Skin Care

Parabens & Co. – which cosmetics ingredients you prefer to go out of the way

Cosmetics are there to make you feel comfortable in your skin and right down to the tips of your hair. Protect, maintain, balance, tame, cleanse – so carefully composed ingredients make cosmetics a real treat. That this can not be the same for every product is clear. But they should be manageable and good for you. Therefore care with chemical cocktails, which are often aimed only at superficial effects.



Give parabens, silicones and mineral oils the pass

In the drugstore advertise many packs of vegetable oils and flower extracts. But how much plant power is actually in it? That tells you – theoretically – the list of ingredients. To read them is an art in itself, but worth it. Especially since some substances scandals and myths entwine.


Including aluminum in deodorants, silicones in shampoos and microplastic in toothpaste – some of the most commonly used ingredients in cosmetics read like a grocery list for the hardware store. Of course, that sounds different.


But why is that what our tender organ should cultivate, so full of chemistry? Many of these are additives that regulate texture, durability, color and fragrance. Although natural essences can be used, they are much more expensive than mineral oil ingredients.


Are cheap ingredients harmful ingredients?

Researchers are still investigating how aluminum is related to breast cancer risk, but it is advisable to avoid deodorising with this substance. This is recommended by the Federal Office for Risk Assessment. Because we absorb so much food and other aluminum-containing products that the weekly limit is reached quickly [3].


Emulsifiers – Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate and other emulsifiers combine oil with water and are therefore present in most lotions. The problem: they remain on the skin. On the next contact with water, they combine it with skin’s own fat and simply rinse it off. So the skin loses its protective shield ad hoc.


We have dedicated our own article to the topic. Under tension from the cream tube: how emulsifiers dry out your skin you learn how to avoid emulsifiers.


Too little of the good – which says the order of the INCI list

The placement of the ingredients in the INCI list speaks volumes. They are listed in descending order. From the former is therefore the most contained, least of the latter. The INCI list also tells you whether the praise for natural oils and vitamins from the front of the pack is perhaps just a sales pitch.


You should be skeptical especially if the advertising message and the price are not quite right. With a huge tube of body lotion for CHF 4.- which advertises large with argan oil, the proportion of expensive oil is certainly negligible.


4 tips for cosmetics without parabens

Luckily you can use these tricks from the offer ocean to fish out products that spoil you sustainably.


Tip 1: rely on natural cosmetics

Here you can be sure that there are no parabens, silicones, PEGs and Co., which are in the top of the list of ingredients for conventional cosmetics. Also mineral oils and their derivatives you will not find here.



Tip 2: Use products with few ingredients

Here, the composition is not only manageable, fewer ingredients also mean less potential for negative reactions. Especially sensitive skin will thank you for that. Incidentally, that was the idea behind the founding of our natural cosmetics line FIVE. Because with us every product contains, as the name implies, a maximum of 5 ingredients.



Tip 3: Take the trouble to look up the ingredients

Seriously?! Where the lists are infinite? Do not worry, help is approaching. Apps like Codecheck or the INCI app by make it easy for you. The INCI app tells you everything about function, occurrence and type of individual ingredients. At Codecheck, you simply scan the barcode and the app will tell you what’s in it, what it does, and whether the product is lactose, gluten or vegan. You can also find the FIVE products on the Codecheck.


Tip 4: Pay attention to the organic content

Natural cosmetics are not necessarily organic. The latter is almost a grade above. However, organic raw materials are massively more expensive than conventional ones. But we think it’s worth it. Especially pesticides are soluble in oil and so get on your skin. The organic origin is what most manufacturers in the INCI list add. By the way, we too.


Fragrances – a word about allergies

Linalool, Limonene, Farnesol, Geraniol, Citronellol – you can find these substances on many INCI lists. Also on ours. These are natural ingredients of essential oils or hydrolates. They contain the concentrated plant power. Therefore, it is possible that one or the other is allergic to it.


The EU has defined 26 allergenic ingredients, which are always listed separately in the list of ingredients. As an allergic person, you should therefore look closely or resort to fragrance-free products.

That would be too sweeping. It often becomes harmful only when toxic components split off and enter our circulation. For other substances, it is a matter of caution. Because often it is unknown how they will have a long-term effect. So the question is: Do you risk or burden your body as little as possible?


In addition, many synthetic remedies target the immediate effect. It’s like superficially cleaning your skin like a cracked wall. But with dryness, itching and pimples, your body gives you an error message.


Only to suppress warning signals, worsens the situation permanently. Instead, focus on valuable ingredients that your skin can metabolize. Because they help them to regain their balance.


Know what’s in it

There is a declaration requirement in the EU and Switzerland. Say you can find all the ingredients on the packaging or on the leaflet. Indications of valuable argan oil, shea butter or even vegan cosmetics often wave on the front.


Here it is usually also whether the product is free of critical substances such as aluminum or parabens. A good clue, but not without a problem. The fact that a controversial substance is not included, does not mean that nobody is in it.


Incidentally, you often also read without microplastics, parabens or palm oil on products that would not contain the substance anyway. It’s like a dairy advertising gluten-free natural yoghurt.


Read and understand the INCI list

And then there’s this tiny, small print list on the back, the so-called INCI list (stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients).




“The sheer amount of partly English and partly Latin names confused. For example, a facial cream consists on average of 20 to 30 ingredients! »


Anna, founder of FIVE – natural cosmetics with a maximum of 5 ingredients




Even if you have deciphered the felt 2-pt-tiny font with grandma’s reading magnifying glass, that does not explain what causes the substances. So here are a few examples that are found in many cosmetics.


Parabens – The preservatives are similar in structure to estrogen. Therefore, they are suspected to influence the hormone balance. Experiments with rats suggest this effect [1]. In addition, researchers have found that parabens are stored in the body [2]. How exactly this affects the long term is unclear. Because long-term studies do not exist yet.


Silicones – You can recognize them by the endings -icone and -iloxanes. Previously, non-water-soluble silicones were used, which virtually gelatinized the hair. That made her dull with time. Now mostly water-soluble ones are used.


Nevertheless, the question remains: Do I want so much artificial on my skin and hair? Because, as you turn it and turn it, silicones do not trigger the regeneration, nor provide nutrients. Vegetable oils do this very well, including smoothing and regulating moisture. And in this article you will learn more about the top alternative to hair oil without silicone: squalane.



Aluminum – aluminum is suspected to favor cancer and other diseases. However, the metal occurs in cosmetics in various compounds. Some are so stable that they are considered harmless. Critical, however, are aluminum salts, which you often encounter as aluminum chlorides or aluminum chlorohydrates in deodorants. Because in water-soluble form, the aluminum can dissolve out and get into your circulation.

Are you not sure if you have an allergy? In this article, I’ll explain the difference between sensitive skin and a contact allergy.


Conclusion: rely on honest ingredients for a real effect. With only a few ingredients nothing can be hidden. Of course they should be. Organic is ideal. That’s the way we think it is here at Five Skincare.