The 3 Worst Skincare Ingredients (and How to Avoid Them)

By Kaitlyn Hunter, MedSpa Nurse Practitioner

Everyone wants to have radiant, glowing skin that looks like you are continually refreshed from vacation. But all too often men and women are using products – skincare, shaving cream, beard conditioners, lotions – that are actually DAMAGING their skin.

I’m here today to help you steer clear of these products by taking a look at the three worst offending ingredients.

1. Parabens

parabens

One of the biggest ingredients you should avoid are parabens. Typically, parabens are listed on the back of the bottle at the very bottom. It’ll say either

  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Or another long chemical name with paraben at the end

Skincare companies can be very sneaky by using complex words to confuse consumers. They know that no one is going to look at the ingredient list and look up every single ingredient on the internet.

Parabens are put into products to prolong their shelf life. Typically, the products that have the most parabens are the ones that are a little bit cheaper. These are the ones you find on a drugstore shelf. These companies have to market to every customer, so they use cheaper-quality ingredients to ensure the price of the product is cheaper too.

These cheaper ingredients tend to mold and smell, so companies use parabens to prevent them from molding. These are big no-nos. If a product is going to mold that quickly, you do NOT want them on your face!

2. Fragrances

The second ingredient you should avoid is any type of fragrance. On the back of the bottle, it’ll say:

  • Fragrance
  • Parfum
  • Or a sneaky chemical name

Fragrances can be very irritating to sensitive or acne-prone skin because they are just another chemical in the bottle. Unfortunately, most “natural fruit extracts” are chemicals as well.

If you start a new product and you experience more redness, breakouts, or dry skin than normal, there may be a hidden fragrance in that product that is causing those symptoms.

Fragrances are often used to mask bad-smelling ingredients. If something smells bad, what is your chance of purchasing it? Very low, right? To combat this, companies add fragrances. You’re more likely to pick up and purchase a product that smells good.

A lot of cosmetic lines like Clinique are pretty notorious of adding fragrances. The fruitier something smells, the less you want it on your face.

3. Dyesparabens

The last ingredient you want to avoid is any type of dye. Companies add dyes to products to make them look prettier. For example, products with pink or blue dyes often look like really nice, attractive creams or cleanser.

Dyes are also really bad for your skin. They can irritate your skin just as much as fragrances do. If something is bright and pretty in color, you don’t want it on your face.

In summary, these three ingredients – parabens, fragrances, and dyes – are part of a long list of ingredients that you do not want in your skincare products. So make sure you do your research when you are looking at adding products into your routine.

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