Bad Skin Care Ingredients

Below you will find a list of some ingredients that may cause skin damage from prolonged use or which are simply unnecessary.

Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea

These are used as preservatives that prohibit bacterial growth, although they are not effective in killing fungi. Both have been proved to be a fairly common cause of contact dermatitis. The trade names for these ingredients are Germall II and Germall 115. Germall 115 appears to release formaldehyde which is a potentially toxic substance. Their potential for long-term skin dames from these ingredients has not been sufficiently studied, but there is a high probability that it exists.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This is a detergent that is generally found in shampoos and other cleansers. It is generally safe due to the short period of time it is in contact with the skin. Prolonged exposure can cause irritation to the skin, dryness, and other minor damage. It is not unusual for sodium lauryl sulfates to be used in experiments as a skin irritant when skin protectors are being studied. It is a good idea to stay away from products that contain sodium lauryl sulfates unless the skin contact time is short. This is particularly true of skin cleansers.

Mineral Oil

This is a cheap base that you can find in some products. It is made up of hydrocarbons that are based on petroleum. Mineral oil can be moderately comedogenic and can also inhibit perspiration and other basic skin functionality.

Synthetic Colors

There have been no conclusive studies into the long-term effects of synthetic colors. It is therefore impossible to say if they are totally safe or mildly damaging with prolonged use. As synthetic colors have no real purpose, it is better to avoid them when possible. They appear as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and number on the label.

Synthetic Fragrances

More than 200 synthetic fragrances are used in the production of cosmetics. There is no regulation for naming these fragrances on the packaging; they are generally just listed as "fragrance." The safety levels of fragrances are still up open for debate. It is better to stay away from them as they have no beneficial effects. At the same time, it is nice to have a cream that smells good; if the safety level is questionable, then better to stay away from it. The other issue with fragrance enhanced products is that the fragrance can often cover up spoilage of the product.

Ethanolamines (Monoethanolamine/MEA, Diethanolamine/DEA, and Triethanolamine/TEA)

There are commonly found pH-based stabilizers that can cause irritation or become toxic when exposed to the air. However, it is still unclear what level of nitrosamines is formed during the normal use of formulations containing ethanolamines.

Parabens (e.g. Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl and Butyl Paraben)

These are used as preservatives that stop microbial growth and give an extended shelf life to the products that contain them. When methylparaben degrades, it releases methanol which is a potentially toxic chemical. The good news is that the level of methanol released from methylparaben when used as an ingredient in formulas is present at a level so low that there are no real side effects. Few people's skins react to parabens. More research is necessary in order to understand whether they are non-toxic or if they have the capability of causing low-level skin damage after long-term use.

It is a good idea to understand what a person eats or puts on their body as much as you can. Although it is impossible to understand everything, there are some good reasons for having a good knowledge of skincare products.
Most skincare products have a full listing of ingredients on the label or box. This labeling is required by the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act which mandates that all ingredients be listed. The law also gives guidelines on the format for the listing.
Discover definitions of the primary categories of skin care ingredients by their function/use.
Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is a popular ingredient that is used by a large number of manufacturers. It is trendy because it is one of a small number of agents (maybe even the only agent) that has been proved to produce skin tightening and to reduce facial sag (to a low level).