The skincare product ingredients you should avoid

Clarity when it comes to what’s in the products you buy and apply to your skin is one thing we’re passionate about here at Organic Apoteke.

When purchasing a new skincare or beauty product it can be difficult to make sense of the jargon-filled ingredients list found on the back of the bottle.

While you can trust us to filter out the nasties that can do your skin more harm than good, the same can’t be said for every brand.

Understanding your skin and more importantly what it needs is the first rule of creating a skincare routine that not only works for you but supports the skin to function at its very best.

Being aware of what your skin doesn’t need from topically applied products also helps!

Read on to discover the skincare product ingredients you should steer clear of.


Alcohol features in a long list of skincare products, including toners, fluid lotions, sunscreens and anti-ageing products. In most, it’s found in particularly high quantities and can make the product feel lighter and less greasy rather cheaply.

Fatty alcohols, such as cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl and behenyl, are also known for their moisturising benefits, but there’s a trade-off to these advantages.

Prolonged use of skincare products that contain alcohol can damage the skin and even kill cells. The resulting damage affects the cells’ ability to retain water, meaning skin can easily become more dehydrated.

This creates a vicious cycle of dehydration and moisturising with a potentially dehydrating, alcohol-containing skincare product.

Despite the amazing renewal rate of skin cells, alcohol can cause long term deterioration. With continued use, the protective skin microbiome and pH preserving acid mantle can become permanently altered.

In the short term, this degreasing effect may look great but over time the imbalanced flora will leave skin more vulnerable to dryness, inflammation, redness, and breakouts.


Parabens are well known for their preserving properties, and they’ve been used throughout the skincare and beauty industry for more than 80 years thanks to this quality.

You’ll find parabens in shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, moisturisers, and makeup as a result.

As parabens aren’t naturally occurring in the body, applying them to your skin can have some unfortunate side effects.

Paraben use has been connected to allergic reactions, skin irritation, inflammation, and premature ageing. Some parabens have even been blamed for worsening sun damage.


The use of phthalates goes beyond the skincare and beauty industry. These chemicals are used widely in medical supplies, wood finishes, adhesives, detergents, building materials, and even food.

Whilst research has only scratched the surface on the full impact of phthalate use, the permanent ban on benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), di-butyl phthalate (DBP), and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in toys and products used to feed and soothe children under 3 is a real eye-opener.

The studies that have been conducted link phthalates to a wide range of health concerns as The Guardian explains:

“Name a major public health concern over the past two decades and there’s likely some link to phthalates exposure. In the past few years, researchers have linked phthalates to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioural issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues.”

Palm oil

The problem with palm oil has been much publicised in recent years, and it’s led many brands (including ours) to take a firm stance against the ingredient.

The way palm oil is farmed devastates entire tropical forests, with the rate of deforestation rapidly increasing as farmers make room to grow this profitable crop. With this comes an increase in habitat loss, forest fires and greenhouse gases.

Palm oil is used in skincare and beauty products to make emulsifiers, which have their own problems.

For those with sensitive skin, in particular, emulsifiers cause irritation and inflammation and exacerbate conditions like acne, psoriasis, and rosacea.

Here at Organic Apoteke, we use organic palm kernel oil in our Buttermilk Cleanser and Active Face Cleanse Gel. It’s sustainably sourced and by using the oil from the kernel of the fruit produced by the African palm, trees aren’t destroyed.

Say “no” to palm oil, and do your bit for the environment and your health.

A final word from us…

We’re well known for providing you with the skincare salvation you need to transform your skin naturally without all the nasty ingredients.

Our skincare products contain no alcohol, parabens, phthalates, glycols, petrochemicals, silicones, sulphates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colours, or palm oil.

They’re also certified organic, PETA approved, cruelty-free, vegetarian and vegan, so you can look after your skin in the most considerate way possible. Browse our ethical, organic skincare products here.