updated 4 Aug 2010, 08:21
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Ingredients to avoid in your skincare

If you find that your skin reacts badly to what ever is already in your beauty cupboard, read the labels on those products. Get ready to throw them out if you find that they contain the following ingredients:

Mineral oils, such as lanolin and/or wool wax - Lanolin is an oil extract made from sheep wool that is used commonly in moisturisers. It is a common cause of allergies.

Formaldehyde - A strong disinfectant used as artificial preservative

Artificial colourings such as D&C Red which is derived from coal tar and specially denatured alcohol - These cause skin to become photosensitised, that is, sensitive to ultra violet light, and can result in redness, swelling or localised hyper-pigmentation.

Artificial fragrances - These ingredients can also cause skin to become photosensitised. If your label does not say what kind of fragrance is used, it is best to avoid using it.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate -Tthese are harsh detergents used in cleansers and can overstrip skin of its natural oils.

Parabens such as Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl and Butyl Paraben - These are used a preservatives to extend the product's shelf life, but methyl paraben may release harmful methanol. The amount released may be too small to affect us, but more long-term research will need to be carried out.

If a product is comodegenic, it is oily in nature and could clog up pores when used repeatedly. If you want ingredients that are friendly to your skin, go for natural ingredients such as fruit enzymes, vegetable extracts, herbs, vitamins and minerals, and essential oils.

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