What Ingredients To Avoid In Beauty Products

Emma’s top tips for checking the ingredients in the beauty aisle…

1. One natural ingredient in a product doesn’t make it all natural – Ingredient order on a label is an indication of the quantity of that ingredient. Look and see what percentage of the product is actually made up of natural ingredients.

2. Understand the difference between ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ – a product labeled ‘organic’ only needs to contain as little as 70% organic ingredients. That means up to 30% of the ingredients could be anything but organic or even natural – and could include the very ingredients the consumer was hoping to avoid by buying organic in the first place. Trust products that back up their organic claim with certification from a reputable body.

3. Be wary of trade-marked or brand names using ‘natural’ in the name – having natural in the name doesn’t guarantee the product will contain natural ingredients.

4. Be aware of the language – Just because an ingredient has a long or scientific sounding name doesn’t mean it’s a chemical. Find out more about the ingredients if you aren’t sure.

5. Watch out for phrases like ‘nature inspired’ or ‘made with’ natural or organic ingredients – This kind of language allows manufacturers to position their products as natural or organic without having to include high levels of natural or organic ingredients.

6. There are certain ingredients that should NEVER be used in a product labeled natural – Watch out for these:

  • Parabens
  • Glycols
  • Sulphates (sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate etc – and no, ammonium lauryl sulphate isn’t better, in fact, it can be even more irritating than SLS)
  • Petrochemicals (petrolatum/mineral oil/ paraffin)
  • Phthalates
  • Chemicals in sunscreens (oxybenzone/avobenzone)


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