Ingredients To Avoid:

Aluminum is a metal found in cosmetics, deodorants and antiperspirants; it is toxic and has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.

Barium is a toxic metal found in U.S. cosmetics. It is banned in the European Union.

Benzoyl Peroxide is used in acne products. It causes DNA damage in human cells and is toxic if inhaled. Benzoyl peroxide is also an eye, skin and respiratory irritant.

DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), and TEA (Triethanolamine) are skin and eye irritants and probable carcinogens that also cause contact dermatitis. They are used as foaming agents in products and most often found in shampoos, baby washes and soaps.

1,4-Dioxane is never listed on ingredient labels because it is a byproduct of the ethoxylation process. This process involves adding carcinogenic ethylene oxide to make harsher products milder.  This hidden ingredient is found in products such as shampoo, soap and baby wash.

Ethylene oxide is a known carcinogen that is normally used to sterilize surgical instruments. However, it can also be found in shampoos, body washes and fragrances. Ethylene oxide exposure has been linked to cancer, reproductive effects, mutagenic changes and neurotoxicity.

Formaldehyde is an irritant that is banned in European cosmetics and most commonly found in nail polish products in the United States. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and is associated with an increased risk of nose and lung cancer.


Hydroquinone is used as an ingredient in skin-lightening products. It has been linked to reproductive toxicity, ochronosis and cancer. It is banned in the European Union, Japan, Australia and Canada.

Lead is a known carcinogen and proven neurotoxin that is never listed on the ingredients label. Lead can be found in sunscreen, foundation, nail polish, lipstick, hair-dye and whitening toothpaste. Lead exposure has been linked to learning, language and behavioral problems, as well as miscarriage, reduced fertility and delays in puberty.

Mercury is a toxic metal that can be found in mascara. Exposure to mercury is extremely dangerous and is known to cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system. There is no barrier prohibiting mercury from reaching brain cells and therefore, mercury is linked to impaired brain development in unborn babies and young children.

PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) are a group of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil and gasoline. They are probable carcinogens found in some cosmetics and shampoos that are made with coal tar. PAHs have been linked to an increased risk for breast cancer and are banned in the European Union and Canada.

Parabens are not always listed on the ingredients label, but often used as preservatives in cosmetics due to their antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Parabens are easily absorbed through the skin and have been linked to endocrine disruption and reproductive toxicity. Parabens have also been found in biopsy samples of breast cancer tumors.

Phthalates are banned in children’s toys in the European Union and California. However, phthalates can be found in nail polish, deodorant, lotion, perfume and fragrance ingredients for cosmetic products. Exposure to phthalates has been linked to breast cancer

Triclosan is a pesticide chemical used in antibacterial soap, deodorant and toothpaste to limit the growth of bacteria and mold. It can affect the body’s hormone systems and disrupt normal breast development.