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Warning: Skincare Ingredients to Avoid!

Words By Martina

Skincare is so important because your skin is your main layer of defense against many external invaders. When treated right, your skin protects you, helps keep you healthy as well as improves your confidence and comfort, giving you that extra glow. It’s hard to know all the ingredients that can be used in skin care products and what they do for our skin, but it is possible – and important – to know what skincare ingredients to avoid.

Ingredients and Their Role

Each ingredient in a skincare product has a specific role. It should improve the product and be safe and beneficial to the skin. There are some ingredients that, unfortunately, come with some unpleasant side effects and possible links to health concerns. It’s a good idea to know which ingredients these are so that you can be aware of what you are putting on your skin and you can ultimately decide if you want to take the risk associated with that ingredient.

Which Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

While there are many obvious things that are not recommended for lathering on to your skin, there are some common ingredients on the market that you should be paying close attention to and avoiding for particular reasons. Here are some of these skincare ingredients to avoid:

  • Parabens
  • Artificial fragrances
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Phthalates
  • Formaldehyde


Parabens are used as a preservative and are extremely common in skincare products. They are known as an endocrine disruptor which means they can affect our hormone system. Parabens have the ability to mimic oestrogen in the body, causing hormone imbalance as well as having possible links to breast cancer.¹ These reasons alone are good enough to avoid this ingredient.

Synthetic Fragrances and Perfumes

While fragrances and perfumes can add a beautiful feeling of luxury, they can be extremely irritating to your skin. Because skincare products don’t need to list what is actually used as a fragrance or perfume, you can’t be sure what ingredients are in it and how they will react with your skin. It’s always best to avoid any potential irritants that may cause allergic reactions


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are used as cleansing and foaming agents which you’ll most likely find in your shampoos, for example. The main concern in a skincare product is that while they are very effective at cleansing, with long-term contact they can completely strip your skin of its natural oils and moisture, leaving it dry and irritated. This is definitely not something you want for your skin.


Phthalates help to make lotions and creams smoother. They are also considered as endocrine disruptors, similar to parabens, in that they act like estrogen in our bodies which can have an effect on hormone balance, reproductive problems and even birth defects.³ Phthalates are banned from cosmetics in Europe but are still found in products in the U.S. The short answer is to stay away from them to avoid any harm.


Formaldehyde is used as a preservative in cosmetics. It has been linked to irritation of the eyes, nose and throat as well. While everyone’s skin is different and not everyone’s skin will have a negative reaction to formaldehyde, is it a risk you want to take?

What Should I Put on My Skin?

With all this talk about what ingredients to avoid, rest assured that there are plenty of skincare products out there that do not use any of these risky ingredients. Skincare companies like Gloves In A Bottle are more than aware of the ingredients that are likely to cause skin irritation and make sure that their formulations contain nothing but the safest ingredients. You don’t need to memorize all the ingredients that are used in skin creams and lotions, but it is extremely helpful to know what skincare ingredients you should avoid 

If you want a skincare product that is 100% free from artificial fragrances, parabens, phthalates, SLS/SLES and formaldehyde – as well as other possible irritants – Gloves In A Bottle is always a safe and reliable choice. Know your ingredients so you can treat your skin well.






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