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Always Read the Small Print - Understanding ingredients

Always Read the Small Print - Understanding ingredients
If you're a regular visitor to my site then you will be aware that I like my beauty products to be natural and free from certain ingredients. So what are the ingredients to avoid and what makes a product natural? A "natural" product is one that is made from plant extracts and essential oils but it is also free from synthetic and filler ingredients. I'm looking for products with sustainable and ethical ingredients. It's my personal choice to avoid or limit the following ingredients in my skin care routine.

  • Methylisothiazolinone (MI)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) 
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) 
  • Parabens – (Methylparaben/Propylparaben/Butylparaben/Ethylparaben) 
  • Mineral oil and petroleum derived ingredients 
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) 
  • Artificial Fragrance or Parfum 
  • Artificial colours
  • DEA or TEA (di- or tri-ethanolamine) 
  • Formaldehyde ( Formalin/ formal and methyl aldehyde DMDM Hydantoin and Urea-Imidazolidinyl) 
  • Triclosan 
  • Phthalates (DBP/DMP/DEP) 
  • Animal derived ingredients such as Lanolin, Shellac, Keratin, Carmine

My reasons to avoid these ingredients are varied but the driving force behind my lifestyle is my allergies and eczema. I worry about the long term effects on my skin and find that some ingredients are simply fillers that offer no beneficial treatment. Many high street brands are manufacturing on a huge scale and they are using ingredients that make a formulation go further to keep prices lower for the consumer. Of course not every natural ingredient suits everyone but choosing plant based over synthetic formulations would appear to allow me to take back control of my skin.

If you are looking for further reading then I can recommend No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics by Siobhan OConnor and Toxic Beauty: The hidden chemicals in cosmetics and how they can harm us by Dawn Mellowship. The EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is a resource online for checking ingredients and products. Caution is advised as there are gaps in data but it can be a useful starting point.

I think it's important to always read the label to consider and understand the formulations as you may be surprised by what you find. INCI can be a little tricky and scary sounding but a quick google search often gives you answers.  

Sarah x