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Why You Should Avoid These 5 Skincare Ingredients

As a consumer, it can be really overwhelming to read labels and have to decipher what’s okay and what’s not. It might seem like every single day there’s a new ingredient you need to be avoiding. We get it. From food, beauty items, over-the-counter remedies, and cleaning products– there are plenty of places for toxic ingredients to hide.

Be Your Own Advocate

What makes it even harder is that many “clean” brands don’t actually disclose all of their ingredients.  They hide behind eco-friendly looking colors on their packaging to make you think you’re buying something safe for your family. That’s pretty deceiving, isn’t it?

You would be appalled at the ingredients the FDA allows in our food products, but what’s even worse is that the beauty/personal care industry is pretty much unregulated. Here in the U.S., there are minimal requirements to get a product onto shelves. Many of the ingredients used are skin irritants, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens. A lot of them are banned in other countries!

We know you won’t be able to memorize every single harmful ingredient out there (and we’re not even sure that’s possible!), but we wanted to help you out.  We put together a list of the top offenders in the beauty + personal care industry as a start. These are the ingredients that are the most detrimental to your overall well being so even if you only manage to recognize some, you’ll be in better shape.


The Top 5 Skincare Ingredients to Avoid


These widely used preservatives are meant to prevent the growth of yeast, bacteria or mold in cosmetic or personal hygiene products. However, they also have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body and have even been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. They’re most commonly found in makeup, body washes, or shampoos, but can also be found in many pharmaceutical products. (Hint: we’ll never use parabens in our products!)


This category is pretty scary because no one’s quite sure what “fragrance” actually means. This term was originally created to hide a company’s “secret formula”, but as a consumer, you could be putting on a product with hundreds of chemicals hidden under that one name. According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), fragrance mixes are associated with allergies, respiratory distress, and dermatitis. It can be found in so many different products from perfume itself to body lotions, washes, or shampoos. (Hint: “natural fragrances” are not safe either!) We’ve even seen essential oil claims on packages that are mixed with fragrance! At Maty’s, you’ll only find the purest essential oils in our Baby Chest Rub and Vapor Rub.


These substances are used in products to increase the softness and flexibility of plastics. They’re known endocrine disruptors and have even been linked to breast cancer, early development in girls and reproductive birth defects. Phthalates aren’t necessarily on the label either; they can hide under that “fragrance” term and are most often found in deodorants, hair sprays, and perfumes.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) / Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):

These chemicals can be found in over 90% of personal care products (anything that creates a “foam”). They’re known to be skin, eye, and lung irritants, but also have been shown to interact with other chemicals to create nitrosamines, a carcinogen. You’ll probably be shocked at how many labels they appear on, everything from shampoos and body wash to facial cleansers and toothpaste.


Almost one in five personal care products contain this chemical. According to the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), formaldehyde is a carcinogenic, toxic chemical that’s been linked to various forms of cancer.

We Stick to Whole Foods

If you avoid products with any of the above ingredients, you have made a huge step in becoming your healthiest self.

We pride ourselves on being a whole foods driven company, using simple ingredients you’ll know and recognize. We want you to feel completely comfortable when you pick up our products, knowing that there’s no detective work to be done. What you see is what you get; only the healthiest ingredients for you and your family!



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