Ingredient Insight | Tess' Guide on Synthetics

by Tess Wood

Have you ever thought about what may be lurking in your self care routine? What are some synthetics in skincare and why do we choose not to use them in our products? Here is an easy guide to some of these more well known synthetics. What they are, what they do and how to avoid them the next time you decide to pamper yourself.


Let’s start off with something most people have heard of, Parabens. These have been used for over eighty years as an artificial preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria from forming in products. This includes Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, and Butyl Paraben. They can have a known effect on the functions of hormones in the body, which has been linked to disrupting estrangement receptors, in turn, potentially causing serious health issues down the line. The truth is you do not need Parabens in products to preserve them, we use things like vegetable based Glycerine and Sorbic Acis which is a natural organic compound found in Rowan berries to prevent the formation of any bacteria. Keeping your skin clean and safe! 


What is SLS? We see it everywhere, in shampoo, soaps and even toothpaste but what is it and why is it in so many products? Sodium Laurel Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfates are synthetics that are mainly produced from things like petroleum. This is used to create a foamy lather, giving us the assurance that we are clean. Unfortunately because of its foaming action, these Sulfates strip the natural oils that our body produces, leaving it dry and uncomfortable. These compounds can even cause mild to severe irritation and allergic reactions when used regularly. So do we need it? The answer is simply no, gentler natural foaming methods like Soap Bark found in most of our washes and our small-batch, certified sustainable Palm Oil is used, cleaning and softening the skin without causing any harm.

Synthetic Fragrances

Most of us don’t really think about the origin when we decide we like the scent of a product, but most fragrances found are actually synthetic. Labeled as things like “Perfume, Fragrance, Fragrance oil or Parfum” these unknown chemical substances can contain several hundreds of different undisclosed ingredients. These unknown chemical substances can cause mild to severe side effects including headaches, rashes, dizziness, skin irritations and more. This is easily changed by the use of natural essential oils and raw ingredients. Whilst we still need to use certain essential oils with caution (More on this here)  they are much more gentle. Fragrancing products naturally can even have added aromatherapy benefits for the body and mind.

Synthetic Colourants

We all love bright and vibrant colours but to achieve those colours we are so attracted too they usually have to be made in a lab. These dyes are made up of chemical compounds that don’t have to be listed on product labels, making it difficult to determine what you may be exposing yourself to. These dyes and pigments have been known to cause skin irritations, stain your skin and block pores, causing acne. Although we gravitate towards the fancy bright colours, this doesn’t have to be the case. We can still enjoy our self care routine without them. At WiDEYE we use ethically sourced mica and natural minerals as a colour alternative that is safe and gentle on the skin without causing any staining! 

So the next time you reach for your skincare or self care routine products, have a look and see if what you're using is really all it’s cracked up to be, as it may be time to make a switch to something safer and kinder to your body and the environment.

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