Ingredients to Avoid

I’ve put together a list of ten ingredients to avoid in skincare products. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but eliminating these ingredients from your skincare routine will be a good start.


(Laureth Sulphate and Lauryl Sulphates)

It can dry skin out, upset the acid mantle and cause eczema, acne, dandruff and other skin problems. Going 100% sulphate free has transformed my very acne-prone skin. It also mimics the activity of oestrogen, which can potentially cause cancer.

2.Petroleum and its by-products

(PEG, mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, dipropylene, glycol, butylene glycol, disodium EDTA, tetrasodium EDTA, trisodium EDTA, polybutene, triclosan, polyethylene)

Clogs pores, contributes to acne.


(methyl-, butyl-, ethyl-, propyl-)

There is scientific evidence to suggest that this may cause breast cancer by elevating oestrogen levels. It is sometimes linked to hormonal imbalances, including early onset of puberty in young girls.

4. Silicones

(ingredients that usually end in -cone, -conol, -siloxane)

Silicone is essentially the cosmetic equivalent of putting cling wrap on your skin. The plastic-like synthetic emollient can clog pores and aggravate acne. It can also build up in the environment and harm aquatic organisms.

5. Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol


This is the same ingredient used to make anti-freeze. It can be a strong irritant and has the potential to cause kidney, liver and brain damage.

6. Urea

(diazolindyl urea, imidazolindyl urea)

A common skin irritant, it also releases formaldehyde, a carcinogen.

7. Phthalates

(di-butyl-phthalate, di-ethylhexyl-phthalate, often hidden under ‘parfum’)

It’s an endocrine disruptor and has been linked to breast cancer.

8. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)

Skin irritant and carcinogen.

9. Artificial Colours

(EC followed by a number)

Some artificial colours are linked to neurotoxicity. Colours like Acid Yellow 23, Aluminium Lake, and Red No. 2 have been banned by the FDA.

10. BHT:

Yet another skin irritiant and potential carcinogen.