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What Ingredients Should I Avoid in Skincare?

Living a healthy lifestyle isn't just about what you eat and drink; it's about what you put on your body, too — we're talking about skincare. There are many ingredients in skincare and cosmetic products that are downright bad for you.

Even if you aren't consuming or eating your skincare products, your skin is still directly exposed to these harmful toxins. We want to keep you informed and safe, so let's talk about all the ingredients you should avoid when shopping for your skincare products.

Why You Should Be Careful (And Read Labels)

Skincare and cosmetic products are some of the least monitored products by the FDA, meaning companies can put tons of unique and harmful ingredients in these products with minimal consequences.

While you may think that something you're not consuming won't do much harm, it's actually the contrary. Skincare ingredients and other toiletries like deodorants and cosmetics can seriously harm your skin and overall health.

Many people are exposed to hundreds of these toxic ingredients daily. Even when the ingredients are listed, it’s still hard to know the difference between bad and good. But that's why we're here.

Nourishing Biologicals is here to help you avoid these harmful ingredients at all costs.

What Are Harmful Ingredients To Avoid?

Here are some of the most heavily used and toxic ingredients you should look out for.

Synthetic Fragrance

Synthetic fragrances are no good but can be very hard to avoid. It's in almost all beauty, home, and cleaning products. Chances are, your particular scent is home to some harmful toxins.

The ingredients found in synthetic fragrances can even be detrimental to your hormone health.

Synthetic fragrances can trigger allergies and disrupt hormones. The easiest way to pick out synthetic fragrances is to avoid these ingredients: fragrance, perfume, or phthalates.

Just because you should steer clear of synthetic fragrance doesn't mean you can never indulge in a perfume purchase again. There are tons of options when it comes to natural fragrances. You only have to know where to look.


Phthalates like DBP, DEHP, and DEP are used in skincare and cosmetic products to help the product adhere to the skin or hair.

Phthalates are so harmful that the European Union is already working hard to ban these ingredients in skincare or cosmetic products; however, the FDA is still monitoring it.

Phthalates are found in soap, shampoo, deodorant, body lotion, nail polish, hairspray, aftershave lotion.


Formaldehyde often hides behind names like Diazolidinyl urea and is used in skincare products as a preservative, but it's not very good for your overall health when exposed to it for an extended amount of time.

Formaldehyde is found in shampoos, conditioners, body wash, and bubble baths.

Before buying your little ones their favorite bubble bath, we suggest you skim over the ingredients to ensure they aren't exposed to any harmful toxins or chemicals such as formaldehyde.

Coal Tar

As scary as it may sound, coal tar is commonly used in anti-dandruff shampoos and hair dye. Yes, tar in your hair!

Coal tar is considered a skin allergen and respiratory toxicant.


Lead occurs naturally in the environment, but it's also a common ingredient in cosmetic items like eyeshadows, blushes, and lipsticks.

While the FDA ensures the amount of lead used in these cosmetic products is never above the " unsafe level," it's still unsettling to know it's in the products we use every day.

Oxybenzone and Avobenzone

Both of these ingredients are used in most sunscreen products. These ingredients are linked to causing skin irritants, sensitivities, and allergies.

Other toxic ingredients to avoid may include:

  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene, or BHT
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Triclosan
  • Quaternium-15
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)
  • Monoethanolamine (MEA)
  • Petrolatum
  • Propylparaben
  • los butylparaben
  • methylparabens
  • Butyl Parabens
  • Acrylates – ethyl acrylate, ethyl methacrylate, and methyl methacrylate

Even when these harmful ingredients are under the list of inactive ingredients, we still say they shouldn't be on your skin.

Useful Ingredients in Skincare

It can be hard to fix toxin-free skincare products, especially nowadays. It may take a while to find a company with products you trust, but there is no going back once you do.

We are already exposed to enough highly-processed toxins in our foods and clothes as it is. We should do our best to keep our skin care as clean as possible.

Here are some ingredients that you should look for in skincare. They have ultra-moisturizing and nourishing properties without harmful toxins.

Hydrolyzed Collagen

Your skin needs collagen to look its best. As we age, it's common for our collagen levels to drop, which is why using collagen in your skincare routine is a good idea.

You can take collagen supplements or change your diet to ensure you're getting enough collagen too.

We love to use hydrolyzed collagen in our products because it works wonderfully with the skin. The collagen ingredients deeply penetrate the skin, leaving the skin looking young, firm, and well hydrated.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is commonly used in moisturizers and lotions, but this is one of the safe ingredients. It does a great job at helping the skin retain moisture keeping it hydrated all day.

Hyaluronic acid also helps fortify the skin's barrier for sustained hydration.

Our Miracular Skin Essence has a high concentration of hyaluronic acid, meaning it's ultra-nourishing and is an excellent way to prime your face for your other products.

Sea Kelp

In a world full of toxic and synthetic chemicals running through our skincare products, we love to keep our ingredients as clean and natural as possible. This is why we utilize sea kelp's healing and nourishing properties.

Sea kelp is a member of the seaweed family; it has high antioxidants, which can help protect your skin from the harsh elements in the environment.

Jojoba Seed Oil

We've found that natural oils and plants work together, aiding your skin with the best results. There is no need to fill our bodies with harmful toxins and chemicals when we have mother nature to help us use nature and heal our skin.

Jojoba seed oil is extremely moisturizing and has high levels of vitamin E, which helps renew skin and fortify the skin's barrier.

Avocado Seed Oil

Avocado seed oil is often used as an alternative to retinoids when trying to combat the effects of aging. It can deeply penetrate the skin providing a high-quality level of moisture which may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Shea Butter

Shea butter is often used in lotion; we understand why — it's also used in our Moisturizing Body Lotion.

Shea butter offers a great layer of moisture to the skin. It hydrates, softens, and restores your skin's youthful glow.

Growth Factors

Using growth factors in skin care products is a natural way to help aid your skin in a healthy recovery. Growth factors are naturally occurring substances that can aid your skin in stimulating cell proliferation and sometimes wound healing. It's commonly used in scar creams as it may help reduce the appearance of scars.

Everyone has scars, and each person wears them differently. They're not to be ashamed of, but we understand if you'd like to make an effort to heal your skin. Scar creams, like our Scar Logic®, are a great place to start.

We suggest researching beforehand and using a product you can trust.

Goodbye Toxins, Hello Nourishing Biologicals

Using these toxic chemicals on and around your skin every day may be detrimental to your health and your skin's appearance. We understand how hard it can be to find products that aren't full of these unwanted chemicals, but we're here now.

At Nourishing Biologicals, we take pride in our products and the ingredients we use. We care about your skin's appearance and your overall health. It's time to say goodbye to toxic chemicals and say hello to products that have natural, harmless ingredients.


Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products | PMC

The trouble with ingredients in sunscreens | EWG's Guide

FDA Authority Over Cosmetics: How Cosmetics Are Not FDA-Approved but Are FDA-Regulated | FDA

9 Ways to Avoid hormone-disrupting Chemicals | NRDC

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