April 15, 2018 3 min read

Your skin is your largest organ & whatever you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Are you inadvertently using products that contain ingredients which could have long-term negative side effects on your body?

Whilst some of these commonly-used ingredients remain approved for use in skincare products, we believe it's important to know what's in the skincare products you use on a daily basis. Like the food we eat, we feel it's best to seek out minimally processed, natural products and even better if these support social and ethical issues.  

Read on to discover why it's so important to know what's in your products and find out the harmful ingredients you should be avoiding.

Mineral oil - a cheap, commonly-used ingredient in many skincare products used as a moisturising agent. It comes from petroleum, a by-product of the crude oil industry which of course is a non-renewable source. It has a tendency to block the skin so if you suffer from ingrown hairs, this should be avoided. What to look for on the label: Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly, Paraffin Oil & Mineral Oil.

Synthetic Preservatives - preservatives are essential for all skin care products in order to give products a shelf-life. Products containing water (aqua) can easily grow bacteria and oil-based products can go rancid over time so a preservative is required. Despite the existence of many natural-based preservatives, many manufacturers still use synthetic preservatives known to cause allergic reactions or which are formaldehyde-releasing and linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions or neurotoxicity. These preservatives can be found in shampoo, conditioner, baby wipes, personal care products, body lotion, blusher, eyeshadow and household cleaning products.

What to look for on the label: methylisothiazolinone (MI), methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT), formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM Hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, and polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, Bromopol, glyoxal.

Parabens - These are synthetic preservatives to prevent the growth of microbes. They are known to disrupt the body's endocrine system. They are commonly found in shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, facial cleansers, body wash and scrubs.

What to look for on the label: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, other ingredients ending in –paraben.

Propylene Glycol (PG) & Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) - These are synthetic petrochemicals used as a humectant (to seal in moisture) and emulsifier (to stabilise the mixing of oil and water). These have been known to cause skin reactions.

What to look for on the label: PEG, Propylene Glycol, PG Propanediol.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - These are surfactants (they create suds) and are found in shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath, toothpaste, face cleansers etc. Not only are they harsh on the skin as they strip the skin's protective layer causing dry skin & irritation, but the chemical process involved to produce SLES creates 1,4-dioxane, a known breast carcinogen. These ingredients are banned for use in cosmetics in Canada.

What to look for on the label: Sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, chemicals that include the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth.

Ethanolamine Compounds - These are emulsifiers, pH adjusters and foaming agents used in shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotions, shaving creams, sunscreen, make-up & household cleaning products. They are a chemical group of amino acids & alcohols and when used with certain preservatives, they can form nitrosamines - known carcinogens. 

What to look for on the label: Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate.

Phthalates - These are chemicals used to help scent linger & also make plastics more pliable. Found in coloured cosmetics, fragranced lotions, body wash, nail & hair care products. They are known to disrupt the endocrine system, interfering with hormonal and metabolism function.

What to look for on the label: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and other ingredients ending in - phthalate.  



Why is this important?

Our skin is semi-permeable and the products we apply travel down into the hair follicle to the deeper layers of skin. When we have a control over the products we choose to apply to our skin, why not avoid those that could potentially harm us?

Plants have been used for hundreds of years to heal the body and enhance wellbeing. In contrast, synthetic products have been used for just over 100 years and little is known about the long-term effects. 

Folli Oil contains only natural, plant-based ingredients, carefully chosen to support healthy skin in a holistic manner. We manufacture in-house in small batches to ensure our products are as fresh as possible. Folli Oil is Vegan and cruelty-free as we love animals.

Even if you don't choose natural beauty, you will at least be more conscious about what you decide to put on your skin. If you have any queries about your skincare products or if you wish to know more about, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.