Ingredients to AVOID List
* Aluminum: In the form of powder, aluminum is usually used in self-care products like deodorants. It can cause irritation to skin, and birth disordersand has been linked to alzheimer’s.
* Antimicrobials:Triclosan: Synonyms: 5-chloro-2-(2-4dichlorophenoxy)phenol. Triclocarban: Synonyms: TCC; cusiter; CUTISAN; CP 78416;ent26925; Nobacter; genoface; ENT 26925;Procutene; NSC-72005.
* Benzalkonium chloride: a disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye and respiratory irritation and allergies.
* Benzophenone and derivatives: a possible human carcinogen and hormone disruptor used as a fragrance ingredient and to absorb ultraviolet light.
* BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and can be hormone disruptors due to their ability to mimic estrogen, and may cause liver damage. Found in: eye liners, lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.
* Bismuth Oxychloride: An inorganic compound which can be irritating to the skin. It is used to give mineral makeups a matte or shimmery appearance. Since it helps the mineral to adhere to the skin, Bismuth Oxychloride can also clog pores and causing acnes and blackheads.
* Bisphenol A (BPA): a hormone disruptor that may also alter DNA, used in plastics and resins. Bisphenols: Bisphenol A (BPA): bisphenol B (BPB), bisphenol E (BPE), bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol S (BPS) and 4-cumylphenol (HPP) to BPA
* Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT): shown to have coninogenic properties used a preservative. Found in: cereals, potato chips, chewing gum, and cosmetics (https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/butylatedhydroxyanisole.pdf)
* Butoxyethanol: a solvent used to control viscosity, or a “fragrance” additive. It irritates skin and may cause cancer and reproductive toxicity.
* Caprylyl Glycol: used as skin conditioning agent. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, foundations, eye shadow, mascaras, etc.
* Carbon black: An ingredient found in eyeliners, it’s linked to cancer and organ toxicity. Look for its other names: channel black, pigment black 6, pigment black 7, acetylene black, froflow, arogen, arotone, arovel, arrow, atlantic, and black pearls.
* Chemical Sunscreens (Oxybenzone and Octyl Methoxycinnamate): May be potentially carcinogenic or have other health risks, including skin irritation. When many of the chemicals used in popular sunscreens are exposed to sunlight, reactions occur between the sunscreen’s active and inactive ingredients and the epidermis. Toxic reactions include inflammation, dermalogical effects, allergic reactions and photogenotoxic (DNA altering) effects. Chemical sunscreens have ingredients that actually promote cancer.
* Chloroethane: used as thickening and binding agent in cosmetics. It was originally used as an additive to gasoline and is known as an aerosol spray propellant and anesthetic. It has been shown to cause liver and kidney damage or uterine cancer in mice after prolonged exposure.
* Coal tar: a byproduct of coal processing that is a known carcinogen. It is used as a colorant and an anti-dandruff agent. Found in: hair dye, shampoo. a byproduct of coal processing that is a known carcinogen. Potential to cause cancer and can be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
* Deanol aceglumate: is used on skin to help prevent signs of aging. It is typically used as a medication to treat ADHD, Alzheimer’s, and Autism but has recently gained traction in being used for anti-aging despite lack of evidence that it works. Found in: anti-aging products.
* Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): It helps prevent the polish from becoming brittle and also served as solvent for dyes.The chemical is banned from cosmetics in the European Union, and was added to California’s Proposition 65 as a suspected “teratogen” (something that causes congenital abnormalities) in 2006. The U.S. also banned it from being used to make children’s toys in 2008, but it’s still allowed in nail polishes.Researchers confirmed that DBP is absorbed through the skin in a 2007 study. In addition to being linked to developmental problems, it’s also believed to be a hormone disruptor, to impair fertility, and to be toxic to aquatic organisms.
* Dimethicone: A silicone oil that is very popular in today’s personal care properties.the covering and trapping property of dimethicone means that it’s not just trapping moisture, but bacteria, skin oils, sebum, and other impurities. That means those prone to acne or with oily skin are more likely to see increased blackheads and breakouts when using products containing this ingredient. It is also bad for the environment since Dimethicone is non-biodegradable.
* Dipropylene Glycol: It is used in the cosmetics as a fragrance and a masking agent. Dipropylene Glycol has been proven low toxicity, but to be an active irritant of skin and eye area.
* Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA): Surfactants and pH adjusters linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development. Can react to form cancer-causing nitrosamines. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
* Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA): a chelating (binding) agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. May be toxic to organs. Found in: hair color, moisturizers.
* Ethoxylated ingredients: are ingredients that are synthetically produced using ethylene oxide – a known carcinogen. These new chemical compounds are known as ethoxylated compounds. A by-product of this process is another chemical known to be harmful: 1,4 dioxane. Also, the chemicals listed below are all produced using this process of ethoxylation and, as a result, are contaminated with 1,4 dioxane. To avoid ethoxylated compounds look for these ingredients listed on labels: - Butoxyethanol: Synonyms: Butyl cellosolve; Ethylene glycol mono-n-butyl ether; Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether; EGBE; Dowanol EB; Butyl oxitol; Jeffersol EB; Ektasolve EB - Ethanolamines (DEA/TEA/MEA/ETA) - Polysorbates: Synonyms are All PEG (Polyethylene & Polypropylene glycol) compounds, like PEG-20, 40, 60, and its synonyms, Polysorbate-20, Polysorbate-40,etc. - Emulsifying Wax NF - Sorbitan Monostearate and other sorbitan based ingredients are also synonyms with PEGs (polysorbates). - Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Laureth Sulfate and most ingredients ending in “-eth”. - Any ingredient known to actually contain 1,4-dioxane
* Fatty Alcohol: produced by bacteria, plants and animals for purposes of buoyancy, as source of metabolic water and energy, biosonar lenses (marine mammals) and for thermal insulation in the form of waxes (in plants and insects)
* Fiber: NYLON-66 FIBER 20D is an odorless white to yellow fibrous powder of uniform length, free of foreign matter. This product is composed of Nylon-66 and Titanium Dioxide (the latter has been shown to weaken the intestinal barrier, show down metabolism, trigger inflammation, blocks nutrient absorption of key nutrients such a s iron, zinc and fatty acids). Found in: mascara and eyebrow products for lengthening and volumizing effects (https://www.ulprospector.com/en/na/PersonalCare/Detail/4671/208189/NYLON-66-FIBER-20D)
* Formaldehyde: used as a preservative in cosmetics given its ability to preserve a corpse. A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Present where quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), and several other preservatives are listed. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.
* Glycols: Specifically Propylene Glycol and Butylene Glycol. (The other glycol “polypropylene glycol”, also known as PEG, is an ethoxylated ingredient and is included on our Dirty List). Propylene and Butylene Glycol are synthetic chemicals derived from petroleum compounds and are used mostly to attract moisture to the skin, as well as condition the texture of the product to keep it from separating. The Cosmos Standard in the EU accepts Propylene and Butylene at small levels and there is not enough research to document major concerns. One thing we are aware of however is that these two glycols may increase the skin’s ability to absorb, meaning if the product contains anything in it that may be potentially irritating the glycols would increase their absorption.
* Heavy Metals: You’ll never actually see these ingredients listed, but they occur at trace levels in some pigments that are mined, like micas. We trust that our vendors who use mineral-based pigments have procured them from trusted sources and can verify they don’t contain concerning percentages. It’s for this reason that the FDA regulates color pigments, to protect the consumer from exposure to high dosages of heavy metals. We follow the FDA approved guidelines for regulated pigments and ask that our vendors verify that if they use FD&C colors that they can trace the source and assure their colors are within FD&C accepted parameters. All products must meet the minimums established by FDA for cosmetics for residues of: Mercury & Mercury Compounds, Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium.
* Hydroquinone: a skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation. Found in: skin-lightening creams.used for skin lightening: 1,4-Benzenediol; 1,4-Benzoquinol; 1,4-Dihydroxybenzene; Dihydroquinone; Eldopacque; Eldopaque; Eldopaque Forte; Eldoquin; 4-Hydroxyphenol; p-Hydroxyphenol; p-Phenylenediol; p-Quinol.
* Lead Compounds: surprisingly heavy metals such as lead is still allowed in cosmetics, although regulated. However, there is no “safe” level of lead. It increases damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, speech and hearing problems. Has also been linked to a reduced IQ, ADHD symptoms, juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior, making it especially dangerous for children and teens. The darker pigmented the cosmetic, the more likely it is to contain lead. Found in: all types of cosmetics (https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/guidanceregulation/guidancedocuments/ucm452623.htm)
* Mercury and mercury compounds (also listed as Thimerosal): Metallic element used as a preservative and antiseptic known to damage brain function.
* Methyl cellosolve: A fragrance ingredient and solvent that is an irritant and a possible neurotoxin, developmental toxin, and cause of DNA mutations that could lead to cancer.
* Methylisothiazolinone: Synonyms: 3(2H)-Isothiazolone, 2-methyl-; 2-Methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-one; 2-Methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one; 2-Methyl-3(2H)-isothiazolone. chemical preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers, and causes of contact skin allergies. Found in: shampoo, conditioner, body wash.
* Monoethanolamine: an emulsifier for products. Inhalation is poor for the respiratory tract and can induce asthmatic symptoms. It is deemed a potential neurotoxin as well. Found in: hair color and household cleaning products
* Nanoparticles: most often referring to Titanium Dioxide in nanoparticle form, this ingredient is used to create a bright white pigmentation. Has been shown to weaken the intestinal barrier, show down metabolism, trigger inflammation, blocks nutrient absorption of key nutrients such a s iron, zinc and fatty acids. Found in: in paints, plastics, chewing gum, toothpaste, candies, powdered white sugar and bread
* Octinoxate: used to filter UV-B rays in order to help prevent products from degrading when exposed to sun. Has been found to be an endocrine disruptor that can mimic estrogen and interrupt the thyroid’s processes while also being toxic to the reproductive and organ systems. Found in: hair color products, shampoos, sunscreen, lipstick, nail polish, skin creams
* Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate: it is a skin conditioning agent. Found in: lipstick, sunscreen, moisturizer, foundation, and others.
* Oxybenzone: an agent used to protect from ultraviolet rays. It is linked to irritation and allergies. Found in: sunscreen, moisturizer
* Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others): a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3855500/ – study done by Harvard School of Public Health). Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.
* Paraffin: a white or colourless soft solid derivable from petroleum, coal or oil shale. Since its smooth texture, it is usually used in lotions and creams. Overall paraffin is not good to skin since it is easily rubbed into skin and can cause clogged pores.
* Petrolatum – Petrochemicals: You will rarely see “petrolatum” listed anymore. However its by-products are often listed. We’ve included a list of a few glaringly concerning petroleum derivatives below. But sometimes, petroleum is actually listed, but clever marketers will disguise the name, we’ve tried to include all of the synonyms below. Contaminants from hydrocarbons, and the processing of crude oil: Toluene, Hexane, Mineral Oil, Paraffin Wax, Benzene, Mineral oil, Liquid paraffin.
* Phenacetin: used as a stabilizer in personal care products. Used to be used as a pain and fever reliever until banned in 1983 by the FDA due to its carcinogenic effects (https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/4754). Found in: facial hair bleach, hair color, and hair removal products.. Japan has banned the use of phenoxyethanol in all cosmetics, while most other countries have limited the use of it to 1% concentration.
* Phenoxyethanol: It is commonly used in skincare and makeup products with side effects like skin irritations, reproductive and developmental complications, and damages to the brain and nervous system. Japan has banned the use of phenoxyethanol in all cosmetics, while most other countries have limited the use of it to 1% concentration. Can cause allergy like Eczema and may have nervous systems effects on infants. Found in: perfumes and soaps.
* Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others): a class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and has been found to cause birth defects and impact reproductive systems. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, and plastic materials.
* Polyacrylamide: is used to stabilize products and bind ingredients. It can break down into acrylamide which has been shown to be a carcinogen and has been linked to cancers of the thyroid, uterus, mammary glands, and others in animal studies. Daily exposure to acrylamide through cosmetic products can be compared to the amount one is exposed to when smoking a pack of cigarettes a day (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21822324). Found in: moisturizers, anti-aging products, hair products, and others.
* Polybutene: an airplane adhesive, sometimes derived from petroleum. It is a common toxic ingredient used in lipsticks and balms, as a binder.
* Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds): PEGs are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. Found in: creams, sunscreen, shampoo.
* Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE): it is an ingredient that helps product from clumping together. It has been associated with cancer and delayed menstruation and breast development. PTFE is most notably known as the ingredient used by Teflon for non-stick cookware. PTFE itself is created with perfluorooctonoic acid (PFOA) which has been shown to increase carcinogenicity of chemicals it is blended with (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2605.2008.00870.x/full). Found in: foundation, loose powder, bronzer, blush, eye shadow, mascara, lip balm, and others.
* Propylene Carbonate: Propylene Carbonate functions as a solvent in cosmetics and personal care products.Undiluted Propylene Carbonate was moderately irritating to the eye and skin.
* PCA Dimethicone
* PEG-100 Stearate
* Resorcinol: a colorant and fragrance ingredient that is a skin irritant, toxic to the immune system and organs, and suspected to cause hormone disruption. Resorcinol and 2-Methylresorcinol: also listed as 1,3-benzenediol, resorcin, 1,3-dihydroxybenzene(m-hydroxybenze, m-dihydroxyphenol) are mostly exclusively used in hair dyes, to help the color bond to hair shaft, which are a category of products we don’t sell at Credo. Occasionally however they may creep into acne treatments to help smooth scaly, uneven skin. The main concern with these chemicals are their actions as colorants. The EU, Japan and even the US has restricted their use.
* Silicones: You will mostly find them listed as dimethicone, cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, or ingredients ending in “cone” – and they are included as an ingredient to adjust the texture, make the skin feel smooth, fill in wrinkles, and add shine and glow. There really isn’t enough research to identify this synthetic chemical as cause for concern for human health, but there are a few things about it that we thought we’d let you know so you can make an informed decision: 1) It is a totally synthetically manufactured chemical, not derived from plants 2) It’s has been shown to bio-accumulate, meaning it does not biodegrade and may cause environmental damage 3) It is an occlusive, meaning it will clog pores. So if you are acne prone, it may be best to stay away from products that list this as an ingredient.
* Sodium Hyaluronate: used as a skin conditioning agent. Derived from animal cartilage which contains hyaluronic acid, which sodium hyaluronate is part of. Found in: facial moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation.
* Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES): SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.
* Synthetic flavor or fragrance: an engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Has been found to cause allergies, dermatitis, respiratory difficulties, and can impact the reproductive system. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed. Found in: all types of cosmetics.
* Synthetic Color Pigments derived from petroleum (aka coal tars). These color pigments are highly regulated by the FDA, and the FDA only allows the use of these specific FDA approved colorants – we verify this with our brand partners to ensure their compliance. You can read more about our take on synthetic color here.
* Talc: Talc is usually found in baby powder and in face powders. There has been lawsuits that have claimed Talc causing cancer. It may also cause irritation and organ system toxicity.
* Toluene: a volatile petrochemical solvent that is toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects. It can also decrease one’s ability to breathe and cause them to feel nauseous. Found in: nail polish, hair bleaches and dyes.
* Triethanolamine (TEA): It is a fragrance ingredient and PH adjuster. It is commonly found in soaps, haircare, makeup, and sunscreens. The health concerns of TEA are cancer, organ system toxicity, allergic reactions and bioaccumulations in the skin.
* Triclosan and Triclocarban: antimicrobial pesticides toxic to the aquatic environment; may also impact human reproductive systems. Has been found to also cause bacterial resistance. Found in: liquid soap, soap bars, toothpaste. FDA restricted its use in 2016 with this statement: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm517478.htm.
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