September 20, 2017

Why you should be avoiding these unnecessary skin care ingredients

Wonder what the point of spending more money on a prestige brands is, when you can buy the exact same stuff at the drugstore? What many don’t know is that these products are less expensive to purchase because they are less expensive to make. Instead of using high amounts of quality ingredients, these products are using cheap fillers to add volume to the product. One of the most frequently used fillers? Our friend H2O, under the much fancier sounding guise: aqua. If you love shopping skin care, it’s important to recognize what skin care fillers are, why you don’t need them, and a few good reasons to avoid them altogether.

Puristry Product

Why Do Skin Care Companies Use Fillers?

Consider this scenario: you want to make yourself and your friends a delicious pressed juice with tons of vitamin packed ingredients, but all the fruits and veggies on your recipe list threaten to wreak havoc on your wallet. There’s a simple fix for that: divide the fresh juice between you and your pals, then cut it with something less expensive like water or store-bought (aka cheap) apple juice. Your expensive fruits and veggies will stretch farther throughout the group, but sadly, now the potency of your pressed juice has plummeted. But hey, at least you were able to make enough for everyone at a lower cost! Bottom line: great tactic for the producer, not so great results for the consumer.

This is the same idea behind mass produced, inexpensive skin care and cosmetic products, and unfortunately it’s those cheap fillers that are decreasing potency in your skin care. This means the results of the product will be less noticeable, and those watered-down key ingredients won’t have the desired effect.

Although many skin care products claim to have some important and beneficial ingredients in them, the amount of those ingredients (and whether or not they can actually make a difference for your skin) really depends on how potent the formulas are. The beneficial ingredients may be so minimal that your skin won’t even get enough to turn around results. A product might highlight a key ingredient as a marketing ploy, but if you turn the label around you’ll find that ingredient way down near the bottom of the ingredient list. The first few ingredients listed are the ones that make up the majority of the formula; so by default, the ingredients that are further down on the list are the ones getting the least contact with your skin.

Common Fillers in Skin Care Products

On top of making the product less potent, some of these fillers can have hazardous side effects for your body. Since we’re buying these products to keep our skin healthy, isn’t the price tag just as important as realizing the inadvertent harm that some of them might be causing?

Inactive Ingredients

Parabens, PEGs, dyes and other ingredients are added to a product for the purpose of added chemical symbiosis or ‘beefing’ up a formula, but they may not actually do anything for you. This is why they’re considered ‘inactive’ to the purpose or intended use of the product.


These are preservatives found in foods, beverages, packaging, and more. According to the American Chemical Society, parabens are also in 85% of personal care products -- that’s the majority of your product options! The EPA has concluded that parabens can artificially mimic estrogens in the body, leading to a host of problems -- including various disorders and cancers. If you’re worried about these chemicals in your personal care products, we’ll give the down low on why parabens are dangerous and how to avoid them.


Synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 200 ingredients! There’s no way to know what those ingredients and chemicals are, since on the label it will simply read "fragrance." A few side effects that can pop up from using these unlisted ingredients are rash/ skin irritation, hyperpigmentation, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, and violent coughing. Puristy skin care contains organic essential oils, each of which is clearly listed on every product’s ingredient list. No mystery fragrances here!


Often, dyes are added to skin care products to make them look more appealing to the consumer; you’ll see this a lot in children’s and teen’s skin care, and most often in cosmetics. These dyes are unnecessary additives that can cause a host of health issues and skin sensitivities. Artificial colorants are commonly believed to be toxic and carcinogenic; you’ll see them labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and number (i.e. FD&C Red 40). Many are made with heavy metals and aluminum, which are toxic to the body when accumulated over time (easy to do when you’re using this skin care every day).

Ethanolamine Compounds (DEA, TEA)

Ethanolamine Compounds are chemical groups of amino acids found in cosmetics and household cleaning products. DEA (Diethanolamine) is used as an emulsifier (helps to harmoniously blend oil and water) in shampoos and cleaners, and TEA is used as a fragrance and pH adjuster. In 2012, cocamide DEA, which is a chemically modified form of coconut oil, was added to California’s list of harmful chemicals after the International Agency for Research on Cancer published its review of the chemical’s safety.


These are used as emollients, thickeners, solvents, and as a penetration enhancer in personal care products. PEGs have the ability to enhance penetration of other ingredients, especially those that may not be able to penetrate on their own, or toxic ingredients that shouldn’t be penetrating skin in the first place. These PEGs are sourced from petroleum; the same stuff being pumped out of the earth to fuel cars and industrial machines. PEGs can be potentially contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane; according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, ethylene oxide is a known human carcinogen, while 1,4-dioxane is classified as a potential human carcinogen. Still feel like taking your chances?

Healthy Skin Care Means No Fillers

From day one, we knew we wanted to avoid unnecessary skin care fillers, to opt for a deeply natural approach that utilizes key benefits of plant based ingredients. Instead of targeting fillers to cut down on price and potency, our development team targeted results and key ingredients.

Puristry Product
Susie’s goal was to keep the formula simple and focused, so she began researching a single perfect ingredient to highlight in each product. There are tons of cosmetics companies creating products that highlight a single key ingredient, but it’s often no more than a marketing strategy. In reality, these products only feature a minimal portion of this key ingredient to their formula, inhibiting the wealth of benefits that can be found in a larger dosage. Susie’s vision for Puristry stems from a single hero ingredient focus per product for clean, condensed, specific results.

Our Puristry products were created with a deep understanding of chemistry and synergy between natural ingredients, and the benefits that each could provide for skin. Susie Wang highlighted a main ingredient to specifically target the skin's needs, based on the type of product (for example, flower hydrosols in our hydrating Flower Water Toner or nopal cactus pulp in our Nopal Cactus Cleanser). Any other ingredients you see in Puristry organic skin care are supplemental for the efficacy of the main ingredient. You can search high and low-- you’ll find no fillers here. No dyes, parabens, PEGs, synthetic fragrances, or any of those pesky, unnecessary ingredients mentioned above.

You can often spot the difference between quality organic skin care, even by simply holding a bottle up to the light. See some separation? See some floaties that you can’t identify? That’s the key ingredient in all its glory, undiluted and unashamed. One of our most recognizable examples is our Nopal Cactus Cleanser, which flaunts the pink-lemonade looking pulp of its key ingredient, skin beneficial nopal cactus.

Want to learn what order to use your skin care? Searching for ways to target and reduce signs of aging? Keep up to date with our blog for organic skin care behind the scenes, education, and trends!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.