12 Common Skincare and Cosmetic Ingredients Derms Want You to Avoid
When shopping the aisles for beauty products, remember one thing: just because it’s sold on a shelf, doesn’t make it safe. (Let’s not forget the long history of lead being used in the cosmetic industry.) According to the Environmental Working Group's website, "Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn't review the safety of products before they're sold." This includes ingredients that have been linked to everything from allergies and hives to cancer and infertility.
It can be difficult to navigate and decipher the long list of ingredients on most beauty product labels. Thankfully, there are sites and apps that can help make the process easier. EWG's Skin Deep database allows you to search for cosmetic ingredients and products to see if they meet the non-profit's strict criteria. There are also apps, like Yuka, that allow you to scan a product to find out if it contains any endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, allergens, or irritants. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover all products (or most, for that matter), so when in doubt, you’ll want to rely on this dermatologist-backed cheat sheet of harmful ingredients—before reaching for your credit card.