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The Grooming Manual

Common But Potentially Harmful Ingredients in Most Men’s Skincare Products

Common But Potentially Harmful Ingredients in Most Men’s Skincare Products

Staying healthy is hard work. You have to make exercise a regular part of your already busy routine. You have to have self control when it comes to home much you eat and drink - and what you eat and drink. And you have to visit your doctor regularly to stay on top of potential health risk before they get out of hand.

The sad truth is that many guys are overlooking a major health risk. The stuff they rub all over their skin. The potentially harmful ingredients in most men’s skincare products.

Your skin is incredibly important to your health. It’s also incredibly absorbent; about 60% of what you expose it to gets absorbed. So it’s worth knowing what you’re putting on your skin and what longterm effects it may be having. 


Parabens are preservatives that extend the shelf life of personal care products. But research has shown that they can enter your body through the skin and collect in tissue. They haven’t been explicitly linked to cancer, but it’s disconcerting that these chemicals can build up in the body.

The main concern here is that the parabens were found in breast tissue. The official stance from the FDA is that “we do not have information showing that parabens as they are used in cosmetics have an effect on human health.” Still, it is believed that parabens act as oestrogen in the body and disrupt hormone function. That means that parabens may be linked to tumor growth and increased breast cell division. 


Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient used in many soaps and other grooming products. It’s a very effective germicide… since it was originally formulated as a pesticide.

It’s also an endocrine destructor. That means it interferes with normal hormonal function. As a result of research and evidence, the FDA partially banned the use of triclosan in certain over the counter health-care antiseptic products in December 2017. 


Sulfates are powerful detergents that create the thick foam that many people associate with cleanliness. They’re in soaps, shampoos, and shave creams. But they’re also potentially dangerous since they can irritate your skin, strip away natural oils that are good for hair and skin, and have been linked to respiratory and kidney issues. 


These chemicals are found in many skincare products, often included as part of the mystery term “fragrance.” Fragrance is considered a trade secret in the US so companies don’t have to list out all the ingredients that go into those artificial scents. 

Phthalates are a possible carcinogen and have been linked to negative reproductive effects. To avoid these concerns and protect your health, use phthalate free skincare products for men. 

Choosing Natural Products 

Despite the ubiquity of these potentially harmful chemicals, you can create an effective skincare routine with natural skincare products for men. How?

Check the labels of your products. Look out for harmful chemicals and avoid shopping just to find the cheapest product. Give priority to quality and health, not price and volume.

You’ll have to learn to adapt to some of the differences between mass market products and top-quality natural skincare products. For example, many natural products foam up less than their common counterparts. But that doesn’t mean they’re not as effective. They just don’t contain the same harsh detergents. 

It can be a struggle to find natural products in local stores. So try samples of natural skincare products for men and take your search online. Instead of just settling for what’s most abundant or convenient, invest some time and money in the long term health of your skin. 

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