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Cosmetic Ingredients That Shouldn’t Be Combined

Why it’s better to avoid synthetic chemicals that could be causing harmful chemical reactions on your skin.

Written by: 100% PURE®
Chemical Mixing

Have you ever thought about what’s in your makeup or skin care? Ok, maybe you have. So now you’re an experienced decipherer of lengthy ingredient lists. While you might know which harmful chemicals you should watch out for, some fine details might fall off the radar. And we don’t blame you. After all, we’re not all trained cosmetic formulators, and we trust the FDA to make sure our favorite beauty products are absolutely safe for our bodies, right? Not quite. Some seemingly harmless ingredients can create a hazardous reaction when mixed together, and who’s there to warn you about that? Luckily our founder, Chief Creative, and expert formulator Susie Wang is extremely experienced, and always has your health as her top priority. We’re going to talk a little science today about cosmetic ingredients, and some beauty do’s and don’ts to avoid harming your skin.

Vitamin C Serum

Choose Stable, High Quality Cosmetic Ingredients

Do you know how our founder Susie Wang first entered the world of cosmetic formulating? When she was a freshman in college, she saved up money to purchase a Vitamin C serum from a department store. But after opening the bottle, Susie noticed that the once white serum turned into a tarnished brown, meaning that the Vitamin C had oxidized. Once Vitamin C starts oxidizing, it not only loses its potency, but also converts into skin-damaging free radicals. Can you imagine hoping to cure your skin care woes with an expensive serum, only to damage it instead?

Don’t be scared off by Vitamin C yet, because Susie figured out a way to stabilize it so you can enjoy all of its benefits without sacrificing your health. Our Vitamin C Serum is stable and potent enough for PM skin care routines. But there are other ways that Vitamin C can cause chemical reactions and hurt your skin. As many of you might know, Vitamin C and Niacinamide are usually a big no in cosmetic formulations. That’s because conventional cosmetic companies use Vitamin C with a low pH level - around 2 to 3 - like Ascorbic Acid, which isn’t compatible with the more neutral pH 6-7 of Niacinamide. We use a higher quality, more stable version of Vitamin C called Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate that has a pH level of 6-7 like Niacinamide. That means our form of Vitamin C can coexist with Niacinamide without causing a harmful chemical reaction on your skin, allowing you to reap the benefits of both vitamins in our Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum.

Multi Vitamin Serum

Avoid Reactions Between Cosmetic Ingredients

There are so many nuances and properties of cosmetic ingredients, it’d be impossible to know all of them unless you had the more than 10 years of experience that our founder Susie Wang has. Another problem with lower quality, less stable forms of Vitamin C is that it reacts with Sodium Benzoate to form Benzene - a known carcinogen. That spells trouble, since Sodium Benzoate is widely used as a preservative in food, beverages, cosmetics, and other personal care products.

While it may be simple enough to nix any of your skin care products that have both Vitamin C and Sodium Benzoate, we’ve decided it’s easier to just use natural preservatives instead that work synergistically with Vitamin C. Our natural preservative system runs on Japanese Honeysuckle, Thyme, Oregano, Goldenseal, Rosemary, Lavender, as well as a high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants to preserve our formulas. These ingredients are not only safe for your skin in combination with other cosmetic ingredients, but also have soothing benefits for your dermis too.

Honeysuckle Tree

Harmful Cosmetic Ingredients that Release Formaldehyde

You’ve heard us warn you enough about the hundreds of chemicals that should be banned from cosmetics, like Formaldehyde - linked to cancer - in nail polishes. We don’t mean to be alarmist, but we wonder if cosmetic companies and the FDA are really cautioning you enough to the risk that cosmetic ingredients can pose to your health. For example, while your favorite mascara or body wash may not actually contain the word “Formaldehyde” on its ingredients label, it can include ingredients that release Formaldehyde over time. That’s right, common synthetic preservatives such as DMDMH (commonly used in shampoo), bronopol (found in eye makeup), and glyoxal (used in nail polish) are all formaldehyde-releasers. Rather than risking our health to a carcinogen, we stick to our favorite natural preservative Japanese Honeysuckle for it’s soothing, antimicrobial properties.

Sea Culture Toner

What’s in “Fragrance?”

Think everything you need to know about the cosmetic ingredients in your favorite skin care product is on the label? Think again. You might be familiar with seeing the ingredient “fragrance” on one of your skin care products. While we do love ourselves a heavenly lotion that smells like vanilla, “fragrance” is a lot more toxic than it sounds.

“Fragrance” is actually used as an umbrella term for a mix of cosmetic ingredients in the formula. However, the FDA doesn’t require companies to list the exact ingredients in their fragrance formulas, supposedly to protect “trade secrets.” The FDA even acknowledges that phthalates - linked to endocrine disruption and birth defects - are commonly used in fragrance ingredients, and who knows what other damaging ingredients could be lurking under the term “fragrance.” You could be doing your best to avoid formaldehyde-releasing ingredients, only to have them unknowingly appear in your beauty products under the name “fragrance.” Who would ever know? We remain committed to barring these synthetic fragrances from our formulas. We can do better than that (have you heard about our chocolate-scented mascaras that have real cocoa powder in them?)

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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