Good vs. Bad Skin Care Ingredients

In the FIDM beauty program we learn a lot about the dangers of certain ingredients that show up in everyday skin care, cosmetic, and hair care products. All of us regularly slather things on ourselves that are not only damaging to the condition of our skin but, sometimes, to our health entirely. There is a list I need to know for an upcoming final that serves as a guide to the basic good and bad ingredients on the market. I figure since I have to learn it myself, I should share it with all of you so to review and keep safe! If you only have time to skim through the list be sure to read the ingredients with red and yellow labels. This will tell you which ingredients to stay away from to avoid further damaging your skin. Here it is:

Surfactants are most often found in cleansers and shampoos, they are the ingredients that cause the foaming effect and do most of the cleansing. Unfortunately, these ingredients can strip the skin of all of its natural moisture.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate- Bad

Cocamidopropyl Betaine-Bad

Di-sodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate- Be Cautious

Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate-Bad

Emulsifiers are the ingredients that hold cream and lotion products together. They bind the oil and water phases together. Most emulsifiers are perfectly safe but there is one that should be avoided.


Polyethelene Glycol (PEG or PEC)-Bad

Amphoteric 9





An emollient is essentially just a moisturizer. It is the ingredient that prevents water from evaporating off the skin. If you have particularly dry skin and are looking for a product that locks the water in, look out for something with these ingredients.





Phenyl Trimethicone

Ingredient categories begining in “fatty” are all considered to be healthy. Fatty acids, fatty alcohols, and fatty esters all serve important roles in your daily routine without harming the skin or endangering your health. The fatty acids are one of the most healthy ingredients for your skin. They can be consumed or applied topically and can relieve even extreme skin conditions like eczema. The fatty alcohols and esters provide safe cleansing options. If your skin is particularly dry or sensitive try to find products containing these.

Fatty Acid Examples:

Lauric Acid

Stearic Acid

Oleic Acid

Palmitic Acid

Caprylic Acid

Fatty Alcohol Examples:

Lauryl Alcohol

Oleyl Alcohol

Cetyl Alcohol

Stearyl Alcohol

Fatty Ester Examples:

Octyl Palmitate

Glyceryl State

Cetyl Palmirate

Isopropyl Myristate

Okay, you all saw this one coming, preservatives! The most often used preservatives in skin care and cosmetics are always the worst ones for you. We all know now to avoid dangerous parabens but did you know there are others to stay away from? Though a lot should be avoided, there are some good ones that can keep you and your products safe.


DMDM Hydantoin-Bad






Diazolidinyl Urea-Bad

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Tocopherol(Vitamin E)

Sorbic Acid(Vitamin C)

Potassium Sorbate

The next grouping ingredients don’t have much in common other than the fact that they are all great for your skin! Take the time to review product labels and find something that includes some of these ingredients:

Vitamin A, B, C

Zinc Oxide


Alpha Lipoic Acid




Proteolytic Enzymes



Copper Peptides


Now that you’ve reviewed the list, it might be time to look through the products on your vanity and in your shower. If you own things overflowing with bad ingredients it’s time to start throwing them away! I hope this list helped everyone who has been experiencing ingredient concerns, it certainly helped my studying to type all this out!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s