7 Ingredients You Don't Want In Your Skincare

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We love getting questions from our customers. Sarah from Reading recently asked us “what ingredients should I be avoiding in my skincare?”. This list is a slightly more detailed version of my response to her. (Of course none of these ingredients come anywhere near Myroo products!)

Here are 7 Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare

  1. Alcohol
  2. Pafrum
  3. Sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate
  4. Propylene glycol
  5. Parabens and Methylisothiazolinone (MI)
  6. Artificial Colours
  7. Mineral Oil and Petroleum Jelly


Alcohol is used in skincare products for a number of reasons (primarily as a solvent). It often appears in oily skin products for its astringent properties but it is awful for all skin, including oily skin, as it strips natural oils causing irritations and outbreaks. All alcohols are not created equal, another group of alcohols, known as fatty alcohols are used as emulsifiers and are non drying and well tolerated, cetearyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol are examples and if these are on your label don’t panic.

What to look out for on the label - alcohol, alcohol denat, ethanol, ethyl alcohol.

Absolutely avoid this ingredient if – you have rosacea, acne or oily skin


Look out for the term ‘parfum’, a hide it all for many brands. EU regulations for skincare are the most stringent in the world but ‘parfum’ is a convenient little loophole for some manufacturers, allowing them to hide a whole host of ingredients, provided they can be justified as a fragrance compound. The CosIng database lists 2587 ingredients used for perfuming. It is often used as a coverall for complicated fragrance blends too, which can be irritating for sensitive skin. At Myroo we only use essential oils, these are chosen for their skin benefits and the added benefit of smelling great. We don’t use synthetic fragrance and list all our ingredients in full.

What to look out for on the label – Parfum, perfume, fragrance

Absolutely avoid this ingredient if  - are looking for a genuine, honest green brand and want to know exactly what’s in your skincare. 

Sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate

Used as an emulsifier and surfactant (like a detergent) SLS and it’s close relative SLES are well known irritants with strong links to contact dermatitis. SLS now gets such a bad press that a lot of brands are avoiding it, if it’s in your product there is a good chance that your manufacture isn’t too concerned with nasties, so look out for other must-avoid ingredients too.

What to look out for on the label - Sodium lauryl sulphate, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Dodecyl Sulfate, SLS

Absolutely avoid this ingredient if - you suffer from contact dermatitis. 

Propylene glycol

Used as a solvent by, Propylene Glycol is also skin penetrator which can allow other toxic ingredients to enter the bloodstream. It is irritating to skin, eyes and the respiratory tract. There are strong links between propylene glycol, dermatitis and contact allergies.

What to look for on the label - Propylene glycol, PPG, Propan-1,2diol, Propylenglycolum

Absolutely avoid this ingredient - if you have eczema. 

Parabens & Methylisothiazolinone (MI)

I’ve blogged before about both of these preservatives before, you can read my in depth blog posts here and here. No need to risk products containing ingredients like these in when there are so many alternatives available.

What to look for on the label – Methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone

Absolutely avoid this ingredient – if you are looking for a skincare brand that cares enough to research alternatives.

Artificial Colours

Colour serves no skin benefit by being in your products, it’s just there for marketing purposes. Not all colours are known irritants but many are and the easiest way to avoid them is to choose products with no colour.

What to look for on the label - Look out for ‘CI’ numbers on your labels. For example Yellow 5 Aluminium Lake (known to cause allergic reactions) would be listed as CI19140

Absolutely avoid this ingredient - if you want to avoid products with unnecessary additives.

Mineral Oil & Petroleum Jelly

Mineral oil is used in lots of products because it’s cheap and softens the skin. It’s a petroleum by-product (which sort of says it all) and although it may appear to have short term benefits in the long term it can impair skin function, clogging the pores and drying skin out. It may also cause photosensitivity and can discolour skin. 

What to look for on the label - Paraffinum Liquidium, Mineral Oil, Liquid Paraffin

Absolutely avoid this ingredient – for long term skin health

So, if you want to buy truly natural skincare and avoid big brands greenwashing you into buying their masquerading-as-green products then the only guaranteed way is to talk to the brands you like and ask them about their ethos, we are always happy to answer questions here at Myroo. Double up with being label savvy and you’ll soon be able to side step the hype in your search for the real thing. Shop Myroo 

Rachael x


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