In which I invite you to meet my least favourite cosmetic ingredients aka The Baddies List.
Please Meet – The Bad Guys
As the Quest goes on, you might realise which ingredients Yours Truly looks to avoid:
synthetics and mineral oils, a multitude of very different toxins (both synthetic and natural), harsh detergents, allergens, animal ingredients, unethical ingredients (unsustainable palm oil), sleazy performance promises, counterproductive ingredients (large amounts of alcohol in lotions for dry skin is an example), etc., etc.
But what are those nasty ingredients exactly?
Excellent question. I should start putting together a comprehensive list – and I begin, today.
So here’s a breakdown of my personal pet peeves.
There are three groups on my blacklist:
1. Health Reason Code Red: Most dangerous toxins.
You don’t want any of those to sit anywhere near your skin.
Proven endocrine disruptors. Proven cancirogens. Dangerous toxins that are “allowed in tiny amounts” (which is the saddest joke if you consider bioaccumulative ingredients) >>> Phthalates (Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)), Formaldehyde (and Formaldehyde donors – such as Cyclomethicone, (Decamethyl)Cyclopentasiloxane (D5)), Benzene, Toluene, Methyl methacrylate, Styrene (Phenylethen), Disodium EDTA, Trichlorethylene, Laureth-7, 1,4-Dioxane and contaminated compounds, 2-Butoxyethanol, Ethylene Glycol, Aluminium, Amines, Sodium Saccharin (cancirogen found in toothpaste), (Chlor)Methylisothiazolinone… Colourings: F&C dyes, Coal Tar, Recorcinol…
Sadly, this list still goes on like that for a while – but thankfully, by choosing certified organic products, we are able to make a huge improvement.
2. Ethical Reason: Animal products – animal proteins/fats; dairy, silk, honey, beeswax, and more of the less appetising kind like mink oil and castoreum.
We don’t want to channel our inner Elizabeth Bathory and gain our youth from the pain of other living beings after all, do we?
And I’m not even opening the can of worms labelled “Animal testing” here.
Apart from the obvious, unsustainable palm oil is definitely part of this “collection” for me, it’s as unethical as industrial production can get: an ecological, economical, and ethical nightmare.
>>> Products marked as vegan are a good starting point; but remember that products labelled vegan alone aren’t neccesarily free from other ingredients we want to avoid.
3. Health Reason: Counterproductive, harsh, bioaccumulative, “on-off-toxins”, obscure, and allergenic agents >>> among others Parabens, Oxybenzone, Triclosan, Paraffin/Mineral Oil/Petrolatum, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Benzalkonium Chloride, Ceteareth–n, PEG–n, Urea, Lanolin, Talc(um Powder), Perfume/Fragrance – and of course never forget your individual allergens that could lurk in an otherwise pretty green, clean, awesome and innocent bottle or jar.
>>> Choosing certified organic products and checking the labels helps. Though you’re likely to find talcum in organic eye shadows and powders, undefined ‘fragrance’ or even parabens in an organic products.