16 Ingredients To Avoid In Skincare Products

Unknowingly, you are harming your body by applying chemical products. So, here is the list of ingredients to avoid in your skincare routine.

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Do you read labels before buying personal care products? If not, you are making a big mistake. You should be aware of what’s going on on your skin.

harmful chemicals in personal care products

Nowadays, personal care products are loaded with toxic ingredients which are bad for your health. They cause various skin, hair and health problems. Wondering which ingredients to avoid in skincare products? 

Here are 16 ingredients you should check on the product label and avoid using them.

1. Parabens

Parabens are synthetic chemicals used as preservatives. These increase the shelf-life of the products by keeping them germ-free.

These components are mainly used in soaps, body lotion, shampoos, shower gel and make-up products.  The most commonly used parabens are ethylparaben, methyleparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben.

Why do We Need to Avoid Parabens?

Parabens get absorbed quickly into the skin and cause hormonal imbalance, disrupting the functions of reproductive organs. Studies show that parabens can mimic estrogen and stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells.

2. Sulfates

Sulfates are salt obtained from Sulphuric acid used as surfactants. The shampoo contains sulfates. When you mix the shampoo with water, it provides foam.

The most common sulfates are Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).

Why do We Need to Avoid Sulfates?

A study shows that Sodium Laureth Sulfate causes skin irritation and eye irritation. They also enhance the penetration of other potentially harmful chemicals. People with sensitive skin should avoid products containing sulfates.

3. Silicones

Silicones are rubber-like polymers obtained from silica. It’s one of the most common ingredients in body lotion and hair care products.

Three types of silicones are generally added: water-soluble, non-soluble and evaporating. They create a thin waterproof coating around the hair. This helps to keep your hair hydrated and protect it from heat damage.

Why do We Need to Avoid Silicones?

Silicones may cause scalp irritation. It clogs your skin and causes acne and blemishes.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are esters of Phthalic acid (1.2-benzene dicarboxylic acid). In general, low-phthalates like DBP, and DEP are used in shampoo, lotions and perfumes. 

Why do We Need to Avoid Phthalates?

Phthalates are potentially harmful for several reasons. Studies show that increased levels of Phthalates decrease sperm count and lead to male infertility. It also increases the risk of recurrent miscarriages.

5. Coal Tar Dye

Coal Tar Dye is derived from burning coal. It is used as a colouring agent in shampoos and hair dyes. 

Why do We Need to Avoid Coal Tar Dye?

It’s known as “Human Carcinogenic”. It increases the risk of skin cancer and lung cancer.

6. Mineral Oil

Mineral Oil is derived from Petroleum. It’s colourless and odourless. It’s mainly used in creams and lotions. It makes the skin feel smooth. 

Why do We Need to Avoid Mineral Oil?

It’s not safe for the skin. This ingredient must be avoided in your skincare routine because it clogs pores and prevents the skin from eliminating toxins, which leads to acne and blackheads. It also increases the risk of cancer.

7. PEGs (Polyethylene Glycols)

PEGs are synthetic petrochemicals used as a thickening agent in lotions, sunscreen and shampoos. They are known for their penetration enhancement properties. 

Why do We Need to Avoid PEGs?

PEGs contain ethylene oxide and 1, 4-dioxane. They can cause respiratory disorders and cancer. It also enhances the penetration of other harmful ingredients.

8. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a colourless gas used as a preservative in skin care products. It’s mostly found in nail polish, hair gels, shampoos, and deodorants. It prevents the growth of bacteria and increases the shelf life of the product.

Why do We Need to Avoid Formaldehyde?

It causes suffocation and dizziness. It also causes skin irritation.

9. Alcohol

Alcohol is used as a solvent and thickener in skin care products. It helps ingredients penetrate the skin.

Why do We Need to Avoid Alcohol in Skincare?

It dries the skin and causes skin irritation.

10. Toluene

Toluene is a colourless liquid with an aromatic odour. It’s used in nail polishes and hair care products.

Why do We Need to Avoid Toluene?

It harms reproductive organs.

11. Synthetic Colours

Synthetic colours are used to make beauty products look better. If you find the word “colourant” on the product label, it denotes the presence of synthetic colour.

Why do We Need to Avoid Synthetic Colours?

It disrupts the skin’s natural oil balance. Causes skin irritation and inflammation.

12. Fragrances

It is a group of hazardous chemicals which is most commonly found in personal care products. Manufacturers don’t mention the name of the specific ingredient.

They use the term “Fragrances”. Many of these chemicals are derived from petrochemicals.

Why do We Need to Avoid Fragrances?

Fragrances are one of the most common ingredients to avoid in skincare as these cause allergic reactions, headaches and respiratory disorders. They also cause female infertility.

13. Triclosan

Triclosan is used to prevent bacterial contamination. It’s mainly added to soaps and body washes.

Why do We Need to Avoid Triclosan?

It is an endocrine disruptor. This is also harmful to thyroids. It weakens the immune system and causes hormonal imbalance. 

14. Ethanolamines

Ethanolamine is a colourless liquid having smells like ammonia. DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA(Monoethanolamine), and TEA (Triethanolamine) are common ethanolamines. They are used as solvents, cleansers and emulsifiers. They are often found in soaps, shampoos, moisturisers, and hair conditioners.

Why do We Need to Avoid Ethanolamines?

Ethanolamines cause skin irritation. If inhaled, may cause shortness of breath and drowsiness.

15. Aluminium

Aluminium is used in lipstick, deodorants and nail polish. 

Why do We Need to Avoid Aluminium?

Aluminium is harmful to the brain. It causes brain disorders. It also causes breast cancer. 

16. Lead

Lead is a metal used in beauty products. It’s often found in lipstick and eyeliners.

Why do We Need to Avoid Lead?

Lead is highly toxic. When lead is absorbed by your body, it comes into the blood and may cause hypertension. It also causes menstrual irregularities and infertility.


Finally, you know harmful chemical ingredients to avoid in skincare products. So, make sure you always check the product label and ingredient list before buying personal care products. Avoid buying products containing harmful chemicals. Go for safe alternatives like Natural products.


HERBCIENCE is one such brand that manufactures 100% natural products developed by Ayurvedic doctors. The products are made from freshly extracted medicinal herbs that will benefit your body and the brand is transparent about the ingredients used in the products. Try HERBCIENCE. Go Natural.


Q1. What ingredients are not suitable for the skin?

Ans. Ingredients like Parabens, Sulfates, Silicones, Coal Tar Dye, Mineral Oil, Alcohol, Synthetic Colours, Fragrances, Triclosan, DEA, MEA, TEA, Aluminium, Lead, etc. are not good for health.

Q2. Why do you need to avoid toxic ingredients?

Ans. These toxic ingredients are bad for health and can cause severe diseases like cancer, reproductive toxicity, skin and eye irritation, etc.

Q3. How do avoid harmful chemicals?

Ans. Check the labels on the product and avoid buying products that contain harmful ingredients.

Q4. What are the safe alternatives to chemical products?

Ans. Choose a 100% natural brand, HERBCIENCE that is developed by Ayurvedic Doctors and all ingredients are Natural and freshly extracted from herbs.

That’s all for today. If you find it helpful, make sure to share it with your friends and family. Take care; celebrate life.

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