Understanding Ingredients in Our Well-loved Products

bad ingredients, ingredients in skin care,

Sodium Lauryl sulfate, carrageenan, propylene glycol, and fragrance. These are some common terms found on ingredient lists of well-loved products. When reading them, it feels trivial because we don’t understand them and our purchasing decisions very rarely come from product ingredients.

We clean, brush, and moisturise our body every day. Like food, it has become vital to learn what is in our products because these ingredients can have lasting effects on our health and wellbeing.

What are Some Key Ingredients Found in Personal Care Products that I Should Avoid?


Where They are Found

Why is it Bad?

What Alternatives Can I Use?

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) 
Additive that creates foam in cleansing products

Body wash, Soap, Shampoo, Toothpastes, Laundry detergent, Acne treatments Irritates the skin and creates canker sores. When combined with other chemicals, it can become a carcinogen and cause organ damage. SLS is therefore linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, and endocrine disruption. Choose natural products or those that say “SLS Free
A chemical that prevents bacteria growth
Body wash, Soap, Shampoo, Toothpastes, Laundry detergent, Acne treatments Mimics estrogen in the body that can influence the growth of breast tumour cells. Choose natural products or those that are parabens-free
Propylene glycol 
A byproduct of fossil fuel made from the combination of propene and water
Moisturisers, Lotions, Deodorant, Shampoo, Baby wipes Skin problems include irritation, inhibition of growth, and cell damage. Because of its absorption in the blood, there is some evidence of kidney toxicity, neurological symptoms, and cardiovascular symptoms. Choose natural products without Propylene glycol
Chemical that scents products
Body wash, Soap, Moisturiser, Shampoo, Sunscreen, Cleansers, Toothpaste, Laundry detergent A single fragrance can have more than 150 chemicals and is linked with cancer, skin irritants, birth defects, and neurological issues. Commonly used chemicals to make a fragrance include petroleum (or crude oil), benzene derivatives (carcinogenic), and aldehydes. Choose natural products without fragrance
Antibacterial and antifungal agent
Body wash, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash Alters hormone regulation with some evidence that it contributes to antibiotic-resistant germs and harm to the immune system. Choose natural products without triclosan
Retinyl Palmitate - 
A form of vitamin A, it is used for its effectiveness against wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
Anti-aging products, sunscreen One large experiment found when applied to sunlight on the skin, retinyl palmitate accelerated tumour growth.Studies found retinyl palmitate induces oxidative stress in pregnant and baby rats. If retinyl palmitate must be in products, ensure it is no more than 1%. When choosing a sunscreen, use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Material Safety Data Sheet