Dirty Ingredients - Credo

Our promise to never carry products with known harmful ingredients or animal byproducts begins here, with a list of dirty ingredients we’ll never stock. Our aim to decipher the letters and number is for a good reason, to give you the knowledge to make informed decisions about your beauty.

All our products are free of:

Animal fats, oils & musks

Benzalkonium chloride

Benzophenone & derivatives like Oxybenzone

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Butoxyethanol

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

Coal Tar

1,4-dioxane

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)

Ethanolamines (DEA/TEA/MEA/ETA)

Formaldehyde

Hydroquinone

Methyl Cellosolve

Methylisothiazolinone ( also known as MI or MIT) and methylchloroisothiazolinone ( also known as MCI), “Kathon CG

Mercury & Mercury Compounds

Mineral Oil

Parabens

Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others)

Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds)

Resorcinol

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS & SLES)

Toluene

Triclosan & Triclocarban

Animal fats, oils & musks

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Because it is not animal friendly. Animal components can only be obtained from dead animals. Animal by-products (an exception would be lanolin and beeswax - where the animal is not harmed for the ingredient to be obtained) are taken from live animals and are a potential skin & organ irritant, detrimental to animal welfare and sustainability.

Why is it used in cosmetics & beauty products?

Some manufacturers use animal components in cosmetic and skincare products because it allows products to be an effective skin conditioner, enhances the thickness of products or makes products more emollient.

Benzalkonium chloride

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Benzalkonium Chloride is used as a preservative, as an anti-bacterial agent for leave-on antiseptics, as a surfactant, a deodorant agent and a penetration enhancer. There is moderate to strong evidence that Benzalkonium Chloride is an immune, skin, and respiratory toxicant, with laboratory tests hinting at mutative (carcinogenic) effects.

The safety data sheet (MSDS) indicates Benzalkonium Chloride is a skin and eye irritant, and can be corrosive to both, with the amount of damage depending on the length of contact.

Why is it used in cosmetics and beauty products?

Benzalkonium Chloride is used to prevent or inhibit the growth and reproduction of microorganisms in finished products. May also be listed as: alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride; benzalkonium chloride solution; quaternary ammonium compounds, benzylcoco alkyldimethyl, chlorides; alkyl dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride; alkyldimethyl (phenylmethyl) quaternary ammonium chlorides; ammonyx; arquad dmmcb-75; barquat mb-50; bayclean; benirol; benzalkonium a.

References:
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700674/BENZALKONIUM_CHLORIDE/#
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzalkonium_chloride
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng1584.html
http://www.annmariegianni.com/ingredient-watch-list-benzalkonium-chloride-the-potentially-harmful-disinfectant/

Benzophenone & derivatives like Oxybenzone

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Benzophenone and Benzophenone derivatives are molecular organic compounds, synthesized in a lab. It has UVB and some UVA absorbing properties and acts like an optical filter to block out harmful UV rays (whether it be in a sunscreen agent to reduce skin damage or to retard photo-degradation and extend shelf life in toiletries).

Products containing benzophenone or benzophenone derivatives may cause redness, swelling, itching and fluid-filled blisters. In severe cases anaphylaxis may occur. In addition to allergic reactions, concerns have been raised about the relative ease of which benzophenones are absorbed into the skin and may promote generation of potentially harmful free radicals.

Why is it used in cosmetic and beauty products?

Benzophenone is used to prevent ultraviolet light from damaging scents and colors in products such as perfumes and soaps. This allows the manufacturer to package the product in clear glass or plastic. May also be listed as: Benzophenone-2, BP2, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, sulisobenzone sodium.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzophenone
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/benzophenone/
https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/benzophenone-3
https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/oxybenzone
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

BPA stands for Bisphenol A. BPA is a synthetic organic compound used in the manufacture of epoxy resins and other polymers. BPA is mostly used in the food industry to prevent the acidity of foods from decomposing the plastic, or linings it is stored in. Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA.

Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. BPA is found to be a reproductive, developmental, and systemic toxicant. Much of the focus has been on the chemical's ability to interfere with levels of estrogen in the body, but scientists are discovering that its effects spread far beyond hormonal systems, resulting in variety of health problems. Banned as a cosmetic ingredient in 2006, very trace amounts of its residue may possibly appear in eye shadow and styling gels. Studies have shown oiled or heavily moisturized skin may speed the absorption of BPA dermally.

Why is it used in cosmetic and beauty products?

BPA is a plasticizer (a substance, typically a solvent) added to a synthetic resin to produce or promote plasticity and flexibility and to reduce brittleness.

References:
http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Regulation-Safety/Research-finds-personal-care-products-heighten-absorption-of-BPA
http://web.colby.edu/cleanmakeup/meet-the-ingredients/endocrine-disruptors/
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/221205.php
http://www.thefactsabout.co.uk/whats-in-my-cosmetic/content/40
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A

Butoxyethanol

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Butoxyethanol is a clear colorless liquid that smells like ether. Some animal studies indicate that it produces reproductive problems, such as reduced fertility, death of embryos and birth defects. People exposed to high levels of Butoxyethanol for several hours have reported nose and eye irritation, headaches, vomiting and a metallic taste in their mouths.

Why is it used in cosmetics and beauty products?

Butoxyethanol is used primarily to dissolve other substances and to decrease the viscosity of liquid hair dyes and colors. Butoxyethanol is primarily used in hair and nail products. May also be listed as: 2-butoxy- ethanol; 2-butoxyethanol; butyl glycol; ethanol, 2-butoxy-; ethanol, 2butoxy; ethylene glycol monobutyl ether; glycol monobutyl ether; monobutyl ethylene glycol ether.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2-Butoxyethanol
Toxicological Profile for 2-butoxyethanol and 2-butoxyethanol Acetate, Research triangle Institute contracted by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for toxic substances and Disease Registry, August 1998

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

BHA & BHT are synthetically produced antioxidants. Both BHA and BHT have undergone the additive application and review process required by the U.S. FDA. However, the same chemical properties which make BHA and BHT excellent preservatives may also be implicated in health effects. The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity. There is evidence that certain persons may have difficulty metabolizing BHA and BHT, resulting in health and behavior changes.

Why is it used in cosmetics and beauty products?

BHA & BHT are used to preserve fats and oils in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Many eyeliners, eye shadows, lipsticks, lip glosses, blushes, foundations, perfumes, moisturizers, skin cleansers, and even diaper creams contain BHA & BHT. May also be listed as: dibutylhydroxytoluene; 2(3)-t-Butylhydroquinone monomethyl ether, 2(3)-tert-Butyl-4-hydroxyanisole; antioxyne b; BHA; BOA; Butyl Hydroxyanisole; tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole; tert-butyl-4-methoxyphenol; tert-butylhydroxyanisole; Verta.

References:
http://chemistry.about.com/od/foodcookingchemistry/a/bha-bht-preservatives.htm
http://www.foodcanmakeyouill.co.uk/uploads/1/2/7/4/12746572/antioxidants.pdf

Coal Tar

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Coal tar is made from bituminous coal, a byproduct of coal processing. Experimental studies have found that exposure to and application of coal tar produces skin tumors. Coal tar has also been associated with cancer of the lung, bladder, kidney and digestive tract. There have been many reports of skin cancer among patients using therapeutic coal-tar preparations.

*Note on non-plant based colorants used by “clean” cosmetic brands & the reasoning behind the use of synthetic and/or petrochemical based colorants: sometimes natural cosmetic brands must use some synthetic colorants to be able to increase their staying power, and also to create hues not producible through mined mineral pigments, or achieved without the use of insects; like the deep red of “carmine” which is insect derived. To be considered “safe for use” - these synthetic colorants should be incorporated at a very small percentage of the formula: of about .03% -so brands should be able to divulge how much they use and why they decided to include it.

Why is it used in cosmetic and beauty products?

Coal Tar is most often found as a coloring agent in color cosmetics and hair dyes. Chemicals listed as FD&C colors are derived from coal tar. May also be listed as: 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine, 2,4-diaminoanisole, 4-chloro-m-phenylenediamine, 2,4-toluenediamine, 2-nitro-p-phenylenediamine, 4-amino-2-nitrophenol, as they have been associated carcinogens, aminophenol, enylenediamine.

References:
http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/ColorAdditives/ColorAdditivesinSpecificProducts/InCosmetics/ucm110032.htm
http://www.beingcontent.com/blog/2015/02/get-the-guide-decoding-the-ingredients-in-your-make-up-bag/

1,4-dioxane

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

1,4-Dioxane (Dioxane) is a clear, colorless, volatile liquid that readily mixes with or dissolves in water. It's a by-product generated by a process called ethoxylation in which ethylene oxide is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh to the skin.

A report released in 2007 by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, states that dioxane is considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. EPA and a clear-cut animal carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. Dioxane is on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known or suspected by the state to cause cancer or birth defects.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

The chemical 1,4-dioxane is used in the production of varnishes, paints, inks, and detergents. It's also found in some shampoos and cosmetics. It even gets into food via packaging materials or pesticide residues. The chemical is sometimes found in baby shampoo and bath products. It's a byproduct of the detergent sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), a common ingredient in many soaps and shampoos. The process of manufacturing SLES can create a very small amount of 1,4-dioxane, which remains in the product.

Often it won’t be listed on its own, but is released as a contaminant when other ingredients like: sodium laureth sulfate, PEG and polysorbates are present.

References:
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/14-dioxane/
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Tetrasodium EDTA is a preservative made from Formaldehyde - a known Tetrasodium EDTA (which stands for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid). Tetrasodium EDTA also helps maintain clarity, protect fragrance compounds, and prevent rancidity. One of its main uses is to help personal care products work better in hard water. You’ll find it in moisturizers, skin care/cleansing products, personal cleanliness products, bath soaps, shampoos and conditioners, hair dyes, hair bleaches, and many other products. It’s also cleared for use in packaged foods, vitamins, and baby food.

This ingredient may also contain dangerous levels of dioxane, a by-product of manufacturing that is also carcinogenic. There have been some case reports of sensitive individuals developing eczema after using cream with tetrasodium EDTA, and it’s known to be a potent eye irritant. It can also be slow to degrade, making it a poor choice for environmental health.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

EDTA is used in cosmetics to improve stability, and also as a penetration enhancer. May also be listed as: Tetrasodium EDTA, disodium EDTA, calcium disodium EDTA.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylenediaminetetraacetic_acid
https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/disodium-edta
http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/disodium-edta
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702229/EDTA/

Ethanolamines: Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA)/ Ethanolamine (ETA)

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Ethanolamines are ammonia compounds used in cosmetics as emulsifiers or foaming agents. Ethanolamines are clear, colorless, viscous liquids with ammonia-like odors, which have the combined properties of alcohols and amines. Ethanolamines may increase risk for cancer, especially with repeated and prolonged use. In assessing the safety of ethanolamines, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel concluded that they were safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products designed for discontinuous, brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin. In products intended for more prolonged contact with the skin, the concentration of TEA and DEA should not exceed 5 percent, while ethanolamine should be used only in rinse-off products. The CIR goes on to warn that these ingredients should not be used in products containing N-nitrosating agents to prevent the formation of possibly carcinogenic nitrosamines. Meanwhile, DEA can also be found in some pesticides. The World Health Organization lists it as an unclassified carcinogen.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

These ingredients make products foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps, and facial cleaners. They’re also found in eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases and foundations, fragrances, hair care products, hair dyes, shaving products, and sunscreens. They reduce the surface tension of substances so that water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients can be blended together. They’re also used to control the pH level of products.

May also be listed as: Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate [2].

References
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/ethanolamine-compounds/
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press

Formaldehyde

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Formaldehyde is a colorless gas made by the oxidation of methanol. It’s long been used in embalming fluids, dyes, plastics, and fertilizers, and as a preservative and disinfectant. It may be added to products as an ingredient, or it can be released as a gas from other preservatives.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and a threat to human health. Can also cause immune system toxicity, is also can be an irritant and allergen and cause organ toxicity. Should not be used in concentrations above .2% and prolonged exposure is very harmful. Another concerning aspect, is that it is often released (or “donated”) by other ingredients as a contaminant so it is often not actually listed as part of the ingredients.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

Formaldehyde is actually used as an ingredient in products like nail polishes, nail glues, eyelash glues, hair gels, and hair-smoothing products. It helps products adhere to surfaces, such as nail polishes to the actual nail. Other products that don’t actually use formaldehyde, but that have other preservative ingredients that may release the gas, include baby shampoo, baby soap and body washes.

May also be listed as: Cormalin, formic aldehyde, methanal, methyl aldehyde and oxymethane. ingredients that “release” or “donate” it (as contaminants) are: DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, bromopol and glyoxal.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formaldehyde
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/formaldehyde/
http://www.naturalnews.com/041323_formaldehyde_skin_care_cosmetics.html
http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/04/10/you-have-the-right-to-know-17-chemicals-to-avoid-in-cosmetic-and-personal-care-products/

Hydroquinone

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Hydroquinone is a chemical, also called “benzene-1,4-diol.” (Benzene is a known carcinogen). It’s a type of phenol, which is just a fancy name for a certain class of chemical compounds that are similar to alcohols, but with unique properties. It works to lighten the skin by decreasing the production of the skin’s pigment cells, called “melanocytes.” By inhibiting the action of a certain enzyme, it slows down the production of melanin, which is what gives skin its color.

Long-term use of the ingredient has been associated with contact dermatitis and decreased skin elasticity—you may be lightening, but you’re raising your risk for other skin problems that only increase the look of skin aging. It increases photosensitivity—your skin becomes more sensitive to UVA and UVB rays, which is why most creams recommend the liberal application of sunscreens. The compound has also been linked with a condition called “ochronosis” in some people, which creates darkened bluish/gray patches on the skin, even in those using creams with only 2% of the ingredient. Some Hydroquinone creams may contain “sodium metabisulphite,” which is known to cause serious allergic reactions in sensitive people. Doctors caution pregnant women not to use hydroquinone.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

Most people who use hydroquinone find after about one-to-three months that their skin has lightened, though it doesn’t work for everyone. Because of its reputation for actually lightening skin, it has become widely used to deal with age spots, scarring, and other types of darkened skin.

May also be listed as:
If tocopheryl acetate is listed as one of the ingredients along side hydroquinone, than the actual amount of hydroquinone present in the product may in fact be present as a contaminant.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroquinone
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/hydroquinone/
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press

Methyl Cellosolve

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Methyl Cellosolve is an organic chemical compound molecularly synthesized in a lab that controls the viscosity in creams & moisturizers. It is also used as a solvent in fragrance and nail care products. Methyl Cellosolve is a potential neurotoxin, may cause developmental toxicity, is a skin irritant and can cause cell damage.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

Methyl Cellosolve is used fragrance, in moisturizers, anti-aging serums and creams to control their viscosity.

May also be listed as: 2-Methoxyethanol, Ethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether, or simply EGME.

references:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0401.html
http://www.ranknfile-ue.org/h&s0293.html

Methylisothiazolinone ( also known as MI or MIT) and methylchloroisothiazolinone ( also known as MCI), “Kathon CG”

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Found in antibacterial products, this ingredient is a powerful biocide. That means it’s a chemical substance that can control or kill harmful microorganisms. MIT belongs to a group of similar compounds called “isothiazolinones,” which also include the following chemicals:

  • Chloromethylisothiazolinone (CMIT)
  • Benzisothiazolinone (BIT)
  • Octylisothiazolinone (OIT)
  • Dichlorooctylisothiazolinone (DCOIT)

You’ll find MIT and chemicals like it at low concentrations in “rinse-off” products like shampoos, conditioners, hair colors, body washes, laundry detergents, liquid hand soaps, bubble bath, hand dishwashing soaps, and shampoo/conditioner combinations.

MIT is an allergen and neurotoxin. Unlike some synthetic chemicals - this one isn’t just a mild skin irritant: a recent study found the chemical may actually be linked to nerve damage, and it’s also known to be toxic in several other ways. The biggest concern with this ingredient came to light when researchers conducted two recent laboratory studies on rat brain cells, and found that MIT caused damage to those cells. The researchers stated, “a brief exposure to methylisothiazolinone, a widely used industrial and household biocide, is highly toxic to cultured neurons….” The scientists went on to state that these toxic effects had been reported previously, and because of their widespread use, the consequences of chronic human exposure need to be evaluated. What was most concerning about this study was that the exposure was only 10 minutes long.

What did the cosmetic industry say about this? The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CFTA) issued a response stating that MIT is safe as it is used in cosmetic formulas because the exposure is so low. Indeed, in 2004, the European Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers (SCCNFP) suggested that companies limit the maximum concentration of MIT to 0.01 percent, or 100 parts per million (ppm). U.S. companies, however, are not required to follow this guideline.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

As a powerful biocide, used for controlling microbial growth in water-containing solutions - a powerful preservative. It works well as a preservative in products like shampoo and body care products, helping them to last a long time on the shelf and in your bathroom cabinets without becoming contaminated with unwanted bugs, bacteria, and fungi.

Often used in combinations with other preservatives like: ethylparaben, benzalkonium chloride, or 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylisothiazolinone
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/24/business/allergy-trigger-found-in-many-personal-care-items-comes-under-greater-scrutiny.html?_r=0
http://www.annmariegianni.com/ingredient-watch-list-methylisothiazolinone-the-toxic-ingredient-that-could-cause-nerve-damage/

Mercury & Mercury Compounds

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Mercury is a metallic element that is naturally occurring and it also exists naturally as part of more complex chemical compounds. Mercury and mercury compounds are a potential neurotoxin, may contribute to organ and developmental toxicity, renal failure, mental dementia, muscle tremors and may accumulate over time.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

Mercury compounds may exist in tiny percentages for use as a preservative, an antiseptic and an antifungal. It's use is strictly overseen by the FDA, which allows its presence at very low percentages.

May also be listed as: Thimerosal.

References:
http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/mercury
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press

Mineral Oil (also listed as liquid paraffin; liquid petrolatum; paraffin oil)

Why it is on our "Dirty" List?

Also called “liquid petroleum,” “paraffin oil,” and “white mineral oil,” mineral oil has long been used in a number of industries, including biomedicine, veterinary medicine, mechanical, electrical, and industrial. Mineral oil is a colorless and odorless oil that’s made from petroleum—as a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline.

There is concern that much of the mineral oil we are exposed to on a daily basis does contain contaminants that could affect our health. Mineral oil is available in different grades. And cosmetics use what is called “cosmetic grade” mineral oil, which is more purified than technical grade. Studies have not linked this oil with cancer, but scientists have expressed concern about it. A 2011 study, for example, reported that contamination could be a relevant source of “mineral oil contamination.” Researchers stated, “There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 gram per person. Possible routes of contamination include air inhalation, food intake, and dermal [skin] absorption.”

Why is it used in cosmetic products? It’s long been used as a common ingredient in lotions, creams, ointments, and cosmetics. It’s lightweight and inexpensive, and helps reduce water loss from the skin.

May also be listed as: deobase; heavy mineral oil; light mineral oil; liquid paraffin; liquid petrolatum; paraffin oil; paraffin oils; paraffinum liquidum; petroleum white mineral oil; prolatum oil; white mineral oil.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral_oil
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703977/MINERAL_OIL/

Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, proply- and others)

Why it is on our "Dirty" List?

Parabens have been widely used in products to prevent bacteria growth since the 1950s. In fact, typically, more than one form of the ingredient is used in a product. The most common are butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. Over the last few years, however, in response to customer concerns, many brands have started to manufacture (and label) paraben-free products, including lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more.

Parabens (specifically Propyl-, Isopropyl-, Butyl-, and Isobutyl- parabens) are estrogen-mimicking preservatives and are used widely in cosmetics. The CDC has detected parabens in virtually all Americans bodies. According to the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, longer chain parabens like propyl and butyl paraben and their branched counterparts, isopropyl and isobutylparabens, may disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorders.

In the 1990s, parabens were deemed xenoestrogens―agents that mimic estrogen in the body. “Estrogen disruption” has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. And in 2004 British cancer researcher Philippa Darbre, Ph.D., found parabens present in malignant breast tumors. As a result, experts in many countries are recommending limits on paraben levels in cosmetic products. What’s more, watchdog organizations worry that if parabens can be stored in the body, over time they could have a cumulative effect and pose a health risk.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

Parabens act as a preservative in cosmetic products and inhibit the growth of bacteria.

May also be listed as: methylparaben (E number E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben(E216), butylparaben and heptylparaben (E209). Less common parabens include isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraben
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/parabens/
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press

Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others)

Why it is on our "Dirty" List?

Phthalates are materials that are derived from the organic chemical phthalic acid. Although Phthalates are used primarily as plasticizers in plastics, meaning they are used to give flexibility to rubber, plastic, or resin, they are also used in just about every major product category such as construction, automotive, household, apparel, toys, packaging, and medicinal materials. Because Phthalates are widely used in many consumer products, their use has been extensively researched and reviewed. Phthalates are a broad class of ingredients; each has its own benefits and toxicological profile, so each must be considered for use separately.

The concern with phthalates is that they have the ability to mimic human hormones. They’re one of the so-called “endocrine disrupting” compounds, which have been shown to cause health problems.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has chosen not to take regulatory action against the use of DBP and DEHP in cosmetics, in 2004 the European Union [EU] prohibited the manufacture and/or sale of cosmetics containing these specific Phthalates. Additionally, in 2005 the state of California listed DEHP and DBP as chemicals that are known to the state to cause reproductive or developmental toxicity and require label warnings when these substances are present at higher than designated amounts. In 1988, DEHP was listed as a chemical known to the state to cause cancer. DEP has a long and safe history of use, and consumers are routinely exposed to DEP in the air, water, food, plastics, medical devices and drugs. The FDA has conducted its own studies to determine whether exposure to DEP contained in cosmetics products presents a human health risk. Based upon its test results and current toxicological data, the FDA concluded that no health hazard exists with DEP’s use in cosmetics and fragrances.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

In cosmetics, phthalates are used to help other ingredients adhere to a particular surface. Phthalates in nail polish, for example, help the polish cling to the nail and resist cracking. Phthalates in hair sprays allow them to form a flexible film on hair that doesn’t feel stiff. Phthalates in perfumes and fragrances help the scent cling to your skin. Phthalates are also used as solvents, which are chemicals that dissolve other ingredients.

The Phthalate that is most frequently used in cosmetics and personal care products is Diethyl Phthalate [DEP]. Dimethyl Phthalate [DMP] may also have some uses in cosmetics and personal care products. Dibutyl Phthalate [DBP] is an ingredient that has been found to be safe and effective for use in making nail polish flexible and resistant to chipping. However, since DBP has been banned in some countries, the use of the ingredient has been discontinued by most manufacturers. Diethylhexyl Phthalate [DEHP] is no longer used in the manufacturing of cosmetic and personal care including nail products.

DEP is most commonly used as a solubulizer in perfumes and as a denaturant in alcohol. The use of DEP also prolongs the scent of perfumes and, as a denaturant, renders alcoholic products unfit for oral consumption. The use of DEP as an alcohol denaturant also continues to be approved by the US Alcohol Tax & Trade Bureau (formerly the BATF).

May also be listed as: phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP and fragrance.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate
http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/15/health/bpa-miscarriage-phthalates-fertility/
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/phthalates/

Propylene Glycol (PG), Polyethylene Glycol (PEG compounds)

Why it is on our "Dirty" List?

PEG, which is the abbreviation for polyethylene glycol, is not a definitive chemical entity in itself, but rather a mixture of compounds, of polymers that have been bonded together. Polyethylene is the most common form of plastic, and when combined with glycol, it becomes a thick and sticky liquid.

As you may have noticed, PEGs are almost always followed by a number after their name, such as PEG 100. This number represents the approximate molecular weight of that compound. Typically, cosmetics use PEGs with smaller molecular weights. The lower the molecular weight, the easier it is for the compound to penetrate the skin.

Often, PEGs are connected to another molecule. You might see, for example, PEG 100 stearate as an ingredient. What this means is that the polyethylene glycol polymer with an approximate molecular weight of 100 is attached chemically to stearic acid.

PEGs are not found in anti-freeze; that's ethylene glycol, NOT polyethylene glycol. And yes, PEGs are found in some spray-on oven cleaners, but those PEGs are quite different in both molecular weight and structure than the PEGs found in your cosmetics.

While PEGs can be mild irritants, they're less than desirable primarily because they help traffic funky chemicals across your epidermis, including a slug of impurities they're often contaminated with. The most important thing you need to know about PEGs is that they have a penetration enhancing effect, the magnitude of which is dependent upon a variety of variables. These include: both the structure and molecular weight of the PEG, other chemical constituents in the formula, and, most importantly, the overall health of the skin. It is very important to avoid products with PEGs if your skin is not in tip top condition.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?

In cosmetics, PEGs function in three ways: as emollients (which help soften and lubricate the skin), as emulsifiers (which help water-based and oil-based ingredients mix properly), and as vehicles that help deliver other ingredients deeper into the skin, penetration enhancers.

May also be listed as: PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, PEG-80 sorbitan laurate, and PEG-40 stearate are mild cleansing agents. [1,2] PEG-100 stearate, 1,2 dihydroxypropane, methylethylene glycol.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene_glycol
https://www.truthinaging.com/review/what-is-it-pegs
http://www.paulaschoice.com/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/definition/peg-compound
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press

Resorcinol

Why it is on our "Dirty" List?

Resorcinol and 2-Methylresorcinol are a skin and eye irritant, skin sensitizer, potential contributor to organ system toxicity, and a possible endocrine-disrupting chemical.

Why it is used in cosmetic products?

Resorcinol is used in hair colorants and reacts with a developer (usually peroxide) to bond the dye permanently to the hairs. Resorcinol and 2-Methylresorcinol may also function as antioxidants. Lastly, Resorcinol is used in acne and skin treatment medications to remove hard scaly or rough skin.

May also be listed as: Resorcinol, 1,3-benzenediol, resorcin, 1,3-dihydroxybenzene(m-hydroxybenze, m-dihydroxyphenol)

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resorcinol
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/resorcinol/

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS & SLES)

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?

Sodium lauryl sulfate and similar chemicals are surfactants—cleaning ingredients. These ingredients are also used in a wide variety of personal care products, including soaps, shampoos, body washes, toothpastes, cleaning products, and anything else we like to “foam up.” They lower the surface tension of water and act as dispersal agents, helping to properly mix the ingredients in fragrance oils and body sprays. These properties also make these chemicals popular in moisturizing lotions and sunscreens.

SLS & SLES are potential skin irritants, allergens, potentially contribute to organ toxicity and potential endocrine disruptor. Most concerning is that it is often laced with contaminents like 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.

Why is it used in cosmetic products?
They are surfactants to help wet body surfaces, emulsify or solubilize oils and contribute foaming and lathering properties to cleansing products and bubble baths.

May also be listed as: Sodium caprylic sulfate Sodium capric sulfate Sodium oleic sulfate, Sodium stearyl sulfate, Sodium myreth sulfate, Sodium dodecanesulfate, Sodium monododecyl sulfate, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). Sodium coco-sulfate

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_laureth_sulfate
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press
http://www.drfranklipman.com/sodium-lauryl-sulfate-from-coconut-is-it-safer/

Toluene

Why is it on our "Dirty" list?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that overexposure to Toluene in nail polish or fingernail glue may cause harmful and potentially dangerous health effects. Overexposure is defined as exposure exceeding safe limits established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Quantities of these ingredients in nail care products are typically small, and with proper usage and application techniques, exposure levels can be minimized. Overexposure should not occur if proper steps are taken. It is important to understand that nail care work can be performed safely if proper steps are taken to protect yourself.

Why is it used in cosmetics?
Toluene is a solvent used to mix the other ingredients in nail polish to yield a uniform product. Once you apply the polish, solvents evaporate away. The amount and type of solvent determines how thick a polish is and how long it takes to dry.

May also be listed as: Methylbenzene, Methyl benzol, Phenyl methane, Tolul

References:
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/toluene/
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toluene
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npgd0619.html

Triclosan and Triclocarban

Why is it on our "Dirty" List?
Triclosan is a chemical compound that can prevent the growth of bacteria. Triclosan and triclocarban have been used as effective antiseptics in soap since the 1960's. Triclosan has been incorporated into a wide range of consumer goods, including cosmetics, toothpaste and plastics for children's toys and kitchen and table utensils. Neither substance is very soluble in water, but both are fat-soluble and easily cross cell membranes. Once inside the cell, triclosan poisons a specific enzyme that many bacteria and funguses need for survival.

Animal studies have shown both of these chemicals can interfere with hormones critical for normal development and function of the brain and reproductive system. Triclosan has been associated with lower levels of thyroid hormone and testosterone, which could result in altered behavior, learning disabilities, or infertility. Triclocarban has been shown to artificially amplify the effects of sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, which could promote the growth of breast and prostate cancer.

Furthermore, laboratory studies suggest that triclosan and triclocarban may be contributing to antibiotic resistance in bacteria known to cause human infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls antibiotic resistance one of the most pressing health issues facing the United States. Infections caused by bacteria with resistance to at least one antibiotic have been estimated to kill more than 60,000 hospitalized patients each year.

Surveys of the U.S. population from ages 6 to over 65 have found residues of triclosan in over three-quarters of people. Though triclosan has been measured in house dust, most people are likely to be exposed by applying products that contain triclosan to their skin. One study of nursing mothers found higher levels of triclosan in blood and breast milk of women who used personal care products containing triclosan.

Most of these products get washed down the drain, where they enter our waterways and are then transported widely throughout the environment. Triclosan is one of the most frequently detected chemicals in streams across the U.S. and both triclosan and triclocarban are found in high concentrations in sediments and sewage sludge where they can persist for decades.

In the environment, antibacterial compounds could disrupt aquatic ecosystems and pose a potential risk to wildlife. Traces of triclosan have been found in earthworms from agricultural fields and Atlantic dolphins. In the lab, triclosan has been shown to interfere with development of tadpoles into frogs, a process that is dependent on thyroid hormone.

Why is it used in cosmetics?
These anti-bacterials are used in a number of household and personal-care products, including cosmetics, liquid hand soap, deodorant bar soap, sponges, toothpaste and cutting boards, as well as shoes, towels and clothes.

May also be listed as: 2,4,4'-trichloro-2'-hydroxy diphenyl ether; 5-chloro-2- (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) - phenol; 5-chloro-2- (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) phenol; phenol, 5-chloro-2- (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) -; phenol, 5chloro2 (2,4dichlorophenoxy) ; 2,4,4'-trichloro-2'-hydroxydiphenyl ether; 5-chloro-2- (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) phenol; ch 3565; irgasan; irgasan dp300; phenol, 5-chloro-2- (2,4-dichlorophenoxy)

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triclosan
http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/triclosan/
No More Dirty Looks, Siobhan o’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, 2010, First De Capo Press

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