Don't Go Skin Care Shopping Without This

Don’t Go Skin Care Shopping Without This

Your skin, also known as the integumentary system, is your body’s largest organ. Just like the lungs, it breathes. Just like the stomach, it absorbs. Just like the intestines, it eliminates. It is your body’s most sensory, feeling organ, and it sheds and reproduces about a million tiny skin cells every single day. Just like you care for your body by limiting chemicals in your food or avoiding toxic fumes, how you care for your skin matters.

I’ve put together this list of ingredients to look for as well as ingredients to avoid. Pretty much if you see one of the ingredients on the “avoid “ list, it’s an indicator that the product can be clogging or irritating to the skin. These ingredients are very inexpensive and are used to enhance the products appearance. They may create a pleasing effect in the product itself but can cause breakouts and redness on the face (not so pleasing.)

Here is a list of ingredients to look out for the next time you go shopping for skin care products.


MINERAL OIL, PETROLATUM OR ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE: Often used as lubricants in moisturizers, these petroleum-derived ingredients are occlusive to the skin, meaning they form a lm over the skin and inhibit its ability to breathe. These ingredients often lead to clogged pores and breakouts.

LANOLIN: Lanolin is the oil extracted from sheep’s wool, and while softening to the skin, can be highly irritating and clogging.

LYE-BASED SOAP OR SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE: These ingredients are surfactants, meaning they create a foam and a bubble in your face and body cleansers. These ingredients are highly irritating on the skin and also strip the skin of all the good oils that keep it protected, leading to breakouts and irritation.

NUT SHELL POWDERS: Scrubs that contain ingredients like ground apricot or almond shells that are used to exfoliate can be a bit too jagged for the skin on the face, creating microscopic lacerations in the barrier function that lead to breakouts and irritation.

ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE AND COLOR: Listed as fragrance, FD&C Reds, Blue and Yellow Lake, these ingredients are highly irritating and can clog the skin, leading to redness, blackheads, and breakouts.


PLANT BASED OILS LIKE GRAPE SEED, SWEET ALMOND, JOJOBA, SQUALENE OR HAZELNUT OIL: These oils are nourishing and complementary with the natural oils in your skin, supporting its natural lubrication and protection without clogging the pores.

GLYCERIN, ALOE AND HYALURONIC ACID: These ingredients act as humectants which means they bind water vapor from the air to your skin, helping your skin stay fresh, plump and hydrated.

NATURALLY DERIVED FOAMING AGENTS: Ingredients like Quillaja Saponaria and Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (from coconut) are naturally derived foaming agents that give your cleansers a nice bubble without harming or stripping your skin.

ESSENTIAL OILS: Essential oils have therapeutic bene ts, and add a beautiful aroma to your products without adding the unnecessary chemicals found in artificial fragrance.

VITAMINS & ANTIOXIDANTS: Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lycopene, Green Tea, Grapeseed; these are just some of the antioxidant ingredients that will help prevent free radical damage, repair premature aging and nourish the skin.

HYDROXY ACIDS, ENZYMES AND NUT MEALS: Hydroxy Acids like lactic and salicylic acid, as well as enzymes like papain (papaya), bromelain (pineapple), or pumpkin enzyme work like little pac men on the skin to eat up dead skin cells, exfoliating without creating the irritation that a friction based product (like a scrub) provides. If on the other hand you prefer a scrub, ground nut meals (as opposed to ground nut shells) are a softer, gentler way to exfoliate the skin.

What are your favorite products these days? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Mary LofgrenSkin Care