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6 Beauty Ingredients Dermatologists Want You to Avoid (and Why)

Oil-with-orange-slices-on-a-white-wood-background-2 | Dermstore Blog

So you became a thorough investigator at the grocery store, putting away anything with soy, sugar, added salt and high fructose corn syrup. You’ve been careful with what you consume, why shouldn’t you be just as cautious with what you put on your skin? As the largest organ in your body, what your skin absorbs topically is important to consider, with each and every scrub, wash, dab and dip.

“Before applying any product to your skin, especially the face, you should be aware of all the ingredients that the product contains. Many skin care ingredients can potentially cause more damage than good,” dermatologist Kristina Goldenberg says. “Depending on your skin type some ingredients may be right for you that would not work well for someone else and vice versa.”

Not sure how to check your beauty sources? No problem. Here, dermatologists share some of the ingredients you need to be more careful about.

  1. Formaldehyde in perfume

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  2. Citrus-based oils in day creams or cosmetics

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  3. Oxybenzone or avobenzone in chemical sunblocks
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    Oxybenzone or avobenzone in chemical sunblocks

    Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation for daily use, MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB Sunscreen is one of those all-encompassing skin staples your probably don't want to go without. Lightweight and silky smooth to the touch, each application instantly conceals imperfections, controls shine and enhances skin tone for a perfectly polished, matte complexion. Packed with natural mineral UV filters and antioxidants, including vitamin C and E, this water-resistant, lightly whipped formula helps defend your skin against environmental damage and photo-aging
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  4. Pure essential oils
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    Pure essential oils

    Virgin Cold Pressed Rose Hip Oil from The Organic Pharmacy is designed to transform the appearance of dry, aging skin and hair. Formulated with rose hip oil and vitamin E, this hydrating oil works to alleviate stubborn fine lines, sun damage, scars and discoloration that blemish your complexion. A high percentage of fatty acids, tretinoic acid and major cartenoids, like betacarotene, are a select few of the amazing properties found in this blend.Key Ingredients: * Rose Hip Oil: clinically proven to reduce scarring, wrinkles and condition and regenerate the
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  5. Hydroquinone in skin-lightening creams

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  6. Sodium sulfate in shampoo
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    Sodium sulfate in shampoo

    Briogeo's Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash cleanses, conditions and nourishes dehydrated hair without stripping essential moisture, in fact, it puts it back. This 4-in-1 formula effectively cleanses, conditions, detangles, and nourishes without stripping hair of natural oils. A blend of hydrating shea, nourishing avocado oil and quinoa extracts and soothing aloe enhance manageability and healthiness of the hair.Key Ingredients: * Quinoa Extract: forms a protective barrier to repeal environmental aggressors and pollutants * Avocado Oil: replenishes and maintains moisture in hair *
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Writer and Editor

Lindsay Tigar

Lindsay Tigar is a travel and lifestyle journalist who contributes to a myriad of publications—from Travel + Leisure and Vogue to Glamour and countless others. She's a digital nomad who works from every corner of the globe, scoping out the best coffee, collecting artisan crafts and testing every beauty product she can find. You can find a collection of her work at