8oz Bottles w/ Foamer Pumps

I say this all the time...your skin is your body's LARGEST organ, it's CRUCIAL to know what you're putting into your body!

If you read the ingredients in your favorite facial cleanser, you will notice a long list of ingredients you can barely pronounce. From sulfates to paragons etc. the cosmetic industry uses all kinds of chemicals in its products—some are beneficial but others are just plain harmful. Many of them are not doing anything for your appearance and may even be making matters worse. Read on to get the dirt on ingredients you should avoid in your face wash.

1. Sodium lauryl sulfate

You know that squeaky clean feeling you get after washing your face? That's due to sodium lauryl sulfate, a common ingredient added to face wash to make it foam, says Jody Levine, M.D., assistant clinical instructor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "It's also common in many other personal care products, such as shampoo," she says. But it's not just found in the beauty aisle-—sodium lauryl sulfate is also used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers. GROSS!!!!!!

The problem with sodium lauryl sulfate is that it strips the skin (and scalp, in the case of shampoo) of natural oils that our skin actually NEEDS for protection. It removes the skin's natural, protective oil, the body ends up producing more oil (the very thing you're trying to get rid of) to compensate.

2. Fragrance

Back away from the fruity-scented face wash! Look at the ingredients list on almost ANY household product and you'll see the word "fragrance." And while it sounds harmless enough, the word "fragrance" can represent hundreds of chemicals, many of which can cause allergies, asthma attacks, headaches and more. All synthetic fragrances are stabilized with phthalates, a group of chemicals linked to reproductive problems and birth defects in animal studies [Source: EPA].

These chemicals certainly aren't boosting the effectiveness of your face wash. "Added fragrances in cleansers tend to be irritating and can dry out the skin," says Levine. "It's best to avoid anything overly scented." Rinkorganics products use organic essential oils to scent our products.

3. Oils

Many products contain petroleum and mineral oil-derived ingredients. Cosmetic companies love to use them because they're cheap, have no odor and never go bad. "Manufacturers may put this in cleansers as a hydration ingredient," says Levine. And while oil does indeed add moisture, certain types can clog pores leading to breakouts. Unless you have severely dry skin, Levine suggests using oil-free cleansers.Im sure most of your store purchased face washes have the following ingredients: Propylene Glycol, Parraffin, Mineral Oil, Butylene Glycol, Isopropyl Alcohol and Petrolatum. Rinkorganics use organic plant oils, which provide plenty of nourishment without clogging your pores.

4. Parabens

"Parabens are preservatives found in most cosmetics and skin care products," says Levine. They keep the product from spoiling by preventing harmful bacteria and fungi from growing inside it. The FDA does not regulate the use of parabens (or any other chemical) in beauty products, and currently they state that there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens [Source: FDA].

Lets think about this! Parabens mimic estrogen, there has been fear that they may increase breast cancer risk. In fact, a 2004 study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology detected parabens in breast tumors [Source: FDA]. However, the study did not show that parabens cause cancer, or that they are harmful to the body [Source: FDA]. "There is no concrete link between parabens and any dangerous medical conditions but some people may have a sensitivity and become irritated by the additive," says Levine. 

5. Alcohols

"Alcohols are often used as the base ingredient in many beauty products," says Levine. They are used for two reason: to make a thick skin-care product feel almost weightless and to help ingredients like retinol and vitamin C penetrate the skin more effectively [Source: Paula's Choice]. Alcohol does this by breaking down the skin's natural barrier.

It may help other ingredients work, but it can be very damaging to the skin, especially if your skin texture is fairly dry. "Alcohol is extremely drying and irritating since it strips the skin's natural barriers," says Levine. One study performed on hospital workers confirmed that regular cleansing with alcohol-based products erodes the skin's barrier [Source: Journal of Hospital Infection]. To keep your face healthy and hydrated, you must avoid  products with the following ingredients: isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol 40 and ethyl alcohol.

Ingredients: Organic Castille soap, organic jojoba oil, organic tea tree oil, purified water

Directions: Wet your face with lukewarm water. Pump the cleanser 1/2 times into your hands and work into lather. Massage lather onto face with a gentle, circular motion. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel. Apply Rinkorganics face lotion for best results.