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Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare

Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare

At Nakin we realised that we spend a lot of time talking about how great natural plant actives are for the face, but we have not spent much time advising on the ingredients to avoid in skincare products. It’s important to know these as there are many synthetic chemical ingredients that are not good for skin, as they do not work in harmony with our natural biology. Sadly there are still so many unwanted ingredients that are used in cosmetic products. The sad thing is that these often appear in brands that class themselves as natural, or give the impression that they are natural. It is true that sometimes preservatives are needed to make a skincare product safe, however, there are so many options for these that it does not need to be an ingredient with controversy over it, such as parabens.

Harsh synthetic ingredients are often used in conventional skincare as they are cheap to produce, or because they feel nice on skin. However, they will at best clog pores but more seriously they can have a negative impact on our overall health and ever cause illness. We look at the main ingredients to avoid in skincare products and list them in this article.

An important point to remember is that there are lots of face and body products that are called natural, but some of them may not contain many natural ingredients at all. There is a lot of greenwashing in the marketplace and the way to spot this is to read the marketing material carefully and see the actual percentage of natural ingredients. Watch out for ambiguous selling points like ‘naturally inspired products’ and check that a product is at least 98% natural. Lastly read the actual ingredients listing, so that you know what you are putting on your skin. We have developed our Natural Skincare Range with no compromise on the ingredients that the products contain. There are thousands of ingredients that we would never use in our products. Instead we use only ingredients that are essential to the product, along with the finest natural plant actives for the best facecare products in the UK. With Nakin you can be truly happy and confident that what you are putting on your skin is only going to benefit it.

More and more people are also having skin sensitivity which makes putting kind ingredients onto our skin a must, and even if our skin is not sensitive at the current time, it could become so in future. Some skincare specialists believe that an overload of toxic cosmetics is one of the causes of an increase in sensitive skin problems. Nakin's skincare range is suitable for people who need sensitive skin products, as it is kind and calming to skin. We absorb about 60% of what we put onto our skin, so we need to make sure that our skincare is as kind and natural as possible. There are many synthetic skincare ingredients to avoid, but in this feature, we will look at the key ones that are known to cause health problems and have been avoided by naturopaths for decades.

The Main Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare

  • Formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers are very irritating and linked to cancer. They are found in some nail products, cosmetic glue, liquid cleansers, hair products and worryingly baby washes. It will probably not appear as formaldehyde on the label and instead most likely be listed as sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl, hydantoin, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol or bromopol, imidazolidinyl urea or diazolidinyl urea. Always check that it is not listed on the label in addition to being DBP and toluene free. Instead use natural face cleansers like our Advanced Natural Cleansing Milk.
  • Mineral oil might not sound harmful, but it comes from petroleum and this is what petrol is made from. So, it’s not something that we want to be putting on our skin, and we know that when it's not properly treated mineral oil can be carcinogenic. The problem is that the compounds of mineral oil can build up in our bodies, our fat and even in some organs. It’s found in many conventional lip and body balms. The good news is that there are many alternatives such as our 100% Natural Lip Balm.
  • Parabens are one of the more well-known ingredients to avoid in skincare and cosmetic products. Their dangers have been so well documented that it’s a surprise they are still so widely used. However, they are still very commonly used as preservatives and even in high end skin, hair and make-up products. The most common paraben seen in cosmetics is propylparaben followed by butylparaben, isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben. There are other types that appear in beauty products and they can be identified as they also end in the word paraben. There have numerous serious health concerns associated with them, so they are best avoided completely. Instead for your face use Nakin’s Paraben Free Skincare.
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is another commonly known baddie in beauty products. Still it appears in a huge number of products. Its role is as a surfactant cleanser, and it helps to achieve the foam in products such as shower gel, face wash, shampoo and even toothpaste. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) who are experts in the safety of cosmetic ingredients list SLS as being a skin irritant and linked to neuro and organ toxicity, as well as cancer.
  • Synthetic fragrance/ perfume is in a huge number of products and as well as not being needed, there are lots of negatives to having them in skincare products. They are a common skin irritant and can cause allergies. They can also disrupt hormones and are linked to cancer. One of the problems is that seeing the word fragrance or perfume does not give a true assessment of what the ingredient is. Synthetic perfumes are made of many different compounds which can include phthalates and petrochemicals, as well as many other undesirable compounds. Always use skincare products that have a 100% natural fragrance like Nakin’s Anti-Ageing Skincare.
  • PEGs are another commonly used ingredient in many skincare products as they feel nice on skin and help to thicken products. But they are not great for our health as they can cause irritation and toxicity. They often appear on the ingredients list as PEGs with a number after them but are also known as polyethylene glycols and silicones.
  • Oxybenzone needs to be mentioned on the list of skincare ingredient nasties because it is found in some sunscreens. It’s easy to take our eye off the ball with sunscreen ingredients as we assume a product designed to assist health will not contain harsh ingredients. The EWG rate oxybenzone with a 6-8 score out of ten, which is really high. It gets this bad score as it is thought to cause problems at a cellular level with significant photoallergenic or allergenic effects. Take care to ensure that your sunscreen does not contain this ingredient. We tend to slather large amounts of sunscreen all over our bodies, and sometimes multiple times a day, so that’s a lot of contact with our skin.
  • Propylene glycol is another ingredient on our banned list and certainly has lots of controversy over it. It is also widely used in skincare products as a conditioning ingredient, but we prefer to avoid it as it can cause irritation and cause sensitivity, even in low concentrations. 

We hope that you found this article helpful for choosing skincare products and you are confident in Nakin’s Natural Skincare Products that avoid harsh chemical ingredients like the ones that are discussed here. It’s important to remember that we have only mentioned the most well used harmful skincare ingredients, there are many hundreds that we need to be wary of. Always check the ingredients label carefully to be sure of what you are putting on your skin. At Nakin we only produce face care at the moment, so please also take care with body products and make-up. Each day the average person uses about ten cosmetic products each. This can be quite a concoction of harsh toxic chemicals if we are not careful about what we put onto our skin.

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