7 Worst Ingredients for Your Skin ...

Just as it's super important to feed your body with healthy food, it's also crucial to feed your skin with nutrients, and you may be surprised to learn that your skincare products could contain the worst ingredients for your skin! The more natural and chemical-free your skincare is, the better it is for you and your body, which absorbs more than half of what is applied topically! With that in mind, here are the 7 worst ingredients for your skin.

1. Parabens

These synthetic preservatives are bought on the cheap, which is why so many brands purchase them to preserve their products. The bad news is that parabens are one of the worst ingredients for your skin. They have been linked to cancer in some studies, and are proven endocrine disruptors (which is a fancy way of saying they are harmful to the immune systems, reproductive systems, and neurological systems of humans and wildlife). Best to steer clear of letting parabens anywhere near your precious skin!

2. Water

Weird, right? I know, but it's true. Water isn't exactly bad for your skin (so don't freak out if you use water when you wash your face) but water-based products aren't doing it any favours. This is because water acts as a hydrating agent only temporarily, and once it evaporates, the effects of its hydration diminish, returning skin to its dry or wrinkled state. But wait, there's more! Many brands fill their skincare products with water, up to 80%! This means you could be paying for high-end skincare that consists mostly of water and not enough beneficial ingredients. Stick to brands that base their skincare around ingredients like coconut oil or Shea butter and you'll see longevity in your skin's hydration.

3. Formaldehyde (and Formaldehyde-releasing Preservatives)

Can you imagine? Gross! But seriously, you'll find this nestled deep within the labels of many shampoos and body washes. This is bad news because this ingredient and its associated preservatives are linked to cancer and severe allergic reactions! Ouch!

4. Petrolatum

Otherwise known as mineral oil jelly, and even more widely known as petroleum jelly, this nasty little toxin is yet another ingredient that is said to be associated with cancer, skin irritation and allergies. No thanks!

5. Fragrance

This is a tricky one, because fragrance itself isn't actually an ingredient. It's used as an umbrella term to cover many mystery substances (up to hundreds!), without having to account for what they are. This means that when you use a product containing fragrance, it's impossible to tell what you're actually putting on your skin, unless the source of the fragrance is natural and clearly spelled out on the label. Scary stuff!

6. BHA (butylated Hydroxyanisole)

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, this synthetic antioxidant may very well be carcinogenic, not to mention it is yet another endocrine disruptor! Yikes!

7. PEG (polyethylene Glycol)

With the potential to be contaminated with proven carcinogenics 1, 4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, this chemical is known for its softening and moisturizing ability, and is often found in creamy beauty products like facial moisturizers. PEGs also cause your skin to absorb more, allowing toxins easier access to your bloodstream. Next, please!

With so many safe and beneficial alternatives to the worst ingredients for your skin, going green is a no-brainer! Some of my favourite brands that do not use any of these ingredients in their products are: Celtic Complexion, Delizioso Skincare and Tastyface Organics. What are some of your favourite nontoxic skincare products?