Grooming Ingredients: What to Watch Out for

The ingredients in your grooming products should be healthy and safe, plain and simple.  If you're like us, we believe what you put ON your body should be naturally derived much like the fuel that you put IN your body.  This philosophy is evident if you flip our products over and review our ingredients (for example) list.  Unfortunately, this isn't true of most drugstore products.  Even though we would never use these kinds of materials in the products we offer, it is extremely important to be familiar with them and the reasons why they are harmful to your skin and hair.  We encourage all of our customers to take a closer look at their grooming essentials and replace them for plant based alternatives if they contain various preservatives and chemicals.  

Below is a list of several common ingredients that should be avoided.  Excuse us for sounding ominous, but if you notice any of these on the label of an item you currently use or are considering, we suggest trying something else.  Let's have a look at the offenders:


Would you use your engine degreaser to clean your skin and hair? Probably not. But many grooming products, especially shampoos and beard shampoos, contain sulfates, which are also used as industrial degreasers.

Health concern

These chemicals are far too strong for your skin and hair, stripping both of vital moisture and sebum (the natural nourishing oil produced by your skin). However, they continue to be used in products because they produce a bubbly lather that we’ve been conditioned to associate with a proper clean. Don’t be fooled. Shampoos and soaps do not need to produce foam to remove dirt and oil.

What to look for on the label

Sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.


Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastics. You’ll find them in food packaging, vinyl flooring and backpacks.  In fact, phthalates have been banned from being used to manufacture children's toys since 2009.

Health concern

They mess up your hormone levels, potentially leading to serious issues like infertility and decreased sperm count. Enough said.

What to look for on the label

DMP (dimethyl phthalate), DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), DEHP (di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate or bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate), and BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate).


Not just limited to preserving medical specimens and dead bodies, formaldehyde turns up in grooming products as a preservative.

Health concern

Formaldehyde has a long list of side effects including contact dermatitis, hair loss and last but certainly not least, cancer.

Manufacturers typically won’t list formaldehyde in the ingredients list. Instead, they’ll include formaldehyde releasers, ingredients that produce formaldehyde.

What to look for on the label

Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.

Paraffin/Petroleum jelly/Mineral oil

Petroleum jelly, also labeled as paraffin or mineral oil, coats your skin with a thin layer of oil that acts as a barrier against moisture loss and microorganism growth. Petroleum also extends shelf lift, making it a popular ingredient in skincare products.

Health concern

The downside is that this same film prevents pores from breathing and skin from releasing sebum (which moisturizes your facial hair). Mineral oil decreases the effectiveness of other products you apply because you aren’t able to absorb them.

Plus, petroleum doesn’t actually moisturize your skin – it just sits on the surface, making it appear healthier.

When it comes to long-term health risks, refined petroleum is actually safe. However, in the US petroleum is often not fully refined, meaning it can be contaminated by toxins called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), a class of carcinogens linked to cancer.

What to look for on the label

All types of petroleum except for white petroleum (fully refined petroleum).



#Mancrafted for Men


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