Mega List of Skin Care Ingredients | Good, Bad and Toxic

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This article is aimed at letting you quickly read the labels of your skincare or cosmetics product and find out if the product is potentially irritating, harmful, or even toxic. This list of ingredients is divided into Good, Bad, Potentially Bad and Toxic.

 

There is just one thing to keep in mind when you are reading your skincare product ingredient labels - the ingredient mentioned first has the highest concentration in the product. The ingredients are listed in the order of highest to lowest concentration. So for example if you are buying a product because of Salicylic Acid in it, and it is way down in the ingredients list, you are not going to get much benefit from the product.

 

Ingredient Name

Good or Bad

What is it

Why Good / Bad

Aloe

Good

Aloe gel from Aloe Barbadensis plant

Soothes skin burn, Anti-inflammatory

Toluene or Toluol or Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Bad

Aromatic Hydrocarbon

Leads to Brain toxicity and extremely dangerous for pregnant women (can cause mental disabilities in children)

Salicylic acid

Good

BHA

Exfoliates the skin and good for acne-prone skin

Carbon black or PBK-7

Potentially Bad

Black Pigment from charring organic materials such as wood or bone

Dark black powder used as a pigment in cosmetics such as eyeliner, mascara and lipstick.

Potential link to cancer when inhaled (not topical application)

Formaldehyde

Bad

CH₂O

Well known carcinogen used as a preservative

Triclosan

Bad

Chemical

Used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It affects thryoid and reproductive hormones. Banned in several countries.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFAs) and Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) or polyfluoroalkyl

Bad

Chemical

They are stain, water and grease repellent chemicals commonly used in waterproof mascara and eye liners.

Affects the liver and thyroid hormone

Teflon or Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

Bad

Chemical (PFA)

Added in cosmetics to improve the texture. Linked to hormone disruptions and reproductive issues.

Panthenol or pro-vitamin B5

Good

Chemical substance made from Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Anti-inflammatory and Moisturizing, improve skin's hydration, elasticity, and smooth appearance

Talc or Talcum Powder

Potentially Bad

Clay Mineral

Used in makeup as a smoothening agent. It is generally safe but can be potentially contaminated with asbestos which is a known carcinogen and linked to lung disease

Allantoin

Good

Compound from plants like chamomile, wheat sprouts, sugar beet and comfrey

Anti-inflammatory

Cyclosiloxanes

Bad

Cyclic Silicones

Linked to endocrine dysfunction and asthma

Papain

Bad

Enzyme from papaya

Can be quiet irritating to the skin.

Monoethanolamine (MEA)

Potentially Bad

Ethanolamine

Used in foundation and mascara as emulsifiers.

Can be allergic for some people

Diethanolamine (DEA)

Potentially Bad

Ethanolamine

Used in foundation and mascara as emulsifiers.

Can be allergic for some people

Triethanolamine (TEA)

Potentially Bad

Ethanolamine

Used in foundation and mascara as emulsifiers.

Can be allergic for some people

Shea Butter

Good

Fat extracted from African Shea tree

Moisturizing

Cocoa Butter

Bad

fat extracted from the cocoa bean

4 out of 5 on Comodogenic scale, meaning it is likely to clog pores. Not at all good for oily acne prone skin. May be ideal for body and eye area because they don't have as much oil glands.

Caprylic glycerides

Good

Fatty Acids from coconut

Moisturize

Formalin

Bad

Formaldehyde

Well known carcinogen used as a preservative

Formic aldehyde

Bad

Formaldehyde

Well known carcinogen used as a preservative

Methanediol

Bad

Formaldehyde

Well known carcinogen used as a preservative

Methanal

Bad

Formaldehyde

Well known carcinogen used as a preservative

Methyl aldehyde

Bad

Formaldehyde

Well known carcinogen used as a preservative

Methylene glycol

Bad

Formaldehyde

Well known carcinogen used as a preservative

Methylene oxide

Bad

Formaldehyde

Well known carcinogen used as a preservative

Fragrance or Parfum

Bad

Fragrance

Any kind of fragrance in the product can irritate the skin and cause further damage to the skin. Fragranc is the leading cause of Contact Dermititis.

Limonene

Bad

Fragrance

Any kind of fragrance in the product can irritate the skin and cause further damage to the skin. Fragranc is the leading cause of Contact Dermititis.

Algae Extract

Good

from marine algae

Moisturizing

Ferulic acid

Good

From seeds of apples and oranges

Antioxidant

Lactamide

Good

Humectant

Used in moisturizers as humectants to hold moisture on the top layer of the skin.

MEA

Good

Humectant

Used in moisturizers as humectants to hold moisture on the top layer of the skin.

Amino Acids

Good

Humectant

Used in moisturizers as humectants to hold moisture on the top layer of the skin.

Sodium Hyaluronate

Good

Humectant

Used in moisturizers as humectants to hold moisture on the top layer of the skin.

Lavendula Extract

Bad

Lavender Extract

Sensitises the skin

Jojoba Oil

Good

Liquid produced in the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis plant

Moisturizing

Hyaluronic Acid or Hyaluronan

Good

Made from bacteria in a lab. Also produced by our skin

Attracts moisture from humid air and keeps skin moisturized

Melissa Officinalis

Bad

Mint

Used in products for a refreshing and cooling effect on skin but mint actually sentisizes the skin

Mint

Bad

Mint

Used in products for a refreshing and cooling effect on skin but mint actually sentisizes the skin

Menthoxypropanediol

Bad

Mint - sythetic derivative of menthol

Used for fragrance but it is a skin sensitizer

Argan

Bad

Oil

Can irritate the skin and cause acne. It is a 4 out of 4 in the irritant scale.

Carrot Seed Oil

Bad

Oil

4 out of 5 on Comodogenic scale, meaning it is likely to clog pores

Coconut Oil

Bad

Oil

4 out of 5 on Comodogenic scale, meaning it is likely to clog pores

Flax Seed Oil (Linseed)

Bad

Oil

4 out of 5 on Comodogenic scale, meaning it is likely to clog pores

Soybean Oil

Bad

Oil

4-5 out of 5 on Comodogenic scale, meaning it is likely to clog pores

Wheat Germ Oil

Bad

Oil

5 out of 5 on Comodogenic scale, meaning it is likely to clog pores

Citrus Paradisi

Bad

Oil - Grapefruit extract

Essential oil which is highly irritating for the face.

Cananga Flower Oil

Bad

Oil extracted from Cananga Tree native to India

Used for fragrance but it is a skin sensitizer

Squalane Oil

Good

Oil from fish oils and olive oil. Also produced within our skin

Emollient so it smoothes the skin, thereby making the appearance of the skin smooth. Also form occlusive barrier on the surface of the skin that prevents trans-epidermal water loss. 0-1 out of 5 on comodogenic scale.

Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3 (BP3)

Bad

Organic Compound

Endocrine Disruptor commonly found in sunscreen, lotions, lip balms, cleansers, fragrance and baby products.

Octinoxate or Octyl methoxycinnamate or thylhexyl methoxycinnamate or octinoxate, trade names Eusolex 2292 and Uvinul MC80

Potentially Bad

Organic Compound

Found in sunscreen and lip balms.

Can be potentially irritating for sensitive skin

Homosalate

Bad

Organic Compound

Found in sunscreen as a chemical UV filter. Endocrine disrupter and may cause hormonal problems.

Methylparabens

Bad

Paraben

Used as preservatives. Parabens cause endocrine disruption linked to obesity

Propylparabens

Bad

Paraben

Used as preservatives. Parabens cause endocrine disruption linked to obesity

Butylparabens

Bad

Paraben

Used as preservatives. Parabens cause endocrine disruption linked to obesity

Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7

Good

Peptides

Stimulate Collagen Production

DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate)

Bad

Phthalates

Used as Lubricants in cosmetics. Phthalates are linked to less masculinity in boys, child obesity, and reproductive health problems

DEP (diethyl phthalate)

Bad

Phthalates

Used as Lubricants in cosmetics. Phthalates are linked to less masculinity in boys, child obesity, and reproductive health problems

DEHP (di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

Bad

Phthalates

Used as Lubricants in cosmetics. Phthalates are linked to less masculinity in boys, child obesity, and reproductive health problems

DEHP bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

Bad

Phthalates

Used as Lubricants in cosmetics. Phthalates are linked to less masculinity in boys, child obesity, and reproductive health problems

BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate)

Bad

Phthalates

Used as Lubricants in cosmetics. Phthalates are linked to less masculinity in boys, child obesity, and reproductive health problems

DMP (dimethyl phthalate)

Bad

Phthalates

Used as Lubricants in cosmetics. Phthalates are linked to less masculinity in boys, child obesity, and reproductive health problems

Carrageenan or Carrageenins

Bad

Polysaccharides from red edible seaweeds

5 out of 5 on Comodogenic scale, meaning it is very likely to clog your pores.

Benzylhemiformal

Bad

Preservative

A cosmetic preservative that can release formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.

2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol

Bad

Preservative

A cosmetic preservative that can release formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.

5-bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane

Bad

Preservative

A cosmetic preservative that can release formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.

Diazolidinyl urea

Bad

Preservative

A cosmetic preservative that can release formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.

1,3-dimethylol-5,5-dimethylhydantoin (or DMDM hydantoin)

Bad

Preservative

A cosmetic preservative that can release formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.

Imidazolidinyl urea

Bad

Preservative

A cosmetic preservative that can release formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.

Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate

Bad

Preservative

A cosmetic preservative that can release formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.

Quaternium-15

Bad

Preservative

A cosmetic preservative that can release formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.

Bronopol

Bad

Preservative

A cosmetic preservative that can release formaldehyde - a known carcinogen.

Sodium Laureth Sulfates

Bad

Sulfate

Used to create a foaming lather. They attract water and oil from skin and found in shampoos, soaps, cleansers and body wash. Bad because it is overstripping.

Alkylbenzene Sulfonate

Bad

Sulfate

Used to create a foaming lather. They attract water and oil from skin and found in shampoos, soaps, cleansers and body wash. Bad because it is overstripping.

Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate

Bad

Sulfate

Used to create a foaming lather. They attract water and oil from skin and found in shampoos, soaps, cleansers and body wash. Bad because it is overstripping.

Hydroquinone

Bad

Sulfate

Used for treating Hyperpigmentation. It is Toxic to skin cells

Linalool

Bad

Terpene alcohol from flowers and spice plants

Even a very low pecentage of 0.25 can irritate the skin.

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate

Good

Vitamin C

Antioxidant, brightens skin, stimulate collagen production, anti-aging

Tocopherol

Good

Vitamin E

Moisturize (water retention), Antioxidant

Butylene Glycol

Good

   

Sodium Lactate

Good

   
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