Welcome to the Coastal Laser and Aesthetics blog! Here, you’ll find articles about laser treatments, skin rejuvenation, body contouring technologies, wellness tips, and more! Our clinic is committed to providing high-quality results using non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed with the latest skincare technology. Refreshed, healthy skin is an important aspect of optimal health and self-esteem. That’s why we’re happy to help our patients achieve their aesthetic goals! Most of our procedures are quick, with minimal downtime and side effects. Our site features a full list of services, active promotions, discounts, and reviews. We encourage you to take a look around and familiarize yourself with our highly-trained staff.

Our last article discussed the Epionce Skin Care Line. Epionce products provide a range of benefits, including fantastic anti-aging results, without the irritation reactions that are often seen with the use of retinoid products. The products include cleansers, toners, serums, lotions, eye creams, face masks, and more. Coastal Laser and Aesthetics is proud to carry the full range of professional Epionce products. If you are interested in learning more about Epionce Skin Care, the products we offer, and more, we encourage you to check out our last post. You can also visit our website to learn more.

Today, we’ll be discussing ingredients you may want to avoid in cosmetic products. Oftentimes when purchasing a cosmetic or beauty product, there is a long list of ingredients– And most of them feel impossible to pronounce. It can be difficult to know what to look for, and since everyone’s skin is different, the list of what to avoid will likely be different for everyone. We’ll be taking a look at some of the most commonly problematic ingredients found in cosmetic products. So, if you’re interested in learning more about what ingredients you may want to avoid, stick around!

It is estimated that about 161 million women in the U.S. use beauty products every day. Because of this, you probably feel it is safe to assume that all products on the shelves are safe for use. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market. It is up to the companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetic products to ensure their safety, which might sound a bit scary. To put things in perspective, a 2021 study found that many cosmetics contain high levels of fluorine, which is linked to fertility issues, common cancers, and more. This is why it is incredibly important to check the ingredients of any cosmetic or beauty product that you buy– Especially if you have sensitive skin. But what should you look for? Let’s take a closer look.


There are many different types of alcohol used in cosmetics– Some can be harmful, but others may be beneficial. It often depends on your skin type. Alcohol is commonly used in skincare products due to its skin-tightening abilities and to help products sink into the skin. But generally, this ingredient can strip away your skin’s natural oils and moisture. It can also break down the skin’s barrier, leading to early signs of aging. If you have dry skin, it will likely be best to look for alcohol-free products. The use of alcohol-based products on oily skin can also cause the skin to produce excess oil. Some types of alcohol ingredients to avoid are ethanol, methanol, and isopropyl alcohol. 

However, one beneficial type of alcohol is a fatty alcohol. Fatty alcohol is typically used as a thickener in skincare products and can be derived from coconut or palm oil. A common name for this ingredient is cetearyl alcohol. Fatty alcohols are not harsh on the skin and add an extra layer of moisture. This can be especially beneficial for dry skin or conditions such as eczema. Another alcohol ingredient that is more gentle on the skin is stearyl alcohol. Stearyl alcohol softens the skin and acts as an emulsifier, which helps oil and water combine and provides a smooth consistency.


You may have heard of “paraben-free” products, but what exactly are parabens? Parabens are a group of chemicals that are commonly used as artificial preservatives in cosmetic or body care products. Parabens increase shelf life and prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. These chemicals have been used in cosmetic products since the 1920s. Some of the parabens most commonly used in cosmetics are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben. Sometimes, products contain more than one paraben. You absorb parabens through your skin when you use products that contain them, and the more you use them, the more they accumulate in your body. Some scientists studying the effects of parabens have found that they may disrupt hormones in your body, as they can mimic estrogen. This could potentially cause fertility issues or issues in reproductive development. Some studies have also shown that parabens may be linked to early puberty in girls. Although the risks of parabens continue to be debated, the European Union banned the use of five parabens in 2015. 


Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butyl Hydroxytoluene (BHT) are synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in many cosmetic products including lipsticks and moisturizers. They are also used as food additives. Like parabens, they are generally added to prolong the shelf life of a product. While their risks have been debated, they have been found to cause allergic reactions on the skin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible man-made carcinogen. It is important to recognize that this particular ingredient is not the same as beta hydroxy acid, also known as BHA. Both BHA and BHT have been linked to the disruption of hormones and thyroid problems. These ingredients are banned in Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan. 


Although they may smell nice, both natural and artificial fragrances can irritate the skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, fragrance in skincare products is a common cause of contact dermatitis, which irritates the skin or triggers an allergic reaction. Artificial fragrances are made of a mix of chemicals and can potentially cause conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Products that stay on the skin, such as lotions, moisturizers, or makeup products, should have low concentrations of fragrance, or none at all. Because of this, those with sensitive skin may want to opt for completely fragrance-free products. However, it is important to note that anyone can develop an allergy to a cosmetic ingredient at any time. Products labeled “fragrance-free” can still have a scent– It just means no chemicals were added to create or enhance the scent. 


Synthetic sulfate-based chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are often found in personal care products. They act as a type of detergent and produce lather in products like shampoos or soaps. SLS and SLES can potentially irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs, especially with long-term use. For those with sensitive skin, sulfate-based ingredients can clog pores and cause acne. Sulfates can also strip natural oils from the hair and skin. There is no scientific evidence linking these ingredients to health concerns such as cancer, but there is still the potential for irritation. If you are worried about skin irritation, look for products labeled as sulfate-free or opt for solid and oil-based soaps and other skincare products. Overall, sulfate is safe for brief use on the skin, which typically means products you rinse off soon after applying.

As you can see, the majority of ingredients in cosmetic products are not regulated. Therefore, it is important to be aware of what exactly you are putting on your skin. As mentioned above, ingredients to avoid will be different for everyone, since everyone has different skin types and concerns. Research is important when making a decision that you feel is best for you. We hope you found this article informative and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have any further questions about skincare. At Coastal Laser and Aesthetics, we sell the full range of Epionce skincare products, which are paraben, fragrance, sulfate, and gluten-free! We also offer skin resurfacing treatments, laser hair removal, chemical peels, Botox, dermal fillers, and more! Beautiful, radiant skin begins with a strong foundation of skincare fundamentals and a set of trusted skincare professionals. You can book your free consultation, read up on our services, and browse our active promotions all on our site! Until next time—thank you for reading!