Nowadays there is always someone or something telling you to not eat this, don’t do that, and don’t go here. It’s frankly such a tease-we want to eat what we shouldn’t, do what we can’t, and go where we aren’t allowed! However, when it comes to your skin there are so many ingredients to stay clear from when using a skincare product…no tease, it may actually be time to listen. You will be surprised of the number of products in a “skincare” isle that shouldn’t even be placed on the shelf due to their ingredients; these products actually irritate your skin (and damage your health) making the term skincare a paradox. Below are 16 ingredients to look out for in any skincare products that do anything but cure your skin. As an Amber Blue team, we hold a trust with our customers to ensure no harmful ingredient is used in our products. In fact, jump over to our Ingredient page where we constantly update which ingredients are used in our products. We aren’t the skincare company with misleading advertisements or branding efforts. We are the company which has always been and always will be 100% natural; ensuring the purest and healthiest products to touch your skin. Check back in the future for a post all about the healthy ingredients we use in our products. Comments or questions? Write them below!
Commonly seen preceded by Ethyl-, Methyl-, Propyl- and Butyl-, it is used in lotions as a preservative (and shockingly even make its way into “natural” products).
- Been linked to breast and testicular cancer and reduction is sperm count
- Disrupts the hormone balance in your body and can interfere with fetal development
- An immune-toxin a cause of allergic reactions in products
2. Mineral Oil, Paraffin and Petrolatum:
These are byproducts of petroleum, as in gasoline. Therefore if you use baby oil, you are literally soaking your baby in gasoline.
- Petroleum coats the skin similar to plastic wrap, clogging the pores
- Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders
- Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging
Alternatives: Moisture Magnets (Saccharide Isomerate) from beets; Ceramides, Jojoba and other vegetable oils.
3. Fragrances / Parfum:
Fragrances have actually been linked to breathing difficulties and allergies. About 2,600 chemicals are commonly used in perfume; 95% of chemicals used in perfumes and as fragrances in cosmetics are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum.
- Because perfumes are of low molecular weight they can easily penetrate the skin
- Because of counterfeiting, companies cannot / will not list all the ingredients-so you’ll never truly know what is hiding inside
Alternatives: Aroma-therapeutic, organic essential oils
Often found in food, hand cream, face cream, and makeup.
- Here’s the Acrylamide Hazard Label:
- Can affect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin.
- Should be handled as a CARCINOGEN and handled with extreme caution.
- Contact can cause eye irritation, watering and inflammation.
- May damage the nervous system causing numbness, “pins and needles” and/or weakness in the hands and feet.
- Highly reactive chemical and a dangerous explosive hazard.
- Benefit? We don’t really see one.
5. Alcohol, Isopropyl, SD-40/:
- Drying and irritating solvents that strip the skin’s moisture and immune barrier, making you vulnerable to viruses
- Made from the same petroleum derivative used in shellac and antifreeze as well as personal care products
- Promotes brown spots and premature aging
- A Consumers Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients says it may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, and coma
- Fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less
Used as skin smoothers and sometimes labeled as triple fruit acids, lactic acid, sugar cane extract or glycolic acid.
- Acids act as a mini-chemical peel, and the peel strips away some of the outer layers of the skin, which help the body to protect itself against the sun
- Can decrease sun protection by 30%
- Can increase the risk of damage by ultraviolet radiation and the absorption of chemical ingredients never meant to penetrate the skin
7. Alkylphenol ethoxylates:
Used in shampoos, hair colors and shaving gels as surfactants to lower the surface tension of liquids so they can foam or penetrate solids. Listed as nonylphenol or octylphenol.
- A hormone disruptor
- Extremely toxic to fish
- May be carcinogens and cause damage to the central nervous system
- Cause asthma, eczema and skin irritations
- They build up in body fat faster than they can be broken down
8. Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea:
These are widely used preservatives.
- American Academy of Dermatology has found them to be a primary cause of contact dermatitis.
- Two trade names for these chemicals are Germall II and Germall 115
- Both these chemicals release formaldehyde, which can be toxic
9. Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethonolamine (MEA):
Found in shampoos, shaving creams and bubble baths
- Hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing nitrate
- Restricted in Europe due to carcinogenic effects
- Dr. Samuel Epstein (Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois) says that repeated applications of DEA-based detergents result in major increases in liver and kidney cancer
- The FDA’s John Bailey says, “The risk is significantly increased for children”
Found to be a known cause of cancer, it is also found in lotions, body washes, soaps and other mainstream skin care products. It’s even been spotted in “organic” products – oh the travesty!
- Organic Consumer Association recommends that to avoid 1,4-Dioxane, consumers should search ingredient lists for indications of ethoxylation including: “myreth,” “oleth,” “laureth,” “ceteareth,” any other “eth,” “PEG,” “polyethylene,” “polyethylene glycol,” “polyoxyethylene,” or “oxynol,” in ingredient names.
Used as a preservative in deodorants, shampoos, hand wash and nail varnish. Listed as formalin, formal and methyl aldehyde.
- Suspected human carcinogen – it has been found to cause lung cancer in rats – and it may cause asthma and headaches
- Irritates the eyes, upper respiratory tract and mucous membrane.
- Damages DNA
- People can become sensitized to it after repeated exposure
- Banned in Sweden and Japan.
12. Phenol / Carbolic Acid:
This ingredient can be found in your lotion and skin cream.
- Quoted by Dr. Mercola, “Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure”
Used to soften plastic, moisturize skin and enhance penetration.
- A hormone disruptor, affecting fertility, leading to premature breast development in young girls and interference with reproductive development in males
- Banned from children’s toys in the US
- Causes allergies, liver and kidney damage, and asthma.
14. Polyethylene Glycol:
Often shortened to PEG; it is used in cosmetics and face washes, and anti-freeze.
- When given orally in large doses to rats, it can cause them to develop tumors.
- Factory workers are required by the FDA to wear protective clothing when producing products containing these chemicals and are required to dispose of PG as toxic waste.
- PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against contact to prevent brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.
- There are no warning labels on products such as deodorants, where the concentration can be greater than in industrial applications.
- A skin irritant
- Leads to hair loss and breaks down the skin barrier
- Animals exposed to SLS experience eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, and even death
- Young eyes may not develop properly if exposed to SLS
- SLS may damage the skin’s immune system and can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens
- SLS can remain in the body for up to five days and maintain residual levels in the heart, lungs, liver and brain
16. Synthetic Colors & Dyes:
These have no use other than to make a product look pretty.
- A carcinogen
- Need we say more?