ingredients You Should Avoid Now

Triclosan and Triclocarban are mostly found in antibacterial skin products. These two are linked to long-term side effects that can weaken the immune system and muscle functions. Avoid products that contain Triclosan and Triclocarban at all costs to protect your skin and overall health.

Other Known Side Effects of Triclosan and Triclocarban:

  • increased allergies
  • eczema
  • thyroid hormone signaling
  • uncontrolled cell growth
  • abnormalities in the endocrine system

Common Skin Products that contain Triclosan and Triclocarban:

  • antibacterial soap
  • these ingredients
  • deodorants and antiperspirants
  • whitening toothpaste
  • mouthwash
  • color cosmetics
  • shaving products
  • body creams

7. Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (FRPs)

Commonly found in personal care products, these ingredients are linked to allergies, developmental toxicity, and cancer. Most products contain these because they prevent bacteria from growing and spreading. Formaldehyde is known to be colorless but has a strong gas-like smell. It’s what the biology students use in school to preserve dead animals.

Common Skin Products that contain Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (FRPs):

  • soaps
  • body wash
  • shampoo
  • hair gels and other hair products
  • nail polish
  • eyelash glue
  • color cosmetics

8. Oxybenzone

One of the high-risk chemicals found in sunscreens, Oxybenzone also acts like estrogen. It means that this ingredient can cause endometriosis. This is often used in sunscreens and cosmetics because it can absorb UVA rays from the sun. So, why is it harmful to the skin? Oxybenzone is what’s used in plastics to limit UV degradation. Just think of it, do you want to treat your skin the same as plastic? If not, then avoid this toxic ingredient at all costs.

9. Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol

Known as Vitamin A on the back of your skin care products, these ingredients can damage your skin in ways you can’t imagine. Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol are linked to DNA damage and can actually trigger tumor growth in your skin. Also, they are known for various side effects such as developmental and reproductive toxicity. Pregnant women are the most vulnerable population when it comes to retinol exposure.

Common Skin Products that contain Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol:

  • moisturizers
  • anti-aging creams
  • body lotions
  • foundation

Tip: Avoid skin products that contain high doses of retinol. Also, be sure to say no to products containing retinyl palmitate and all-trans retinoic acid (tretinoin).


You need natural and organic ingredients in your skincare. So just see what Caroland has to say in her video about her top beauty tip!

The best tip we can give you is to always read the labels on your skin care products. It’s always a good idea to stop and give yourself time to check the safety of the products you’re putting on your skin. If you’re unsure about the chemical-laden items, switch to organic. Some people even make their own skin care products made of fresh and nutrient-packed organic ingredients.

Did we miss anything on our list of nasty skin care ingredients you need to avoid? Feel free to tell us in the comments section below!

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