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Avoid These Ingredients During Your Next Skincare Haul

10.13.2021 — The Frenshe Editors

Thinking about switching up your skincare routine? Or have you considered adding more clean products to your routine? Going back to the basics and starting over isn’t always so simple, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. We spoke Allie Compton, Product Development Manager, at Credo. to lay it all out. 

“To help customers along their clean journey, Credo offers a service called ‘Clean Swaps,’ which can be performed in-store or online, where you can bring in your conventional products to be swapped into their clean counterparts.”

Ahead, some ingredients you’ll want to avoid when transitioning your skincare routine from conventional to clean.

  • Sulfates, which are detergents found in shampoo, face wash, etc. (like sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate) are very drying and can lead to skin irritation or can cause colored hair to fade.
  • Parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, etc) are known as potential endocrine disruptors.
  • Cyclical Silicones (like cyclohexasiloxane or cyclomethicone) are also known as potential endocrine disruptors and are also water pollutants–you have to think about what you’re washing down the drain! 
  • Phthalates, which are potential endocrine disruptors, are actually banned in the EU but not in the US.
  • Undisclosed “Synthetic Fragrances” can sometimes serve as a sneaky catch-all term where manufacturers can include whatever “secret” ingredients they want to include. Only a fraction of the ingredients have been tested for toxicity, yet may hide under the term “parfum” or “fragrance.”
  • Chemical sunscreen filters like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate or Homosalate, which have been linked to hormone disruption.
  • Hydroquinone, a potentially carcinogenic skin bleaching/lightening agent, is banned in the EU at concentrations higher than 1% and as of last year banned for use in OTC products in the U.S., but still available by prescription. It inhibits melanin synthesis, causes skin irritation, and may cause discoloration of the skin.
  • PEGs (Polyethylene Glycols), which are considered an “ethoxylated ingredient,” as they are synthetically produced using Ethylene Oxide, a carcinogen. 1,4-Dioxane, another carcinogen, often contaminates the Ethoxylated ingredients, but 1,4-Dioxane itself doesn’t appear on ingredient labels. 
  • Mineral Oil/Paraffin Wax are byproducts of petroleum distillation and the concerns with these ingredients are unsustainable sourcing and possible PAH contamination (which stands for Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons) are linked to cancer. 
  • BHT (also called Toluene), which can be found in nail products and hair dyes, is a solvent that is toxic to the immune system and may cause birth defects.

To learn more, check out Credo’s full Dirty List here.

The Frenshe Editors