The Banned 20

Over 95% of skincare and haircare products contain some of the following chemicals. Compare our list of potentially toxic chemicals below with your existing skincare ingredients to find out what bad ingredients are lurking on your shelves.

Artificial Fragrance

Mostly derived from crude oil. Causes irritations, headaches and allergic rashes.

 

 

Benzyl Alcohol

Can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives and blistering of skin. Prolonged or repeated exposure can cause allergic contact dermatitis. Possible carcinogen.

 

 

Benzoic Acid

Can cause allergic skin reactions. It may also act as an eye or respiratory irritant.

 

 

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Shown to be linked to cancer, developmental toxicity, skin allergies, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, biochemical or cellular level changes.

 

 

Chlorphenesin

Can cause skin irritation, eczema and contact dermatitis. Research has shown it depresses the central nervous system and causes respiratory depression in infants.

 

 

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Can cause allergic reactions: rashes, irritated skin and eye.

 

 

Dimethicone

Can create coating on the outside of skin that prevents the skin from performing its normal activities and traps everything under it—including bacteria, sebum, and impurities—which could lead to increased breakouts and blackheads. Can cause skin and eye irritation.

 

 

 

Dmdm Hydantoin

Can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems and ear, nose and throat concerns. Possible carcinogen.

 

 

Ethanolamines (DEA/MEA/TEA)

May increase risk for cancer, especially with repeated and prolonged use. Prolonged exposure can result in liver, kidney or nervous system injury.

 

 

 

Ethylhexglycerin

Can cause skin and eye irritation, dermatitis.

 

 

Parabens

Imitates hormones and can lead to skin ageing. Possible links to breast cancer and male reproductive function.

 

 

Phenoxyethanol

Can cause skin and eye irritation, dermatitis, eczema, neurotoxicity and affect immune system. Possible carcinogen.

 

 

 

Phthalates

Known to disrupt normal hormonal balance (ability to mimic human hormones – “endocrine disrupting” compounds). Exposure to phthalates may cause: reproductive abnormalities, decreased testosterone production in boys and decreases in male fertility. Exacerbation of asthma or lung problems and even skin allergies.

 

 

 

Polyethanol Glycol

A penetration enhancer-breaks down the skin’s protective barrier. May upset the natural moisture balance. Possible human carcinogen.

 

 

 

Polyethylene

Can cause skin irritation. Known as an immune system toxicant. Possible carcinogen.

 

 

 

Propylene/Butylene Glycol

May be irritating to the skin, eyes, and or nasal passages. Can cause dermatitis and hives from too many mast skin cells.

 

 

 

Sodium/ammonium Laureth Sulfate (SLS/ALS)

Can cause skin, eye irritation and endocrine disruption. May also cause negatives effects in the kidneys, liver and central nervous system. Possible carcinogen.

 

 

 

Sodium Hydroxide

Can cause dry, red, cracked skin (dermatitis). Shown to be linked to cancer, developmental toxicity and neurotoxicity.

 

 

 

Tetrasodium EDTA

A penetration enhancer which breaks down the skin’s protective barrier. Can cause eye irritation, eczema. Possible carcinogen.

 

 

 

Triethoxycaprylylsilane

A toxic, carcinogenic substance that can damage the immune system, kill cells, and produce silicosis. It can also be a penetration enhancer, delivering other toxic ingredients into the skin.