6 Ingredients To Eliminate From Your Skincare Routine



The skincare industry is a big one. We all want perfect, glowing skin, and we know that it’s achievable. But do we really know the ingredients on the back of some of our favorite labeled bottles?

Because I know I never used to understand a thing, but after a little research and some digging, I’ve found what’s actually in some of our favorite buys. And you’d be surprised! Some of these are harmless and may make your skin break out, but there are other, more dangerous things that could be building up on the surface of your skin. I’ve probably missed some ingredients out, so let me know in the comments if there’s anything else we should know about our beauty products…



It’s really hard to avoid these bad boys as they’re in pretty much every product from sheet masks to shampoo. And they should be at the top of your list for skin care ingredients to avoid! Parabens actually help your products last longer, and whilst this may be nice for getting more for your money, it’s not very good for your health. According to a study in 2015, parabens can speed up cancer cells. Parabens are linked to breast cancer and changes in your hormone balance, which can affect your fertility seriously. And if you see an ingredient called phenoxyethanol know that’s it the exact same thing!

If you’re looking for a product that’s really great for your skin but doesn’t contain Parabens then here are our paraben favorite paraben-free products:




I was actually very surprised when I came across this one. I’ve loved using Retinol products and even everyone in the office is obsessed. Don’t avoid this one entirely, just limit your use to it.

It’s dangerous because it breaks down your skin that should not be exposed to the sun, which is why it’s recommended only to be used at night. As a result, skin is more sensitive and exposed. And it’s not recommended for women who are pregnant as it can damage DNA and accelerate the speed of skin tumors.



So, you won’t find this one easily on the back of your labels as it is classed as a contaminant and not an ingredient. But it’s one you should try and avoid because it’s a carcinogen. And it can also disrupt your hormone balance. Other than it is more commonly linked to depression, problems with pregnancy and birth defects.

It’s usually found is a lot of cosmetic products like eyeliner and lipsticks. The FDA tested lipsticks and found 100% of them contained lead traces. Considering 0 is the only acceptable amount of lead in products, this is one issue to educate yourself on – stat.



I was actually shopping in the stores in the body wash aisle and all I could see was ‘aluminium free’ on all of the packagings. And it got me to thinking, what’s wrong with aluminum?

You’ll find it in most body washes and deodorants. Its properties may help prevent you from sweating but it has a lot of speculation surrounding it. The amount of aluminum absorbed through the skin from antiperspirants is significantly less than average daily exposure from food and water. So most likely it’s safe, but brands are keen to avoid it after speculation about the negative effects it may carry. Here are our aluminum free favorites to keep you on the safe side:





This one is definitely not as scary as the other. Shea butter is amazing for your skin and can be used after you shower or bathe. However, you should really avoid this if you suffer from oily skin. Shea butter can clog up your pores and will make your skin even oilier, so bear that in mind if you’re trying to achieve perfect skin.



The ingredient may sound dreamy and trick you into thinking it does wonders. But it can really have the same effect as the Shea butter. It’s great to include if your skin is thirsty AF, but can increase your oil levels if not. It has also been linked to skin irritation and even rashes in some cases. Do your research first and you’ll be good to go!


Did you know about any of these? Tell me below!



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  • I shrieked a bit inside when I read “retinol” but after reading further I understand why it should be limited. I use it almost nightly but I always make sure to remove it in the morning to avoid sun exposure.
    http://www.aglassofbovino.com IG: aglassofbovino.com

    • I use lactic acid quite a lot too which does basically the same thing to your skin in terms of sun sensitivity – I think it’s important to remember sunscreen every day. I try to use the embryolisse one in the morning as I get ready so I know I’m protected. X

    • Ila

      Wear sunscreen. Problem solved.

  • Always great reading posts like these! Thanks for sharing, I had no idea shea butter could clog my pores….


  • a bit strange to put shea butter with aluminium and paraben in the same list… Paraben and aluminim are toxic ingredients that are harmful for your body, your health and your baby if you are pregnant or planning to be. Shea butter is an amazing natural skincare ingredients perfect for DIY (and toxic free!!) cosmetics.

    • Ila

      What’s a toxin?

  • Heather

    I’m confused. The Eve Lom recommendation has phenoxyethanol in it. Didn’t you say that’s the same thing as parabens?

  • Sandra

    That you should avoid parabens is a myth. There was a company developing alternatives to parabens that carried out that “research”. Now people are using other preservatives with a lot less scientific research behind them just to avoid it because sooo many people believe this. Stop spreading this bullshit..

    No effect on human health found.

  • Ila

    Good god, this list is awful and you should feel awful for making it. I’m sorry if that’s harsh but I’m sick of these myths being perpetuated.

    Let’s start:

    -THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PARABENS. They are safe and very effective preservatives that only need to be used in TINY amounts to prevent things that are actually harmful (like mold) from forming in your product. Please do more research before you spread misinformation.

    -Aluminum is fine. Please read this comprehensive WedMD article that cites many studies and sources indicating no proven link between aluminum in deodorant and breast cancer, Alzheimer’s or kidney disease: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/antiperspirant-facts-safety

    – I can’t even believe that retinol is listed. It’s one of the most researched and well establish chemicals in skincare and effectively treats and prevents multiple skin conditions. Yes, it makes you photosensitive. This is easily negated by WEARING SUNSCREEN which I kind of suspect you’d find issue with as well because of “chemicals” or “toxins”. It absolutely does not “accelerate the speed of skin cancer”, whatever that means. Just wear sunscreen, like you should be doing anyway.

    -Shea Butter and Vitamin E are fine. Like any skincare product they may not work for everyone.

    In short, please stop spreading myths about skincare ingredients. It’s not helpful to anyone and makes you uneducated. I know this is a blog but try to have some sense of journalistic integrity. Thanks.