The Truth Behind Your Skincare Products – Ingredients You Should Avoid and Why

The Truth Behind Your Skincare Products – Ingredients You Should Avoid and Why

Not only is the skin the largest organ on our body, but it is also one of the most important. Responsible for many life-preserving functions, our skin should be treated with all the love and kindness we have to give.

Knowing what common ingredients and chemicals to avoid when choosing skincare products is the first step to honouring this incredibly resilient external organ.

In this article, we talk about the nasty ingredients commonly found in skincare products that you should avoid, and we also tell you why.

But, before we get into that, let’s take a closer look at the skin so we can understand why choosing natural skincare products is so important.

Why Choose Natural Skincare Products?

The skin is one of the only organs that has direct contact with our external environment and while it’s busy protecting us from various kinds of injury, infections, and pollutants, it’s also working hard to retain moisture, regulate our temperature and reduce the harmful effects of UV radiation.

However, the skin is not impermeable. In fact, it’s extremely porous, allowing up to 60% of what we put on our skin to be absorbed into the body.

This poses a direct threat to our overall health and well-being, especially when we use skincare products that are filled with all kinds of harmful ingredients.

Recent developments have shown that some of these ingredients are linked to inflammatory skin conditions – the very issues we are trying to avoid when using beauty products.

In addition, there are other health concerns such as hormonal disruption, reproductive issues and sometimes even cancer.

Yes, it’s hard to believe, but your skincare products have the potential to make you sick.

Harmful Ingredients in Skincare that You Should Avoid


“Petrochemicals” is an umbrella term which covers several different chemicals that are obtained through the petroleum refining process. Petroleum is essentially a naturally occurring substance and can be refined to product petrol, diesel, oil, and paraffin.

Petrolatum, paraffin wax and mineral oil are widely used in the beauty industry because of their ability to create a barrier on the skin that leaves the skin feeling hydrated for longer.

However, the side effect of this is that the barrier can cause the pores to clog, resulting in blackheads and pimples.

Additionally, the biggest concern with petrochemicals in cosmetics is that a contaminant called 1,4-dioxane is often unintentionally generated while producing petrochemicals. This by-product has shown to be a likely cancer-causing ingredient which readily penetrates the different layers of skin.

Phthalates are one among many of the commonly used petrochemicals in skincare products.

Apart from it being a total tongue twister, phthalates are a group of chemicals that you should avoid in your skincare and beauty products.

What are Phthalates?

They are a group of chemicals which help beauty products stick to our skin. Without them, the product will not have time to absorb, rendering them ineffective.

Why are They Bad?

Recent research has unfortunately linked phthalates to endocrine system disruption and respiratory issues such as asthma.

To make matters worse, this ingredient is often not listed on product labels, leading consumers to believe that they are phthalate-free when they are not. If you are unsure, do some research before the purchase.

How to Identify Petrochemicals in Your Skincare

The following are names of petrochemicals to look out for in cosmetics:

  • Any words:
    • Ending in “eth”
    • With “butyl”
    • With “DEA”
    • With “ethyl”
    • With “MEA”
    • With “methyl”
    • With “PEG”
    • With “propyl”
  • Benzene
  • Butanol
  • Ethanol
  • Methanol
  • Mineral oil
  • Paraffin wax
  • Parfum/fragrance
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Toluene

Commonly found in most skincare products including cleansers, body wash, hand wash. There are different types including Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) and Ammonium Laurel Sulphate (ALS).

What are They?

These sulphates are mostly surfactants which are compounds that lower the surface tension between two surfaces. In other words, it allows the product to move easily over the surface it is applied to.

In skincare, surfactants are often used to give products their foaminess or oiliness.

Why are They Bad?

SLS strips the skin of its natural oils, resulting in dry, sensitive, inflamed, and allergic skin. Paradoxically, the effect of skin that has had it’s natural oil stripped from it responds by over producing oil, which can result in acne or break outs.

For more perspective, surfactants are often used as the primary component of household cleaning detergents. Need we say more?


By now, everyone has heard this word but not everyone knows exactly what a paraben is or why they should be avoiding it.

What are Parabens?

Quite simply, parabens are preservatives which are put into our skincare products for the sole purpose of extending their shelf-life.

Why are Parabens Bad?

Parabens mimic oestrogen in the body, which can create hormonal imbalances and, as a result, several other health issues may arise.


This word may sound familiar to you, but you perhaps you can’t quite place it. Interestingly, as part of the metabolic process of cells, plants, animals, bacteria, humans, and fish all produce formaldehyde naturally.

What is Formaldehyde?

It is a simple, organic (naturally occurring) chemical compound made of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. It is colourless, flammable, and has a strong odour.

Used mostly as a potent preservative, formaldehyde can be found in products such as nail polish, hair gel, hair smoothing products, baby shampoo, body wash, and colour cosmetics.

Why is it Bad?

Formaldehyde is a well-known carcinogen (cancer-causing) which has also been linked to neurotoxicity and asthma, among others.

Other products that commonly contain formaldehyde include building materials, glues, adhesives, industrial disinfectants, germicides, and fungicides, and is used as a preservative in medical laboratories and mortuaries.

Mojo Magic – Natural Skincare Products

Determined to create natural skincare for glowing skin, free from all the harmful chemicals found in most skincare products and cosmetics, I created Mojo Magic skincare.

This special formulation can improve skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dryness. It is also an effective treatment for insect stings and bites, minor cuts and burns, nappy rash and skin allergies.

Lastly, it can also be used as a general moisturiser for healthy skin and as part of your daily facial skincare regime.

To find out more about Mojo Magic and what makes this cream so special, please feel free to contact me.