Tag Archives: Ingredients to Avoid

Skip These Ingredients

If you’re reasonably skin-savvy, you probably know that the foods you eat can definitely impact the quality of your skin. But even armed with this knowledge, it can be hard to navigate the world of nutrition effectively, as the do’s and don’ts can start to feel overwhelmingly complex. Thankfully, we’ve got your back, as we’re about to go through a simple, short and sweet, easy to remember list of food ingredients to avoid. Just take a quick look at the list, skin the ingredients list of any food you’re getting, and you’re golden!

Sugar

Sugar
This includes types of sugar that masquerade under a different name and aren’t required to be labeled as “sugar.” To be fair, there’s a legitimate reason for this; molecularly, they are not the same thing. In fact, sugars are a diverse type of molecule in the carbohydrate family that includes sucrose, glucose, maltose, and lactose, to name just a few. That said, all sugar ultimately gets processed by our bodies into glucose, so most sugars have the same effect on us regardless (with some exceptions). To avoid sugars in your foods, look for “sugar,” “high fructose corn syrup,” “corn syrup,” etc, and keep in mind that ingredients which contain sugar do not have to list this fact in many cases. Really, the nutrition facts panel is the most reliable here; just see how many grams, if any, of sugars are in your food.

Sugar is dehydrating, and too much of it can cause weight gain, both of which will show in your face, not to mention your general health. You do need a little of it in your diet, but you usually meet your requirement easily without adding any for no good reason.

Alcohol
Alcohol in moderation is okay. If you’re having a glass of wine once a night, that’s fine; what we’re talking about is what happens if you overdo it. Not only can over-consumption of alcohol be incredibly habit-forming, potentially leading to full blown alcoholism and destroying your liver (you kind of need that thing, by the way), but even just overdoing it a little can risk dehydrating yourself. This is dangerous to your overall health, and will also manifest on your skin in the form of dull, rough, scratchy skin.

Sodium

Sodium
Sodium is most commonly consumed through sodium chloride, aka table salt, but you can get it from other sources too, like soy sauce. A small amount of sodium is necessary for proper cardiovascular function, but too much can cause high blood pressure, in addition to promoting fluid retention, which can make your skin look puffy and unflattering. The flip-side is, if you cut back on sodium intake, you may notice you loose a lot of “water weight,” that was being retained in body salts.

Over-Processed Foods
This is a broad catch-all category that includes such things as pre-packaged foods, fast food, instant foods, etc, etc. Basically, if it comes in a box and requires little work to prepare, there’s a chance it’s over-processed.

Of course, this isn’t automatically a bad thing. It really depends. The effects of food additives in processed foods are still being studied, and we can’t say anything definitive yet. So you’re probably fine indulging now and then, but just don’t overdo it if you want to play it safe.

Skin Care Ingredient No-Nos: What to Avoid

You know that what you put onto your skin is just as important as what you put into your body. When grocery shopping and deciding on food you probably stop to read labels and find out what is really in the food you are eating (and if you don’t do this…start now!). You may not know, though, that you should be doing the same thing with all of your skin care products. Think all beauty and skin care products are created equal? Think again! If you see any of the following ingredients on a beauty label, put the product down and look for something else that will help, rather than harm, your skin.

Chemical formula of Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde
If you are familiar with formaldehyde you may be shocked to learn that it can be an ingredient in your beauty products. Yes, this is the formaldehyde used in preserving dead bodies. Formaldehyde can be found in nail polish and nail polish treatments, shampoo and conditioner, body washes and cleansers and eyeshadow. Formaldehyde is a recognized human carcinogen (cancer causing agent) by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens. In other words, if you see formaldehyde in an ingredient list, drop the product immediately.

Parabens
Parabens, along with sodium lauryl sufates, have gotten tons of attention in the past few years where beauty products are concerned. Parabens are used in the vast majority of makeup products, cleansers, shampoos, body washes and deodorants. They sound like a great thing – they are used as preservatives to avoid bacteria growth in products. However, they are a highly suspected source of increased breast cancer risk.

Chemical formula of Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol
This does not sound like something you want on your face or body and it certainly isn’t. While this ingredient may not be quite as hazardous to your health as formaldehyde, propylene glycol is definitely something to avoid. Often found in moisturizers, conditioners and shampoos, propylene glycol is a known skin irritant and is far from soothing, which is the intended use.

Fragrance
This skin care and beauty product ingredient is a tricky one to identify and pin down because it is hard to define a fragrance. The term was originally used to protect the secret formulations of beauty companies, but this works against consumers who want to be informed of what they put on their skin. Some fragrances are irritants to the skin and are unfortunately found in many skin and beauty products from shampoos to foundations.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free Sign

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 
This is an ingredient that has gotten a lot of buzz in the beauty community. This surfectant is located in somewhere near 90% of all foaming products, such as cleaners, shampoos, body washes and soaps. Sodium lauryl (and laureth) sulfates are known to be irritants to the skin, lungs and eyes. Additionally, there is concern that sodium lauryl sulfates can combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens.

Toxic beauty ingredients can be seemingly hard to avoid because they are so prevalent. However, beauty companies are now catering to consumers desires for safety and effective products. Be sure to read the labels on all products you use and look for natural options when you can to decrease the risk of irritation and illness.