4 skin care ingredients you should be wary of

You know what's in your food, but do you know what you're putting on your face?

skin care ingredients you should be aware of
(Image credit: ALessandro Zeno/IMAXTREE.COM)

You know what's in your food, but do you know what you're putting on your face?

Looking at the ingredients list on the back of your products can be overwhelming. But reading about what you're putting on your face is just as important as reading about the food you're putting in your body. After all, our skin absorbs a whopping 60% of topical products we use. Problem is, unless you're a dermatologist, beauty editor or scientist, it's unlikely you'll know each and every one. There's good news, though. The only ones you need to know are the skin care ingredients you should be aware of. And we've got the low down for you.


Usually found in very small amounts of rinse off products, this ingredient may be responsible for painful skin allergies. According to doctors, small doses are OK, but larger amounts are being found in some products. As with all new skin care, it's best to test the product on a small patch of skin before lathering it on.

Artificial colouring

A pink cream might look pretty, but some dyes can cause problems for your skin. For example, 'yellow 5' has been linked to hypersensitivity. So aim for clear or white products to be on the safe side.

Formaldehyde-based ingredients

Formaldehyde-based preservatives are used in many cosmetic products to help prevent bacteria growth. But, this can lead to sensitivity towards other chemicals.


Many products list fragrance on the label, but very few name the specific ingredients that make up a fragrance. Because they don't have to disclose this information, consumers don't know what's in their product. A lot of these fragrances can be derived from natural sources, which is harmless. However, some artificial fragrances have been linked to a host of skin allergies.

So the next time you go to clean your face with your best cleanser your face or apply your daily moisturiser, make sure you read the label. Not everyone will be sensitive to these ingredients, but if you're one of the very few who are, you could find yourself red, itchy and swollen.

Having trouble finding a moisturiser that won't upset your sensitive skin? This quiz is here to the rescue...

Natalie Lukaitis