Are there products you won't wear because they have certain ingredients?

Are there products you won’t wear because they have certain ingredients? ? Share!

I try to avoid testing too many plumping lip products, particularly ones that are noted as strong or in gloss form, as my lips tend to react poorly.

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Katherine T. Avatar

Any face products (foundation, powders, blush, creams, sunscreens, etc) with fragrance or alcohol. My face is sensitive, and I’ve read that even if your face doesn’t show any irritation, those ingredients will eventually damage your skin and collagen over time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read about some awesome foundation or powder, only to find out they have these ingredients. And a lot of plant oils like lavender, rose, peppermint, or citrus can irritate my skin.

Lisa Avatar

I feel the same way with products! Are there any foundations and face products you recommend without them?
I have SUCH a hard time finding things that don’t cause me to have some sensitivity because of the fragrance and alcohol

Katherine T. Avatar

For skincare, I recommend you check out Paula’s Choice and First Aid Beauty, as many, if not all, of their products are free of fragrance and SD alcohol or denatured alcohol. For makeup, it varies from brand to brand and from product to product, so you have to read the ingredient list. I haven’t found my HG foundation/powder yet, so I can’t recommend anything at the moment. But I find that Guerlain, LancΓ΄me, L’Oreal tend to have fragrance in their cosmetics and skincare.

Katherine T. Avatar

Oh you should try! Paula’s Choice has some awesome stuff and very reasonably priced. She also has sample packets for like $1-$5 each, and starter kits, so you can try first. If you sign up for emails, she often sends notice of 15% off and free shipping too with min purchase.

Lotus Avatar

Hi Lisa! I highly recommend it!!! If you need any help with color matching, please let me know! My mother is as sensitive as I yet Paula’s choice was awful and KGD matches flawlessly, lasting a long time. The finish is superb to anything out there. If you rezearch, you’ll find how their makeup came to be and why it feels weightless yet good on! I hope I can help as I’ve never been as happy as I am with anything else! πŸ™‚ xo

Lotus Avatar

I’m so happy to assist in your not being alone! πŸ™‚ I wish you the greatest! Their foundation is phenomenal! Best color match ever. I really hope you find what works and love it! πŸ™‚

Lisa Avatar

Have you ever tried any of the primers from Koh Gen Do? I’m looking at the KGD Maifanshi Makeup Color Base but am unsure if it’s okay for those of us with super sensitive skin!

Lotus Avatar

Hi Lisa! Yes, they’re just fine. πŸ™‚ Quite lovely texture as well! If you need any color assist, I’m here! I’ve been joking up many to KGD, including my mother who is now a devotee! When I first did her makeup, she was shocked at how beautiful she looked! It’s truly amazing! The color bases are not a necessity but can add beautifully to the ultimate finish if the best one for your color is chosen! Aww, like my mom. Bless her heart. She’s the right color now! πŸ˜› She just never felt deserving to give herself the attention. So I did it and it makes me happy when she’s happy! I love KGD so much that I’m so sad that currently if I go anywhere and need to use makeup, I have to use CdP or By Terry for a more full coverage due to hormones and hyperpigmetation healing. πŸ™ They’re great! But I just genuinely stand by everything KGD represents and am blown away by how the formulation mutates into your own skin color so flawlessly! Looking forward to a clear face so I can bathe in it. And, the Maifanshi Moisture one is THE BEST. (Spelling?) the red tube. πŸ™‚

Lisa Avatar

Haha! You are so kind I appreciate all your help so so much!!!!
I just received the aqua foundation and am blown away by how amazing it is! My skin is NOT itchy for the first time in like ever for a liquid foundation! I am extremely happy with that choice! I am literally stocking the company now πŸ™‚
I have a bit of rosacea so decided to try the green primer out and see if it helps to even my skin tone before foundation application, but call me amazed so far!
Thank you again for your help! You’re the best πŸ™‚

Lotus Avatar

Aww!! I’m SO happy reading this!! I’m elated for YOU! See? I’d NEVER ever live with myself if I spoke falsely! And yes! The green primer is most excellent for rosacea!!! There is a review out there somewhere by a woman who had a face-over makeover by KGD and then re-did the steps, taking pictures to slow the difference with her rosacea! It’s phenomenal! And sometimes you’ll find you won’t even need it! Also, the Moisture foundation works immaculately on even the most oily skin! It somehow regulates & keep moisture balanced. Hey, they created for film.. It’s all Magic! My experience: the color in one matches the color in the other. ENJOY! I’m SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›

Linda Avatar

Anything with mineral oil in it, it causes milia around my eyes that takes forever to go away! The original culprit was Sephora brand eye makeup remover, but I find it’s in a lot of moisturizers and concealers, for example. I’ve been mineral oil and milia free for 3 years now.

Peppermint oil in lip products makes my lips peel, so I avoid that as well.

Ryou Avatar

I can no longer use anything fragranced near my eye area, so that means no-no to strongly perfumed highlighters and blushes, either. Is it just me or do cream/liquid products tend to retain fragrance longer? I have less issue with fragranced powders (think Guerlain Meteorites) in small quantities, although I do avoid applying those on the immediate eye area.

Like Christine, I avoid lip plumpers of any kind, because they just irritate my lips horribly, not to mention I generally dislike the scent/flavor of as well (including mint, although I can tolerate it to a degree).

I avoid skincare and make-up products that has a lot of alcohol denat in it, although I’m less wary of the ingredient in haircare.

Nancy T Avatar

ANYTHING with saccharin!!! And yes, I am deadly serious. I have a sulfa allergy, and saccharin is a sulfa, something I never would have known about had I not bought what I sincerely believed would be my dream neutral palette: Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette. Not an ingredient that one would imagine to be in EYESHADOW. Needless to say, I didn’t, and my poor eyes slowly became more itchy and inflamed with each of the 4 days I used it. But at first I just thought it was something else, by day 4 , I just knew it was the palette, called Ulta, the SA asked me if I had a sulfa allergy, which I thought was a really weird question, I told her “yes, why?”, she tells me others with sulfa allergies had reactions too! Brought it back, but so sad that it is something I can never use or own again.

Nancy T Avatar

Me either! And while I did know that it had cocoa powder in it, I never would have EVER thought that saccharin would be in an eyeshadow??? Our lids do NOT need to be “tasty”!

Lotus Avatar

Good to know! I’m allergic to Sulfa as well, though it’s been determined by ingesting it so I’m not sure if if be affected, but I’ve never felt quite right about Cocoa smelling makeup so I’m glad I’ve deferred! πŸ™‚

Jessica Avatar

Anything w/ Parabens, Mineral oil, Parrafins, Patrolium. Even though people tell me it’s safe, I always read the ingredients on everthing. I’ve found that research is always 50/50, so I avoid it all together.

tirurit Avatar

Since I read about the effects of alcohol on skin I try to avoid using products that list alcohol as one of their main ingredients. I still have to find an alternative for the rose water that I used to love :X Any suggestions?

Michelle Avatar

Fragrances, essential oils, chemical sunscreens, denatured alcohol, witch hazel and anything that causes burning, irritation and inflammation to rosacea skin!

Astrild Avatar

NO, I’m not very concious about ingredients. I try to minimize silicones in my hair products because I feel mu hair cleaner, but I don’t avoid them totally.

Sarah Avatar

Ditto with the lip plumping ones, as well as any balm with menthol, mint, or anything tingly on my lips. It only irritates it. Beyond that I avoid silicones/dimethicones in skincare, along with any of the dirty ingredients recommended by the Environmental Working Group. I avoid chemical sunscreens (they irritate my skin). I COMPLETELY avoid any makeup with chunky glitter or sparkle. On my mid-30s, dry skin it just looks ridiculous.

Tracy Avatar

During the past 6 months I have tried to eliminate fragrance from most of my face products and my skin has never looked better (cleansing balms, facial cleansers, toners, face masks, serums, moisturizers, foundations etc). I have naturally rose cheeks and that’s gone down quite a bit along with improvements with my skin’s texture and clarity. I realize that I’m not always going to be able to find fragrance free everything but even though it can be challenging but I’m patient because I see how it’s improved my skin.

Sarah Avatar

Definitely – I avoid denatured alcohol, fragrance, and irritating plant oils like citrus and peppermint. I’ve had poor experiences with all of these so I avoid them almost totally.

Eileen Avatar

I cannot tolerate any chemical sunscreens and can only use mineral ones such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Consequently, I must be very careful about the SPF often found in foundations. I wish the makers of foundations wouldn’t include SPF, but I do realize that there are a lot of lazy people when it comes to applying sunscreen and so the little bit of protection they get from their foundation is better than nothing πŸ™

Nicole Avatar

Skincare products with dimethicone at the top of the list is a no-go for me and I see it a lot! At the end or in small amount I can do. In primers and cosmetics, I am ok with it. It just does nothing to actually help the skin . So I don’t see why companies are putting it in skincare products and trying to fool people into thinking their skin is instantaneously better as soon as they apply the product. it’s pretty absurd.

dorit Avatar

I’ve got a personal blacklist for some ingredients in skincare, but I’m not as strict when I’m dealing with makeup – after all, I’m removing it again after a few hours. The only exception for that is alcohol in foundations. I firmly believe that there shouldn’t be alcohol in stuff you put on your skin – it’s not only drying but can also lead to cell damage and who wants that?!

averymae Avatar

I can’t wear base products (especially sunscreen or foundation) that contains alcohols or heavy fragrance – my sensitive skin gets flushed and it will exacerbate my eczema. Also, I don’t usually like minty lip products, so I stay away from menthol, camphor, and other mint oils. Minty lip products usually dry my lips out more! Good question πŸ™‚

Angie Avatar

I have a soy allergy and never thought it would be in my skincare/hair products/ makeup until I had a face rash that wouldn’t go away. Tocopherols kill me… (Vitamin E) The majority of them are made from Soy…. which even if you aren’t allergic, is good to stay away from because it’s largely GMO (at least in the US)

xamyx Avatar

It’s almost impossible to avoid certain ingredients altogether, but I do limit how often I use talc & petrolatum to 2-3 days a week, if at all. I’m not concerned about “toxicity”, but I find my skins texture has greatly improved over the past few years since limiting the use. I also keep my skincare as clean & simple as possible, and use a lot of food-grade ingredients.

As for “alcohols”, they are far more ubiquitous than people realize; many alcohols don’t even have the word in the name, such as isopropyl myristate…

I find it almost obscene how many of my HE products contain such ingredients, yet the products I reachfor to use on a regular basis are NYX & WnW…

Sarah Avatar

About the alcohol – I’m not sure if people are just too lazy to write denatured alcohol or some other variant of the name, or if they think all alcohols are bad. I hope it’s the former because there are many good, safe alcohols in use!

xamyx Avatar

I think it’s “ignorance”; many just presume because one alcohol is bad, they all are, but haven’t done the research themselves. I also don’t rely on what I read from brands like Paula’s Choice (who have skin in the game, and also use “questionable” ingredients), but look to independent research, weighing both sides in some arguments. I also base my personal uses on my own skin & the effects. If we’re going to wear makeup, we need to expect there to be some questionable ingredients, regardless of pricepoint (I find it amusing when people say HE foundations are “better” for the skin, LOL!), but I just wish HE brands would use ingredients in-line with their pricing.

Kitty Avatar

Oh where to begin? I recently learned that I have Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD) involving several different things, including MCI/MI (preservative used in most shampoos/conditioners, many cleansers, etc.) and three metals–nickel, chromium and gold. ACD is not the same as contact dermatitis–ACD involves the immune system kicking into gear each time a culprit is put on the skin anywhere (or ingested, as in case of high-nickel foods for some people). ACD gets worse in time and with each exposure.

Eliminating MCI/MI has been easy in the sense that either or both show on ingredient list. Chromium elimination has been mostly easy for makeup products, by avoiding chromium pigments CI-77288 and CI-77289 (which are mostly in eye makeup and some blushes like Nars). Nickel elimination has been the worst because it can be a byproduct of manufacturing so not even be an ingredient per se–for example, finely milled powders can have it from stainless steel equipment releasing nickel into any acidic ingredient.

I have had to completely revamp my skincare and pare down most makeup products, unfortunately. I’ve also learned which makeup companies have been more receptive to sharing whether chromium is in their ingredients too, as both pigments show up as “may contain” on many ingredient lists. This is all still a work in process.

Christina D. Avatar

I hate fragrance and it’s really hard to know until after the fact/purchase. For example, I will not buy any L’Oreal lipsticks because of their awful smell, and I have thrown out so many Milani lipsticks for the same reason (until I found out that the new Milani lippies no longer have that stink).

How about lead? I have long shunned cosmetics made in China because China does not regulate the amount of lead in its products. Ironically, I was surprised to find out that the Paula’s Choice all matte palette was made in China! Given the brand’s schtick, I didn’t think the palette would be manufactured in China. Once again, I found out after I had purchased it on line.

Scout Avatar

I am increasingly worried and hesitant about using products that contain cyclic silicones, like cyclopentasiloxane and other versions of volatile cyclic silicones, since they have been proven to cause hormonal disturbances, fertility problems and even damage on foetus in tests conducted on animals. In my country some pharmacies have even begun to phase out all products containing these substances due to these a bit disturbing newer findings… At the same time more and more product contains these substances in the cosmetic industry. It’s easy to pretty much cover your entire body from moisturisers to foundation and eyeshadows and hair products with products that pretty much solely consists of these types of silicones… And that worries me a bit… Where are the breaking point when you are putting yourself at risk… ? I don’t know and the beauty industry probably doesn’t know either…

Rachel R. Avatar

Lip products with too much cinnamon oil make my lips itch like crazy, so I avoid most plumpers. Floral scented lip products (yuck, except for very light natural rose, violet or lavender). Anything with a heavy rose scent, because my husband is allergic. Any strong scent in a face product (allergic). Most mascaras (allergic – probably to scents and waterproofing agents). I try to avoid face products with a lot of oils, because my face is oily. Deodorants with baby-powder or floral scents (allergic). Anything with latex (contact dermatitis).

El Avatar

Re mascara allergies – I pinpointed mine to an eye sensitivity to black pigments (never had a problem with black lipstick!). I can wear some black/brown ones, but generally I stick to brown, purple, navy, or brighter colours. I end up giving away a lot of little black mascara samples!

Rachel R. Avatar

Thanks for the info. I hadn’t thought of that. I get along with black eyeliners and eyshadows fine, but maybe there are some black pigments used in mascaras I don’t get along with.

WildDove Avatar

Sunscreens. Fragranced products on my face or near my eyes. A lot of eye liners irritate my eyes, not sure what it is. Lip plumpers make my teeth hurt.

Dawn Avatar

I avoid fragrance on my face as much as possible. I also don’t wear chemical sunscreens, as they make my eyes and nose water like an allergic reaction.I also try to avoid products containing alcohol – most of the new serum-type foundations seem to have alot of it, to the point you can clearly smell it. Totally agree w/Christine about lip plumpers – the ones I’ve tried have made my lips dry to the point of peeling.

Kecia S. Avatar

Agreed on the bismuth oxychloride. It may give skin a luminous finish, but it makes me itch like CRAZY. I also stay away from lip plumping products. My lips are naturally full; they don’t need any assistance in that area.

Quinctia Avatar

I avoid perfumey-scented items, if that makes sense? I’d rather have unscented facial moisturizer, but if it’s got a light scent, I deal, that sort of thing.

I don’t use shampoo with sulfates or conditioners with silicones…not because they’re bad for my hair, but because my favorites don’t have those, and I always run out of one before the other, so I don’t want to start using a silicone-laden conditioner while I’m washing with a sulfate-free shampoo, or else my hair is going to get seriously weighted down!

Susan Avatar

Alas, MAC’s Noctunelle eye shadow. Something in that beautiful purple shadow makes my eyes itch like crazy. I think it’s the carnelian.

El Avatar

Yes. There is a list of absolute no-nos due to various allergies, and a secondary list of “It depends”, where the amount of the problem ingredient and the type of product are looked at.

But the biggies are rose, lavender, and chamomile. Lavender seems to be having a moment and getting added to everything new in skincare lately, which is seriously annoying. Rose and chamomile are usually skin-soothing agents, so they show up in a LOT of sensitive and rosacea skincare. Rose at least is fairly easy to identify, as all of the Latin plant names seem to contain “rosa” in them. Chamomile is a bugger. The derivative that’s been creeping into everything is bisabolol, but azulene and feverfew are also used.

So basically, I just stay away from flowers for the most part. If they don’t provoke a skin allergy, they’re likely to provoke a respiratory allergy from the fragrance (hay fever related).

It surprises me how many other commenters have problems with lavender, though. I don’t feel so alone! πŸ˜‰

Jan Avatar

Heavily perfumed glosses and lipsticks. Also, I avoid “stinging” lip glosses. I end up with a terrible reaction of swollen and blistered lips. Not pretty.

Valentina Avatar

Anything with BHA and anything with DMDM hydantoin which has a formaldehyde releaser. I am horribly allergic to DMDM hydantoin (eye cream is how I found out). My eyes puffed up so badly I couldn’t even see. πŸ™

Crystal Avatar

Products with orange or lavander in them (ive always wanted 2 try certain bobbi brown foundations but sadly i cant)&alchol (well that bad kind like dent.ect)i have roceacea &things that have strong consentratiins of those dying alchol’s,heavily fragranced&mineral oil high on the list cause me lots of problems..the 1st time my aunt put a mouse in my hair that high concentrations of all those everywhere the product touched my skin, broke out in small bumps 20 mins later..took a month to go away&it wasnt like a pimple or a few smatterings of them, the not a smooth surface between em type of reaction.

Brittany Avatar

For hair products, yes! I only use natural bar shampoos on my hair that I order from Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve. My hair is extremely fine and thin and I’ve found over the years that a lot of common liquid shampoos weigh down my hair and make my scalp itch. I still occasionally use a regular bottle conditioner if my hair needs extra moisture, but I’ve never looked back since switching to bar shampoos. They don’t add any extra fragrances, either, which is pretty cool!

For makeup, I don’t really avoid a lot of ingredients specifically. I’m willing to use products with dimethicone, but if it’s super silicone-feeling, then I won’t want to use it. I just hate that texture.

Brittany Avatar

Oh, and totally forgot that I usually avoid shea butter! The skin on my hands and face is sensitive to latex, and even though I’ve read from a few places that shea butter should be less irritating than full-on latex, I’m not willing to keep risking it after having a huge reaction to a Burt’s Bees body butter I used. I got a mondo rash on my hands and my earlobes where I used it. Now that I think of it, though, there’s lots of ingredients in BB’s body butters so it could have been some other ingredient I reacted to.

Lynne Avatar

While I have virtually no allergies, I can’t go near any eye makeup removers with oil in them. I have a terrible reaction that takes at least an hour to vanish. I have similar problems with many eye creams and have to make sure it won’t migrate anywhere near my water lines. Also, I was a regular user of lip balms with mint in them until I finally discovered – as another (and clearly smarter) person here noted – the menthol I liked so much made my lips peel.

Krista Avatar

I am gluten intolerant so I have to watch out for that. A lot of products have wheat and many have oats (which may be cross contaminated by wheat). Believe it or not, I’ve even seen barley components. Also I try to avoid strongly fragranced cosmetics. Fragrances give me a headache or make me feel ill.

Cat Avatar

Aloe. I’m beginning to think I’m the only person who’s allergic to aloe as they are starting to put it in EVERYTHING. I’ve had to stop using products I’ve used for years and find alternatives because they started adding aloe. =(

Rachel R. Avatar

My best friend is allergic to aloe. She found out in high school after getting a sunburn and slathering aloe gel on it. She swelled up so bad she had to go to the ER.

Cat Avatar

My reaction isn’t as drastic, yet still undesirable. I break out in an itchy rash. This happened recently to my face after using a Clinique moisturizer. I should know not to put something on my face without reading the ingredients first!

Much like your friend, I first discovered that I’m allergic to aloe after applying some organic, 100% pure aloe vera gel after getting a sunburn. As if the sunburn itself wasn’t bad enough! LOL At least I know I’m not the only one.

calimom Avatar

I avoid skincare and foundation with parabens or denatured alcohol. It’s shocking how many foundations have alcohol high on the ingredient list.

Maria Avatar

Alchohol, as much as I can – it is in many liquid foundations, though. Essential oils and irritants like menthol, camphor. Vitamin E, because it breaks me out. Shea butter because it can be comedogenic.

I don’t avoid mineral oil, silicones, and preservatives.

doroffee Avatar

Anything with honey or chamomile – I am allergic for those ingredients.
Anything with some weird animalic liquid – because they creep me out.

Diana Avatar

Ditto on the plumping lip products…thankfully, my lips are plump as they are. I tend to avoid silicone based or silicone feeling primers…I just don’t feel like they do much other than break me out.

Lotus Avatar

Alcohol is a main deterrent for me when it comes to base products, and I’m also not so keen on loads of silicones, added synthetics fragrances, or chemical sunscreen. It does depend on the formula, though! πŸ™‚

miekogirlie99 Avatar

i try to stay away from products with too much alcohol, not that i look for it but if i can smell it as im testing it or applying it i stay away. esp for lip products because it makes my lips tingle & not in a good way! otherwise, its SO hard to know whats good or bad… and that Skindeep website/app helps a little but EVERYTHING has something cancerous in it so it makes me not want to put anything in or on my body! πŸ™

Miekogirlie99 Avatar

I forgot but there is one Product I actually returned because I couldn’t get over one of the ingredients. The Dior flash spray foundation! It applied nice but I couldn’t get over the fact that it had butane inside Which is flammable…i just couldn’t keep putting that on my face & feel good about it.

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