The No-NO List: Things to avoid in your high-quality skin care

Our professional, high-quality skin care products are full of beneficial ingredients for the skin.

Some product lines, sold elsewhere at other spas, makeup stores, and drug stores, aren’t as choosy and have what we consider to be “no-no” ingredients.

Here are some of the things our professional and home care facial lines do NOT include and why they have not been included. Whether you accept products that have them is your choice; this article is meant to educate you so you can make an informed decision.

Artificial Fragrance

Our high quality skin care lines are made to be utilized by sensitive skin of all types, to be environmentally friendly (both in sustainable sourced ingredients as well as affecting the environment when going down the drain), and to be as non-irritating and anti-inflammatory as possible.

Artificial Fragrance covers hundreds of potential chemical compounds, many of which have been found to trigger asthma, allergies, migraines, and to sensitize skin. Not all artificial fragrances are bad, and not everyone has a reaction. It’s safer to use product lines that skin this all-together.


There’s really no reason to dye a product. It’s adding additional ingredients that take up space and, again, can cause irritation and sensitization.


This is from the Environmental Working Group:

Talc is a powdered native, hydrous magnesium silicate sometimes containing a small portion of aluminum silicate. Talc can be contaminated with asbestos fibers, posing risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer. Studies by the National Toxicology Panel demonstrated that cosmetic-grade talc free of asbestos is a form of magnesium silicate that also can be toxic and carcinogenic.

In early 2018 new bills were introduced to ensure that cosmetics sold at stores like Claire’s and Justice (which were recently found to have asbestos in them, from the talc content) were safer.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin conditioning agent. It has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria in humans; these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%.


There are several forms of parabens found in the cosmetic and skin care worlds. Our ingredients don’t utilize them at all.

Parabens are potential hormone disruptors when absorbed by the body. Several types mimic estrogen. The EWG rates the various types of parabens as having moderate to high levels of concerns about toxicity and safety.

When formulating skin care products preservatives are often used. There are much better and much safer choices than parabens.


The EWG rates Hydroquinone as a “High” risk for overall hazard. Risk factors include sensitization and allergic reactions and cancer.

Hydroquinone is often use as a lightener and brightener of skin. It’s found in peels as well as other facial concoctions.

HQ has been known to cause serious redness, itching, and burning when applied to the skin. People with existing sensitive skin or allergies are at highest risk.

HQ can increase your response to sunlight, creating burns, discolorations, and higher risk of cancer.

Darker skinned clients sometimes have a reaction called ochronosis, which is a darkening of the skin, after use of HQ.

HQ has potential interactions with several other common skin care ingredients. Unknowingly combining those in your skin care routine could lead to unwanted pigmentation and other side effects such as skin damage, allergic reactions, and irritation.

Near the eyes it can cause corneal damage and even affect the pigmentation of the iris.

In short, for high-end skin care solutions, you can find products that work as well as HQ and are less risky.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

This is often referred to as “SLS”.

SLS was once thought to cause cancer; it’s been disproved, but there are other reasons why you may want to avoid this ingredient.

SLS is sensitizing and can cause irritation. There is “significant correlation” with SLS and contact dermatitis.

The way that it is made is bad for the environment, and it’s not so great going down the drain either. It was turned down as a potential organic pesticide due to its destructive polluting properties and environmental damage.

Over 16,000 studies have been done. The EWG links to many of them on their page on this product. They’ve found concerns about irritation of the skin and eyes, potential organ toxicity (eyes, heart, liver), developmental and reproductive toxicity, potential neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and the cellular changes.

Comedogenic Ingredients

Ingredients that create plugged or blocked pores are “comedogenic” ingredients. As clear healthy skin is the goal and reason why most people make a skin care purchase, it’s smart to avoid ones that are counter intuitive.


If you need to stretch dinner, what do you do? Add more pasta, bread, or potatoes. If you need to stretch a batch of skin care, companies use various fillers to do so.

The companies we buy from feel that every ingredient should have a reason for being in a product. It should assist in the goals of that product. Our skin care lines are technician strength. There’s no room for extras meant to take up space and increase profits.

Products Tested on Animals

Our product lines are NOT tested on animals and are not sold in countries where this is required. (Watch out: your favorite brands may have a different formulation sold overseas that is tested on animals, even if the ones you personally buy in the US are not.) Our high quality skin care is cruelty-free.

Non-Vegetarian Ingredients

Skin care lines are full of ingredients that are sourced from animals and even people. We do have one cleanser which includes yogurt. We have one professional product (back bar) that has Manuca honey. Other than that, our lines are vegan.

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