Ingredients You Should Avoid in Your Skincare Products

Southlake Plastic Surgery

Southlake Plastic Surgery Sensi Cleanser

The Top 6 Ingredients You Should Avoid in Your Skincare Products


Southlake Plastic Surgery is a huge proponent of healthy skin. For years, we’ve been helping clients across Southlake, Fort Worth, and beyond reclaim their skin’s natural, beautiful quality. 

While the majority of our clients are simply experiencing the natural effects of aging and are seeking to enhance their look, others have experienced everything from mild to severe damage from three main sources:

  1. Environmental factors, such as the sun, wind, humidity, temperature, bacteria, etc.
  2. The incorrect use of skincare products and treatments
  3. Harmful contamination of cosmetic products

While we can’t control the harsh Texas sun, we CAN help you identify and avoid skincare ingredients that do more harm than good.

So to help keep your skin healthy and glowing, our skincare experts will review six primary ingredients you should almost ALWAYS avoid in your skincare products.

“Why should I avoid ANY particular ingredients?”

Aside from the risk of incurring lasting damage to your skin, using improper skincare products can also cause:

  • Allergic reactions (which can lead to long-term damage and even scarring)
  • Dermatitis (a condition caused by an allergic reaction)
  • Chemical irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Serious health issues
  • & More

The Top Skincare Products to Avoid 


Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that is composed of magnesium, hydrogen, silicone, and oxygen. It’s often used in powdered makeup products to absorb moisture and improve the seamless application of other products. Talc can be found in a number of setting powders, eye shadows, blushes, foundations, and creams. 

Asbestos is another mineral that often forms together with Talc. This means that when companies commercially mine for Talc, there is a possibility it has been contaminated with asbestos. Long-term exposure of asbestos is a known cause of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and has even been linked to ovarian cancer. The Mesothelioma Center at recommends avoiding talc in products at all costs.

To keep up to date on the brands testing positive for asbestos, you can visit their website: 

Asbestos in Makeup 

🚫Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol is a clear, odorless oily liquid with solvent properties similar to alcohol. It acts as a carrier for active ingredients and penetration enhancer. It’s also hygroscopic, keeping the surface of creams moist and preventing the formation of a ‘skin.’ Like alcohol, it can kill microorganisms, thus contributing to product preservation. 

Many skincare experts now recommend against it as it has now been shown to be more harmful than helpful. It causes chemical irritation in many of its users, dissolving natural skin lipids and disrupting the moisture barrier. It can also cause Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD), especially on sensitive or compromised skin. The incidence of ACD to Propylene Glycol may exceed 10%! 


Yes, we know you want you face to smell like grapefruit, but is it worth it? Here are just a few of the main types of fragrance ingredients you should avoid.


Linalool is a widely used fragrance ingredient, found in 60-80% of scented cosmetics! It can be a source of a pleasant floral, spicy scent. However, this substance is actually a terpene alcohol, obtained from both plants and insects (such as termites). 


Limonene is another common fragrance that provides a citrus-like scent. Like Linalool, it’s a terpene, but structurally different in that it contains a ring of carbon atoms. 

Both of these fragrances are the culprit behind most common ACD instances from skin care products. Linalool oxides cause ACD in 5-7% of the population, and Limonene and its oxides are also potent sensitizers in more than 3% of the population. 


Perhaps the most IMPORTANT ingredient to avoid in your skincare products is Kathon, a powerful preservative that kills bacteria, mold and yeast. Kathon is actually a branded term that encompasses the mixture of two chemical compounds known as isothiazolinones. If you’re looking for it on your label, it will read “Methylchloroisothiazolinone” or “methylisothiazolinone.” Not only is it a mouthful, but Kathon is also a cytotoxic allergen, voted “2013 Contact Allergen of the Year” by the American Contact Dermatitis Society


Parabens are a low-cost alternative to preservatives in cosmetic products, including shampoo, make-up, and other skincare products. Although there is no evidence parabens are carcinogenic, we should avoid them for a more basic reason: they can cause ACD in patients with barrier-compromised skin. There is also evidence that Methylparaben can be converted into a toxic reactive oxygen species on exposure to UV light, leading to skin aging. \

🚫Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is used as a detergent and emulsifier, creating uniform mixtures of oil and water. It is inexpensive to produce and can make the kind of large-volume foams typically desired by consumers. However, the luxurious feeling of thick foam shouldn’t cost you your skin quality! Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a powerful skin irritant. It’s actually used as an irritation-causing ‘standard’ for testing anti-inflammatory agents! You could say it does its job “too well.” It’s such a good detergent, in fact, that it can remove natural skin lipids and dry out the skin, leaving you worse than before you started using the product to begin with.

And, because we like being thorough, here’s our list of “maybe sometimes” ingredients. 

Skincare Ingredients to Watch Out For

The following ingredients may be okay with occasional usage depending on your skin type, skin tone, and overall skin health:

  • Retinoids
  • Tocopherol
  • Idebenone
  • Caffeine
  • Sulfur

Still not sure what to look for? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you ever have any questions about the skincare products you’re using—especially if you feel they might be causing harm or damage to your skin!

Get access to the best skincare products at Southlake Plastic Surgery & Med Spa 

If you plan on making 2021 your year (which, let’s face it, we ALL need) then focusing on your skin’s health is a great place to start!

Want to know more about affordable yet professional skincare products? Our expert team is here to help. We are an award-winning facility that always puts the needs of our patients first, ensuring that you get the answers you’re looking for. 

Ready to get started?

We also perform a variety of aesthetic procedures to get you closer to your goals. Use our virtual consultation tool to discover the best next steps or contact us today for more information! 


Virtual Consultation  Contact Us