Three Ingredients to Avoid in Your Facial Cleanser

Three Ingredients to Avoid in Your Facial Cleanser

You know you shouldn’t wash your face with soap and you absolutely need a good cleanser.  Then why is it so hard to know which facial cleanser to buy?  There are cleansers for different skin types including cleansers that foam, and so many different brands to choose from.

Most people utilize price, labels or brand names to make their decisions.  However, I suggest you read the ingredients before you decide which cleanser to buy.

When I was in my early 30s, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. As a doctor, my first instinct was to check the ingredients in the products I was using, including my beauty products. I was shocked to find the medical-grade products I used – and recommended to my patients – were full of chemicals and other harsh ingredients.

There are many chemicals you may decide to avoid, but these are my top three due to irritation that can occur in the short term.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)

This ingredient is found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products that foam.  If present in a concentration of greater than one percent, SLS can cause severe irritation and even corrosion of the skin.  SLS mimics estrogen and there is concern that over time greater than one percent of this ingredient can be absorbed into the bloodstream and residual levels in your body can be higher.


Alcohol is often used as the base ingredient in many beauty products to thicken the product and penetrate more effectively, according to Paula’s Choice.  It breaks down the skin’s natural barriers and can dry and irritate the skin.  Avoid Isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, and ethyl alcohol.


The word fragrance can represent hundreds of chemicals which can aggravate asthma, allergies, and headaches.  Many fragrances are created with Phtalates, a group of chemicals considered to be endocrine disruptors and are linked to reproductive problems.  It is safest to use products that use essential oils or fruit as the fragrance.

There are a number of other ingredients I would consider avoiding due to long term health concerns.  Many chemicals have not been proven to cause cancer, but there is notable literature to cause suspicion.

When I began my research into the skincare products available on the market that were both medical-grade and free of harsh chemicals, I was disappointed in the lack of options. This led me to create my own skincare line, Avanti Rx. Our products use gentle botanicals but deliver powerful results.

As you research your options for avoiding the three ingredients I outlined above, I’d love for you to consider my Clearly Luminous Cleanser.

It is time for us to be educated consumers and avoid ingredients in our skin care regimen that serve not purpose to improve our skin and cause irritation.

Send us photos of your product labels, and we’d be happy to point out any ingredients you might want to avoid. 

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