Our 2023 Scary Skin Chemicals to Avoid + Our Alternatives

Boo! It’s Scary Season again, and we can all delight when the ghouls and goblins come out to play… but what about the real ones hiding in plain sight, specifically in our skin care! Here is our informative round-up of “Scary Skincare” ingredients, so you can spend all year being treated instead of tricked!

Mineral Oil:

What Is It?

What is Mineral Oil, you might be asking? Good question! It is such an omnipresent phrase that we might not question its presence in all our skin care regimes…but that would be wrong!. It is actually a processed petroleum product, with varying levels of refinement. Mineral oils may come under any number of names, including Paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum, ceramic microcrystalline, microcrystalline wax, ozokerite, ceresine isoparaffin, paraffin and synthetic wax  

Why Is it Scary?

While highly refined, mineral oils do not cause any adverse effects. However, if it is not, it may include carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, which may increase the risk of cancer.  It has also been noted to interfere with the body's absorption of important nutrients and vitamins A, D, E, and K, with it’s gradual build up in body tissues, causing serious health problems.

What we use instead:   We use natural and organic oils like sunflower seed oil, olive oil, carrot  oil, just to name a few.  These are high in nutrients that feed the skin and provide it with beneficial nutrients such as omega’s, linolenic acid, vitamins and minerals.


What is it?

Triclosan is an Antimicrobial chemical used to prevent or reduce bacterial contamination, It is so commonly used that it is estimated that over 75% of Americans have been exposed to Triclosan through personal care products and consumer goods.

Why Is It Scary?

Though studies are on-going, Triclosan has shown to be an endocrine disruptor, which could lead to issues with proper hormone function, including a decrease in thyroid hormones.  It is also being studied for its potential links to skin cancer and the development of antibacterial resistance.  


What we use instead:   To some degree, exposure to bacteria helps our bodies' immune defences, hence limiting the use of antibacterials in everyday skin products is advised.  However, if there is infection or healing that is needed, we incorporate  herbs and essential oils as our antibacterials.  These include myrrh powder, lavender essential oil, and tea tree oil. 

These act to help bacterial growth while supporting skin health.


What is it?

Oxybenzone is a chemical compound and one of the most used active ingredients in sunscreen, due to it’s high effectiveness in blocking UV rays.   This high effectiveness comes at a pretty scary price, unfortunately! 

Why is it Scary?

Oxybenzone is known to cause skin allergies and is a serious eye irritant. Even more concerning is due to the significant amount it absorbs into the skin, it can cause endocrine disruptions, including estrogen production in women and testosterone production in men. It has also been linked to higher risks of other reproductive diseases like endometriosis, and the development of a birth defect called Hirschsprung’s disease, when used during pregnancy.  

What we use instead:  Zinc Oxide, Natural UV protecting ingredients Non nano zinc Oxide. This mineral helps to block harmful UV rays from the skin to help prevent sunburn. It is a natural barrier and has water resistant qualities, along with soothing itching, burning, inflammation, and redness.


What is it?

Phenoxyethanol is an ether alcohol used as an antimicrobial and preservative to extend the lifespan of cosmetic and skin care products, among other uses. 

Why is it scary?

Though it does indeed extend the lifespan of these products, it can irritate sensitive skin, exacerbate eczema, has a strong allergen profile and is extremely dangerous for infants when ingested causing vomiting, diarrhea and a depressed nervous system!

What we use instead:

Radish root ferment filtrate (leuconostoc) is a preservative created by fermenting raphanus sativus (radish) roots with the microorganism, leuconostoc, a bacteria from lactic acid. Small amounts (typically 0.5%) are used in cosmetics to protect them from a wide range of harmful substances that can contaminate the product and alter its effectiveness.

Summary:  We hope this list of Scary Skincare has helped you keep the frights where they belong - in the movies instead of on your skin! Happy Halloween!