When it comes to choosing a skincare product, you might find yourself looking at the list of available ingredients and wondering what all of those crazy words actually mean. It is easy for us to assume that anything on a shelf at a major store is safe, but this is actually far from the truth. In reality, there is a distinct lack of regulation within the cosmetics industry, and many questionable ingredients are finding their ways into our homes. This is why we have compiled a list of five skincare ingredients that you absolutely must avoid when picking out your products.

The least concerning and yet most bothersome ingredient that you will want to remove from your shelves is anything with mineral oil. This ingredient is used in many products, and the reality is that it actually does a tremendous job or blocking your pores and contributing to acne. Though companies will use it as a base in products, you should avoid this one for clear skin.

Urea is an ingredient that is being used in several skincare creams that plays a dual role of providing moisture and acting as a preservative. While this might sound fine on the surface, the reality is that this ingredient can actually release formaldehyde which is not only toxic, but can act as a cause for several health problems like asthma.

You might not have thought that the word “fragrances” could ever be dangerous, but the reality is that this blanket term is a cover for a combination of ingredients that are not being listed on the bottle. There is no exact ingredient combination for fragrances, which means that you have no way of knowing what you are actually putting on your skin. It can be literally anything, and there is not a current regulation in place that forces companies to tell you what it is.



By now most people have seen products that label themselves as “paraben-free” and these products should be everyone’s new best friend. Parabens are common preservatives that are used in plenty of products within skincare and beyond that are known for their horrific ability to mimic estrogen in the body. This makes them a potential cancer risk. If you see paraben anywhere in an ingredient list, just don’t do it.



Triclosan is another ingredient that finds its way into a lot of skincare products. This particular ingredient is known to disrupt the regulation of hormones within the body, which can lead to dangerous results. In addition to this, it is known for its negative impacts on the immune system. This one is just best left avoided.

It might feel bothersome to spend time reading the ingredients list on every product that you pick up, but that thought is what these companies are counting on. In order to fight for a world where the products on our shelves are not only well regulated, but safe, we must all do our parts to educate ourselves and be aware of what we are buying. Eventually, the companies will have to provide us with products that do not use these dangerous ingredients. Many top brands are already stepping away from them, and hopefully the rest will follow soon. For now, you will have to do your part to remain safe.