If you were to ask the casual man what ingredients are in his grooming products, chances are he wouldn’t know. Usually, the men that do know are very conscientious of what they apply to their skin, hair, beards. Knowing what is in these products is very important and not being aware can lead to problems like dry, flaky skin and allergic reactions in some cases. Since your face is one of the first things to make an impression, you want to keep it in good condition and protect it from harsh chemicals. When you’re shopping there are key ingredients in the products you use that you want to keep in mind and avoid.

The first ingredient to avoid is Phyhalates. Now, this a blanket term for perfumed products. If the label reads that the product is scented or perfumed, be warned: Phyhalates will be that blanket term that hides what the actual ingredient is that is perfuming your grooming product. While you might expect the scent to come from a natural oil, the producing company may actually opt for a scented ingredient that is cheapest to use. The next ingredient to avoid are Sulfates. This is a common term on the watch list for a lot of things these days. Sulfates are what causes our products to foam up and for some reason, we have been deceived to think that our grooming products have to foam if they are going to work. This simply isn’t the case. Sulfates also strip away the sebum from our skin. Sebum plays an important part in protecting our skin from drying out and being harshly damaged by the elements of the outside.

Parabens are the next ingredient to be on the lookout for. This is another ingredient that is making its way into popular vernacular. Parabens are preservatives found in most shelf-ready products. They extend the life of the products it is found in by a wide enough margin that by the time it reaches shelves, there is no telling how long it has actually been sitting in a warehouse. This can cause a decrease in potency of the product and cause long-term damage to your skin. Now we move on to Triclosan. This ingredient is found in most things that claim to be antibacterial. In reality, this is another skin destroyer, removing that layer of sebum that protects our skin. Good news on this one, though! It is becoming a banned ingredient in the US.

Don’t let the name of this next one scare you too much. We’re giving a little shout-out to Formaldehyde. This ingredient is often associated with preserving dead bodies and medical specimens, not with the grooming products we use on a daily basis. And the worst part is that the manufacturers won’t put this as an actual ingredient. Instead, they’ll list ‘formaldehyde releasers’ which are chemicals that produce formaldehyde. The side effects of this chemical are long just as frightening so be on the lookout. The last product we’re going to mention is Alcohol. This simple ingredient is a major cause of dry skin and dry hair. The components of this ingredient are harsh and can leave long-lasting effects even well after use.