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toxic ingredients in skin care

5 Toxic Ingredients In Skincare You Should Avoid

November 06, 2020 1 Comment

It’s easy to get confused by the vast array of skincare products (not to mention ingredients) available to you today. 

While it’s certainly exciting having so many wonderful options, it can get a little tricky sifting through them all, because not all ingredients are created equal.

In fact, unless you are using 100% clean, non-toxic products, then you are likely exposing your skin, and therefore your health, to some potentially nasty toxins that may have some adverse effects. 

Your skincare ritual should be fun, it shouldn’t be something you stress about!

Learning to read labels like a pro is key to starting to get your inner skincare guru on! We want to help you out too by listing some of the nastiest synthetics that we recommend avoiding at all costs.

If you see any of these names on your skincare label, run!

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This ingredient is responsible for that foamy lather in mostf synthetic skin care products, such as shampoos and your facial cleanser, but it can strip the skin of beneficial oils, putting your skin barrier at risk. 

Sulfates may be contaminated with a chemical called 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen (cancer causing ingredient). Simply not worth it, in our opinion! 

Sulfates may appear as different names on a label, such as sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate. 

If you see the word “sulfate” make sure to skip it!


This silicone, often found in moisturizers and primers, may make your skin instantly appear and feel smoother and softer, but the downside is potentially clogged pores and breakouts, no thanks!

While this may not be the dirtiest of them all, it’s still a synthetic ingredient, and therefore one we aren’t too keen on. 

Polysorbate 20

This one may not seem too sinister, considering it’s a sugar alcohol used as an emulsifier to help mix water and oil together in products, but this is where you would be wrong! 

Polysorbate 20 is treated with 20 parts of ethylene oxide (hence the name), and in small doses, may contribute to skin irritations. In high doses, it may contribute to possible reproductive toxicity! Avoid, avoid, avoid!


This is on the list because alcohol is the last thing your skin needs to function at its healthiest best.

It’s incredibly drying for the skin, which can not only impair your skin barrier, it may also accelerate the signs of aging, goodbye!

Propylene glycol

This is a nasty one that you never want to put anywhere near your precious skin!

Propylene Glycol (PG) is formed as a byproduct of petroleum refining; a crude oil obtained through oil drilling. 

It’s used in skincare products to add hydration to the skin, and to prevent products from melting in extreme temperatures, namely high heat or freezing cold. This may sound insane, but it’s also the main ingredient in brakes and hydraulic fluids so why would we want to put it on our skin? It’s like antifreeze in your skincare!

It doesn’t even really add hydration to your skin, rather forms a seal to lock moisture in. In fact, over time it may cause your skin to become quite dull, as it also prevents water from being able to penetrate the pores.

Propylene glycol has been linked to skin irritations and damage to cell membranes.

We hope this article has helped you to become aware of some nasty ingredients to avoid! Your skin will thank you when you start infusing it with real nutrients, all of which you will find here at Baja Basics!

1 Response


December 03, 2020

Thank you for this ! Alcohol seems like a no brainer, and yet I’m shocked when I see it in moisturizers ! The others seem hard to avoid , such as propylene glycol. It’s tricky to find a decent moisturizer out there which doesn’t have any of these ingredients!!!

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