5 harmful ingredients to avoid in skincare products

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Some of the worst ingredients in skincare products include fragrances, phthalates, formaldehyde, and alcohol.
Fragrances can irritate your skin and are one of the leading causes of contact dermatitis, which is a condition that causes inflamed skin.
Alcohol can also damage your skin’s natural barrier, making it hard for your skin to retain moisture.

This article was medically reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with a private practice in New York City.

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Our everyday skincare products contain dozens of ingredients. Some of these ingredients are essential and beneficial for our skin’s health, while some can be damaging and should be avoided.

The list of ingredients on the back of your favorite skincare products is often long and confusing. So here are five ingredients to look out for and why you might want to avoid them.

Both natural and artificial fragrances can irritate your skin. In fact, according to the Academy of Dermatology Association, fragrances are one of the leading causes of contact dermatitis, a skin condition in which your skin becomes red and inflamed after coming in contact with an irritant.

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