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Chemicals to Avoid

Some chemicals you may wish to avoid - it’s not an exhaustive list, but as a general rule of thumb - if you can’t say it it’s probably best to avoid it.

Found in deodorant and antiperspirants could be related to an increase in breast cancer cells because of the compounds ability to mimic oestrogen in the body

Artificial Colours 
Labelled as FD&C or D&C on the label, followed by a colour and a number. Synthetic colours are thought to be cancer-causing agents

Artificial Fragrance or Parfum
Found in perfumes, moisturisers, body washes, shampoos, conditioners as well as air fresheners and candles. Connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma, and allergies

Cocamidopropyl Betaine 
Found in shampoos, toothpaste and body wash. Associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis

Coal Tar
Found in hair dyes and shampoos, anti-lice and anti-dandruff shampoos, also listed as a colour plus number, i.e. FD&C Red No. 6. A known carcinogen 

DEA, Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, MEA and TEA
Found in creamy and foaming products such as moisturisers, body washes, soaps and shampoos. Believed to be a carcinogen

Dibutyl, Phthalate or DBP
Found in nail products and some hair sprays. Endocrine disruptor

Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane
Found in baby washes. Avoid ingredients containing the letters ‘eth’

Look for dmdm hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, or quarternium-15 2-bromo- 2-nitropropane- 1,3-diol, and sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate. Found in hair products, nail varnishes, moisturisers, hair dyes and fake eyelash adhesive. Probable carcinogen and irritant 

Heavy Metals - Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, Nickel and More
Found in lipsticks, mascaras, hair dyes and some eye drops. Heavy metals build up in the body over time and are believed to cause various health problems

Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) 
Found in shampoos, moisturisers, make-up and wipes. Skin irritant

Mineral Oil
Found in baby oil, body lotions, soaps, moisturisers and styling gels. Impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins

Found in sunscreens. Linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage and low birth weight

Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Octyl Methoxycinnamate (OMC)
Is the main chemical used in sunscreens to filter out UVB light. Endocrine disruptor

Found in makeup, moisturisers, shampoos and fragrances and are the most widely used preservative in cosmetics. Possess estrogen-mimicking properties associated with increased risks of breast cancer  

Paraphenylenediamine (PPD)
Found in hair products and hair dyes, Known to be a skin irritant

Found in conditioners, moisturisers and deodorants. Often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens

Found in hair products, lip balms, lipsticks and skin care products. Considered a carcinogen

Found in stain removers, multi-surface spray, hand soaps and washing powder and often used as a replacement for parabens. Skin irritant

Phthalates (DBP/DMP/DEP) and Bisphenol A (BPA)
Found in deodorants, perfumes, colognes, hair sprays and moisturisers. Linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage and cancer

Placental extract
Used in some skin and hair products, but linked to endocrine disruption

Retinyl Palmitate, Oxybenzone and Octyl Methoxycinnamate)
Found in Sunscreens. Linked to cancer

Siloxanes (Cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in ‘siloxane’ (e.g cyclo tetrasiloxane)
Found in moisturisers, makeup and hair products. A known carcinogen 

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate 
Found in skincare and cosmetics. Skin and eye irritant

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Found in foamy products such as shampoo, cleansers and bubble bath. Skin irritant

Found in baby powders, eye shadows, blusher and deodorants.  Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems

Found in nail and hair products. Known to disrupt the immune and endocrine systems

Found in anti-bacterial products such as toothpaste, soaps, hand sanitisers and deodorants. Linked to cancer and endocrine disruption

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