Beauty News

5 beauty product ingredients to avoid

Ever wonder what’s really in your beauty products? We tell you what five ingredients you should avoid and why.

Words by: Sarah Murray

Photos: Getty Images and Supplied

Styling products

Look out for: Octinoxate.

What is it? It’s an ingredient that will help give hair a long-lasting hold. However, some tests have shown overuse can affect your hormone levels. This can put everything out of whack – from your estrogen levels to your thyroid, which controls digestion, heart and muscle function.

Swap for: Find a styling product that is free from octinoxate which will still give you a strong hold without the potentially harmful side effects.

Try: Davines More Inside This Is A Strong Hold Hairspray, $49; O&M Original Queenie, $40; and Naturica Flexible Control Hair Spray, $30.


Look out for: Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS).

What is it? It’s a foaming agent that’s used in shampoos to remove oil from your scalp. While it can work well for some, if you suffer from eczema or allergies it’s likely SLS will affect your skin because it can dehydrate your scalp and sap moisture from your hair.

Swap for: There are alternatives to SLS – look for ingredients like coco glucoside, disodium glutamate and disodium coco-glucoside. You’ll notice they won’t foam up as much as products with SLS but they’ll still offer a sudsy cleanse.

Try: Davines Naturaltech Wellbeing Shampoo and Conditioner, $42 each.

Body lotion

Look out for: Mineral oil.

What is it? A petrochemical found in a lot of beauty products. The ingredient sits on top of your skin and can block oxygen from getting in, which can lead to blemishes and dehydration.

Try: Trilogy Firming Body Lotion, $30.

Face cream

Look out for: Parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben and ethylparaben).

What are they? They’re all preservatives that help your beauty products to last longer by preventing bacteria growth. There is a theory that the more paraben-containing products you use, the more toxin build-up you can get. And although research has proved ultimately inconclusive, some studies have linked the chemical with increased estrogen levels, which can possibly raise the risk of breast cancer.

Swap for: Alternative preservatives can be used in makeup products. Look out for ingredients such as methylisothiazolinone, phenoxyethanol and benzyl alcohol.

Try: Weleda Evening Primrose Age Revitalising Day Cream, $48.

Body wash

Look out for: Triclosan.

What is it? A synthetic agent used in shower gels, shampoos, tooth-pastes and deodorants. Some studies found this chemical may contribute to the increase of antibiotic resistance.

Swap for: Anything that has plant extracts in it; these have skin-cleaning properties.

Try: Antipodes Namaste Hand and Body Wash, $40. Trilogy Botanical Body Wash, $30.

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