Chemicals to Avoid by Product Type
Makeup (Eyes & Face)
Carbon black, Ethanolamine compounds, BAK, Prime yellow carnauba wax, Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives,Aluminum powder, Retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate, heavy metals, Titanium dioxide
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), PETROLATUM (petroleum jelly, mineral oil)
Formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene
Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds), Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone, COAL TAR, 1,4-DIOXANE
Benzalkonium chloride, Oxybenzone, BENZOPHENONE AND DERIVATIVES, Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Padimate O
triclosan and triclocarban
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Triclosan and Triclocarban, PEGs (polyethylene glycols) and Propylene Glycol, DEA (diethanolamine), Carrageenan
BUTOXYETHANOL, Benzophenone, Nitrosamines, Ethanolamine Compounds (MEA, DEA, TEA And Others),
Aluminum Compounds, Steareths, Triclosan, Propylene Glycol, TEA and DEA
Ethanolamines, Parabens, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, Formaldehyde releasing preservatives, Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sources: ewg.org, safecosmetics.org
The list of potentially harmful chemicals is not intended to be comprehensive. We've included the most common ingredients. See anything we've missed? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we'll be sure to add it to the next edition.
Recognized Third Party Certifications
5 Quick Tips for Cleaner Shopping
Bring along this guide or download an app such as EWG Clean Living or Think Dirty
Read Labels Carefully.
But know that not all potentially harmful ingredients are required to be disclosed.
The top 7 cosmetics companies on store shelves regularly use "chemicals of concerns" in products. Find small brands & support them with your loyalty.
Recognize "Green Washing."
Claims of "natural" and "nontoxic" are unregulated and must be examined carefully. non-GMO verified, Leaping Bunny (cruelty free), EWG-verified, non-GMO verified, EWG-verified, ECOCERT
Gravitate to shorter ingredients lists, use fewer products and consider DIY
Why should you care?
1 in 8 of the 82,000 ingredients used in cosmetic and personal care products are hazardous industrial chemicals.
The average American uses nine personal care products – containing 126 chemicals – every day.
The EU currently bans 1500 cosmetics ingredients - while the US bans fewer than 10.
Our skin is our largest organ and up to 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies.
When in doubt, avoid these words:
Fragrance (note: even the word 'Fragrance Free' has no meaning)
Artificial Color & Flavor
Any ingredient that ends in 'paraben'
Anything ingredient that ends in 'phthalate'