Product Ingredients to Avoid in Cosmetics



By Maoilíosa Ní Loideáin.

If you cannot pronounce it, avoid it. It’s hard to know what it is a good product for your skin nowadays. If you look at the ingredient list on a product sometimes it is like reading latin. The general rule is if you cannot pronounce it, avoid it. This does not work with everything in life, for example my name, but a product ingredient list is a good place to start.

5 ingredients to avoid:

1)      Parabens

The likelihood of not hearing about parabens by now is slim. So much so that some brands have advertised clearly now on their products that they are ‘paraben free’.  Parabens are a group of compounds used as preservatives in products and in food.  It is therefore unnatural to prolong a shelf life of  a product or food which is why this chemical additive should be avoided. Parabens have also been linked to Cancer amongst other things.


2)      Sodium Laurl/Laureth Sulfate

If you check the back of your shampoo bottle, this is guaranteed to be there. It is what produces the foam in your shampoo. It was first used as an industrial degreaser. It can cause skin irritation as it is absorbed into your body.


3)      Phthalates

These are plasticisers used in toys which now has been banned in the EU, but not in our products such as perfumes and deodorants. Also linked to Cancer, endocrine disruption and lung problems.


4)      Fragrance/Parfum

The product smells wonderful but the fragrance is planted to cover up the chemical smells that the product contains. This can cause dizziness, headaches and is connected to allergies and asthma.


5)      Toluene

Derived from petroleum, it is found in nail polish and hair dye. It is strong  enough to dissolve paint and sometimes is labelled differently on an ingredients list or not at all.

I have only listed five ingredients out of a vast amount that are used in everyday products. It is important to keep track of what you are using on your body and absorbing into your bloodstream. You can eat healthily and exercise, but if you use products with harsh chemicals in them, you are counteracting all that hard work. It is still not easy to find affordable products that are completely chemical free, but brands are beginning to become more aware of consumer needs. If we keep buying chemicals, they will keep inserting and adding them to products. I hear people saying that ‘oh well now apparently everything is linked to Cancer’. Everything is linked if we allow them to link it.


The less ingredients in a product, the better.