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The Five Ingredients That SHOULDN’T Be In Your Beauty Routine

That beauty product on your dresser may not be as innocent as it looks. It is scary once you know, but better late than never.

The beauty store is a scary place. Not only do you go in empty-handed and walk out with filled paper bags in hand and wondering where the last hours had gone, it is also a place of possibilities and questions. Your next step to greater skin could be in there, but how do you know which one is good for you? Could some of it actually be – gasp – bad for you?

With all the exposés popping up left, right and centre about the harmful ingredients commonly found in beauty products especially skincare and haircare – and yes, they are very real – more and more beauty junkies are starting to take organic beauty products seriously. They aren’t all lacklustre either. (We’ve got a whole list of good ones here that prove you don’t need funky chemicals for a beauty product to work flawlessly.)

But, we get it – a majority of the beauty market isn’t organic, which means the cult-favourite you’ve sworn to use forever probably isn’t organic. While you should start paying attention to what goes into the ingredient list – and reading reviews by relentless beauty truthers who leave no stone unturned – because there truly are some bad stuff lurking on those beauty shelves, you don’t have to avoid anything non-organic completely. Just know what you need to look out for.

If all those chemical names are Greek to you and start looking the same by the time you get to the fifth item on the ingredient list, don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of the top five things you absolutely have to avoid in your skincare products, where they’re commonly found and the names they tend to hide behind. Better to know now then finding out after a massive skin reaction. Read through it, then bookmark this post so you can keep coming back to it whenever you’re down for a beauty splurge.


#1: Synthetic Colors

We’re sure you already know that this would be something you should be avoiding in everything from your food to your skincare. These stuff can cause skin irritation, acne, allergic reactions, and contain carcinogens, of which can be found in shampoo, facial cleansers, body wash, skincare, hair products and makeup. Look out for FD&C or D&C on the labels, followed by a colour and a number.


#2: Parabens

Parabens are used as a preservative that is commonly found in skincare, hair care and many water-based products. Many companies market themselves as “paraben-free” because of the threats it poses, like mimicking the effects of oestrogen and causing developmental disorders in children. Yet, the FDA states that parabens are safe in minute amounts and that there’s no definite proof to link it to breast cancer. There’s no reason for you to take this risk, as many companies have found an alternative for it. Look out for methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, parahydroxybenzoate and ethylparaben.


#3: Fragrance

Probably the scariest out of the lot, this one word can bundle up 200 over chemicals into your ingredient list without you ever having to find out what they are. The ambiguity of it forms a lot of problems and frequently causes irritation and allergic reactions. Worst of all, it is found in anything to everything, but mostly in hairspray, lipstick and nail polish. Look out for phthalates, DBP or DEHP and sometimes just the deliberately ambiguous”fragrance”. Fragrances from natural sources or essential oils are much safer options.


#4: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate / Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Short for SLS, these are known to cause skin, lung and eye irritation. When combined with other chemicals, SLS has the potential to form a carcinogen and are also known to be penetration enhancers that allow for other chemicals to enter the system more readily. Commonly found in shampoo, facial cleanser or foaming products, also look out for it disguised under irium.


#5: Synthetic Sunscreeens

If Japan has this substance banned from their country, we think it’s safe to say that we should avoid it too. Besides, it is less effective against UV damage than regular sunscreen. PLUS, among other health issues, it causes skin irritation, allergic reactions and hormonal issues. Look out for names like oxybenzone, octinoxate (octylmethoxycinnamate), homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene.


What To Read Next: Should You or Shouldn’t You: Dry ShampoosIt’s Time To Update Your Rotation of Moisturisers and 7 Fresh and Fast Ways To Get Your Face Ready For Fall | Image: The Impression, Collage: Natalyn Chan

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