8 Harmful Ingredients We Avoid — and Why
As a provider of medical grade skincare, we’re committed to creating 100% skin-safe formulas. That means steering clear of many commonly-found substances with problematic side effects which range from skin irritation to possible cancer. Below are the top eight ingredients banned from CosMedical’s face products.
Class of chemical preservatives shown to be endocrine disruptors which act like estrogens in the body, causing hormonal imbalances. Studies have linked parabens to reproductive problems and breast cancer.
LISTED AS: Propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben
Although generally safe and effective as foaming agents in body cleansers, these surfactants are too aggressive for use on the delicate skin of the face. Sulfates in facial cleansers commonly lead to dryness, irritation, and allergic reactions.
LISTED AS: Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
Often found in fragrance mixes, these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors that can lead to hormonal imbalances, impaired fertility, and birth defects.
LISTED AS: Diethyl phthalate (DEP), dimethyl phthalate (DMP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
Added as foaming ingredients that help water and oil-soluble ingredients mix together, these ammonia compounds commonly cause skin inflammation. Over time, exposure can lead to tumors, as well as damage of the nervous system, kidney, or liver.
LISTED AS: Monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA)
Controversial skin-bleaching agent that can cause dryness, irritation, or skin disorders like ochronosis (darkening of the skin).
LISTED AS: Hydroquinone, benzene-1,4-diol, quinol
Recently denounced by the FDA, this antibacterial chemical has been shown to interfere with hormone signaling in the thyroid and reproductive organs.
LISTED AS: Triclosan (TCS)
Ultrafine insoluble particles roughly 1/8000 the width of a human hair which are often used as preservatives, texturizers, or UV filters. These substances are typically safe in their regular, non-nanoized form due to larger particle sizes. At the nanoscale, however, research shows that the particles penetrate far deeper into skin and diffuse more easily, presenting a potentially high risk for toxicity and cell damage throughout the body.
LISTED AS: Nano zinc oxide, micronized zinc oxide, fullerenes, micronized quartz silica, micronized titanium dioxide.
Historically used in exfoliating rinse-off products, these small bits of plastic have been proven to be a substantial environmental safety issue. Although not directly unsafe for skin, microplastics may be harmful if ingested — and since they are too tiny to be effectively filtered out at water treatment plants, they pollute natural bodies of water, ultimately ending up in our food supply.
LISTED AS: N/a
Despite these known issues, drugstore and department store brands continue to use many of the above chemicals in their face products. Your clients may not be fully informed of the dangers these ingredients present to their skin and health — be sure to highlight the peace of mind they’ll enjoy using your dermatologist-developed and clinically-tested skincare products.