5 Ingredients That Cause Wrinkles—In Your Skin Care Products!

We often talk about how many of today’s cosmetic manufacturers put cheap, chemical ingredients in their skin care products that aren’t good for your skin. Sometimes, however, these ingredients not only fail to nourish and soothe skin—they can actually worsen its condition, leading to more wrinkles, fine lines, and dryness in the future.

Is this what you want in your skin care?

Of course not. You buy skin products to care for your skin, and to look better and younger. To help you avoid those products that will only derail your anti-aging efforts, we’ve got five key ingredients that you must avoid if you want to be good to your skin.

  1. Sulfates: These are harsh, corrosive, and drying ingredients you’ll find in your cleansers, body washes, shampoos, and even in your toothpastes. As we told you in this post, these chemicals are also used in floor scrubbing solutions, engine degreasers, and car-wash soaps. They cause skin irritation and corrosion, and over time, lead to increased dryness. You know what that means—more visible fine lines and wrinkles. In fact, studies have indicated that very thing—that sulfates can age the skin. Avoid “sodium laureth sulfate” and “sodium lauryl sulfate.”
  2. Certain alcohols: Look at one of your anti-aging skin products and you may find ingredients like “SD alcohol, ethanol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol.” These are all drying ingredients that strip away skin’s natural oils and lead to premature aging and irritation.
  3. DEA, MEA, TEA: We talked about these ammonia compounds in a former post. In addition to potential links to cancer, these ingredients are drying to the skin and hair. They can also cause allergic reactions, resulting in redness and inflammation. All of these results produce an overall aging effect.
  4. Mineral oil: It comes from petroleum, and it forms a sort of film over the skin, clogging pores and hindering the skin’s natural ability to cleanse itself. With extended use, it can encourage acne and actually irritate and inflame skin. The result is an aging effect that can make fine lines and wrinkles much more visible.
  5. Chemical sunscreens: Many so-called chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, benzophenone-3, and octyl methoxycinnamate can actually encourage free radical damage when exposed to sunrays. If the formula contains a good balance of antioxidants with the chemical sunscreen, the damage may be limited, but so far, we don’t have enough research to know exactly what that balance needs to be. Free radicals and UV exposure are the primary causes of wrinkles and fine lines. You can read more about how some sunscreens may actually damage skin at the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) 2013 Guide to Sunscreens. Find recommendations for the best ingredients here.

Do you avoid these ingredients? Please share your thoughts.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Mary says

    I have done a ton of home work on skin care and agree completely. Being Canadian it has been a long road for me trying to find safe skin care, but it’s getting easier as more information is given to the public. If i can’t find a product recommended by EWG I immediately look at the ingredients. The most difficult problem I have is talking about this subject to family and friends. With so many products being readily available, advertised constantly on tv, in flyers and online and all of them so affordable it’s a constant battle.

    I would like to thank you for your articles. I believe the more prominent this information is the quicker things will change for the better.

  2. Angelique says

    I absolutely avoid those ingredients. I don’t put anything on my face that isn’t natural..ie..coconut oil, essential oils, honey & cinnamon, bentonite clay, raw organic ACV.

  3. Kathleen Strainis says

    I am 65 and I recently am getting white heats under my lips and on my chin. This has never happened before to me. What to do. And other wise I am healthy.

    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      Hi there,

      It sounds like you’re working with some clogged pores! Washing your face with a mild cleanser, like our Citrus Mint Cleanser, two times a day will be very beneficial.
      Make sure that you’re working with the right moisturizer for your skin too, it might be very obvious to you what your skin type is, but it might not. A good way to test this is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser at night, but don’t follow it with a serum, moisturizer, or anything else. In the morning, check your skin for oiliness and dryness.

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