What Ingredients Are Bad In Skincare?

Whenever possible I let people know that we don't use toxins, such as parabens, phthalates, SLS, silicones, formaldehyde, hydroquinone, or artificial colours or dyes, to name a few.

I want to make you look and feel beautiful, while keeping you safe from harmful chemicals.

That’s good right? 

Sure it is, but do you really know why these ingredients are bad for you?

Why are parabens to be avoided? What are phthalates? SLS?

If you have ever wondered, keep reading, the answers are coming.

toxic ingredients in skincare

What ingredients should I avoid in skincare?


Parabens are a type of preservative, first introduced way back in the 50s.

Used to prolong shelf life in many health and beauty products by preventing the growth of mould and bacteria within them.

Parabens started to get a bad rap when hey started showing up in breast cancer. In 2004, a British study found traces of five parabens in the breast tissue of 19 out of 20 women studied. While the study didn't definitively prove that parabens cause cancer, it did identify that the parabens were able to penetrate the skin and remain within tissue.

I figure that is enough of a smoking gun to avoid them.

While It's difficult to say if parabens are 100% "bad" for us, there are many other preservatives now available so it's no longer necessary to use them.


In Canada and the US, Phthalates are used widely in polyvinyl chloride (PVC pipe) plastics, which are used to make products such as plastic packaging film and sheets, garden hoses, inflatable toys, medical tubing, and some children's toys but its use in skincare is not restricted.

So, of course someone came along and thought, “Why not skincare too”?

The good news is that the use of phthalates in skincare is restricted in the European Union and that’s what we follow. 

Typically, phthalates are used in body lotions to help lubricate other substances in the formula and to carry artificial fragrances.  We don’t have any need for that with our fragrances naturally occurring from the exotic fruits and plant extracts in our formulations.


SLS stands for sodium lauryl sulfate and is used in a range of cleaning products you can find in your home, haircare, toothpaste and yup…. skincare products too.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is the crystalline salt of sulfated lauryl alcohol. Its primary function is to be a surfactant — that means it’s a compound that breaks up molecules due to its dual composition of both water soluble and oil soluble parts. This is how SLS thickens and creates lather.

In skincare, SLS is primarily used in cleansing products for its “latherability” (yes I just made up that word). 

Use of SLS has been shown to cause skin irritation in some people, including dryness, redness and eye irritation. Long term use is thought to increase skin sensitivity, so those who already suffer from sensitive skin issues might want to avoid it.

There has been a lot of bad press around SLS in recent years, but there isn’t any substantial evidence behind the negative claims – for example there is no proven link between SLS and cancer. 

Nevertheless, SLS is banned in the European Union and is an irritant to many people and for hat reason we left SLS out of our formulations too.


First, what exactly are silicones?  Silicones are a group of semi-liquid substances derived from silica.  Silica is the main component of sand, but that doesn’t mean that silicones fall under the “natural” umbrella. Silica has to go through a significant chemical process to become silicone.

Silicones are best known for their occlusive properties, which is a scientific way of saying that they form a coating on the skin that’s resistant to both water and air. While this is great to help treat open wounds, it’s not so great for your face.

Silicones are used to make creams and serums “feel” better and run smoother over the skin but the benefits are superficial and don’t do anything to improve the actual skin.

Silicones can use breakouts especially if you are prone to them, and because of their ability to repel water, silicone products are hard to wash off at the end of the day. 

Known as a “filler” we want to stay as clean as possible and with that comes nothing that you need to “wash off”.

If this wasn’t enough to avoid silicones in your skin care, silicones are also resistant to breaking down once flushed down the drain and can accumulate as sludge in our oceans for hundreds of years.


Formaldehyde is a highly toxic systemic poison that is absorbed well by inhalation. 

Do you need to know more to avoid it?

Formaldehyde may off-gas from cosmetics containing these ingredients and be inhaled (most of the cancer research on formaldehyde has focused on risks from inhalation).

Of course we do not use formaldehyde in our formulations but you should know that it is most commonly referred to as formalin in skincare products so be on the lookout for that word listed in the ingredients.


Hydroquinone is a chemical compound discovered in the early 1800s and was used in everything from skincare to photo developing.

The chemical interacts with the melanin-producing cells in the skin, decreasing the production of pigment. 

This would be sought out when you are trying to combat dark spots, unwanted freckles, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars. 

To date, hydroquinone is deemed safe in Canada and the United States but is banned in the EU in concentrations above 1 percent because studies in mice have shown the ingredient to be carcinogenic and contain trace amounts of mercury.

There isn't any clinical evidence currently to suggest that hydroquinone is harmful to humans, however, minor side effects are still possible.

It may cause a temporary uptick in redness or dryness at first, especially if you have sensitive skin. 

So while hydroquinone may have a purpose for your skincare goals, it is a known toxic, irritating ingredient and for that reason we save you from it.

Our products are 100% non toxic, clean and organic.

If you have had a bad reaction to products in the past you really should give ours a try as we have gone above and beyond the standards to bring a clean product to life that your skin should love.

What ingredients should I avoid in skincare?

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