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. There 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 very 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 in 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 the naming of these fragrances on 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. While 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. It is still unclear as to what the level of nitrosamines is formed during the normal use of skin care products that contain ethanolamines.

Parabens (e.g. Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl and Butyl Paraben): These are used as preservatives which stop microbial growth and give an extended shelf life to the products that contain them. When methyl parben degrades it releases methanol which is a potentially toxic chemical. The good news is that the level of methanol that is released from methyl paraben when used as an ingredient in skin care products it is present in a level so low that there are no real side effects. Few people's skin reacts to parabens. More research is necessary in order to understand whether they are non-toxic or if they have a capability of causing low level skin damage after long term use.

It is a good idea to understand as much as you can about what a person eats or puts on their body. There are a number of different things that will determine if a skin care product that is applied directly to the skin will have an anti-aging effect:
Most skin care 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.
Discover definitions of the primary categories of skin care ingredients by their function/use.
Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is a popular skin care ingredient that is used by a large number of manufacturers. It is very popular 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).