Common Irritants List

Here is a list of common ingredients which are known to be irritating to skin and could cause rash, blotches and itching. As with all things, one person’s skin is very different to another and you may be lucky enough not to react. But if you are prone to reactions I would avoid the following:

  • SD Alcohol (also known as denatured alcohol)
  • Ammonia
  • Arnica
  • Balm mint
  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Camphor
  • Essential oils
  • Ethanol
  • Eugenol
  • Fragrance – an undisclosed collection of chemicals due to being protected by Trade Secret Laws but it is associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory issues and potential effects on the reproductive system.
  • Isoeugenol
  • Linalool
  • Menthoxypropanediol
  • Menthyl Acetate
  • Phenol
  • Purfume
  • Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate – is a surfactant (detergent) which is a foaming agent, found in cosmetic products and used as an industrial cleaning chemical so is therefore strong enough to de-grease machinery. It is has the potential to cause irritation to skin and is used in most toothpastes, shampoos and many face washes too.
  • Talc – can be contaminated with asbestos fibres, posing risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer.
  • TEA-lauryl sulfate

Essential oils can also be a problem, especially the highly fragranced ones. Your skin can react to everything, it makes no difference if it is natural or man-made. If you have sensitive skin I would use the following oils with caution:

  • Arnica
  • Balm mint
  • Balsam
  • Bazil
  • Benzoin
  • Bergamot
  • Birch
  • Cassia
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus juices and oils
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Clover blossom
  • Coriander
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Fennel oil
  • Fir needle
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Horsetail
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime
  • Marjoram
  • Melissa (lemon balm)
  • Menthol
  • Mint
  • Oak bark
  • Orange
  • Oregano
  • Papaya
  • Peppermint
  • Pimento Berry
  • Pine
  • Sandalwood oil
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
  • Witch hazel
  • Ylang-ylang

 

If you are interested in learning more about ingredients, here are a couple of sites which will help:

http://www.paulaschoice.co.uk/learn/ingredient-dictionary/

or here at:

http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/index.php