Red Flag Ingredients: Your Skincare Might Be Dirty AF

Red Flag Ingredients: Your Skincare Might Be Dirty AF
by Truly Beauty

Want to avoid putting gross ingredients on your skin? It's time to get consumer-smart!

Many beauty brands wouldn't tell you this ... but they're secretly hiding harmful chemicals and red flag ingredients in their skincare products that can be detrimental both for your skin and your health. And don't even get us started on how much those toxins are harming the environment!

Did you know that up to 60% of what you put on our skin gets absorbed? So if you're smothering it in toxic chemicals and preservatives, you're directly hurting your skin - the body's largest organ.

And because the FDA doesn't regulate beauty products, there's really no control over what goes into your cleansers, moisturizers, and serums.

No wonder so many ingredients found in personal care products are causing health issues like eczema, dermatitis, hormonal imbalances, and allergic reactions! 

To prevent your skincare routine from making you sick, we've created a list of all the dirt AF ingredients you need to shun right now. And what to replace them with instead!


  1. Aluminium

Believe it or not, there might be toxic mental lurking in your lotions. 

Toxic metal can have estrogen-like effects in your endocrine system, causing negative side effects such as hormonal imbalances, sickness, and even cancer. 

While it may not sound familiar, aluminium can be found on the ingredient list of almost every personal care product - including shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, and nail polish. 


  1. Microplastics

Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic with massive consequences for the environment. You'll find them in a range of beauty products, from face washes to scrubs and toothpastes, but did you know they're literally destroying the planet?

The purpose of microplastics is to give products either an exfoliating action or improved spreadability. 

The trouble is, they're making their way into the ocean and causing widespread death among marine life that end up consuming those microplastics.


  1. Parabens

You probably won't see the word "parabens" on an ingredient list, but you will see words like Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl - all parabens. Used as preservatives, parabens contribute to ill health and hormonal imbalance. In spite of their negative impacts, they're found in up to 75% of beauty products on the market. 


  1.  Sodium Laureth Sulfate(SLS)

Most commonly found in antibacterial soaps and cleansers, SLS is used to boost foam in products and eliminate grease. This ingredient is even more common than parabens - found in a staggering 90% of skincare products. 

So what's bad about it? It's said to cause skin and eye irritations, allergic reactions, and hair loss. 


  1.  Propylene Glycol(PG)

Another red flag ingredient you should be watching out for: propylene glycol. It's a chemical used to lock in moisture and enhance penetration. The trouble is, it's also listed as a probable carcinogen. It's particularly dangerous when combined with nickel, lead, arsenic, or 1,4 dioxane.

You'll usually find it in soaps, lotions, or hair products. 


  1.  Phthalates

Phthalates can also be known as fragrance, dibutyl phthalate, DHP, DEHP, or DBP5.

Phthalates are essentially fragrances that produce a pleasant smell to make beauty products more appealing to the consumer. This is another ingredient suspected to contain carcinogens.

These chemicals may mess with your hormones, interfere with the reproductive system or even affect normal child development. But because fragrances are not obliged to list all their ingredients, it's hard to tell whether phthalates are in a product or not.

You'll find this toxic ingredient in parfum, nail polish, deodorant, sunscreen, and dyes.


  1.  Formaldehyde

Also known as DMDM hydantoin, formaldehyde is preservative that is slowly released in a personal care product to shield the product against bacteria or contamination. It is yet another ingredient listed as a carcinogen.

It's most commonly found in nail polish, eyelash glue, hair straightening treatments, hair gel, and makeup. 


  1. Triclosan

Triclosan is a synthetic antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal agent found in mouthwash, deodorants, toothpastes, etc.

According to researchers, this chemical may disrupt thyroid and endocrine function and can degrade into a form of dioxin - a category of chemicals that can cause a number of health conditions and diseases, including cancer.


  1. Coal TarDyes

Coal tar dyes is an ingredient made from a tar-like black coal called bituminous coal, and listed as a known carcinogen.

You'll find it hidden in everything from hair dyes to anti-itch cream to anti-dandruff shampoos. Make sure you look out for it the next time you buy cosmetic products to ensure you're not exposing your skin to this harmful chemical.



For the sake of your skin, health, and the environment, start paying closer attention to what's inside your beauty products.

Besides steering clear of the red flag ingredients listed above, you can also look out for alternatives too and specific ingredients that are actually good for your skin.


Jojoba Beads

For starters, swap out the microplastics commonly found in physical exfoliators for jojoba beads. They're often mistakes for plastic microbes, but jojoba beads come from jojoba oil – a natural oil derived from the jojoba shrub.

Jojoba beads are biodegradable and a great alternative to microbes thanks to their smooth coating which cleans the skin, without scratching it. 

You'll find jojoba beans in Truly's Buns of Glowry Tighten + Glow Butt Polish & Truly's Acai Your Boobies Boob Polish.


Natural Oils

You can get the same moisturizing effects from natural oils like argan oil, coconut oil, and olive oil without having to suffer the health impacts of the above chemicals.

These oils are ideal for treating dry skin without causing any negative side effects.

At Truly, all our products are vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly, made with nourishing ingredients to transform your skin without comprising your values.


Do it for your skin, your health, or the precious planet ... start being a smarter consumer. Now you know what to avoid in cosmetic products, you can avoid putting any more gross stuff on your skin. From now on, start treating your skin to natural, healthy ingredients instead! Trust us, you'll see a massive improvement in your skin's appearance. 





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