Never Ever List

Our Never Ever List

We avoid the over 1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, but don’t stop there. Beyond harmful chemicals – phthalates, parabens, sulfates and synthetic fragrances – we also ban commonly used natural ingredients that are known to be allergens or skin sensitizers. We have created our own “never-ever list” of ingredients that our team of Ivy league dermatologists deem as hazardous.

Sources

– Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

– Center for Disease Control (CDC)

– Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

– Environmental Working Group (EWG)

– Skin Deep Database

– International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

– National Institutes of Health (NIH)

– U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

– National Toxicology Program

– California's Proposition 65 List of Chemicals

1,4 Dioxane

About:
1,4-dioxane is generated through a process called ethoxylation, in which ethylene oxide, a known breast carcinogen, is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh.

Use:
Contaminant (unlisted in ingredient labels)

Potential concern:
Carcinogen, birth defects.

Found in:
Products that sud. On labels, avoid Sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, chemicals that include the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth.

Aminomethyl Propanol

About:
Aminomethyl Propanol is used to alkalize the pH of skin care products.

Use:
pH adjuster

Potential concern:
May be contaminated with Nitrosamines, skin and organ irritation

Found in:
Hair products

Butylated Compounds (BHA and BHT)

About:
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are used as preservatives in a variety of personal care products.

Use:
Preservative

Potential concern:
Endocrine disruption, organ-system toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, carcinogen, irritation

Found in:
Personal care, skincare, food products

Behentrimonium Chloride

About:
Behentrimonium Chloride is a quarternary ammonium salt derived from colza oil.

Use:
Cleaning and conditioning agent, antistatic agent, preservative, disinfectant

Potential concern:
Irritant and allergen to skin and eyes, inflammatory agent

Found in:
Shampoos, hair conditioners

Benzalkonium Chloride

About:
Benzalkonium Chloride is an organic salt classified as a quaternary ammonium compound.

Use:
Preservative, antimicrobial agent, surfactant

Potential concern:
Severe skin, eye and respiratory irritant (particularly for those with asthma and eczema)

Found in:
Antiseptic creams, anti-itch ointments, antibacterial wipes, household disinfectants and cleaning supplies

Butoxyethanol

About:
Butoxyethanol is a glycol ether that functions as a fragrance additive with a sweet odor.

Use:
Viscosity agent, fragrance additive, solvent

Potential concern:
Possible carcinogen, skin irritant, organ toxicity

Found in:
Many products with "fragrance" or "parfum" listed in the ingredients

Chemical Sunscreens

About:
Chemical sunscreens refers to ingredients including Oxybenzone (or Benzophenone-3), Octinoxate (or octyl methoxycinnamate), Octocrylene, Octisalate or Homosalate.

Use:
Filters UVA/UVB rays

Potential concern:
Possible carcinogen, skin irritant, organ toxicity

Found in:
Suncare products

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

About:
Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a chemical derivative of coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine which was voted “Allergen of the Year” in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

Use:
Foam booster, surfactant, emulsifying agent

Potential concern:
Severe skin irritant and allergen, links to contact dermatitis

Found in:
Shampoos, detergents, personal care products

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine

About:
Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is a synthetic amphoteric surfactant from the hydroxysultaine group and a close chemical cousin to Cocamidopropyl Betaine.

Use:
Foam booster, surfactant, emulsifying agent

Potential concern:
Severe skin irritant and allergen, links to contact dermatitis

Found in:
Shampoos, detergents, personal care products

Coal Tar

About:
Coal Tar is a byproduct of coal processing used in cosmetics and skincare products.

Use:
Colorant, anti-dandruff agent

Potential concern:
Carcinogen, organ toxicity

Found in:
Shampoos and scalp treatments, soaps, hair dyes and lotions

Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA)

About:
Ethanolamines include compounds listed as Diethanolamine (DEA), Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanlamine (MEA), Ethanolamine (ETA).

Use:
Surfactant, pH adjuster

Potential concern:
Allergies, skin toxicity, endocrine disruption, may form carcinogenic nitrosamines, inhibits fetal brain development

Found in:
Shampoos and scalp treatments, soaps, hair dyes and lotions

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA)

About:
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA) is a stabilizer used to prevent ingredients in a given product from binding with other trace elements and keeps other ingredients from causing unwanted changes to a product’s texture, odor, and consistency. 

Use:
Binding agent, penetration enhancer

Potential concern:
Enhance dermal penetration of other ingredients, potentially mutagenic

Found in:
Personal care products, skincare and cosmetics

Ethoxylated ingredients (1-4 dioxane contamination)

About:
Ethoxylated ingredients on their own are of low concern, however, the process of ethoxylation, may leave behind trace amounts of carcinogens. Ethoxylation is the process of reacting ethylene oxide with other chemicals to make them less harsh, which creates small amounts of 1,4-dioxane. 

Use:
Surfactant

Potential concern:
Release potential carcinogens

Found in:
Shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath, hair relaxers

Formaldehyde (and Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives)

About:
Preservative which presents microbes from growing in water-based products. 

Use:
Preservative

Potential concern:
Carcinogenic

Found in:
Nail polish, nail glue, hair gel, baby shampoo, body soap, body wash, color cosmetics

Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone

About:
Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone are widely used preservatives that inhibit bacterial growth

Use:
Preservative, fragrance enhancers

Potential concern:
Skin irritation, sensitizer, allergen, possible neurotoxicity 

Found in:
Hair products

Mineral Oil/Petrolatum

About:
Mineral Oil and Petrolatum are by-products of petroleum distillation

Use:
Moisturizer

Potential concern:
Contamination with PAHs which are linked to cancer, skin sensitizer, contact dermatitis, allergen

Found in:
Skincare products, diaper rash creams

Parabens

About:
Parabens are esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid

Use:
Preservative, anti-microbial ingredients

Potential concern:
Carcinogenic, endocrine disruption, development and reproductive toxicity, allergen

Found in:
Hair products

Phenoxyethanol

About:
Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in cosmetics and personal care products, as well as stabilizer in soaps

Use:
Preservative, stabilizer

Potential concern:
Strong skin irritation and sensitizer, eczema, allergen

Found in:
Baby shampoos, lotions, skincare products

Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP, DMP, etc.)

About:
Phthalates are preservatives used in cosmetics and personal care products, as well as stabilizers in soaps.

Use:
Preservative, stabilizer

Potential concern:
May cause birth defects, endocrine disruption

Found in:
Synthetic fragrances, fragranced lotions, body washes and hair care products

Polysorbates

About:
Polysorbates are synthetic compounds derived from oleic acid.

Use:
Emulsifier, defoamer, surfactants

Potential concern:
Potential carcinogen, developmental toxicity, skin allergies, reproductive toxicity

Found in:
Personal care products, women's hygiene products, cleaning products

Resorcinol

About:
Resorcinol is commonly used in hair products, hair dyes and acne medication

Use:
Colorant, fragrance ingredient, acne therapy

Potential concern:
Skin irritation, possible endocrine disruption, organ and immune toxicity

Found in:
Hair products, acne creams

Sesame Seed Oil

About:
Sesame seed oil is a vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds.

Use:
Moisturizing agent

Potential concern:
Skin irritation, allergen

Found in:
Skincare and personal care products

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate

About:
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is a synthetic skin conditioner.

Use:
Skin conditioning, absorption enhancer, antistatic

Potential concern:
Contamination of nitrosamines (potential carcinogen)

Found in:
Shampoos, cleansers, soaps

Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate)

About:
Sulfates are detergents commonly found in shampoos and soaps.

Use:
Surfactant

Potential concern:
Contamination with 1-4 dioxane, causes skin and eye irritation, allergen

Found in:
Many skincare and personal care products (soap, shampoo, body wash, bubble bath)

Synthetic Fragrance

About:
Synthetically engineered scents containing dozens (or even hundreds) of chemical ingredients used to create fragrances. Companies are not required to disclose the numerous ingredients behind the “fragrance” and therefore remains a loophole in the industry.  

Use:
Fragrance

Potential concern:
Severe skin and respiratory irritation, possible endocrine disruption, organ and immune toxicity, potential carcinogen, neurotoxicity, birth defects

Found in:
Skincare and personal care products

Triclosan and Triclocarban

About:
Triclosan and Triclocarban are antibacterial agents commonly found in detergents and soaps.

Use:
Antimicrobial agent

Potential concern:
Endocrine disruption, toxic to marine environments, contributes to antibiotic resistance in bacteria

Found in:
Antibacterial hand and body soaps/cleaners, hand santizers, antiperspirants 

Trideceth-10

About:
Trideceth-10 is a polyethylene glycol ether derived from the reaction between ethylene oxide and tridecyl alcohol.

Use:
Surfactant, emulsifying agent

Potential concern:
Organ system toxicity, ecotoxicology

Found in:
Personal care products