There are so many chemicals involved in the formulation and production in the cosmetic industry recently. These chemicals are correlated to long-term concerns like cancer and reproductive problems. They also cause skin problem likes itchy, rash, asthma, or hormone disruptors, etc.
The following list reviews some of the most common toxic ingredients that you should avoid when buying your body care and home care products. (We should add these ingredients in our red list, yah?!)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
They are surfactants, are sued for cleansing, foaming, thickening, emulsifying, solubilising, penetration enhancement, antimicrobial effects and other special effects. These can irritate skin and cause allergy symptoms.
Found in shampoo, body wash and bubble bath.
Avoid: SLS, SLES
It is a contaminant created when common ingredients react to form the compound when mixed together so normally it does not appear in the ingredients list. It's a carcinogen linked to organ toxicity and it banned unsafe for use in cosmetic in Canada.
Avoid products that contain sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds and chemicals that include the clauses xynol ceteareth and oleth.
These are lab ingredients that often contain numerous chemicals. They can be found in nearly all cosmetic products to enhance the scents of the products.
These synthetic fragrance links to health effects including cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and sensitivities.
Found in sunscreen, shampoo, soap, body wash, deodorant, body lotion, makeup, facial cream, skin toner, serums, exfoliating scrubs and perfume
Avoid the products labelled with fragrance, perfume, parfum, essential oil blend, aroma.
This is a powerful antioxidant used as preservative and product's stability in industrially manufactured soap bars to maintain the appearance and colour of the soap bar. This ingredient has been global pressure on health risks and may cause organ toxicity. There are concerns regarding to the water contamination.
These are surfactants and PH adjusters.
Found in soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners and dyes, lotions, shaving creams, paraffin and waxes, household cleaning products, pharmaceutical ointments, eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases, foundations, fragrances, sunscreens
Avoid: Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulphate.
Benzophenone & related compounds
Benzophenone is used in personal care, common in ingredients in sunscreen. It is persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. These chemicals are linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity. It can cause irritation.
Found in products such as lip balm, nail polish, laundry...
Avoid products containing benzophenone-1, benzophenone-2, benzophenone-3, benzophenone-4, benzophenone-5. Choose sunscreens that rely on non-nanosized zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Titanium dioxide also found in natural soap making that is used as a whitener and opacifier in both Melt & Pour Soap and cold process soap to make beautiful colourful soap. -
Avoid natural soaps that have titanium dioxide.
Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics and foods to prevent the growth of microbes. They are endocrine disruption, cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity.
Found in shampoos, conditioners, lotion, facial and shower cleanser and scrubs.
Avoid: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isopropyl paraben, other ingredients ending in –paraben
They are plasticising chemicals that are used for texture in cosmetic or to get fragrances to cling to your skin. They are toxic due to the fact that they are hormone disruptors and suspected to cause birth defects and cancer.
Found in colour cosmetic, fragranced lotions, body washed and hair care products, nail polish and treatment.
Avoid: phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP, and fragrance
Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly
They are derived from petroleum, are often used as a moisturising agent. They can cause cancer. The primary concern with petrolatum is the potential contamination with PAHs.
Found in lotions, cosmetic, balm.
Avoid: petrolatum, petroleum jelly, paraffin oil, mineral oil.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene
They are synthetic antioxidants that are used to keep products from spoiling for longer periods. They can cause hormone disruptors and may damage the livers.
Found in lipsticks, moisturiser, and diaper creams.
Avoid: Butylated Hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene, BHA and BHT
It is used as a preservative in cosmetic products and also as a stabiliser in perfumes and soaps. It has been linked to reactions ranging from eczema, life-threatening allergic reactions.
Found in moisturiser, foundation, sunscreen, conditioner, shampoo, lip gloss, body wash, hand cream, hair colour, lip balm, lotion, soaps, deodorant, fragrance, hand sanitiser....
Avoid: Phenoxyethanol, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Euxyl K® 400 (a mixture of Phenoxyethanol and 1,2-dibromo-2,4-dicyanobutane), PhE
Triclosan and triclocarban are commonly used as antimicrobial agents in many soaps and detergents. They are endocrine disruptions, environmental toxicity. It might affect vulnerable populations especially pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
Found in antibacterial soaps and detergents, toothpaste and tooth whitening products, antiperspirants/deodorants, shaving products, creams, colour cosmetics.
Avoid: Triclosan (TSC) and triclocarban (TCC)