Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid - Sente Labs

Ingredients that are Bad for Your Skin

Your skin is one of the most important organs in your body, and it’s the largest. In addition to protecting your bones, muscles, and organs, skin also absorbs external elements that can affect you positively or negatively. Everything from the pollution outside to the skincare routine you use has an effect on your entire body.

At Senté, we strive for whole-body wellness – not just healthy skin. So to help you keep your skin and body healthy, we’ve created an overview of which skincare ingredients to avoid, which ones are great for you, and which ones you shouldn’t mix.

Read this blog to discover the top six ingredients that are bad for your skin and body, three ingredients that are the gold standard for skincare products, and one novel ingredient that can completely change your skincare routine!

Which Skincare Ingredients Should You Avoid?

1. DEA | MEA | TEA

Diethanolamine, monoethanolamine, and triethanolamine are colorless liquids typically used to help foam facial cleansers and soaps, but you can also find these skincare ingredients to avoid in eye makeup, hair products, sunscreen, and fragrances. All three may result in hormone disruption, liver tumors, and cancer.

2. Mineral Oil

This petroleum by-product tends to coat your skin and clog pores. It interferes with your body’s natural ability to expel toxins and results in acne and other skin conditions. You might find mineral oil in lotions, ointments, and cosmetics.

3. Phthalates

These chemicals are used in cosmetics to carry fragrance and help lubricate other substances. Unfortunately, they’re often listed as fragrance oils or just as fragrance. Phthalates are skincare ingredients to avoid, because they can disrupt hormones in both males and females and possibly harm reproductive systems.

4. Siloxanes

Any ingredient ending in -methicone or -siloxane falls into this category of compound that’s used to soften and moisten skin. Not only does this ingredient disrupt the endocrine system, it’s also harmful to wildlife.


Sodium lauryl sulfate, along with sodium laureth sulfate, are used to create foam and lather in personal care products. Recently, a study found that almost 90% of cosmetic and skincare products still use this ingredient. SLS and SLES are some of the most important skincare ingredients to avoid, as they actually strip your skin of its natural protective oils, irritating skin and may exacerbate conditions like rosacea, eczema, and acne.

6. Synthetic Fragrance

The last item on our list of ingredients that are bad for your skin is synthetic fragrance. This is a generalized term that could mean anything!

You’ll see synthetic fragrance as an ingredient on everything from candles and air fresheners to skincare products and shampoo. In skincare, synthetic fragrances can result in irritation, redness, and inflammation.

Better Skincare Ingredients

woman spritzing skincare

Now that we’ve discussed which skincare ingredients to avoid, let’s move on to a few that are incredibly beneficial and don’t have harmful side effects for your body.

The Novel Ingredient


An exclusive compound developed by Senté, Heparan Sulfate Analog (HSA), has many characteristics that are similar to hyaluronic acid. HSA is a very hydrating molecule that also works to soothe irritated and sensitive skin. It can strengthen the dermal barrier and improve signs of redness over time. HSA is an emerging ingredient embraced by dermatologists for its deeply hydrating and redness reducing benefits. It is also easy to integrate in a skincare routine, because it can be paired with other ingredients and is well tolerated.

Gold Standard Skincare Ingredients

1. Retinol

Lauded as one of the top ingredients for anti-aging products, retinol is a vitamin A derivative that encourages cell turnover to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. It’s mainly used as a preventative to slow the signs of aging. This powerful ingredient is dermatologist recommended as one of the gold standard ingredients, but should always be used carefully and followed with moisturizer.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another dermatologist-recommended product and one of the gold standard ingredients, due to its numerous benefits. Vitamin C works to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, prevent sun damage, and evens out skin tones.

3. Broad Spectrum SPF

For preventative aging and ultimate skin protection, broad spectrum SPF is recommended by dermatologists. Our SPF sunscreen is a UVA/UVB protectant that features zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Providing a shield to the sun’s harmful rays, our sunscreens protect sensitive skin.

What Now?

woman checking her skin

From figuring out which skincare ingredients to avoid to learning which skincare products work best together, you might discover that creating a routine is more complicated than you think. Senté is here to simplify your life. Take our skincare quiz and do more to figure out your skincare journey.