Pesticides and theoretically any non-organic plant product such as certain detergents, foaming agents, emulsifiers and solvents. A residual chemical (by-product) left behind when products are ethoxylated (all PEGs, PPGs, and some surfactants). Findings indicate this is a potential human carcinogen.
Our bodies sweat in order to push out toxins and clean its systems. Antiperspirant prevents this normal process, trapping toxins inside our bodies as a result. Aluminum has also been linked to neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and even cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Elemental aluminum is the third most abundant element on earth. We are exposed to it through a variety of sources including drinking water, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer products. Aluminum can also form as salts or oxides. The toxicity of different forms of aluminum depends in large part on its relative solubility in water and the pH range. Aluminum compounds appear to be poorly absorbed by the human body, but elemental aluminum is a known toxicant at high doses. Credo prohibits aluminum powder from all products.
(Clarifying note: Aluminum oxide (aka alumina), aluminum hydroxide and related compounds are permitted as functional ingredients in products. Unlike elemental aluminum or aluminum salts, aluminum oxide or its hydrated form, aluminum hydroxide, are essentially insoluble in water (at or near neutral pH), therefore, exposure to aluminum through the use of cosmetics is expected to be negligible because of poor bio-accessibility through the skin. The EU, Canada, Japan and the US have not restricted the use of these ingredients in cosmetics, but have also not determined them "safe." Few ingredients are determined safe since there is a lack of data on most of them, and not all routes of exposures are the same.)
We are extremely conscious when allowing animal by-products and only accept products that are 100% cruelty free. With beeswax, we ask our brand partners to obtain assurance from their ingredient suppliers that the bees are treated humanely
Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHA & BHT)
BHA is a preservative linked to cancer, skin irritation, and hormone disruption. BHT is a Toluene-based preservative linked to skin irritation. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT). Synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives. BHA is linked to cancer, skin irritation and hormone disruption. Toluene-based preservative, BHT, is linked with skin irritation. Synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.
Synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.
Some have been linked to hormone disruption. Others, like Avobenzone, appear safer but remain understudied. Chemical Sunscreens include Benzophenone; Diphenylmethanone; Diphenyl Ketone; 119-61-9; Benzyl Benzene; Phenyl Ketone; Oxybenzone; 2-Hydroxy-4 Methoxybenzophenone; 131-57-7; Benzophenone-3; (2-Hydroxy-4-Methoxyphenyl), and Octinoxate.
These are a mixture of many chemicals, often derived from petroleum and manufactured synthetically. They may often be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminum substrates. A byproduct of coal processing that is a known carcinogen. It is used as a colorant and an anti-dandruff agent. Found in: hair dye, shampoo.
Surfactants and pH adjuster linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development. Found in: hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances, sunscreens, dry cleaning solvents, paint, pharmaceuticals. These ingredients (including DEA/TEA/MEA/ETA) may be contaminated with chemicals like Nitrosamines, which are linked to cancer.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTAs)
A chelating (binding) agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. May be toxic to organs. Found in: hair color, moisturizers. Calcium Disodium EDTA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Trisodium EDTA, etc, are chelating agents, meaning that they bind to metal ions, which inactivates them. These ingredients are not linked to consumer health issues, but they might be a problem for aquatic life since they don't break down in the environment and have been found in waterways.
Formaldehyde or Formaldehyde Releasing Agents
Used as a preservative in cosmetics. A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Present where quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), and several other preservatives are listed. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath. Although typically not listed as an ingredient, Formaldehyde “releasers” or “donors” often are listed on ingredient labels.
A skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation. Found in: skin-lightening creams. Typically used for skin lightening reasons, it inhibits melanin synthesis, causes skin irritation, and may cause discoloration of the skin. Hydroquinone is a metabolite of the carcinogen benzene. Hydroquinone is a known carcinogen that removes the skin’s natural defense against the sun (i.e., its ability to tan) therefore increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Mercury or Mercury Compounds
Overexposure to heavy metals can cause nervous system damage, and you're exposed to this toxin in many ways that are likely out of your control: water, dust, foods. That said, it’s best to limit the exposure on things you can control, especially when there are so many choices without mercury. Mercury has also been linked to organ and developmental toxicity. Used as a Preservative and Antimicrobial agent, can potentially lead to health concerns including neurotoxicity, reproductive harm, and organ toxicity/irritation.
Methyl Cellosolve / 2-Methoxyethanol
This ingredient has been banned in the EU; it’s a solvent that’s used as an additive in perfumes. It can cause skin irritation and may cause effects on the central nervous system, blood, bone marrow, kidneys and liver.
Mineral Oil / Petrolatum / Paraffin
Mineral oil is a colorless and odorless oil that is made from petroleum—as a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. Lightweight and inexpensive, it helps reduce water loss from the skin. Petrolatum is derived from processed petroleum. There is concern regarding unsustainable sourcing and possible contamination from Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are linked to cancer.
A class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation. Certain parabens have been linked to hormone disruption. We prohibit all parabens, including Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben.
Phenoxyethanol above 1% concentration
Despite being a "controversial" ingredient, phenoxyethanol has a similar safety profile to other commonly used preservatives. Preservatives are necessary to kill/prevent the growth of microbes in any product which contains water, so they are not a "nice to have" type of ingredient, they are a "must have." (Please see our blog on this topic for more info.) The EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety published a final opinion on phenoxyethanol in 2016. The take home of the 102 page document: The SCCS considers 2-phenoxyethanol safe for use as a preservative with a maximum concentration of 1.0%, which is the maximum level that cosmetics formulators are using.
Toxicologists using the Green Screen(TM) for Safer Chemicals, a globally recognized tool that identifies hazardous chemicals and safer alternatives, assigned Phenoxyethanol the Benchmark Score™ of 2 (“Use but Search for Safer Substitutes”). This score (which ranges from 1 to 4) is based on a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, which takes into account hazard information on a variety of endpoints, and even the data gaps on the chemical (meaning that, for example, we do not know its potential to disrupt the hormone system, and we can't assume that no data means it is safe). Here is a link to the GreenScreen assessment on this ingredient.
Several other preservatives used in skin care and beauty also score a Benchmark 2, but they are more likely to irritate the skin and cause sensitization, and they also are often more toxic to aquatic life. There are a handful of preservatives systems that appear to be safer/cleaner options than phenoxyethanol, but they don't always work as well for certain products. The overall chemistry of a product, its pH, the packaging, the expected shelf life, whether it is leave on or rinse off- all of these are taken into account when choosing preservative systems. So there isn't really one "silver bullet," and even if there was one perfect preservative, we wouldn't want every single product to use it because then microbes might become resistant and people might become desensitized.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG Compounds)
PEGs are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. Found in: creams, sunscreen, shampoo.
These are used in all kinds of skincare, bath, and body products to help water mix with oils or to help with foaming. They are produced by reacting polyol, sorbitol, and ethylene oxide. Look for Polysorbate –20, -40, -60, -80 and others on labels. The production of this ingredient is believed to be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.
Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others)
A class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, and plastic materials.
Usually used in hair dyes, it’s linked to a host of issues including allergies, irritation, and hormone disruption.
Sulfates (SLS and SLES)
SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 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. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.
Synthetic Color in Skin Care or Body Care
There are natural, naturally-derived and synthetic colorants. We allow all of them in color cosmetics (makeup)--products that are meant to impart color. We do not carry colored/dyed skin or body care. Natural and naturally-derived colorants are from plants, minerals (like iron oxides), or insects (carmine). Mineral colors are often viewed as healthier or more sustainable than synthetic colors, which are derived from petroleum. This isn't necessarily the case. Mined minerals can be contaminated with heavy metals (like lead, a known neurotoxin). Some minerals may be mined in unsustainable ways that harm the ecosystem and/or exploit people (including child labor, a problem in India’s mica mines). Some natural pigments can fade faster and disperse more quickly than their synthetic counterparts (though formulating with natural pigments has come a long way). That said- petroleum is not a sustainable feedstock either.
Verishop carries gorgeously clean brands that choose their ingredients that support their goals—some are super-dedicated to natural and will only used mineral-based colorants. Others brands make a conscious choice to use synthetic colorants, which are likely used at lower percentages than their mineral counterparts. We ask that brands work with their suppliers to control for heavy metal contamination and seek materials from suppliers that guarantee they do not use child labor. Whatever you choose, we support you and want to keep color cosmetics fun.
Synthetic Flavor or Fragrance
An engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed. Found in: all types of cosmetics. If you see any products with “Fragrance” listed as an ingredient, beware. Fragrance and flavor formulations are considered “trade secrets” and companies have managed to convince the government that their ingredients should not have to be revealed. An engineered scent or flavoring agent can contain anywhere from dozens to thousands of chemical ingredients. There’s no way to know what’s inside, but many contain carcinogens such as Butoxyethanol or Phthalates. If a brand isn't willing to tell you what ingredients their products are made of, it’s impossible to know if they're safe. Do yourself a favor and support truly transparent brands instead. Synthetic fragrances are known to cause skin and respiratory irritation, triggering allergies, migraines, and asthma attacks. They also contain potential carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, and have been linked to neurotoxicity and birth defects.
A volatile petrochemical solvent that is toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects. Found in: nail polish. This is often used as a solvent to improve adhesion and gloss. It has been linked to allergies and irritation. Toxic to the immune system, this solvent may cause birth defects.
Triclosan or Triclocarban
Antimicrobial pesticides toxic to the aquatic environment; may also impact human reproductive systems. Found in: liquid soap, soap bars, toothpaste.