Skincare Ingredients I Avoid
One of the questions my customer ask me most often, is what ingredients do I personally avoid.
Because I spend so much of my time dreaming of obscure Amazonian nut butters, infused plant oils and beautiful flower waters, this is a surprisingly difficult question to answer.
That said, I have found through a process of trial and error, ingredients that I love and my skin loves - many of which have found their way into my Rose Tree goodies.
Most of you know that I started The Rose Tree by accident in many ways - I was looking for answers and products to sooth my finicky and frankly dry, itchy eczema prone skin.
Additionally, my experience of running a business has informed my view, there are ingredients that I fell in in love with at the start of my journey that I have fallen out of love with over the years. And there are some ingredients that I just wouldn't touch at all, not at the start of my journey and not now.
So here's my take on 3 ingredients that I don't use, and my reasons why.
This is not an attempt to cloud your judgement. What I hope you take away from this is the tools to read a label, identify ingredients that work for you, and to make up your own mind about what is important to you and where that line falls for you.
First up is mineral oil.
Mineral Oil in Skin Care
Cheap as chips, derived from petroleum, this clear inert oil is everywhere in skincare. Balms, creams, oils, washes, butters, literally everywhere.
To be fair, it is not a bad product per say. I just don't like it very much.
A by-product of the crude oil industry, mineral oil found within the EU must be processed and refined to ensure it is pure and free from any carcinogenic elements so it can be used within the skincare industry.
Because it is inert and processed, it can sometimes be helpful for people with extremely sensitive skin who can't tolerate other ingredients, but I believe the reason it is so common within the industry is because it is cheap, and that there are so many better ingredients to use.
The second ingredient I choose is SLE or SLES, more commonly known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Lareth Sulfate.
SLS / SLES in Skin Care
I have spoken about this previously.
Both are foaming agents, often found in products that lather; bubble baths, foaming face wash etc.
For myself, and my ladies who suffer with sensitive, dry or itchy skin, I find this exacerbates and irritates the skin, leading to more dryness and itchy skin.
I'm not a fan.
As an alternative to a traditional foaming product in the bath or shower, I prefer my cold pressed Apricot & Geranium Cleansing Bar filled with lashings of coconut butter, apricot and olive oils. For luxurious relaxing in the bath, my pick is a Bath Oil, hydrating, and soothing on sensitive skin - and the essential oils beat any synthetic fragrance.
The last ingredient on my hit list that I avoid is palm oil.
Palm Oil in Skin Care
As a skincare ingredient, palm oil has lots going for it. It has great emollient properties and is widely used in skincare, due to its fatty rich acid profile and high beta carotene content.
But there's a catch.
It's not just skincare, palm oil is everywhere; so many of our foods, from biscuits to chocolate as well as as candles (not mine), and cleaning products. Literally everywhere. Greenpeace estimate that approximately half of the the products in our supermarkets contain palm oil.
And it's been a disaster for the world's forests.
Around 24 million hectares of rainforest were destroyed in Indonesia between 1990 and 2015, according to official figures from the Indonesian government.
It's a source of huge profits for multinational companies and also a cause of deforestation, displacement of indigenous peoples, loss of biodiversity.
Not to mention pushing endangered species such as the orangutan, the Borneo elephant, and Sumatran Tiger one step closer to extinction.It is possible buy 'sustainable' palm oil, sometimes referred to as RSPO palm oil, certified by the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
But in my humble opinion, the RSPO has a poor track record. You can read more in this Greenpace report.
For me, I would just prefer to avoid the use of palm oil in my products, as far as possible, and find that I can make great cold pressed soap, and natural wax candles without any palm oil.
This is my very personal view on ingredients I choose not to use.
I would love to hear what is important to you when it comes to skincare ingredients.