Ingredients You Should Avoid Adding to Your Product Line | SMH Branding

On your path to making non-toxic product line, you may discover tons of harmful chemicals in your own favorite beauty products.

It’s virtually impossible to remember every single one of them, but it’s important to learn at least some before you slather them on your customer's hair and skin.

When developing products, make sure to look out for these four toxic ingredients in beauty products.

#1. Polyethylene glycols (PEGs)

One of the ingredients you might want to stay away from is polyethylene glycols (PEGs). PEGs are synthetic petrochemicals commonly used in skincare and hair color products as thickeners, softeners, and solvents. They help enhance the absorption of ingredients into the skin, including the harmful ones. They have the potential to disrupt the skin’s and hair’s natural moisture balance, thus altering the surface tension of the skin or hair. PEGs often come contaminated with toxic impurities. 

#2. Parabens

Parabens are a family of synthetic esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid that share similar molecular structures and are widely used as preservatives. Parabens are preservatives used widely for cosmetic and personal care products. Many health-conscious clients put this ingredient on top of their list of things to avoid, and rightfully so.  They have been found to affect estrogen levels, potentially impacting female reproductive health.

They give products a longer shelf life, but they become toxic when applied. As soon as they come in contact with the skin, they easily penetrate the body and enter the bloodstream.

#3. Perfume 

We all love the appealing scent of cosmetic products, don’t we? Unfortunately, fragrances are only listed as ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ on the label, but they are a complex mixture of many chemicals, which are not disclosed. Perfume are one of the most toxic things you can put on your skin. You can easily detect this ingredient as some companies usually list it as “fragrance.”

The scary thing about this ingredient is no one exactly knows its component as companies are not required to disclose the chemicals they mixed to create the scent. Some of them are used to make the fragrance linger in the air, causing other people allergic to synthetic perfume to feel ill. 

#4. Silicones

Silicones are synthetically made polymers with structural backbone made of silicon and oxygen atoms. They have a unique, powdery dry skin feeling with an amazing slip, that’s the reason they are the main ingredients in makeup primers and foundations. They can also work as occlusive in moisturizers and body butters (where they lessen the greasy feeling on the skin). Silicones are popular in hair care products as well, they are conditioning and detangling, plus they provide shine, which is why they are basic ingredients of hair oils.

Maybe you’ve heard silicones ‘suffocate skin’ and prevent other ingredients from penetrating into the skin. That is not true. However, besides making the hair feel silky smooth and dry faster, they do not have any other benefits for it (like rejuvenating antioxidants and vitamins) – they make the hair look healthier and nicer, but that is just a temporary effect, they do not actually nourish the hair. They can also cause product build-up on your scalp, so if you use them very frequently, clarifying shampoo is a must.

This Is Not About Fear

Knowledge is power—and you can feel good about taking steps to better understand exactly what you’re putting in your beauty products. Think of this list as a jumping-off point for anyone curious about learning more about sketchy ingredients and clean beauty as whole. We recommend doing your own research on all of the ingredients above, then making a decision that feels right for you.

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