What's In My Skin Care Products?

What's In My Skin Care Products

Typically, manufacturers will select ingredients for their skin care formulations based on cost, performance characteristics, marketability, shelf-life, as well as other factors.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers still use ingredients that are known to disrupt hormone levels, irritate the skin, as well as damage organs and the reproductive system. You might be surprised to know that many common ingredients are also considered carcinogenic, which has been shown scientifically to increase the risk of cancer.

Sometimes ingredients used in skin care formulations can be deemed “Generally Accepted As Safe” in North America, whereas the same ingredients are either banned or restricted in other regions such as Europe. Below are some of the ingredients to watch out for on your cosmetic product ingredients lists.


Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen and has been proven that short-term exposure to elevated levels of formaldehyde can be fatal. Long-term exposure to low levels of formaldehyde may cause respiratory difficulty, eczema, sensitization, and has been shown to cause cancer in animals in laboratory studies.

Formaldehyde is still widely used as a preservative in the cosmetic skin care products industry.

Ingredient Names

  • Formaldehyde
  • Formalin
  • Formic aldehyde
  • Methanediol
  • Methanal
  • Methyl aldehyde
  • Methylene glycol
  • Methylene oxide


Parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. A new study has found that Parabens can spur the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, even in tiny amounts.

Parabens are still widely used as a low-cost preservative in the cosmetic skin care industry.

Ingredient Names

  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Heptylparaben
  • Isobutylparaben


Silicone is a class of synthetic plastic polymers used in a variety of applications including sealants (caulking), adhesives, lubricants, cookware, and cosmetic skin care.

There is currently no scientific research available that indicates that Silicones are damaging to our health. However, there's still controversy around this ingredient and many consumers don't want to apply this ingredient to their skin.

Silicones are still widely used in the cosmetic skin care industry as a base to improve texture and spreadability.

Ingredient Names

  • Dimethicone
  • Cyclomethicone
  • Cyclohexasiloxane
  • Cetearyl Methicone
  • Cyclopentasiloxane


There’s a questionable practice that exists in the skin care industry that many consumers don’t know about. Companies are legally allowed to hide certain ingredients from consumers on their ingredients list if it's part of the company's proprietary fragrance.

Unfortunately, companies can take advantage of this rule by hiding undesirable ingredients under a single ingredient -- "Fragrance". Does that ingredient look or sound familiar to you? This might be a good time to review your cosmetic skin care product ingredients.

As you can imagine, the use of the “Fragrance” practice can make it difficult for consumers to make an informed decision. Our suggestion to consumers is if you don’t feel comfortable not knowing every ingredient that goes into your skin care products, then don't buy anything that has "Fragrance" as an ingredient.


As you can see, it can be challenging to navigate the skin care products landscape. We always encourage consumers to make educated choices and to do their research on skin care ingredients before purchasing new products. Remember to always check the labels on your skin care products and if no ingredients are provided, do not use the product.

We hope this article will help provide some insight into selecting your skin care products. At Bioactive Skin Care Co., our goal is to create effective skin care products using ingredients that are safe, gentle on the skin, non-comedogenic, and that significantly improve appearance of the skin.

Feel free to browse our skin care products here.