Chemicals You Should Avoid…and What We DON'T Use

 We've listed ingredients below that are harmful, for reasons mentioned. We NEVER use these ingredients and encourage you to avoid these chemicals as often as you can.

 


 

Alcohol:

Used for:  oily skin, gives products a greaseless feel, and as a preservative.

Avoid it because: damages skin cells, strips moisture and irritates skin, can cause development of brown spots, wrinkles and more serious side effects such as headaches, nausea and depression.  It damages the skins immune system.  As compensation to dryness the skin will overproduce oil.

Cetyl Alcohol:

Used for:  an emulsifier, emollient, foaming agent, stabilizer, thickener.

Avoid it because: can cause eye, lung and skin irritation.

Cocamide DEA:

Used for: a foaming agent found in shampoo and personal care products.

Avoid it because: known cancer causing chemical.

Cyclopentasiloxane/ Cyclomethicone:

Used for: moisturizers, foundations and deodorants as a fragrance carrier and gives sprays and body mists a dry feeling.

Avoid it because: has bioaccumulative properties and it is toxic to wildlife.  Studies have shown it to be a skin irritant at moderate doses.  It is a synthetic silicon based product.  It will actually break down PVC based bottles, releasing toxins and possible carcinogens.

Dimethicone:

Used for: a skin conditioner, anti -foaming agent, emollient.

Avoid it because: this chemical has been restricted by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments Board.  It cannot be used over certain concentrations for safety concerns because it is made from silicon.  Research has shown silicon linked to lupus, ADD, cancer, allergies, fibro cysts and irritable bowel syndrome.

Diazolidinyl Urea:

Used for: a preservative

Avoid it because: a known skin and immune toxin, at least one study has shown it to show positive mutation effects.  In other words it created cancer in studies.  It is an endocrine disrupter and toxic to brain and nervous system.  It is synthetically produced or extracted from animal urine or other bodily fluids.

Ethylhexylglycerin/ Ethylhexlglycerine:

Used for: a deodorant agent, skin conditioning agent, preservative booster.

Avoid it because: it is a known skin irritant, can possibly irritate skin and eyes and is known to cause dermatitis.  It is derived from vegetable glycerin.

Hydroquinone:

Used for: an antioxidant, skin bleaching agent, a fragrance ingredient, hair dye

Avoid it because: it is a known human immune system toxicant, a skin, nervous system and eye toxin.  Three studies have suggested that it’s a possible carcinogen.  It is banned in some European countries.  It is a common component of weed killer and it is restricted in the EU because it is a fish and wildlife pollutant.

Phthalates:

Used for: a common component of fragrances, to hold color and scents, to soften vinyl plastics.

Avoid it because: it’s an endocrine disrupter, a hormone disrupter, it may cause infertility, birth defects and cancer.

Phenoxyethanol/ Ethylene Glycol Monophenyl:

Used for: a preservative, a fragrance additive, a fixative for perfumes, an insect repellant.

Avoid it because: it can be an extreme irritant to the eyes and skin even causing blistering.  It is hazardous in the case of ingestion and inhalation.  The cosmetic data base rates it as a moderate hazard and notes cancer, allergic reactions, skin, eye and lung irritation, organ and neurotoxicity.  It has shown effects on sensory organs even at low doses, and brain and nervous systems at moderate doses in animals, and causes cell mutations.  According to research, the EPA data sheets show, chromosomal changes in genetic mutation effects in testing as well as testicular atrophy and reproductive damage in mice.

PEG (polyethylene glycol):

Used for: a group of chemicals that can be used for thickeners, detergents and surfactants.

Avoid it because: PEGs range from a molecular weight of 10 to 300 and depending on that number they have a range of side effects.  Side effects include reproductive disorders, proven cancer risks, endocrine disruptions, organ toxicity and skin irritation.

Potassium Sorbate:

Used for: a preservative, a fragrance.

Avoid it because: It is a skin, eye, and lung irritant. Can cause allergic reactions.

Propelyne Glycol:

Used for: a thickener and filler.

Avoid it because: it has just about every side effect, the risk of cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and immune system toxicities, skin and eye irritation, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity.  

Sodium Benzoate:

Used for: a preservative.

Avoid it because: when it combines with ascorbic acid, benzene can form, which is a known carcinogen.  

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate:

Used for: a foaming agent and degreaser

Avoid it because: it causes eye damage, skin irritation, labored breathing and damage to the skins immune system.  When combined with other chemicals and absorbed through the skin it becomes carcinogenic.

Sorbitan Oleate:

Used for: an emulsifier

Avoid it because: it has been linked to cancer.  It is derived from the sugar alcohol sorbitol, but it’s still a synthetic ingredient that has been linked to cancer.

Stearyl Alcohol (stearamne oxide, stearly acetate, stearyl caprylate, stearyl citrate, stearyldimethyl amine stearyl glycyrrhetinate, stearyl heptanoate, stearyl octanoate, stearyl stearate:

Used for: an emulsifier, emollient, foam booster, stabilizer, thickener

Avoid it because: a known eye and skin irritant, it has also been shown in more than one animal study to cause tumors.  It can be produced from vegetable sources or sperm whale oil.

Stearic Acid:

Used for: an emulsifier, a thickener and stabilizer.

Avoid it because: it’s an endocrine disrupter, a skin and a respiratory irritant.  Studies have shown it to be carcinogenic.  It is commonly disguised as a coconut fatty acid; it is a naturally occurring fatty acid, however the processing methods used for extraction can contaminate it and alter its natural beneficial nature.

Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E acetate):

Used for: an antioxidant and gives label appeal

Avoid it because: there is much evidence that its toxic to skin and other organs.  The biggest concern is that it can be contaminated in the manufacturing process by hydroquinone, a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical.  It is made by combining natural vitamin E with acetic acid.  It is cheaper and has a longer shelf life than natural vitamin E.

Tetrasodium EDTA:

Used for: a preservative

Avoid it because: created when you combine formaldehyde and sodium cyanide, it is a toxic and carcinogenic combination.

Triethanolamine (TEA):

Used for: Surfactant, emulsifier and pH adjuster 

Avoid it because: an immune system and skin toxin made by Dow chemical company, by reacting three ethylene oxide molecules with each ammonia molecule.  It has potential to create nitrosamines, known carcinogens and can cause severe irritation and burns skin and eyes.