Health

This Skin Care Ingredient Could Be Hurting Your Skin Instead of Helping

A little self-care can go a long way; there are many skincare products that you should start using immediately while others you want to avoid at… Trista - March 11, 2022

A little self-care can go a long way; there are many skincare products that you should start using immediately while others you want to avoid at all costs. You should always read the label of things you put in your body and on your skin. There might be just one ingredient wreaking havoc, and you don’t even realize it. If you want to reverse the hands of time, or at least pause them for a few years, you need to pay more attention to what you are washing your face with or rubbing on your skin.

What you eat will also come out through your skin. From skincare products to food, you can learn what ingredients are healthy for your skin and what ones you never want to use again. Keep reading to learn what elements you should drop and which ones you can add to your skincare routine or diet to make your skin look years younger. 

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40. Add Grape Tree Oil to Your Skincare Routine

A familiar ingredient in many skincare products, grape seed oil is a natural wonder. After squeezing the grapes and extracting the critical wine ingredient, the seeds contain this oil. It has loads of antioxidants, and linoleic acid reduces acne problems, so it is popular in many moisturizers because it heals while retaining moisture. Grape seed oil also appears in eye cream products because of its anti-inflammatory properties. One of the best perks about the ingredients is that it does not leave residue on the skin (via Cleveland Clinic).

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39. Hydrate Your Skin with Hyaluronic Acid

It is no secret that you need water to survive. When adequately hydrated, you have your own way about you, your own glow. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that could rejuvenate your skin because it holds a thousand times its weight when it comes to water. The body creates its own hyaluronic acid, and a healthy dose can help your skin retain moisture and prevent it from evaporating. Add a hyaluronic acid serum to your routine, especially in the summer and fall months, and you will see a dramatic increase in your skin (via Cleveland Clinic).  

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38. Try Sugar Cane and Milk for Your Skin

If you are looking for the kind of skin that illuminates, you may want to consider a sweet addition to your regime. Look no further than the breakfast table. Glycolic acid and lactic acid come from sugar cane, while lactic acid comes from milk. Together these acids work to rid the body of dead skin cells and reveal newer skin underneath the muck. Another benefit? They also can cure common cosmetic problems by increasing collagen production and skin thickness, treating mild acne problems, and reducing wrinkles (via Medicine Net).

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37. Renew Your Skin with Vitamin A

One of the most widely used skin care ingredients is Vitamin A because this universal nutrient is effective for all skin types. The wonderful benefits include promoting skin renewal, boosting collagen production in your skin, and reducing visible acne problems. Experts also state that Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant to help you diminish the various fine lines and wrinkles as well as reverse the adverse effects of sun damage. You are going to enjoy the benefits of having youthful-looking skin healthily (via Proven).

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36. Allow Argan Oil to Create Youthful Skin

The plant oil derived from the argan tree kernels has several benefits that you wouldn’t even think could come from such a place. It has several vitamins, including Vitamin E, ferulic acid, carotenoids, and a well-balanced ratio between oleic and linoleic acid. This means this oil acts as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent to prevent and treat signs of sun damage. It can also assist in skin healing and moisturizing while reducing wrinkles, fine lines, scarring, and stretch marks. The argan oil is best for those with normal to oily skin, and anyone with dehydrated skin may opt for coconut oil instead (via Proven).

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35. Reverse the Signs of Aging with Green Tea

Is there anything that green tea can’t fix? Not only is it a healthy and refreshing beverage, but green tea has several benefits for your skin as well. This powerful antibacterial agent can treat acne and unclog your pores. Plus, concentrated Vitamin C can give off antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These anti-aging benefits include reducing sun damage, protecting skin from cancer, and decreasing collagen breakdown. This is all thanks to the polyphenols, a type of flavonoid found in some plants to treat infections (via WebMD).

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34. Add Vitamin C Into Your Skincare Routine

Green tea is not the only place to get your recommended dose of Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is a top quality in skincare products. Because it absorbs quickly, Vitamin C stabilizes and creates collagen to aid in the anti-aging process. How? Because Vitamin C thickens the dermis and helps you have firmer younger-looking skin. When you use Vitamin C, you can use it as an antioxidant to repair UV damage, reduce hyperpigmentation, and even your skin tone. You can reverse quite a bit of aging and have youthful skin with the help of such a nutrient (via Proven). 

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33. Enrich Your Skin with Vitamin E

The oil-soluble antioxidant Vitamin E can provide a plethora of skin benefits as it helps to hydrate and heal most topical afflictions. It is no wonder that Vitamin E has been an essential ingredient in dermatology for more than 50 years. The nutrient protects the skin from such disastrous effects as solar radiation and inflammation. Plus, it works well with Vitamin C, as you can find both in several serums and creams. Word to the wise, though: if you have very sensitive or acne-prone skin, you may want to steer clear of Vitamin E (via Medicine Net).

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32. Increase Barriers with Vitamin B3

When used in skincare, Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, can offer a host of advantages for your skin. Those benefits include increased elasticity, decreased redness, and a strengthened skin barrier. You will also notice a more even skin tone and reduced inflammation. You can see the result pretty quickly. One study found that patients noticed a significant reduction in pigmentation and age spots only four weeks after the topical treatment. If you are prone to acne, you use Vitamin B3, as the nutrient may help prevent pimples from developing. That is something to have in your arsenal (via Proven).

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31. Detoxify Your Skin with Algae Extracts 

It may seem odd, but alga is a go-to ingredient for many beauty products. All kinds of algae contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, and red algae produce significant moisture. Another component – spirulina – has cleansing properties that help you retain smooth and hydrated skin. The astaxanthin extracted from red microalgae packs a punch that is 150 times stronger than Vitamin E. Algae extract is excellent for preventing dry skin and combatting eczema, psoriasis, and acne (via Proven).

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30. Try Licorice Extract for Youthful Skin

It is incredible what a little bit can do for your skin. Licorice extract can be quite the treat for your skin. It is one of the best natural ingredients because of its anti-inflammatory properties, and the plant can be a great way to treat redness and rosacea. The result is less irritation, itching, and overall redness. Studies prove that licorice extract can reduce uneven pigmentation while blocking melanin production. Are you tired of your tired look? Licorice extract in eye treatments can lighten dark undereye circles, and this improvement will help you look refreshed and relaxed (via Everyday Health).

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29. Eat Red Produce for Healthy Skin

Everyone knows that if you eat well, you feel well. But one thing that is not so widely broadcast is that the same foods in your produce aisle can also benefit your skin. Red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables are essential to healing wounds and protecting you against sun damage, and they can also encourage the turnover of cells. Some skin care lines are using carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins in their products to help customers achieve youthful-looking skin (via Everyday Health).

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28. Reduce Skin Irritations with Oatmeal 

Oats are good for heart health, and they can also be great for your skin. There is plenty of research to back this claim. Colloidal oatmeal is one of the few natural ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat skin irritations and common ailments, like eczema, dry skin, poison ivy, and insect bites. The food contains lipids and proteins that replenish the skin barrier and maintain its shape. Oat also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals beneficial to your skin (via WebMD).

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27. Brighten Dull Skin with Soy 

Soy-based products are an especially perfect option for anyone needing an alternative to prescription skin products. This ingredient can help make your skin look brighter and much more even toned. Topical treatment in a daily skin routine has also lightened discoloration caused by melasma and sun damage. Soy is so powerful because of the antioxidant compound isoflavones, which helps diminish the signs of aging. Adding soy-heavy foods to your diet can increase your chance for a more youthful appearance (via Everyday Health).

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26. Soothe Your Skin with the Wildflower Willow Herb

The wildflower willow herb may have the cure to help all that ails your skin. The Willow Herb can do wondrous things. Its unique anti-irritant and natural antiseptic properties can soothe several common skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. One of the herb’s tiny flowers can kill Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria known to cause acne. Willow Herb can help you clean your pores, making it an excellent ingredient for a face cleanser. Other anti-inflammatory advantages include being ideal for sensitive skin (via Everyday Health).

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25. Control Oil with Witch Hazel 

One home remedy that works remarkably well is witch hazel. It is an ingredient found in many toners and moisturizers that control oil while still offering hydrating results. Witch hazel is also great at reducing redness and helping bruises, swelling, and sores to heal. Because it is rich in tannins, a natural plant compound, witch hazel acts as a powerful antioxidant that can also protect your skin from external damage. You should take note that most astringents with witch hazel also contain alcohol, which can strip your skin of its moisture. So, if you need to control your skin oil but still maintain moisture, choose an alcohol-free product (via Everyday Health).

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24. Refresh with Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a popular ingredient in skincare. It soothes and hydrates skin while providing a host of benefits. While not a miraculous cure by any means, you can feel some instant relief from sunburn with its refreshing effects. Aloe vera has vitamins B, B2, B6, C, and several other items. It also has antioxidants and enzymes that help it qualm inflammation. How it can help you with your acne depends on the condition. Because aloe vera works best on superficial surface acne, you should talk with your dermatologist before you try to use it on cystic or deeper pimple problems (via Cleveland Clinic).

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23. Help Make Collagen with Tamanu 

If you need a universal skin healer, consider the Tamanu nut oil, trusted for centuries. It promotes new tissue growth that could assist in reversing many skin conditions, including eczema and scarring. In addition to wound healing, the oil can reduce inflammation and scars and ease minor burns and sunburns. Several studies have proven just how powerful tamanu oil is in helping patients look and feel better (via HuffPost).

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22. Strengthen Skin with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a popular health ingredient, and there have been increasingly more research supporting it as a top topical soother. The oil has natural anti-inflammatory agents, and the fatty acids act as nourishing agents that hydrate and protect the skin. You can also use it as a scalp treatment for your hair. Another added benefit? You will smell like you just came from a beach vacation. While it is helpful, it may not work for every skin type. Talk to your doctor before adding coconut oil to your regime if you have acne-prone skin (via Byrdie).

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21. Moisturize with Olive Oil

Olive oil is a rich moisturizer and antioxidant ingredient that can help slow down the signs of aging. Olive oil has many vitamins and nutrients, and several studies have linked it to moisturization and relief from sun damage. The versatile olive oil can be used on the skin as its own or as part of a skincare product, like facial cleansers or lotions. Olive oil gets this advantage because it is highly concentrated with squalene, especially compared to other fats and oils that humans normally eat. You can also use olive oil to kill off the bacteria that causes acne. Talk with your dermatologist if you have sensitive skin or have a case of dermatitis, as olive oil might not be the best choice for your condition (via HuffPost).

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20. Ditch Skincare Products with Carbon Black

The Food and Drug Administration added carbon black as one of its banned toxic ingredients. Despite this effort, you can find this product in some cosmetic products. Carbon black is a black powder used in eyeliner, mascara, and eyelash glue, among other items. Aimed at giving you a dark and sleek appearance, it is not necessarily a health concern in small doses. But some studies reveal that carbon black is linked to causing cancer and harmful lung function in healthy individuals (via Conscious Life and Style). 

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19. Try Not to Use Any Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly is in lotions and other skincare products. While it acts as a moisturizing agent, the product is unharmful if the mineral oil is refined property. But the United States has a commonplace practice not to refine most mineral oils as properly as they need to be. This creates the potential for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are both carcinogens and skin irritants (via Conscious Life and Style). 

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18. Skip Skincare Products with Oxybenzone

In sunscreens, oxybenzone absorbs ultraviolet rays and causes a chemical reaction and energy absorption. Scientists need to conduct more research, but some studies have shown that oxybenzone has been found to interfere with hormones. Hawaii has even banned the ingredient from sunscreens because of the potentially harmful effects on the coral reef, as the bleaching properties have caused significant problems on marine life (via Conscious Life and Style).

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17. Stop Using Anything with Formaldehyde

The colorless and strong-smelling gas used in building materials and household products has even found itself in cosmetic products. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen because its long-lasting preservative properties can help extend shelf life. Products may contain the ingredient or be filled with formaldehyde-releasing substances. Formaldehyde can cause skin irritations and some allergic reactions. These potential items include shampoo, soaps, lotions, and others. It is pretty prevalent. The FDA states that nearly one in five products may contain a substance that generates formaldehyde (via Conscious Life and Style). 

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16. Check the Label for Phthalates

Fragranced lotions and nail polishes carry phthalates, a group of chemicals used to make more flexible plastics that are also harder to break. The benefit of this ingredient is to reduce cracking and make them less brittle in polishes. Studies show that phthalates disrupt the endocrine and develop cancer in some patients. Bypassing phthalate products, DEP, DBP, DEHP, and fragrance can help you avoid harmful ingredients (via Conscious Life and Style).

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15. Avoid 1,4-Dioxane

The chemical 1,4-Dioxane is often in products that create suds like shampoo, liquid soap, and laundry detergent. You can also find it in toothpaste, hair dye, and deodorants. It is a byproduct of other common ingredients mixed during the manufacture of the skincare product. They have not tested it on humans, but some scientists believe it could be a carcinogen and a toxic respiratory ingredient in humans, even in small doses (via Conscious Life and Style).

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14. Throw Away Skincare Products with Triclosan

An antimicrobial ingredient in antibacterial soap, triclosan, is linked to harming thyroid and reproductive hormones. Several countries ban triclosan. While the United States has moved to keep it from being included in antiseptic soap, you can find it in other products, including mouthwash, deodorant, shaving cream, and toothpaste (via Byrdie).

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13. Ignore Anything with Ethanolamine

You can find ethanolamine in several makeup products, including foundation, mascara, and skincare lines. These compounds are safe for cosmetic use, but some allergens could cause problems for those who are sensitive to specific ingredients. Some of those allergens include monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), or triethanolamine (TEA). Consult with your dermatologist if you believe you may be reacting to one of the products you are using (via Byrdie).

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12. Steer Clear of Toluene

The chemical toluene may also be known as Butylated Hydroxytoluene or BHT. You must avoid this chemical because studies link it with brain toxicity. Furthermore, it is hazardous for pregnant women. While Europe, Southeast Asia, and a few retailers in the United States bane toluene, products with the chemical are still on the shelves. Look at your hair dye, nail polish, and nail treatment boxes to ensure they do not include this harmful chemical (via Byrdie). 

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11. Watch Out for PFAs and PFCs

Fragrances can be problematic, and the chemicals inside the bottle could be one of the thousands of PFS. These fluorinated chemicals are in sunscreens, hair products, and shaving creams. Studies link them to several serious health problems, including cancer, thyroid disease, and reduced effectiveness from vaccines. If you like waterproof mascara or eyeliner, keep an exceptionally watchful eye. PFCs are in these products because of how they repel water (via Chemical Safety Facts).

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10. Be Mindful of Parabens

Parabens are preservatives often used in a variety of cosmetics. It has been listed as a well-known ingredient to avoid due to a research paper that uncovered traces of parabens in breast cancer tissue samples. But parabens in their current form are still considered safe to use, and since cosmetics only utilize such a small amount, the concentrations are seemed to be not that harmful. Still, parabens in that amount may irritate those who have sensitive skin (via Byrdie).

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9. Avoid Overusing Alcohol

Several skincare products use different kinds of alcohol for various purposes. While for many, it acts as a preservative, some use it to help tighten skin and reduce the appearance of pores. You can find alcohol in toners, soaps, and cleansers, and they tend to be very harsh and could cause overdrying. Alcohols like ethanol, isopropanol, and propanol are the ones that are most irritating for your skin. If a product lists alcohol as its top ingredient, chances are it may cause damage to your complexion (via Insider).

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8. Rid Yourself of Retinol

Retinol is also known as a synthetic form of Vitamin A, and you can find it in a number of anti-aging skincare products, such as moisturizers and lotions. An FDA study revealed that retinoid ingredients in some products might speed up the development of skin tumors and lesions, especially on skin with daily sun exposure. In other patients, retinol causes skin irritation and photosensitivity. Regardless, you should talk with your doctor before you start using any product (via Cleveland Clinic).

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7. Skip Any Skincare Products with SLS and SLES

Shampoos, body washes, and bubble baths may contain SLS, a foam booster and cleaning agent that is proven to irritate the skin. It can also be detrimental to the eyes and lungs. Some experts warned about SLS causing non-reproductive organ toxicity in repeated use. SLES is another problem in that it may contain the known carcinogen 1,4-dioxane (via Insider).

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6. Take Triclosan and Triclocarban Out of Your Skincare Routine

You can find antimicrobial agents like triclosan and triclocarban in liquid soap, soap bars, and toothpaste, but the preservative ingredients are also known to show up in household cleaners. Some users have complained about skin and lung irritation. Furthermore, research suggested that repeated exposure to these products could cause bioaccumulation and toxicity in the reproductive and non-reproductive organ systems (via FDA).

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5. Bypass Any Skincare Products with Coal Tar

Coal tar can be a minor problem or a big problem. It is a byproduct of the coal process, and it is known to be a dangerous substance that could cause cancer, skin allergies, and respiratory problems. You can find this substance in hair dyes and anti-dandruff shampoos. While some people can use this medicated ingredient without serious side effects, others have had long-term problems along the hair follicle, a condition known as tar acne. You should contact your physician if you see any skin bumps or acne in treated areas where you used the product (via cancer.gov).

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4. Stay Away from EDTA

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, also known as EDTA, is a binding agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. It also decreases metal ions in the products from reactivating. There are more than 50 cosmetic ingredients that use the chemical. Experts consider it a relatively low risk, but some side effects include skin, eyes, and lung irritations. EDTA could also be toxic to your organs. Consult with your dermatologist if you see any complications from using a product that contains this chemical (via Byrdie).

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3. Don’t Use Skincare Products with Fragrances

If you find yourself with sensitive and frequently dry skin, you may want to reconsider some of the products you are using. Many with fragrances could be causing some of the side effects, including stinging, burning, and redness. Your skin can also change over time, and the same products you used in the past may cause flare-ups as you get older. Once you drop the fragrance in your daily skincare routine, you will see that losing the scents makes perfect sense. Are you missing a signature smell? A little spritz on the wrists, and you will barely notice that your moisturizers do not carry a scent (via PopSugar).

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2. Avoid an Ingredient Called Hydroquinone

A commonly found ingredient in over-the-counter medications, skin lightening products, and fragrances, hydroquinone may cause some minor skin issues. High concentrations cause skin inflammation toxic or shocking effects on melanocytes, forcing them to regroup to increase melanin production. As a result, it causes rebound hyperpigmentation. Other significant side effects include redness in the skin, burning, stinging, dryness, cracks, blisters, and bleeding (via Cleveland Clinic).

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1. Leave Lead Out of Your Skincare Products

It may seem like an urban legend, but several studies have found lead in cosmetic products. This impurity usually includes lipsticks, blushes, eye shadows, compact powders, and body lotions. The FDA has been working to limit cosmetics with unsafe lead levels, but there has not been a safe level identified. A few studies have found that the skin could absorb lead, and lead dust can also get on clothes and in your hair. High levels of lead can cause severe damage to the kidneys, blood, and nervous system (via Byrdie). 

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