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Understanding Skincare Ingredients. The Good Stuff And The Bad.

Understanding Skincare Ingredients. The Good Stuff And The Bad.

With so many products available on the skincare market, it’s easy to assume that based on a product’s claims and natural-looking packaging, the ingredients are both safe and effective, when in fact you’re actually putting toxic chemicals on your face.

What may shock you is that many common brands are still using toxic chemicals in their products that have been associated with skin irritation, acne, dryness, reproductive issues and, in some cases, even cancer.

In this article, we look at some commonly used toxic chemicals in skincare products and why you should avoid them.


Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)

These two ingredients are extremely common and found in almost every product that foams up, such as commercial facial cleansers, body wash, shampoos and hand wash. Not only do these ingredients strip the natural oils and acids from your skin that serve as a protective barrier, but they are also directly irritating to the skin themselves. If you have sensitive and/or dry skin, these guys may be the sneaky culprit.

Parabens (butyl, propyl, isopropyl and isobutyl-parabens)

Commonly added as a preservative to prevent spoilage in your make-up, moisturisers, conditioners and lotions. These chemicals have developed a particularly bad reputation in recent years when it was discovered that, once absorbed through the skin, these ingredients can cause hormonal disruption. They can potentially throw out your natural hormone balance, resulting in increased cancer risk as well as reproductive issues. Any product that has a an expiry date from opening of more than 12 months should be considered carefully.

Diethanolamine (DEA)

Another common toxic ingredient found in many cleansers and soaps on the market. Most often used for its foam-boosting qualities, this chemical is easily absorbed through the skin but tends to accumulate in major organs including the liver and brain. While it has been reported to cause skin irritation in the short term, the greater concern is the long-term effect of this toxicity build-up in the organs.

Synthetic antibacterial ingredients

As more research is being conducted in an attempt to understand the complexities of our skin microbiome, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the antibacterial ‘shotgun’ effect we have been using in antibacterial soaps and acne cleansers up until now isn’t working. The problem is that these synthetic antibacterial ingredients do not discriminate, destroying all the good bacteria as well as the bad. This actually leaves our skin more vulnerable to irritation, breakouts and more serious problems down the track.

Synthetic fragrances and colours

Obviously, these ingredients are added to perfume and colour the product. However innocent that may sound these are often toxic ingredients, renowned for causing skin irritation and allergic reactions, and more research needs to be conducted investigating the potential problems with toxicity and the effect this may have on the reproductive system.


It’s easy to forget that the skin is actually a large organ, excreting sweat and toxins out of the body as well as absorbing substances into the bloodstream. Natural therapies and traditional medicine have been saying for thousands of years that we shouldn’t be putting anything on our skin that we wouldn’t put into our mouths. It appears that this was good advice. Luckily, nature has provided us with a plethora of natural ingredients that work synergistically with the skin and without any of these nasty side effects.

We’ve done the hard work for you. You’ll find no hidden nasties and only the best natural and organic ingredients available. Shop our all-natural skincare products and say goodbye to harmful chemicals.