nasty stuff explainer
super kind skincare without all the icky harmful ingredients, here's a few that you should always avoid in your skincare.....
We're all about keepin' it real & clean for every butt. We pride ourselves on giving you guys the naked truth and nothing but the naked truth so we're here to tell you that not every ingredient in skincare products is actually good for your skin.
Let us explain.
There's a whole heap of really good ingredients that leave you and your skin in the best. mood. ever, but then there's also some not so nice ones that have no benefits whatsoever and can actually cause irritation to your skin.
We're basically obsessed with pure, plant-based, botanic goodness (but you knew that already), so this is your guide on what ingredients to look out for, that you most definitely, absolutely, do not want to put anywhere near your skin.
sorry, you're so not invited
Now this one is a bit tricky as some products have natural ingredients that include a mineral component of silicate but silicones are also derived from that component, however it's made chemically and has been enhanced, making it worse for you to put on your face.
In short, on the outside silicones may seem like a good idea. They're formed to make certain products look and feel nice on the skin, and they're designed to fill in the lines on your skin so that it appears baby butt smooth and super silky but that's pretty much where their goodness ends.
Synthetic fillers, like silicones, can leave a thin layer on the skin that will clog your pores and may cause your skin to became thirsty AF (aka dehydrated). They can also refuse entry to any good moisture demanding to get into your skin, and slow down the skin cell renewal process. That's a no from us.
how to spot silicones in skincare products
Silicones can go under a lot of names so we thought we'd put together a list of what you should be looking out for on product labels if you want to avoid using silicones in your skincare:
- anything that ends in cones, eg/. amodimethicone, and cyclomethicone
- anything that ends in conols, eg/. dimethiconol
- anything that ends in silanes, eg/. triethoxycaprylylsilane
- anything that ends in siloxanes, eg/. cyclopentasiloxane, and polydimethylsiloxane
There's also been an increased trend of using silicone 'substitutes' but don't that fool you, it's still the same ingredient just under a different name so you should look out for ingredients like this as well:
- polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)
While most of us enjoy putting stuff on our skin that smells nice, it's definitely not doing you any favours and can cause major irritation. Synthetic fragrance is normally made up of 20+ ingredients including petrochemicals, phthalates, and benzene derivatives, can be toxic to the skin, and effect your hormones.
Be mindful of this ingredient, it's often listed as 'fragrance', 'perfume', or 'parfum' so don't be fooled.
We all know there's good and bad types of alcohol, the good kind being a glass of wine at the end of a long, hard day's work and the bad kind being methanol, propanol, and isopropyl alcohol (among others) that can be extremely drying and irritating to the skin.
Not only that, but alcohol in skincare can also cause inflammation as it strips the skin of its natural protection layer, and gives acne the green light. Although the properties of alcohol allow the product to feel light and non-greasy on your skin, it's so not worth it.
Parabens are a synthetic derived from a chemical known as para-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA) that occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, like blueberries and carrots.
To increase products' shelf life, brands often use parabens, which are synthetic preservatives that prevent bacteria and fungus from growing inside the product, keeping it fresher for longer.
While that might sound good on the surface, parabens are believed to affect hormone function (as if you weren't moody enough already), and there has been a huge debate on whether or not they're safe to use as they're also believed to disrupt hormone function by mimicking oestrogen.
It's important to note that everyone's skin reacts differently and can have different reactions to various chemicals and although nothing has been factually or scientifically proven, we recommend sticking to natural preservatives.
But parabens aren't just bad for the skin, they're also bad for the environment too with scientific studies reporting that parabens have been found in the bodies of marine mammals, likely coming from products that are washed into the sewage system and then released into the environment.
In short, we'll stay well away from this one...
polyethylene glycol (PEGs)
Next up in our list of things we'll never ever include in our skincare are PEGS. Standing for polyethylene glycol, PEG isn't a single ingredient but a class of ethylene glycol polymers that moisturize, keep products stable, and enhance the penetration of other ingredients, meaning they're used to both thicken and soften products, acting as an absorption enhancer that allows good & bad ingredients to be absorbed into the deepest nooks & crannies of your skin.
PEGs are typically followed by a number correlating to how many units of ethylene glycol they comprise, in the form of say PEG-4 or PEG-100; the lower the number, the more easily the compound is absorbed into the skin.
While PEGs can be mild irritants, you don't want them in your skincare because they help encourage funky chemicals to get into your epidermis (the outermost layer of your skin), including heaps of impurities and nasties they're often contaminated with.
Reports have also shown that pollutants found in various PEG compounds include ethylene oxide (used to manufacture mustard gas), 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and heavy metals (lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, arsenic). Um, yuck.
Now, to be fair, PEGS themselves aren't the bad guys but they're essentially the worst bouncers in party history, letting the already drunk people and mischief-makers into the club when all you and your girls want to do is have a good time.
If there are harmful chemicals in the skincare you're using, as well as PEGS, then all the nasties will absorb into your skin faster causing major irritation. No thanks.
sulfates (sls, sles)
Sulfates are cleansing agents, helping to get rid of dirt and oil but the entire skincare world knows that they're not very good at it. Acting as a fancy foamer, sulfates can be eye and skin irritants and will strip away your skin's moisture and protective barrier, hoarding it for themselves, leaving your skin thirsty and dry.
Most common forms of sulfates are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) so look out for 'em.
Some say that in small amounts, sulfates won't do any harm but thank u, next.
mineral oils and petrolatum
Mineral oils can coat the skin, leaving it gasping for air, suffocating under a layer of product that essentially does nothing to nourish it. They will stop your skin from absorbing all the good & necessary ingredients and are pretty much useless, so mineral oils and petrolatum get a 'thanks for participating' award with a note that tells them to try again next year when they've come up with a way to be beneficial.
We all know it can sometimes be hard to resist the perfect pink concoction that is 'unicorn' cream or the jelly-like substance that's a deep blue, but you really should. Chances are these products are chock 'a' block full of synthetic colours, and their job is purely aesthetic.
Ultimately, they have zero skincare benefit and that's just not something we can get around. They can also potentially cause skin irritation and can increase its sensitivity. A product that looks pretty and artificially smells like a Hawaiian getaway just isn't worth it.
Or genetically modified organisms are unnatural organisms that have the potential to be harmful to the skin, there just haven't been enough studies done to determine or prove it. While we're all about giving ingredients the benefit of the doubt, if it's not proven to nourish and enrich your skin then we're not using it. Period.
Microbeads are tiny little balls of plastic, that are commonly used in body washes and facial scrubs, that have it out for the ocean and its marine life.
Bringing harmful chemicals into the food chain just isn't something we're interested in, and as a big protector and lover of all creatures whether on dry land or wet, we promise you'll never see plastic or microbeads in our products.
We think life's better 100% au naturale anyway.
Possibly the biggest no-no for our brand is palm oil.
We just can't support any ingredient that brings about social, ethical and environmental issues the way palm oil does, and there's no reason on this planet for us to be using an ingredient whose production contributes to the continued deforestation and eradication of endangered animals' habitats.
Look out for this one, ladies & gents, it's often hidden in products as 'vegetable oil'.
Phthalate or phthalate esters, are esters of phthalic anhydride (a toxic, white crystalline compound used in the manufacture of phthaleins and other dyes, resins, plasticizers, and insecticides.
Often called plasticizers, phthalates are usually used to soften plastics but they're also used as solvents for other materials. Most commonly used in skincare as a lubricant or a softener, we're avoiding this ingredient due to the fact it's been linked to breast cancer and reproductive birth defects in both males and females.
Some common phthalates include:
- BBP: butyl benzyl phthalate
- DBP: di-n-butyl phthalate
- DEHP: di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
- DEP: diethyl phthalate
- DiDP: di-isodecyl phthalate
- DiNP: di-isononyll phthalate
- DnHP: di-n-hexyl phthalate
- DnOP: di-n-octyl phthalate
Alternatively, avoid products with the catch-all ingredient “fragrance” (which often includes hidden phthalates).
As if all that wasn't bad enough, it can also affect your hormones so like, no thank you.
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