If you’ve ever suffered from oily or dry and irritated skin, the problem may not actually be your skin itself and may instead be the work of regular (or new) use of certain soaps, body wash, or other bathroom beauty products. While many people have no problem using these items, those with sensitive skin or underlying skin conditions, like psoriasis and eczema, may actually find that the aforementioned products either contribute to their skin irritation or make the aforementioned conditions worse. The problem with this is that many types of soap, body wash, perfumes, etc. all contain a long list of different chemicals and ingredients that the skin simply can’t handle. If this is the case for you, you’ll need to find products that are gentle enough on the skin to be used each day without causing harm – but first, you need to know what to stay away from.

As mentioned in a previous article from Dr. Ali Ghahary, Triclosan as an ingredient that is commonly found in antibacterial soap. However, it has been noted that antibacterial soap is no better than your average bar of hand soap in terms of killing off bacteria and keeping things clean. Triclosan has also been linked to a variety of problems with the endocrine system, such a thyroid disease and weakened immunity, as well as an increased risk of developing allergies, asthma, and even eczema. In addition to soap, Triclosan can also be found in certain toothpastes and deodorants.

Dioxane is a product that is found in many personal care/hygiene products, as well as a wide range of cosmetics. According to EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, it has a hazard rating of 8, which is extremely high, and is also considered a carcinogen. Common problems linked to using products containing Dioxane include irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs, as well as organ system toxicity. Because dioxane is a something that is created through the combination of other chemicals, you’re not likely to find it on the ingredients list of any products you own. However, if any of the products you do own contain polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxethylene, or PEG, then there’s a good change they contain dioxane too, therefore those are products you will want to avoid.

A world you’re probably familiar with but may not really be sure what it is, parabens are commonly found in bars of soap. Parabens include ingredients such as methylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben, which are all found in soap and other cosmetic products. Studies have suggested that parabens mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen found in the body’s cells. While there has been no scientific evidence that has confirmed whether or not parabens are harmful or if they’re linked to cancer as has been suggested, many companies now make their products both paraben and sulfate-free for those who might have concerns.

This is something that is used in many cosmetic products such as nail polish, body wash, cleansers, shampoos and conditioners, and eyeshadow. Formaldehyde is known to cause allergic reactions and skin irritation, and may also be harmful for the immune system.

For more information on these and other ingredients you should watch out for, click here.