How safe are the ingredients used in your current brand of skin care products? How certain are you that they do not contain chemicals that could be harmful to you and/or your children? If you are not sure, use this toxic ingredient directory below and find out for yourself. This information has been sourced from Material Safety Data Sheets (or MSDS), which is recognised as the international standard for providing safety information about chemical ingredients used by humans. Note: If you cannot locate a particular chemical ingredient above or would like to research more ingredients, you can utilize the "SIRI MSDS" online chemical database search facility by clicking on the link below.
Open the Chemical Ingredients Glossary
Toxic Ingredient Directory
1,4-dioxane 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (Bronopol) Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40) Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES) Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) Anionic Surfactants Benzalkonium Chloride Butylated Hudroxyanisole (BHA) Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) Cationic surfactants Cetalkonium chloride Cetrimonium chloride Chloromethylisothiazolinone Isothiazolinone Cocoamidopropyl Betaine Cocoyl Sarcosine Cyclomethicone DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (triethanolamine) Diazolidinyl urea Dimethicone Dimethicone Copolyol Disodium Dioctyl Sulfosuccinate Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate Disodium Oleamide Sulfosuccinate DMDM Hydantoin
and ethyl) Paraffin wax/oil Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) compounds Potassium Coco Hydrolysed Collagen Propylene/Butylene Glycol PVP/VA Copolymer Quaternium-7. propyl. 1.4-DIOXANE IS LISTED AS A CARCINOGEN. butyl.
. SKIN ABSORPTION. 15. 31. 1. Almost 50% of cosmetics containing ethoxylated surfactants were found to contain dioxane.Ethoxylated surfactants FD&C Colour Pigments Formaldehyde Fragrance Hydrolysed Animal Protein Imidazolidinyl urea Lanolin Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen Lauryl or Cocoyl Sarcosine Lauryl Sarcosine Liquidum Paraffinum MEA compounds Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone Mineral Oil Nitrosating Agents Paraben preservatives (methyl.4-dioxane
A carcinogenic contaminant of cosmetic products.4-DIOXANE MAY EXERT ITS EFFECTS THROUGH INHALATION. 60. etc Rancid Natural Emollients Silicone derived emollients Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES) Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate Stearalkonium Chloride Talc TEA (Triethanolamine) Laureth Sulfate TEA compounds Toluene
Toxic Ingredient Directory
1. See Ethoxylated surfactants From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): 1. AND INGESTION.
CHRONIC INHALATION EXPOSURE CAN PRODUCE DAMAGE TO THE LIVER AND KIDNEYS. NEPHROTOXIN. Anionic Surfactants Anionic refers to the negative charge these surfactants have.3-diol Toxic. ACUTE EXPOSURE CAUSES IRRITATION. LIVER KIDNEYS. CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DEPRESSANT. AND NARCOSIS.and in 90% of personalcare products that foam. HEADACHE. Alcohol. Isopropyl (SD-40) moulds and viruses. 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1. DIZZINESS. MEDICAL CONDITION AGGRAVATED BY EXPOSURE PRECLUDE FROM EXPOSURE THOSE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISEASE OF THE BLOOD. Ammonium Laureth Sulfate See Sodium Laureth Sulfate (ALES) See Nitrosating Agents See Anionic Surfactants 5. PRIMARY SKIN IRRITANT. They are used in car washes.EFFECTS OF OVEREXPOSURE: 1. 2. (Bronopol) See Nitrosating agents A very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips your skin's natural acid mantle. AND HEPATOTOXIN. which are carcinogenic. It is made from propylene. as garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers . AND THOSE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DERMATITIS. a petroleum derivative. They may be contaminated with nitrosamines. causes allergic contact dermatitis. See Anionic Surfactants 4. CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. It may promote brown spots and premature aging of skin.4DIOXANE IS AN EYE AND MUCOUS MEMBRANE IRRITANT. AND BLOOD DISORDERS. Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) See Sodium Laureth Sulfate See Nitrosating Agents 6. making us more vulnerable to bacteria.
• • •
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)
. 3. Surfactants can pose serious health threats.
See Cationic surfactants From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): MATERIAL IS HIGHLY TOXIC VIA ORAL ROUTE. CALL PHYSICIAN. Causes allergic contact dermatitis. EYES. Contains 9. Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) toluene. primary skin irritant. GIVE OXYGEN (IF BREATHING IS DIFFICULT). INGESTION: IF CONSCIOUS. CNS DEPRESSION AND WEAKNESS. AVOID DIRECT CONTACT. SYMPTOMS: MUSCULAR PARALYSIS. NOSE. CALL PHYSICIAN. LOW BLOOD PRESSURE. Butylated Hudroxyanisole (BHA) Causes allergic contact dermatitis. Benzalkonium Chloride EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES EYES: CORROSIVE! IMMEDIATELY WASH EYES WITH PLENTY OF WATER. 7. THROAT AND MUCOUS MEMBRANES. 8. INHALATION: REMOVE PERSON TO FRESH AIR.• • • • • • • • • • •
Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES) Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate Potassium Coco Hydrolysed Collagen TEA (Triethanolamine) Lauryl Sulfate TEA (Triethanolamine) Laureth Sulfate Lauryl or Cocoyl Sarcosine Disodium Oleamide Sulfosuccinate Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
Disodium Dioctyl Sulfosuccinate etc Highly toxic. IMMEDIATELY DRINK LARGE QUANTITIES OF FLUID TO DILUTE AND INDUCE VOMITING. See Toluene
. EFFECTS OF OVEREXPOSURE: MISTS CAN CAUSE IRRITATION TO THE SKIN.
From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): CAN CAUSE EYE AND SKIN IRRITATION. SKIN CONTACT: CORROSIVE TO THE SKIN. POSSIBLY RESULTING IN THIRD DEGREE BURNS. INGESTION: CAN BE FATAL. CAN CAUSE ALLERGIC CONTACT DERMATITIS IN SUSCEPTIBLE INDIVIDUALS. Isothiazolinone
15. INHALATION: CAN BE CORROSIVE TO THE MUCOUS MEMBRANES AND THE LUNGS. & TEA
. CAN CAUSE AN ALLERGIC REACTION IN SUSCEPTIBLE INDIVIDUALS. They contain a quaternary ammonium group and are often called "quats". These are used in hair conditioners. Chloromethylisothiazolinone
Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen See Cationic surfactants See Cationic surfactants Causes contact dermatitis Causes contact dermatitis From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): EYE CONTACT: CORROSIVE TO THE EYES WITH POSSIBLE PERMANENT DAMAGE. Cationic surfactants
These chemicals have a positive electrical charge. allergenic and toxic. but originated from the paper and fabric industries as softeners and anti-static agents. In the long run they cause the hair to become dry and brittle. Cocoamidopropyl Betaine 16. Cetalkonium chloride 12. Cyclomethicone 18. CAN BE HARMFUL IF ABSORBED. They are synthetic.
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Stearalkonium chloride Benzalkonium chloride Cetrimonium chloride Cetalkonium chloride
11. DEA (diethanolamine). Cetrimonium chloride 13. MEA (Monoethanolamine). Cocoyl Sarcosine 17. See Nitrosating agents See Silicone derived emollients Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH. irritating.10. and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to
14. and oral intake of them can be lethal.
is toxic by inhalation. PROFOUND
19. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF EXPOSURE SYMPTOMS OF INHALATION: IF MISTED. MAY CAUSE SKIN IRRITATION. . COUGHING. See Formaldehyde From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): CAUSES SEVERE EYE IRRITATION. Established as a primary cause of contact dermatitis (American Academy of Dermatology). SYMPTOMS OF SKIN CONTACT: CONTACT CAUSES SMARTING AND BURNING SENSATIONS. WILL CAUSE IRRITATION OF MUCOUS MEMBRANES. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects. dryness of hair and skin. PAINFUL BLISTERS. . DIFFICULTY IN BREATHING. Diazolidinyl urea
. Contains formaldehyde. BURNS. INFLAMMATION. a strong irritant. EYES AND THROAT. NOSE. and could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time. TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems. which then becomes the base for a cleanser. See Nitrosating agents From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): Health Hazard Acute And Chronic: Product is severely irritating to body tissues and possibly corrosive to the eyes.salt (stearate). a carcinogenic chemical. which are carcinogenic. Explanation Carcinogenicity: Amines react with nitrosating agents to form nitrosamines. Dr. of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancer. and causes contact dermatitis. Samuel Epstein (Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois) says that repeated skin applications .
irritant and contact dermatitis. headaches and chronic fatigue. 25. causing skin sensitivity and irritation. See 1. Fragrance
. nose and throat (mucous membranes).4-dioxane. "-eth-". Dimethicone See Silicone derived emollients 21. they are identified by the prefix "PEG". is generated. skin discoloration. SYMPTOMS OF EYE CONTACT: WILL CAUSE PAINFUL BURNING OR STINGING OF EYES AND LIDS. "polyethylene". Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate See Ethoxylated surfactants 24. emulsifiers and humectants. and skin irritation. violent coughing and vomiting. "polyethylene glycol". FD&C Colour Pigments
28. 20. Dimethicone Copolyol See Silicone derived emollients 22. a potent carcinogen. Symptoms reported to the USA FDA include headaches. WATERING OF EYES. 26. many toxic or carcinogenic. Causes allergic. AND INFLAMMATION OF CONJUNCTIVA.DAMAGE TO TISSUE. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic. dizziness. The vapour is extremely irritating to the eyes. As part of the manufacturing process the toxic chemical 1. Disodium Dioctyl Sulfosuccinate See Anionic surfactants See Anionic surfactants 23. Ethoxylated surfactants On the label. allergic rashes. Contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin. DMDM Hydantoin See Formaldehyde Ethoxylated surfactants are widely used in cosmetics as foaming agents.4-Dioxane Synthetic colours made from coal tar. or "-oxynol-". See Nitrosating agents Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients. Formaldehyde
29. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (causes cancer). Disodium Oleamide See Anionic Surfactants Sulfosuccinate Contains formaldehyde. "polyoxyethylene". Clinical
See Cationic surfactants See Anionic Surfactants See Nitrosating agents Liquidum Paraffinum is an exotic sounding way to say mineral oil (!!) See Mineral Oil See Nitrosating agents Both cause cosmetic allergies Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic. Hydrolysed Animal Protein
31. Liquidum Paraffinum 37. causing depression. and irritability. Lauryl or Cocoyl Sarcosine 35. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil Liquidum paraffinum (also known as posh mineral oil!) Paraffin oil Paraffin wax
40. Releases formaldehyde. which have been determined to
• • • • •
32. a carcinogenic chemical. Used in many products (baby oil is 100% mineral oil!) Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH's (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). See Nitrosating agents The trade name for this chemical is Germall 115. Lanolin 33. into cosmetics at over 10C. hyperactivity. Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap. Slows down skin function and cell development. The majority of lanolin used in cosmetics is highly contaminated with chlorinated organo pesticides like DDT.30. resulting in premature aging. Lauryl Sarcosine 36. Interferes with skin's ability to eliminate toxins. Nitrosating Agents
Petrolatum The following chemicals can cause nitrosamine contamination. promoting acne and other disorders. Imidazolidinyl urea
observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system. MEA compounds 38. Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone
39. clogging the pores. Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen 34. See Formaldehyde See Nitrosating agents Any chemicals used on sheep will contaminate the lanolin obtained from the wool. Toxic.
CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN. AND PAIN. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE REDNESS.3-diol Cocoyl Sarcosine DEA compounds Imidazolidinyl Urea Formaldehyde Hydrolysed Animal Protein Lauryl Sarcosine MEA compounds Quaternium-7.form cancer in laboratory animals. REDNESS. Widely used even though they are known to be toxic. EYE CONTACT: CAUSES IRRITATION. This could increase the
41. Highly toxic. ITCHING. From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): EMERGENCY overview: WARNING! HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. Paraffin wax/oil 43. 31. EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. 15. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) compounds
. Paraben preservatives (methyl. and ethyl)
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1. AND PAIN. There are wide and repeated concerns in the USA and Europe about the contamination of cosmetics products with nitrosamines. Paraffin Wax is mineral oil wax. Have caused many allergic reactions and skin rashes. propyl. 60. See Mineral Oil Potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin's natural moisture factor. MAY CAUSE ALLERGIC SKIN REACTIONS. MAY CAUSE ALLERGIC SKIN REACTION. etc Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate Sodium Laureth Sulfate Ammonium Laureth Sulfate Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
TEA compounds Used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products. SKIN CONTACT: CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN.
Toxic. PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats! The EPA considers PG so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves. and kidney abnormalities. Quaternium-7. May cause Nystagmus. blood and kidney disorders. 45. PVP/VA Copolymer 47. 15. A petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays. Potassium Coco Hydrolysed Collagen See Anionic Surfactants Propylene glycol (PG) is a petroleum derivative. since particles may contribute to foreign bodies in the lungs of sensitive persons. EYES: Irritation and conjunctivitis. It penetrates the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. where the concentration is greater than in most industrial applications. Also used in caustic spray-on oven cleaners. See Ethoxylated surfactants 44. intravascular hemolysis. liver. SKIN: Irritation and dermatitis. It can be considered toxic. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs.
46. Used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease. clothing and goggles and to dispose of any PG solutions by burying them in the ground. INGESTION: Pulmonary oedema. Death may occur. causes skin rashes and allergic reactions. brain damage. central nervous system depression. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly. etc
. hypoglycaemia.appearance of aging and leave you more vulnerable to bacteria. 60. the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain. It adjusts the melting point and thickens products. absorption. wavesets and other cosmetics. Lymphocytosis. But there isn't even a warning label on products such as stick deodorants. Propylene/Butylene Glycol From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): Health Hazard Acute And Chronic INHALATION: May cause respiratory and throat Irritation. 31.
Natural oils used in cosmetics should be cold pressed. 48. which damage and age your skin. vitamins and unsaponifiables . Rancid oils are harmful. odour and taste are devoid of nutrients. Silicone derived emollients
. Most off-the-shelf cosmetics have a shelf life of three years. The refined vegetable oils found on supermarket shelves and many health food stores which lack colour. borage and evening primrose oils) are polyunsaturated. MAY CAUSE MORE SEVERE RESPONSE IF SKIN IS DAMP. essential fatty acids. by occlusion. which means they oxidise and go rancid fairly quickly (about 6 months). They are also nonbiodegradable.See Nitrosating agents From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): SKIN: PROLONGED OR repEATED EXPOSURE MAY CAUSE SKIN IRRITATION. trapping anything beneath it. causes skin irritation.that is they coat the skin. causing negative environmental impact.) Recent studies have indicated that prolonged exposure of the skin to sweat.all valuable skin conditioning agents! They also contain poisonous "trans" fatty acids as a result of the refining process. The most beneficial plant oils (like rosehip. Some synthetic emollients are known tumour promoters and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. Rancid Natural Emollients Another important factor to consider with creams made from plant oil is the use-by date. and do not allow the skin to breathe (much like plastic wrap would do.
49. MAY BE A WEAK SKIN SENSITIZER IN SUSCEPTIBLE INDIVIDUALS AT GREATER THAN 1% IN AQUEOUS SOLUTION. Silicone emollients are occlusive . they form freeradicals.
51. Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate See Anionic Surfactants 53. Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate
• Cyclomethicone See Anionic Surfactants When combined with other chemicals. SLS and ALS may also damage the skin's immune system by causing layers to separate and inflame. It is frequently disguised in semi-natural cosmetics with the explanation "comes from coconut". a potent class of carcinogens. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES)
See Anionic Surfactants See Ethoxylated surfactants See Nitrosating agents
From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): WARNING! CAUSES SKIN AND EYE IRRITATION! AVOID CONTACT WITH EYES. Young eyes may not develop properly if exposed to SLS and ALS because proteins are dissolved. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) Used in car washes. SLES and ALES can create nitrosamines. It is frequently disguised in semi-natural cosmetics with the explanation "comes from coconut". See Nitrosating agents See Anionic Surfactants From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): EYE CONTACT: INSTILLATION OF A 29% SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE SOLUTION INTO THE
. severe skin irritation. 52. Animals exposed to SLS and ALS experience eye damage. diarrhoea. THE MATERIAL WAS CLASSIFIED AS A MODERATE TO SEVERE EYE IRRITANT. laboured breathing.and in 90% of products that foam.•
50. and even death. garage floor cleaners and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) engine degreasers . central nervous system depression. SKIN AND CLOTHING.
54. AVOID EYE & SKIN CONTACT. have been found to be contaminated with nitrosamines. See Nitrosating agents See Anionic Surfactants A chemical used in hair conditioners and creams. See Cationic surfactants Scientific studies have shown that routine application of talcum powder in the genital area is associated with a three-to-fourfold increase in the development of ovarian cancer. See Anionic Surfactants See Nitrosating agents See Nitrosating agents From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): POISON! DANGER! HARMFUL OR FATAL IF SWALLOWED. TEA (Triethanolamine) Laureth Sulfate
58. THE MATERIAL WAS CLASSIFIED AS A SEVERE SKIN IRRITANT. Explanation Carcinogenicity: AMINES REACT WITH NITROSATING AGENTS TO FORM NITROSOAMINES. HARMFUL IF INHALED
56. Stearalkonium chloride was developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener. AVOID BREATHING VAPORS IF GENERATED. IF THERE IS DANGER OF EYE CONTACT. Toxic. WEAR A FACE SHIELD. Over 40% of cosmetics containing Triethanolamine (TEA). Toluene
. Stearalkonium Chloride
EYES OF SIX ALBINO RABBITS PRODUCED SEVERE IRRITATION. TEA compounds 59. Causes allergic reactions. which are potent carcinogens. Synthetic emulsifier. Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
55. and is a lot cheaper and easier to use in hair conditioning formulas than proteins or herbals. HANDLE WITH CARE. WHICH ARE CARCINOGENIC. which do help hair health. From Material Safety Data Sheet Special Hazard Precautions: PRODUCT IS SEVERELY IRRITATING TO BODY TISSUES AND POSSIBLY CORROSIVE TO THE EYES. Highly acidic. Talc
CHRONIC EXPOSURE: repORTS OF CHRONIC POISONING DESCRIBE ANEMIA. ASPIRATION OF MATERIAL INTO THE LUNGS CAN CAUSE CHEMICAL PNEUMONITIS. CONFUSION. HEADACHE. PECULIAR SKIN SENSATIONS (E. VAPOR HARMFUL. LIVER AND KIDNEY DAMAGE MAY OCCUR. MAY AFFECT LIVER. DIZZINESS AND DROWSINESS. WHICH MAY BE FATAL. CAUSING DRYING. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN. EYE CONTACT: CAUSES SEVERE EYE IRRITATION WITH REDNESS AND PAIN. DECREASED BLOOD CELL COUNT AND BONE MARROW HYPOPLASIA. KIDNEYS. VERY HIGH CONCENTRATIONS MAY CAUSE UNCONSCIOUSNESS AND DEATH. G. AND DERMATITIS. SKIN CONTACT: CAUSES IRRITATION. EXPOSURE TO TOLUENE MAY AFFECT THE DEVELOPING FOETUS. OR CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. SYMPTOMS OF OVEREXPOSURE MAY INCLUDE FATIGUE.
. BLOOD SYSTEM. EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. FLAMMABLE LIQUID AND VAPOR. PINS AND NEEDLES) OR NUMBNESS MAY BE PRODUCED. INHALATION: INHALATION MAY CAUSE IRRITATION OF THE UPPER RESPIRATORY TRACT. REDNESS. INGESTION: SWALLOWING MAY CAUSE ABDOMINAL SPASMS AND OTHER SYMPTOMS THAT PARALLEL OVEREXPOSURE FROM INHALATION. repEATED OR PROLONGED CONTACT HAS A DEFATTING ACTION. MAY BE ABSORBED THROUGH SKIN.OR ABSORBED THROUGH SKIN.