I think we can all feel a little bit baffled now and again when it comes to ingredients in products. As a skincare producer myself I know it can all look a little bit mind boggling. When I list my ingredients on my products, I have to list their INCI (chemical) name instead of what we know them as too, which can throw us even more! So... what are those nasty ingredients that we should know to keep well away from? Here's a few to start you off...
Also called “liquid petroleum,” “paraffin oil,” and “white mineral oil”. Yucky! This stuff is what I call a 'bulking agent'. It's a cheap oil that companies can use to make their products go further. It does give a moisturising effect - in the sense that it softens the skin, but doesn't hydrate it at all. It just likes to sit there, blocking pores! Stay well away unless you want some nasty blackheads, pimples and blocked pores!
Another eeeew ingredient. These are generally put into products to give that silky smooth texture. Sometimes you might try an expensive serum and think 'wow! it's so smooth!' but the scary thing is, that's just the silicone! We are almost tricked to believing that our skin feels super silky soft, but actually its the silicone sitting on the surface of the skin. I find that this is in quite a lot of primers too - hence the reason I don't like them. If you're looking out for silicone, they are usually listed as ingredients that mostly have names ending in -cone or -siloxane. For example: dimethicone, cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane… (The difference is in the number of atoms, the three-dimensional arrangement of the molecules, etc.)
I find that they can be quite hard to remove and can sit on the surface of the skin. They can also give that weird 'rolling' effect when you're trying to apply foundation as they are very difficult to cleanse away. Avoid if possible!
Also known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, this is a natural foaming agent. You know those foamy face washes I love? (Sorry, those who don't know me I'm being sarcastic! I hate those things!!) Well, they are pretty much in a base of the stuff! Anything that foams up, whether it be shower gels, face washes, exfoliators etc. there is a good chance it's in there. What does it do to the skin though? Well, it is a known skin irritant. It can dry the skin, make it sore and red and also strip the natural barrier to make it very sensitive. All you need to do is Google the dangers of SLS and I can imagine a whole list will pop up. Avoid avoid avoid!!
These are pretty easy to spot on an ingredient list as they are just labelled 'fragrance'. I find that sometimes products containing fragrance can really irritate the skin if used over a period of time, so best to avoid these too if you can.
I hope you have found this list helpful! Maybe now you can recognise some of these on the back of bottles and products when you're out and about!
Thanks so much for reading,