Ingredients to Avoid in Your Face Wash

On the market for face wash? We have a tip. Avoid these harmful ingredients in your face wash

Watch out for these harmful ingredients when you're shopping for face wash

Our skin is the largest organ. What we should remember is that whatever we apply to it is directly absorbed into the body. It is due to this very reason why it’s important to know whether the products you are applying to your skin is safe or not.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate skincare products. As a result, almost any ingredient can be incorporated in the formula. While some ingredients are beneficial and can help improve your skin, a few of them can be quite harmful as well. Hence, before buying products such as face wash, you need to be aware of the ingredients that are being used to make them.

In this article, we list the top five ingredients that you should avoid in your face wash for acne, or any other face wash product.


Many of us have the bad habit of using products that smell good. While sweet-smelling face wash can be soothing to the senses, it’s definitely not good for your skin. The term “fragrance“ can represent more than hundreds of chemicals. This combination can cause asthma attacks, allergies, headaches, rashes and so on. In addition to this, they do nothing to make the face wash more effective. It should be noted that synthetic fragrances are mixed with phthalates to stabilize them. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that have the potential to cause birth defects and reproductive problems.

Face wash designed for acne should especially not contain any fragrance as it can irritate and aggravate the skin further.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfates (SLS)

Have you ever thought your skin feels way too clean after using your face wash? If so, you need to replace it as soon as you can!

Our skin naturally produces oils that help to reduce the appearance of signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. Using products containing sulfates strips our face of these oils disrupting the production of oil. This, in turn, will make our skin either too dry or too oily.

Also, sulfates are commonly used in cleaning agents such as dishwashing liquid, carpet cleaners, and other products like Lysol. So yes, avoid products that have SLS as much as you can.


Found in many cosmetics and skincare products, parabens are preservatives that prolong the shelf life of products by preventing the growth of harmful fungi and bacteria in it.

The following parabens should most certainly be avoided:

1. Propyl-

2. Isobutyl-

3. Isopropyl-

4. Butyl-

The presence of parabens like these can harm the working of the endocrine system of our body. Also, there might be reproductive and other developmental issues as well.


Many face washes use alcohol as a base ingredient. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, it makes a few ingredients such as vitamin C and retinol penetrate through the skin membranes more effectively. Secondly, alcohol can make a skincare product that has a thicker consistency to feel light on the skin.

But, since alcohol has an eroding effect on the natural barrier of our skin, it can have a drying and irritating effect as well. It is better to avoid face wash that contains SD alcohol 40, isopropyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol.


The main reason why beauty companies use oil-derived ingredients and petroleum is that they are really easy on the budget. In addition to this, they are odorless and have a longer shelf life. If your face wash contains oil, it can be hydrating but, it can also lead to pore blockage. Ingredients to avoid include paraffin, petrolatum, mineral oil, and butylene glycol.

Experts advise to not opt for oil-based face washes unless you have severely dry skin. Instead, it’s better to buy products that have natural plant oils for nourishment due to their noncomedogenic nature.


Imagine an ingredient that is a common addition to paint primers, fingernail polish remover, and plywood in your face wash. It sounds rather unappealing, doesn’t it?

Well, this is what formaldehyde is. Using it can cause flaky, dry skin as the protective oils of our skin get removed. It can also cause allergic reactions, blisters, and hives. The only reason that beauty companies manage to get away is due to the small amount of addition but still, this is definitely an ingredient to avoid.

Resources— How Stuff WorksLuce

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