Cosmetic ingredients to avoid

Cosmetics are the best beauty allies, as long as you know the pros and cons of their ingredients: here are which ones to stay away from

There are those who are habitual and cannot do without the cream they have been using for years and there are those who love to change and experiment with new products every time for their beauty routine. In fact, there are so many cosmetics on the market that are increasingly green and of quality resulting from the progress of scientific research, but a good habit that should always be had is to look at the labels of the cosmetics we buy. Something that is not always done, in fact, because you always go in a hurry or because you have difficulty deciphering the various substances. Therefore, first it is important to learn to read the INCI table of cosmetics to recognize harmful ingredients and to avoid.


  • INCI table: how to recognize harmful ingredients
  • Cosmetic ingredients to avoid
    • Petrolati
    • Silicones
    • Preservatives
    • Emulsifiers
    • Surfactants

INCI table: how to recognize harmful ingredients

Most of the cosmetics on the market are reliable and it is not convenient to give rise to the various alarmisms circulating on the web. But it is always good to be aware of the products we use on our skin and in the most sensitive areas of our body. The INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is the list of ingredients that a beauty product contains: from shampoo, shower gel, deodorant, face cream, etc. A little practice is enough to learn how to read the labels correctly, thanks to some tips and advice and first of all taking a look at the INCI table to be able to identify the harmful products that are better than an app do not buy.

Cosmetic ingredients to avoid

If you are not familiar with the INCI table that shows the ingredients (even harmful), all those terms will be indecipherable and you will find yourself relying on the big brand, the latest trend or the product your trendy friend bought. Don't be discouraged! Here is a list of cosmetics with the most harmful elements that are best left alone.


They are known substances, which derive from petroleum refining waste, among them are: Paraffinum liquidum, Mineral Oil, Vaseline, Ceresin, Ozokerite, Petrolatum, which are used for cosmetics because they are much cheaper than vegetable oils and help to give that silky touch characteristic of creams. How to recognize them – literally – by skin? Just apply a cream and if it slips away under water, it means that it remains only on the surface and does not allow the skin to breathe, without really being able to provide adequate hydration. In addition to being ingredients to avoid in creams, you may also find them in make-up, toothpastes and body oils.


The silicones in cosmetics are also derived from petroleum. They are not dangerous to health, but they give a fake beauty to our skin and hair, especially in the long run. They cause blackheads, pimples and enlarged pores, while providing only apparent shine to the hair, because, in reality, they do not really wash the skin but bring dryness and split ends. The presence of silicone in creams is much debated among those who support the technical advantages of greater softness and shine and those who criticize the absence of nutrients and moisturizers.

Silicones include: Dimethicone, Ciclopentasiloxane, Amodimethicone, Dimethiconol, Cyclomethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Poliquaternium-80 and, in general, all ingredients that end with -thicone, -xiloxane, -silanoil. Furthermore, they are not biodegradable, therefore they are polluting products. In addition to creams and hair beauty products, they are also found in make-up (lipsticks, foundations, eye shadows, etc.).


In the world of cosmetics, a variety of chemical preservatives are used in many products. Some are Parabens (all those ending in "-paraben") to avoid as they are potentially carcinogenic, lead to intolerances and can interfere with our hormonal system. They are used because they are very suitable against fungi. Another carcinogenic substance is Formaldehyde which can be found in toothpastes, detergents, nail polishes.

So, if you read one of these names on the label: Formaldheyde, Triclosan, Imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, DMDM ​​Hydantoin, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone … think twice before buying certain products. Other potentially carcinogenic and decidedly polluting preservatives to avoid are Antimicrobiotics, that is synthetic antioxidants such as Butylhydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylhydroxytoluene (BHT).


These are synthetic substances that favor the fluidity of the product. Also reported in the INCI table, PEGs and PPGs are harmful ingredients, especially when mixed with quantities of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are carcinogenic. They are found in creams, gels, detergents and on the label they are reported with the words: Polyethyleneglycole (PEG), Dipolyhydroxystearate, PEG6, PEG20, PEG 75, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Propylen Glycol, Butylen Glycol, Polypropylene Glycol, Ethylene Glycol.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Amonium Lauryl Sulfate, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Magnesium Laureth Sulfate, MEA Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Amonium Laureth Sulfate are non-dangerous chemicals that can dehydrate, producing dryness and hypersensitivity on skin and scalp, being present in shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap and detergents.

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