are preservatives used in a wide variety of personal care products and foods to prevent the growth

of microbes.

Certain parabens are potential endocrine disruptors due to their ability to mimic estrogen.

In cell studies, parabens have been found to weakly bind to estrogen receptors.


is a naturally occurring chemical that nearly every living animal and plant produces at various levels

throughout their life. Formaldehyde is used as a preservative to kill microorganisms, or prevent or inhibit their growth in products.

 High levels of exposure to formaldehyde, particularly in cosmetic products, can cause sensory irritation, skin sensitization,

breathing difficulties and asthma.


Retinyl Palmitate

Retinoids are a class of skin care ingredients that are highly prized for their anti-aging benefits.

Retinyl Palmitate is made by combining palmitic (fatty acid) acid with retinol (pure vitamin A).

Retinyl Palmitate is banned in Europe and Canada, it may also speed up the growth of cancerous skin cells when

your skin is exposed to the sun and make your face sensitive and red. 


is a skin-lightening agent. It bleaches the skin, which can be helpful when treating different forms of


studies in rodents show some evidence that hydroquinone may act as a carcinogen or cancer-causing chemical, although

its cancer-causing properties have yet to be proved in humans.

Hydroquinone also has been linked with the medical condition known as ochronosis in which the skin becomes dark and thick.

Hydroquinone has already been banned in Japan, the European Union, and Australia.

Benzophenone Related Compounds

Benzophenone is used in personal care products such Lip balm, nail polish,

foundations, baby sunscreens, fragrance, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, moisturizers, and foundation to protect

the products from UV light. Derivatives of benzophenone, such as benzophenone-2 (BP2) and oxybenzone

(benzophenone-3 or BP3) are common ingredients in sunscreen.

These chemicals are linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and organ system toxicity.


also known as 2-Butoxyethanol, is a widely used solvent. A colorless liquid with a sweet scent,

is primarily used in paints and coatings, and also is an ingredient some household cleaning products, cosmetics

and personal care products.

May cause irritation to skin, eyes and lungs.


is a chemical element for which toxicity in humans has been well documented (CDC Tox Profile). It may occur as an

impurity in ingredients used in cosmetic lip products and externally applied cosmetics due to its background presence in the


December 2016, the FDA issued draft guidance on the recommended maximum level of lead in cosmetic.

Mercury Compounds (Thimerisol)

is used as a preservative in vaccines, cosmetics, tattoo inks, eye drops.

The toxicity of mercury and its compounds is extensively documented in scientific literature. Some mercury compounds

can be absorbed through the skin on topical application and accumulate in the body.

Depending on the form of mercury, exposure to sufficiently high concentrations can result in allergic reactions,

skin irritation, or neurotoxicity. 

FDA banned mercury in most cosmetics in 1974. The FDA has determined that mercury compounds may be used in cosmetic

products only in trace amounts as a preservative.


is a toxic chemical used in in nail products and hair dyes. May cause developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ

system toxicity, and irritation.

The EU classifies toluene as a skin irritant (only for products for use on skin). 



(MEA, DEA, TEA, ETA) - are present in many consumer products ranging from cosmetics, personal care products

and household cleaning products. Ethanolamines are widely used to thicken the water phase of cosmetics, keep ingredients blended,

and boost foaming properties. The European Commission prohibits diethanolamine (DEA) in cosmetics.  According to the FDA,

the National Toxicology Program (NTP) completed a study in 1998 that found an association between the topical application

of DEA and certain DEA-related ingredients and cancer in laboratory animals.


is a salt that forms when sulfuric acid reacts with another chemical. It’s a broader term for other synthetic

 sulfate-based chemicals you may be concerned about, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium

 laureth sulfate (SLES). These compounds are produced from petroleum and plant sources such as coconut and palm oil.

You’ll mostly find them in your cleaning and personal care products.

Sulfates may cause skin and eyes irritation. For people with sensitive skin, sulfates may also clog pores and cause acne.


Mineral Oil

is a clear, odorless liquid and a common ingredient in a variety of cosmetics and personal care products.

Mineral oil is made from highly refined, purified and processed petroleum.

May cause burning, stinging, redness, or irritation.



is an organic compound used in sunscreens. It is a derivative of benzophenone. It forms colorless crystals that

are readily soluble in most organic solvents. It is used as an ingredient in sunscreen and other cosmetics because

it absorbs UV-A ultraviolet rays.

Oxybenzone could potentially disrupt the human hormone system. On top of that, oxybenzone has been ending up in our oceans

harming and killing corals in the process. That is why Hawaii’s governor signed a bill into law last July that banned the sale

of sunscreens containing oxybenzone.




is an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It is widely used as a preservative and antimicrobial agent in personal

care products such as soaps, skin creams, toothpaste and deodorants.

Triclosan is an endocrine disrupters. Laboratory and animal studies suggest that the chemical can affect reproduction and development.

On September 9, 2016, the FDA banned the incorporation of triclosan household soap products and the next year prevented

companies from using triclosan in over-the-counter health care antiseptic products without premarket review.

Triclosan also has been banned in the European Union in personal care products. 

Carbon Black

is a dark black powder used as a pigment in cosmetics such as eyeliner,

mascara and lipstick. It is produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-based products such as coal tar and has been linked

to increased incidence of cancer and negative effects on organs.

Methyl Cellosolve

is used as a solvent (dissolves other substances) in many consumer products. 

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)identifies that methoxyethanol (also called 2-methoxyethanol or methyl cellosolve)

“may damage fertility and may damage the unborn child, is a flammable liquid and vapour, is harmful if swallowed,

is harmful in contact with skin, is harmful if inhaled, and causes damage to organs.”

Canada and the EU have prohibitedthe use of the substance in cosmetic products.

Insoluble Plastic Microbeads

are defined as any intentionally added, water insoluble, solid plastic particles (5 mm or less in size)

used to exfoliate or cleanse in rinse-off personal care products. There is concern that the quantities of plastic litter in our

marine environment can harm eco-systems and microplastic particles that enter the marine environment

can be consumed by sea-life.  In October 2015, Cosmetics Europe recommended to its members to discontinue,

by 2020, the use of synthetic, solid, plastic particles (microbeads) used for exfoliating and cleansing.


Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is used as preservatives in a variety of personal care products. This chemical is also used as preservative in foods. This chemical is linked to several health concerns including endocrine disruption and organ-system toxicity.


Petrolatum,  is often used in personal care products as a moisturizing agent. When properly refined, petrolatum has no known health concerns. However, petrolatum is often not fully refined in the US, which means it can be contaminated with toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

The primary concern with petrolatum is the potential contamination with PAHs. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) considers PAHs as a class to contain reasonably anticipated carcinogens.


Liquid paraffin oil is a mineral oil and is a by-product of petroleum distillation. It is transparent, colorless, odorless and

tasteless oil. Paraffin oil and paraffine wax have found in a wide range of industrial, medical, as well as cosmetic uses in modern times.

Paraffin is known to clog pores and paraffin oil can pose certain health hazards, especially if it is inhaled or ingested, and due to

repeated or prolonged skin exposure. 


are chemicals that make plastic soft and flexible. You can find them in Cosmetics and persona

care products. Some Phthalates have been linked to hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity.

Formaldehyde-releasing agents

preservatives (FRPs) are used in many personal care products, particularly in shampoos

and liquid baby soaps. These chemicals, which help prevent microbes from growing in water-based products,

can be absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer and allergic skin reactions.

Coal Tar

is a thick dark liquid which is a by-product of the production of coke and coal gas from coal.

It has both medical and industrial uses. It may be applied to the affected area to treat psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.

Side effects include skin irritation, sun sensitivity, allergic reactions, and skin discoloration.


is an antimicrobial active ingredient used globally in a wide range of personal cleansing products

including deodorant soaps, deodorants, detergents, cleansing lotions, and wipes. Triclocarban is also used globally as an

antimicrobial active ingredient in bar soaps.  Triclocarban is an endocrine disrupters. Laboratory and animal studies suggest

that the chemical can affect reproduction and development. On 2016 the FDA banned triclocarban.


Aluminum Salts

used as active ingredients in OTC antiperspirants are applied to the skin to reduce the production

of sweat at the site of application and to help reduce or eliminate the unpleasant odor that arises from the bacterial breakdown

of sweat on the skin. 


Carbon Black

is a dark black powder used as a pigment in cosmetics such as eyeliner,

mascara and lipstick. It is produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-based products such as coal tar and has been linked

to increased incidence of cancer and negative effects on organs.



is a preservative that is active against bacteria, yeast, and fungi. It is used in the

manufacture of water-based cosmetics and personal care products.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), methylchloroisothiazolinone is a standardized chemical allergen.

In 2014, the European Commission Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety issued a voluntary ban on “the mixture of

methylchloroisothiazolinone (and) methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) from leave-on products such as body creams. 



is commonly used in hair dyes and acne medication. In higher doses it is toxic and can disrupt the function

of the central nervous system and lead to respiratory problems. It has also been shown to disrupt the endocrine system,

specifically, thyroid function.

In 2014, the European Commission Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety issued a voluntary ban on “the mixture of

methylchloroisothiazolinone (and) methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) from leave-on products such as body creams.



is a mineral substance used in a variety of cosmetic and personal care products from baby powders to eye shadows.

It is added to absorb moisture, smooth or soften products, prevent caking, and make makeup opaque. May cause Irritation,

organ system toxicity. Talc is restricted in the European Union.


Diethanolamine (DEA) is organic substances that function as emulsifiers to produce

foam and bubbles in cosmetics. This ingredient can also be used to adjust a product's PH.

DEA may cause an allergic reaction in some people, producing a mild form of dermatitis. Large doses, however, are thought to be

potentially carcinogenic to humans—especially as it builds up in the system over time. Therefore, California banned its use.



 is a chain of polymers consisting of styrene and acrylate which is added to cosmetics for color. Most often found in nail polish, sunscreen (SPF greater than 30), sunscreen moisturizer, body wash/cleanser, shampoo and eyeliner.There is the potential for styrena acrylates copolymer to be contaminated with styrene, a possible carcinogen, may cause endocrine disruption and Long-term exposure to styrene in humans may results in effects on the central nervous system (CNS).