Skincare Ingredients to Avoid
The 'No-No' List
It has been almost 10 years since many personal care products ingredients like parabens, petrolatum, SLS and others were recognized as dangerous and cancerous, but it took a while for companies to take those out of their manufacturing process.
Many types of research were done and many cancer awareness campaigns were launched to make this difference.
Right now it's much easier to find products without the harsh ones, but how about all the new ingredients that come to replace the old ones? If parabens were used to preserve the products, what preservatives are being used instead today?
Are they safe and non-toxic? Will it take another 10 years of research to understand that all chemicals are toxic to some degree no matter how cost-saving they are...
2019 Additions To Our No-No List Ingredients
(to preserve and extend shelf-life)
( 3 (2H) Isothiazolone, 5Chloro2Methyl; 4-Isothiazolin-3-One, 5-Chloro-2-Methyl-; 5-Chloro-2-Methyl- 4-Isothiazolin-3-One; 5-Chloro-2-Methyl-2H-Isothiazol-3-One; 5-Chloro-2-Methyl-4-Isothiazolin-3-One; Methylchlorothiazolinone; 3 (2H) -Isothiazolone, 5-Chloro-2-Methyl-; 5-Chloro-2-Methyl-4-Isothiazolin-3-One; Kathon Cg 5243)
Many of those appear in Natural / Organic products, so read the labels and simply Google.
Not so much research done though, but some are already proved to have medium to a high level of toxicity.
(soaps, cleansing, exfoliating, foaming agents)
(1-Propanaminium, 3-Amino-N- (Carboxymethyl) -N,N-Dimethyl-, N-Coco Acyl Derivs., Inner Salts; 1-Propanaminium, N- (Carboxymethyl) -N,N-Dimethyl-3- [ (1-Oxococonut) Amino] -, Hydroxide, Inner Salt; 1Propanaminium, 3Aminon (Carboxymethyl) N,Ndimethyl, Ncoco Acyl Derivs., Hydroxides, Inner Salts; Cadg; Cocamido Betaine; Cocamidopropyl Dimethyl Glycine; Cocoamidopropyl Betaine; Cocoyl Amide Propylbetaine; Cocoyl Amide Propyldi Methyl Glycine Solution; Cocoyl Amide Propyldimethyl Glycine; Hydroxide Inner Salt 1-Propanaminium, N- (Carboxymethyl) -N,N-Dimethyl-3- [ (1-Oxococonut) Amino] )
(2-Hydroxy Propanoic Acid, Monosodium Salt; 2-Hydroxy- Monosodium Salt Propanoic Acid; 2-Hydroxypropanoic Acid, Monosodium Salt; Monosodium Salt 2-Hydroxypropanoic Acid; Monosodium Salt Propanoic Acid, 2-Hydroxy-; Propanoic Acid, 2-Hydroxy-, Monosodium Salt; Propanoic Acid, 2Hydroxy, Monosodium Salt; Sodium Lactate Solution; Sodiuma -Hydroxypropionate; Lacolin; Lactic Acid Sodium Salt )
There are tons of name variations, which makes it very challenging to understand which one is safe to use. It's best to avoid any product with "long and difficult to pronounce" ingredients list. Another helpful tactic will be just to Google 1-3 the most suspicious ingredients, and if they are not safe just skip the product.
(to mask unpleasant odor)
(2-Propenal, 3-Phenyl-; 2Propenal, 3Phenyl; 3-Phenyl- 2-Propenal; 3-Phenyl-2-Propenal; Cinnamaldehyde; Cinnamic Aldehyde; Cinnamyl Aldehyde; 2-Propenal, 3-Phenyl- (9Ci) ; 3-Fenylpropenal (Czech) ; 3-Phenyl-2-Propenal; 3-Phenylacrolein)
(2,6-Octadienal, 3,7-Dimethyl-; 2,6Octadienal, 3,7Dimethyl; 3,7-Dimethyl- 2,6-Octadienal; 3,7-Dimethyl-2,6-Octadienal; 3,7-Dimethyl-2,6-Octadienal; Lemsyn Gb; Nci-C56348)
May cause irritation and allergic dermatitis, due to the ingredient itself or to impurities present in it. Generally better to avoid any product with "fragrance" or "perfume" ingredient.
The top 10 most dangerous cosmetic ingredients
✘ It's a preservative that added to products to extend shelf-life (to 36+ months) and prevent bacterial contamination. The biggest concern is that parabens can penetrate the skin and remain within tissue! Too much of them can trigger an increase in breast cell division and the growth of tumors, which is why parabens use has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.
❤ It's has been proved many years ago already that synthetic preservatives are not necessary for product stability, and with help of ‘green’ chemistry, today there are options out there that are completely free of them and still have a great shelf-life of 12-18 months. Essential oils, extracts, vitamins, and herbs are natural preservatives that prevent bacteria without the toxicity of synthetic preservatives and remain effective.
✘ It's a preservative that was accepted as a "healthier" alternative to parabens.
Derived from ether alcohol, it is a synthetic compound that contains carcinogenic chemicals therefore not advisable for long term usage.
❤ Same as for the parabens above, the best replacement will be essential oils, extracts, vitamins, and herbs. The shelf-life will be shorter, but who wants to use skincare that was made 36 months ago anyway!
DEP (diethyl phthalate), BPA (Bisphenol), DBP (dibutyl phthalate) and more, sometimes labeled as "Fragrance"
✘ Used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastics in cosmetics to help products to stick to our skin. Several research studies have proved that phthalates have harmful effects on the hormones of both genders. They are also known to cause developmental issues, organ toxicity, cancer and neurological disorder among other health problems.
❤ Natural alternatives - NONE!
We don't need those in clean product formulations since there are no synthetic ingredients to soften anyway.
Dmdm Hydantoin, Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Quaternium-15, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, Polyoxymethylene Urea, 5-Bromo-5-Nitro-1,3 Dioxane, Methenamine, Benzylhemiformal, Glyoxal
✘ Formaldehyde in its pure form is a colorless gas. It's used as a preservative to prevent bacterial growth in products. Widely used in skincare and hair products. International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies as a known human carcinogen.
❤ Easily replaceable with essential oils, extracts, vitamins, and herbs. Make sure you buy your skincare fresh, handmade in small batches.
✘ Used to create a pleasant scent or better will be to say to mask the unpleasant odor of other synthetic ingredients. Ingredient labeled as "fragrance" is always a secret mixture of dozen of chemicals that are not obligated to be exposed. Even "unscented" products may contain fragrance combined with masking agent chemical that prevents the brain from perceiving odor. The fragrance is known to cause allergies, multiple chemical sensitivity, asthma symptoms, and hormonal disruption. The toxicity level is medium to high and not advisable for daily exposure.
❤ Let's start with the fact that there is no need to mask any unpleasant odor. The scent created quite naturally as a result of using ingredients like essential oils or some fruit extracts.
Polyethylene, Polyoxyethylene, Ceteareth, Polyethylene Glycol, Polyethylene Glycol
✘ The petroleum-based compound, used as a thickener, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Widely used in cream bases. The biggest concern with PEGs is that it's contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane that classified as a known human carcinogen and developmental toxicant.
❤ This one easily replaced with plants derived Glycerin. It's a great natural humectant that able to increase the hydration level without stripping off the natural barrier that any skin has to protect itself from the environmental impact.
Petroleum Jelly, Mineral Oil
✘ It’s a very popular ingredient that acts as an emollient to prevent dryness and lock-in moisture or add an extra shine in hair products. It can cause skin irritation and allergies, classified as a human carcinogen and restricted already in some European countries.
❤ There are tons of natural emollients in plants and oils - Jojoba, Avocado, Rosehip, Shea, Cocoa and more. Natural emollients are able to nourish the skin and easily absorbed because they come with enzymes.
DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (momoethnanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), Cocamide DEA, MES, Lauramide DEA
✘ These synthetic surfancts are dissolving oils and holding dirt in suspension so it can be rinsed away with water. They are used in products that foam like body washes, shampoos, soaps, and facial cleansers. They are excessively harsh, stripping and irritating to skin and scalp. Also, they are contaminated with dioxane that classified as a human carcinogen.
❤ There is a big choice of natural foaming agents. They cleanse the hair and scalp gently without stripping the natural oils. Mild, yet effective. Some examples of natural surfactants are castile soap and soapwort.
Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Homosalate, Titanium dioxide, Octinoxate, Octylmethoxycinnamate, Retinyl palmitate, Rtinol
✘ We have listed all the chemicals that are usually can be seen in sunscreen products. Some of them are chemicals filters that help to get cream absorbed. They get accumulated in our bodies and then disturb hormones and the entire endocrine system. Some of them are vitamin A sources that are very harmful when exposed to the sun. And some are sun blockers that contain nano-particles small enough to get absorbed into the bloodstream, therefore, should be avoided.
❤ There are some safe options that are not actually get absorbed into tissues of the skin like Zinc oxide.
Cyclomethicone, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane
✘ Silicone-based compounds used in skincare to soften, smooth, and moisten. Recognized as an endocrine disruptor that interferes with human hormone function and possible reproductive toxicant.
❤ There are unlimited choices to soften, smooth and moisten your skin with natural alternatives. Maybe they are less cheap than their synthetic competitors but results-wise be sure that it will exceed all your expectations.