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restricted toxic ingredients in beauty products

Many ingredients used in common personal care products are potentially harmful. They are usually used to make the products smell nice or give them a longer shelf life. The long-term effects of those ingredients vary: some may dry out your skin while others have been linked to health concerns. We want you to be aware of these potentially toxic ingredients to make an informed choice when buying products. Become a conscious consumer.


We’ve compiled a list of toxic ingredients below you won't find in our clean beauty products: our "Toxic List 101".

Aluminium

Found in 

Deodorants 


Used for 

Prevents sweat from reaching the skin’s surface


Health debate 
- Skin irritant

- Carcinogen

- Human neurotoxicity

- Respiratory and developmental toxin

Labeled as 
- Aluminum chloride
- Aluminum chlorohydrate
- Aluminum hydroxybromide

Benzalkonium chloride

Found in 

Anti-bacterial soap and moisturizers

 

Used for 

Preservative, anti-microbial agent and surfactant


Health debate 

- Immune, skin, and respiratory toxicant

- Carcinogen

- Skin and eye irritant

Labeled as 
Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride

- Benzalkonium chloride solution

- Quaternary ammonium compounds

- Benzylcoco alkyldimethyl chlorides

- Alkyl dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride

- Alkyldimethyl (phenylmethyl) quaternary ammonium chlorides

- Ammonyx

- Arquad dmmcb-75

- Barquat mb-50

- Bayclean

- Benirol

- Benzalkonium a

Benzophene

Found in 

Lip balm, nail polish, foundations, baby sunscreens, fragrance, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, moisturizers, and foundation

 

Used for 

Protect products from UV light


Health debate 

- Cancer

- Endocrine disruption

- Developmental and reproductive toxicity

- Organ system toxicity and irritation 

- Redness, swelling, itching and fluid-filled blisters 

- Possible anaphylaxis


Labeled as 

- Benzophenone

- Oxybenzone

- Sulisobenzone

- Sulisobenzone sodium

- Ingredients containing the word "benzophenone"

Coal tar

Found in 

Shampoos and scalp treatments, soaps, hair dyes, and lotions

 

Used for 

Colorant - color a product


Health debate 

- Skin sensitivity and irritation

- Skin tumors

- Carcinogen 


Labeled as 

Topical coal tar solution

- Solubilized coal tar extract

- Neutar solubilized coal tar extract

- Ingredients containing the word "phenylenediamine"

- 2,4-diaminoanisole

- 2,4-toluenediamine

- 4-amino-2-nitrophenol

- Aminophenol

- Enylenediamine

Ethanolamine

Found in 

Shampoos, hair conditioner, hair dye, soaps, mascara, foundation, lotions, eyeliners, eye shadows, blush, fragrances, sunscreens

 

Used for 

pH Adjuster and surfactant


Health debate 

- Carcinogen

- Organ system toxicity


Labeled as 

Triethanolamine

- Diethanolamine

Ingredients containing the word "DEA"

Ingredients containing the word "TEA"

- Ingredients containing the word "MEA"

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)

Found in 

Hair dye moisturizer, cleanser & body wash, foundation, mascara, eyeliner

 

Used for 

Binding agent and penetration enhancer


Health debate 

- Carcinogen

- Eye & skin irritant


Labeled as 

Tetrasodium EDTA

- Disodium EDTA

- Calcium disodium EDTA

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasing compounds

Found in 

Nail polish, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, shampoo, body wash, color cosmetics

 

Used for 

Preservative


Health debate 

- Carcinogen

- Eye, skin and mucous membranes irritant

- Joint and chest pain


Labeled as 

Quaternium-15 

- DMDM hydantoin

- Imidazolidinyl urea

- Polyoxymethylene urea

- Sodium hydroxyethylglycinate

- 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1

- 3-diol (bromopol)

- Glyoxal

Hydroquinone

Found in 

Skin lighteners, facial and skin cleansers, moisturizers

 

Used for 

Skin bleaching


Health debate 

Carcinogen

- Dermatitis and decreased skin elasticity

- Skin cancer 

- Organ toxicity


Labeled as 

Hydroquinone

Mercury or lead

Found in 

Lip products, whitening toothpaste, eyeliner, mascara, nail color, foundations, sunscreens, eye shadows, blush, concealer, moisturizers, eye drops

 

Used for 

Preservative and anti-microbial agent


Health debate 

- Organ toxicity

- Renal failure

- Mental dementia

- Muscle tremors   


Labeled as 

Thimerosal

Methyl cellosolve

Found in 

Anti-aging creams, moisturizers and serums

 

Used for 

Solvent 


Health debate 

- Skin irritant 

- Neutro toxicity 

- Developmental toxicity 


Labeled as 

2-Methoxyethanol

- Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether

- EGME

Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone

Found in 

Hair products, body wash, lotion, sunscreen, mascara


Used for 

Preservatives and fragrance enhancers


Health debate 
- Skin allergies

- Possible neurotoxicity


Labeled as 
MI, MIT, MCI

Kathon CG

Petrolatum and mineral oil

Found in 

Creams and lotions

 

Used for 

Moisturizing


Health debate 

- Diminish the skin's ability to breath and function


Labeled as 
- Mineral oil

- Liquid petroleum

- Paraffin, liquid paraffin, paraffin oil, paraffin oils, paraffinum liquidum

- Deobase

- Heavy mineral oil, light mineral oil, white mineral oil, petroleum white mineral oil

- Liquid petrolatum

- Prolatum oil

Parabens

Found in 

Hair products, facial and body cleansers

 

Used for 

Preservative


Health debate 

Carcinogen

- Endocrine disruption

- Developmental and reproductive toxicity


Labeled as 

Benzylparaben

- Ethylparaben

- Butylparaben

- Ethylparaben

- Propylparaben

- Osobutylparaben 

- Ingredients ending in "paraben" 

Phthalates

Found in 

Fragrances 

 

Used for 

Solvent and plasticizers


Health debate 

Endocrine disruption

Developmental and reproductive toxicity

- Carcinogen 


Labeled as 

Phthalate

- Diethylphthalate (DEP)

- Dibutylphthalate (DBP)

- Dimethylphthalate (DMP)

- DEHP

- Fragrance

Propylene glycol

Found in 

Hair products, moisturizer, foundation

 

Used for 

Penetration enhancer and moisturizer


Health debate 

- Can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane which can cause cancer


Labeled as 

- Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds)

- PEG, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate 

- PEG-80 sorbitan laurate

- PEG-40 stearate  

- PEG-100 stearate

- 1,2 dihydroxypropane

- Methylethylene glycol

Sulphates

Found in 

Shampoo, cleanser, soap, body wash

 

Used for 

Surfactant - makes cleansers more effective


Health debate 

- Contamination with 1,4 dioxane

- Potential skin & eye irritants and allergens


Labeled as 

Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS)

- Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)

- Sodium caprylic sulfate 

- Sodium capric sulfate 

- Sodium oleic sulfate

- Sodium stearyl sulfate

- Sodium myreth sulfate

- Sodium dodecanesulfate

- Sodium monododecyl sulfate

- Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)

Synthetic fragrances

Found in 

All type of: hair, face, body and cosmetic products


Used for 

Scent


Health debate 

Immune system toxicant

- Possible neurotoxicity

- Skin allergies

- Respiratory destruction


Labeled as 

Parfum

Toluene

Found in 

Hair dye and nail polish

 

Used for 

Solvent


Health debate 

- Organ toxicity

Developmental and reproductive toxicity 


Labeled as 

Methylbenzene

- Methyl benzol

- Phenyl methane

- Tolul

Triclosan and Triclocarban

Found in 

Antibacterial soaps, toothpaste and tooth whitening products, deodorants, creams, color cosmetics

 

Used for 

Antimicrobial agent


Health debate 

Endocrine disruption 

- Triclosan-resistant bacteria

- Environmental toxicity 


Labeled as 

2,4,4'-trichloro-2'-hydroxy diphenyl ether

- 5-chloro-2- (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) phenol; 

- Ch 3565

- Irgasan

- Irgasan dp300