There are many organic and natural companies that still slip these ingredients into their products, so I always check before I buy. This is a short list of the ingredients I actively avoid.
This is a silicon oil and it’s exceptionally effective at providing that silky, smooth feeling when you spread a product over your skin. It also forms a protective layer over your skin and can fill in pores and fine lines. The protective layer it creates doesn’t allow your skin to function properly e.g. breathe or sweat. It also traps bacteria, dirt and sweat to your pores. While it’s sitting on top of your skin, it doesn’t actually penetrate and nourish your skin. Not that you would want it to. It is non-biodegradable.
I avoid this ingredient because of it’s tendency to cause pimples on my skin. I feel it clogging my pores and because I have oily skin, I need it to be able to breathe.
Bismuth oxychloride is manufactured by combining bismuth, a by-product of lead and copper metal refining, with chloride (chlorine compound) and water. It has a distinct shimmery, pearlescent appearance, good for refracting light and adding glow. It also adheres well to skin, increasing longevity. While it looks like a fine, white powder, it’s individual particles are actually crystalline and when buffed into the skin can stick into pores and cause irritation.
This is what happens to me. It makes my already sensitive skin more sensitive.
Talc is white, fluffy inert mineral that acts as a great filler in makeup, because it is cheap. Cosmetic grade talc, has been proven to be clear of asbestos contamination, so I won’t go into that whole argument.
The issue that I have is that it causes those huge, under the skin pimples that hang around for days.
This is a glycol ether that is used as a preservative. It is considered gentler than most and also does not release formaldehyde. There is normally less than 1% added to a product, so it’s ability to affect the user is considered minimal.
The last time I used a face cleaner that had Phenoxyethanol, it caused little red bumps to appear all over my face.
Fragrance (Synthetic or natural):
You’ll notice that in my reviews, I always comment on the smell. This is only because I have an exceptionally sensitive sense of smell that is easily overwhelmed, regardless of whether it’s synthetic or an essential oil.
Think of of a smell, maybe it’s cigarette smoke, or laundry detergent, a perfume, or even a food that you can’t stand. All you want to do, is escape it. That’s how I feel when I smell fragrance or essential oils. It has stopped me from using products that I would love to finish.
I wish more companies would describe what particular scent they have added to their products. It can be either pleasant, or irritating. It’s all part of the experience and it would save people money if they knew prior to buying the product.
This one is purely a personal preference, as I don’t react adversely to the ingredient itself.
Carmine is produced by crushing the cochineal insect to a powder and extracting the colour. So far, there is no other way to obtain that vibrant deep red hue and I understand why companies chose to add it. Organic makeup is an alternate to conventional makeup, and it simply couldn’t compete if it were impossible to recreate the colours, textures and performance of its counterpart. Companies need to create the specific colours to meet demands.
However, this one I don’t mind passing on. I don’t feel that I’m missing out since there are so many amazing products out there. Furthermore, I find it hard to justify that an insect should be crushed up, for no other reason than for me to look good.
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
I have nothing good to say about vegetable oil. It’s cheap, and it’s so over processed that it might as well be synthetic. There is nothing nourishing left it in. Furthermore, considering they don’t have to disclose their source or the chemicals they use to process it, how can you ever really be sure of what you’re receiving?
Another personal preference, but as the purity of Lanolin cannot always be guaranteed, I’d rather go without. It is secreted from sheep’s wool and collected from them when they are sheered. The biggest issue, is how the sheep are treated before it’s harvested. Conventional farmers need to spray their wool with pesticides to prevent pests from infesting them. While the lanolin does goes through a purification process, this involves more chemicals and the extent of the purification varies from factory to factory.
Palm Oil (or Anything Derived from Palm Oil)
The demand for palm oil drives the destruction of habitat mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia, but also Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. While the media focuses on the plight of the orangutan, in reality there are over 300,000 different animals found throughout the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra alone. The deforestation takes away their habitat, gives easier access to poachers and forces them into villages. Many animals are injured, killed, even buried alive as the machines and workers tear through their home.
None of the major corporations who run the projects care about the animals, and that treatment extends to the villagers they employ. The industry has been linked to human rights violations, including child labour, degrading work conditions and little pay. The corporations know that whatever pay they are given, they rely on, so they have no choice but to suffer the conditions.
The development of sustainable palm oil agriculture is growing, but it is not popular enough to compete with the sheer volume the conventional one provides.
If you want to avoid palm oil, or ingredients derived from palm oil, then be thorough when checking the ingredients because it can be listed almost 200 different ways. The easiest ones to spot are the ingredients that end with palmitate (such as: Isostearyl Palmitate, Ethylhexyl Palminate and so on).
Please refer to this list for more names it can be listed under: Palm Oil Investigations.
Companies will proudly state whether they are palm oil free. Otherwise there are sustainable and ethical sources of palm oil. To be 100% sure, check with the respective company.
I don’t want to contribute to the demand of such a corrupt and destructive industry. Not purchasing these products is the best way of saying no.