9 skincare ingredients to avoid

by Rio Rosa Mosqueta on February 17, 2017


If you get confused when you look at the ingredients of skincare products, you’re not alone! Almost all cosmetics claim to feature natural ingredients – but how do you know if the formulations are 100% natural and don’t contain any nasties?

What goes on to our body goes into our body, so understandably more and more people want to know if their skincare products are safe for them and the environment.

Whether you have sensitive skin, allergies or simply want to follow a clean beauty routine, these are the ingredients to look out for and avoid:


To prolong shelf life, cosmetics companies use parabens in their formulations to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould. On the surface, this may seem like a good idea, given many of us leave cosmetics lurking in our bathroom cabinets for months on end – even years! However, whilst these preserve your products for longer, they’ve actually been found to cause hormone and reproductive problems in men and women.

Whilst natural cosmetics do come with a shorter shelf-life, you can rest assured they only contain pure ingredients that are kind to your skin.

Synthetic Colours

These are derived from coal tar sources, which let’s face it, doesn’t sound like something you’d want to apply to your skin. They’ve been found to irritate the skin, so in our opinion, are best left out of skincare products!

Synthetic Fragrance

Believe it or not, this can even be found in products marked ‘unscented’. The term ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ on a product label can actually be hiding lots of toxic chemicals that aren’t listed and haven’t been tested for toxicity. As the term ‘fragrance’ is used to protect a company’s secret formula, manufacturers are not obliged to include the ingredients on their label. These unlisted ingredients can include skin irritants that trigger allergies or asthma – which isn’t what you want to happen when you’re spraying your favourite scent!

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate

This can be found in products that are foaming (think shower gels, bubble bath, face washes) and can irritate the skin, lungs and eyes. Foaming products can actually leave your skin feeling dry, particularly if you have sensitive skin to start with. If you suffer with this, try a natural cream-based cleanser instead – it may not foam but it will leave your skin feeling super soft, nourished and healthy.


Ever accidentally rubbed shampoo in your eye? Yup, we’ve all been there! Foaming products like shampoo and bubble bath can contain a chemical called DEA, which has been found to be a skin and eye irritant that can cause contact dermatitis. There are lots of natural alternatives out there that are much kinder to your skin, and still work just as effectively, if not better!


OK, so we’re not talking about what’s in your morning brew here! TEA (or Triethanolamine) can be found in products like soaps, make-up and perfume. It’s a fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster and surfactant and has been found to cause mild-moderate skin irritation. It’s harmful to fish and other wildlife too, which isn’t ideal if, like us, you want to minimise your impact on the environment.


Also known as ‘Polyethylene Glycol’, PEG is used as an emulsifier to allow oil to be mixed with water-based ingredients in products like facial cleansers. However, PEG has been found to upset the moisture balance of the skin and even accelerate ageing (which is something your skincare regime should most certainly not do!)

Mineral Oil

This is particularly harmful to your body when poorly refined and can be found in cosmetics like lip balms, oils and lotions. It’s actually a byproduct of petroleum that can clog pores and interfere with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. Our advice is to stick to products that allow your skin to breathe. Mineral oil can help your skin to hold onto moisture, but it prevents it from absorbing moisture too!


Did you know that some cosmetic brands add small bits of plastic called ‘microbeads’ to their exfoliators that wreak havoc with our waterways? These polluting beads end up in our oceans and food chain, and are regularly eaten by marine life and birds! Not sure if your scrub contains microbeads? If it does, the ingredients list will include polyethylene, polypropylene, polymethylmethacrylate, PET, PTFE or PMMA. Whilst products containing microbeads are still currently available to buy, the UK government has pledged to ban the use of them in cosmetics in 2017 – hooray!

If you’re ever in doubt when it comes to skincare ingredients, our advice is to opt for brands that state their skincare is 100% natural. And remember, if a product’s packaging states it contains a natural ingredient, that doesn’t always mean all of the ingredients are natural.

Find out more about the benefits of natural skincare ingredients.


New Year, New You. 10 Skincare Resolutions for 2017

January 3, 2017

Winter weather, Christmas festivities and New Year’s Eve celebrations can all take their toll on our skin, which is why January is a great time to make some skincare resolutions! If your skin is in need of a pick-me-up or you simply want to overhaul your routine, read our list of skincare resolutions you should [...]

Read the full article →

Our Top 5 Christmas Gift Ideas

December 9, 2016

Know someone who loves natural skincare? Need Christmas shopping inspiration? Give them the gift of beautiful skin this Christmas with our favourite festive present ideas below: 1. Cream Cleanser & Skin Brightening Exfoliator Our Cream Cleanser and Skin Brightening Exfoliator make the perfect pair for a natural skincare lover. Blended with our pure Chilean Rosehip [...]

Read the full article →

Nourish your lips without nasties

November 10, 2016

Do you suffer with dry, chapped lips during the cold, wintry months? You’re not alone. As soon as the chilly, windy weather starts to bite, many of us suffer with dry, itchy, irritated skin. A lack of moisture in the air and exposure to central heating can wreak havoc with our lips, leaving the skin [...]

Read the full article →

Winter Skincare Tips

November 1, 2016

    The colder weather and dehydrating central heating can all play havoc with our skin during winter! So, to help your skin survive the season, we’ve shared some top tips below… Eat dark chocolate Yes that’s right, chocolate (in moderation) can be good for you! The dark variety is packed full of flavonols, which [...]

Read the full article →

Discover our best-selling skincare products in miniature sizes

October 31, 2016

You’ve heard the saying “good things come in small packages”, and this is certainly true of our brand new Rio Rosa Mosqueta Rosehip Discovery Set! Our new Rosehip Discovery Set features miniature sizes of our best-selling natural skincare products: Cream Cleanser, Chilean Rosehip Seed Oil and Anti-ageing Day & Night Cream. They’re perfect for popping [...]

Read the full article →

New 20ml dropper bottles available online now!

October 5, 2016

We’re very excited to announce that our brand new 20ml dropper rosehip oil bottles are now available to purchase online and will be available in-store soon! After listening to our customers, we’ve given our rosehip oil bottles a new, sleek look and added a dropper pipette to make it easier to dispense the oil. Our [...]

Read the full article →

Tips for keeping your skin healthy this Autumn

September 22, 2016

With the shorter days and darker nights drawing in, it’s time to say goodbye to summer and dig out your favourite cosy, comfy knits. Now’s the time to start thinking about changing your skincare regime too, to help it recover after summer and prepare for the cooler weather ahead. Here are our top tips for [...]

Read the full article →

Love your skin with 20% off Rio Rosa Mosqueta

July 6, 2016

We’re pleased to be offering all you natural beauties 20% off our natural skincare range this summer! Available for a limited time only, the discount can be redeemed on all of the products in the Rio Rosa Mosqueta range. Simply enter the discount code “SUMMER” at the checkout to take advantage of this lovely discount. [...]

Read the full article →

Beat the heat: protect your skin this summer

July 5, 2016

  When it comes to summer skincare, one of the most important things you must consider is how to protect your skin. Harmful UV rays, dehydrating air conditioning and hot weather can all play havoc with our skin and result in damage, dryness and clogged pores. Here are our top tips for protecting your skin [...]

Read the full article →