Let me introduce you to the most controversial cosmetics ingredients, those that many skincare brands are starting to remove from their formulas. 

A healthy lifestyle is not only a healthy diet. We are consuming better food to be more healthy, energetic and happy. Why shouldn’t we give the same care for our skincare? We can do this by learning more about the ingredients found in the creams we use every day on our skin.

The following information can help you balance and improve your skin appearance and is especially important if your skin is sensitive. 


  • Preservatives
  • Mineral oil
  • Synthetic colours
  • Fragrance 
  • Silicone

Cosmetics ingredients


A preservative is a substance added to products such as food products, cosmetics, and other products to prevent decomposition by microbial growth or undesirable chemical changes.

Preservatives are essential in cosmetics since they extend the products’ shelf-life and help keep them free from bacteria.

Natural and organic brands use approved preservatives for natural products. They are less likely to cause side effects.

Most websites of natural skincare brands will specify the preservatives that they are using.

You can find information about cosmetic ingredients on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.


Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic products.

Check the ingredient list for PARABENS. You can find them usually at the end of the ingredient list, the names to look out for are butylparaben, methylparaben and Propylparaben, those are the most commonly found parabens.

Parabens may cause skin reactions to those with inflamed skin, and some studies linked them affecting the endocrine system. [1,2,3]

I recommend avoiding skincare products with parabens.

Mineral oil 

Mineral oil is a transparent and odourless oil that’s made from petroleum. This oil has no nutrients. It stays on top of the skin and prevents moisture loss.

Unlike petroleum-based mineral oils, plant-based oils are rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that support and help the skin feel really soft and well moisturised.

Silicones (siloxanes)

Silicones create a barrier on top of your skin.

This barrier prevents additional moisture from getting in, dehydrating your pores and trap dirt, sweat, bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells along with it! 

Check the label for “silicone-free” or scan the ingredients for anything that ends in ‘cone’ or ‘siloxane’, this means silicone.

Instead of mineral oil and siloxane

I recommend using natural plant-based oils like coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, apricot oil, shea butter and cocoa butter.

Synthetic colours

Many artificial colours are made using coal tar, petroleum, and contaminated with heavy metals salts like arsenic and lead. This increases the risk of irritation, blocked pores, breakouts and sensitivity.

In nature, you can find natural pigments that used to colour cosmetics, like carrot oil, beet extract and henna

Natural minerals like Mica (a group of silicate minerals) can be ground down into a sparkling powder for beauty products. Mica is safe to use on almost all skin types. [4] 
Another note about Mica is to buy the products from a good quality brand that is transparent about its supply chain’s traceability for a sustainable mica.

Artificial Fragrance/Parfum

Manufacturers aren’t required to reveal their fragrances, and you will see the ingredient — ‘Fragrance’ or ‘Parfum  that could actually be a mixture of chemicals that may lead to health risks.

Essential oils, on the other hand, are natural extracts of plants, and some of them can be beneficial for the skin. For example, essential oils such as lemongrass, thyme, cinnamon, and tea tree oils are traditionally known to help acne-prone skin.

If you have sensitive skin, choose unscented skincare. 

I hope you find this information useful. In my next posts, I will share my favourite options for natural skincare with you. 

Share with me what your skincare routine is?  Are you interested to know about a specific natural ingredient?


  1. “Interference of Paraben Compounds with Estrogen ….” 19 Sept. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618656/.  
  2. “Effects of propyl paraben on the male reproductive system.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12419695/.
  3. “An overview of parabens and allergic contact … – PubMed.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24305662/
  4. “EWG Skin Deep® | What is MICA.” https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/703949-mica/
  5. “Ask EWG: What is “fragrance”? | EWG.” 6 Dec. 2007, https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2007/12/ask-ewg-what-fragrance

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