Writer and expert /
It can be quite difficult to determine the difference between what’s good and what’s bad in beauty products. Sure they slather “natural” or “organic” on the label, or hero ingredients that SOUND great – but you might still find yourself having an adverse reaction to a product.
The best thing to do is check the ingredient list on the back of the product – but what exactly are you looking for? Some of the words are really long and won’t make sense to the average human, and some of them would seem fine to the naked eye. So I’ve created a handy list so you know exactly which ingredients are super – and which ones you should avoid.
Apple Cider Vinegar –
This is an easy one – Apple Cider Vinegar is sold in a liquid form at most grocery stores and is the juice of fermented apples. What you probably didn’t know is that ACV can be used to boost shine in hair, balance out skin pH levels and is actually an antibacterial. I could go on and on about the number of uses for Apple Cider Vinegar and that is why it’s our number one natural super ingredient.
Not the kind you’d use to make a vase or anything like that, but skincare that contains certain types of clay like Kaolin or Bentonite are great for toning and drawing impurities out of the skin.
Witch Hazel –
Witch Hazel is the lotion made from the bark and leaves of an ornamental shrub. The lotion is an astringent so it basically works to remove excess oil from the skin and reduce pores. But more excitingly it actually reduces swelling which means it’s great around the eye area for minimising bags and puffiness. Look wide awake instantly by incorporating a toner or face cream that contains Witch Hazel.
Essential Oils –
This includes natural oils such as lavender, tea tree, peppermint and rosemary. They work to soothe and firm skin and rosemary oil has actually been proven to stimulate hair growth. Plus it’s just super relaxing to rub these all over your body (or get someone else to).
Jojoba Oil –
These little drops are actually liquid gold. Jojoba contain so many benefits but I particularly love it for balancing sebum levels in skin, leaving your skin glowing more then ever before.
You can drink Chamomile to help you fall asleep but you can also use it as a wash or compress for skin problems and inflammations, including inflammations of mucous tissue.
Vitamin E –
Other Vitamins (eg. A) are good to incorporate into your skincare routine, but I love Vitamin E for it’s anti-oxidant properties that reduce skin inflammation and irritation.
Now onto the nasties….
Alcohol is found in more products then you think, and is very drying and irritating to the skin as it strips skin’s moisture barriers away.
DEA, MEA & TEA –
They don’t look so intimidating there but what to diethanolamine, monoethanolamine and triethanolamine sound like to you? Pretty horrible, right? They’re actually hormone disrupting chemicals that increase your risk of disease so if you see these on the ingredient list of your skincare, steer clear.
FD & C –
These are colour pigments that contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins into the skin causing sensitivity and irritation.
Synthetic Fragrances –
Fragrance on the back of the bottle is never a good thing. In fact the more terrible your skincare/ haircare smells the better it is for you. Fragrances can lead to skin irritation and rashes.
Mineral Oil –
Mineral Oil is a petroleum by product that coats the skin and clogs the pores.
PEG stands for Polythylene Glycol and does nasty things like reduces your skins moisture levels which in turn speeds up skin ageing.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate eats away at your skins immune system
This is a synthetic anti-bacterial ingredient that interferes with your hormones, causing break outs and other skin issues.
I’ve created a handy graphic below to help you remember what ingredients are good and what are nasty.
If you liked the image don’t forget to share on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram!
I'm a journalism grad and avid makeup fan with an unhealthy addiction to buying nude lipsticks, no matter how similar they all may seem. I love chatting to anyone who will listen about my new favourite products, skincare dos and don'ts and practically any other beauty-related topic under the sun. That doesn't mean I'm frivolous with my recommendations, though--you can count on me to give you the nitty gritty on all your wishlist products. In my spare time, you'll find me binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or at brunch with a large iced coffee in my hand.
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