More Toxic Ingredients To Avoid

There are more than 800 chemicals used commonly in commercial skin care products. Here is a list of the ones you will find most often, and why you should never use them. Of course, none of these, and in fact, none of the 800+, are ever used in Toxin-Free Basics™ products.

While this list may seem extensive, and boring, we want you to know that use of any of the chemical agents listed below can have severe adverse effects on your skin.

The FDA allows these ingredients, which are by and large very inexpensive, to be used in small quantities. The problem is that most of them have cumulative effects ... they add together as you continue to use them.

Topping it all off, imagine this...if ONE of these is bad for you; imagine what they do in COMBINATION with each other. We are convinced they make a TOXIC SOUP, and hope you will learn to avoid every one of them.


AHA (alpha hydroxy acid): Skin is exfoliated chemically instead of mechanically via abrasion, dries and increases skin aging. Supposed to be anti-wrinkle, found in many skin and hair care products. Used as a solvent originally in cleaning compounds and for tanning leather. A smooth finish is developed by stripping the outer layer of the epidermis, which causes the irritated skin to puff up and thus fill in the lines and wrinkles. The FDA warns that strengths over 3% may thin the skin.

Acetamide MEA: Used in lipsticks and cream blusher to retain moisture. Causes adverse reactions, and is toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic.

Alkyl-phenol-ethoxylades: Has been found to reduce male sperm count, and to mimic estrogen in the body. It is widely used in shampoo, causes adverse reactions and has been shown to be toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic.

Ammonium Laureth Sulphate: This substance contains ether and is also easily absorbed by the skin. It is found in hair and bubble bath products. It is known to cause adverse reactions, to be carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic.

Aluminum: Used as a color additive in cosmetics, especially eye shadows. Another form of Aluminum is used in deodorants and antiperspirants. Listed as carcinogenic, toxic and mutagenic.

Alcohol: Acts as carrying and antifoaming agent as well as a water and oil solvent. It dries quickly, and if synthetically produced is carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and can cause adverse reactions.

Bentonite: Used in facial mask, makeup, face powder. Supposed to draw out toxins and claimed to be non-toxic, but rats have died when injected with it.

Benzene: It is a known bone-marrow poison, yet is widely used and combined with other chemicals in many personal care products. Causes adverse reactions, is carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic.

Coal Tar: Many kinds of shampoo designed to treat dandruff & flaky scalp contain it. Disguised with names FD, FDC or FD&C color. Coal tar causes potentially severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, fatigue, nervousness, headaches, nausea, lack of concentration, and cancer.

Cocomide DEA: Mostly found in shampoo. Contains nitrosamines that are known carcinogens causing allergic reactions and contact dermatitis. Synthetic nonionic surfactant. Nitrosamines can form in all cosmetic ingredients containing amines and amino derivatives with nitrogen compounds. When DEA is applied to skin known carcinogens can form.

Cocomidopropyl Betaine: Used in shampoo in combination with other surfactants. Synthetic. Causes eyelid dermatitis.

Carbomer 934, 940, 941, 960, 961 C: Used as a thickener and stabilizer in creams, toothpaste, eye makeup, bathing products. It is a known allergen that has a high acidic PH in 1% water solution. Synthetic emulsifier that can cause eye irritations and should be avoided.

DEA (diethanolamine): A synthetic solvent, detergent and humectant widely used in brake fluid, industrial degreasers and antifreeze. Mostly used in liquid soap, shampoo & conditioner. Can be harmful for the liver, kidneys and pancreas. May cause cancer in various organs. Irritates skin, eyes, mucous membranes. Found also in hair dye, lotions, cream, bubble bath, liquid dishwashing detergent & laundry soap. Health risk especially to infants and young children. Forms nitrosamines known to be carcinogens. Causes allergic reactions and contact dermatitis. Hazardous & toxic.

Dioform: Many tooth pastes and other tooth whiteners contain it. Damages your teeth enamel weakening their protective shell.

Dimethylamine: Secondary amines cause allergic dermatitis. Carcinogenic properties.

FDC-n (FD&C): These are available in various different colors. Some are simply irritants while others are strong carcinogens. Most are coal tar derived, and many scientists feel that adequate safety levels have not been established for each color category.

Fluoride: Hazardous chemical. Researchers linked it to cancer years ago. No one is listening. Fluoridated toothpaste is especially dangerous to young children who tend to swallow it after brushing their teeth. Supposed to stop tooth decay. Scientists are now linking fluoride to dental deformity, arthritis, allergic reactions, can lead to Crohn's disease. A toxic manufacturing by-product.

Formaldehyde: It is a colorless gas with vapors that are extremely irritating to mucous membranes. Used in nail polish and hardeners, soap, cosmetics and hair growing products. Due to it's bad name it is sometimes hidden under the name DMDM hydantoin or MDM hydantoin. Its trade-name is Formalin. Released by imidazolidinyl urea. Causes dermatitis, and ingestion can cause severe abdominal pain, internal bleeding, vertigo, coma, and a loss of ability to urinate. It is very toxic when inhaled, a severe skin irritant, and a suspected carcinogen that is linked to cancer. Its use in cosmetics is banned in Japan and Sweden.

Fragrances: Can contain up to four thousand ingredients (including animal urine), many toxic or carcinogenic. Causes headaches, dizziness, allergic reactions, skin discoloration, violent coughing, vomiting, and skin irritation. Fragrances affect the nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope and other behavioral changes

Glycols (group): Used as a humectant (emulsifier/moisturizer), that can be from animal or vegetable, natural or synthetic. In most cases it is used as a cheap glycerine substitute. Propylene glycol did cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage in laboratory animals. Diethylene glycol and carbitol are considered toxic. Ethylene glycol is a suspected bladder carcinogen. The FDA cautions manufacturers that glycols may cause adverse reactions in users. They have been shown to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic.

Hydantoin DMDM: Used in the synthesis of lubricants and resins, and is derived from methanol. Causes dermatitis. Acts as a preservative and may release formaldehyde and is a suspected carcinogen. Rats develop cancer when injected with this chemical.

Imidazolidinyl Urea: After parabens, this is the second most commonly used preservative in cosmetics. It is colorless, tasteless and odorless. Used in powders, baby shampoo, bath oils, colognes, eye shadows, blushes, hair tonics, lotions. Causes dermatitis. If heated to higher temperatures it produces formaldehyde.

Lauramide DEA: Lauric Acid derived mostly from coconut oil and laurel oil, and used as a base for soaps, detergents, and laurel alcohol because of their foaming properties. Nitrosamines can form in all cosmetic ingredients containing amines and amino derivatives with nitrogen compounds and nitrosamines are known carcinogens.

Methyl Chloroisothiazolinine: Carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and causes adverse reactions.

Mineral Oil: Petroleum by-product that coats the skin similar to plastic wrap, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging.

Paba (p-aminobenzoic acid): It is a water-soluble vitamin found in B complex. It is widely used in sunscreen lotions but can cause photo-sensitivity and contact dermatitis and allergic eczema.

Parabens: Trademark for butyl, ethyl, germa, methyl, propyl paraben. Causes dermatitis and allergic reactions. It is the most common preservative used in a variety of personal care products especially cream & lotion. Petroleum based.

PEG (4-200): Abbreviation for polyethylene glycol, polyoxethylene, polygocol, polyether glycol. A manufacturing by-product. Dangerous levels of the toxin dioxane has been found in this product. Many allergic reactions, as well as hives and eczema are known to occur from these synthetic plant glycols.

Propylene Glycol: It is the most common moisture-carrying vehicle other than water that is used. Found in most shampoo and conditioners, even foodstuffs such as cakes & muffins. Derived from petroleum products. Also used in anti-freeze, de-icer, latex, paint, and laundry detergent. It can cause irritation of nasal and respiratory passages and if ingested, can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is documented to cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage. Research also shows it is mutagenic, and a contributor to cardiac arrest. Japanese studies show it damages cell DNA (genetic code). Strongly degreases and dries the skin.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Used mainly in shampoo and conditioners. Causes skin irritation and dermatitis. Has ether added and is toxic.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: An ingredient in 90% of commercially available shampoo and conditioner. Corrodes hair follicle and impedes hair growth. Is found in car wash soap, engine degreaser, toothpaste, cream, lotion, and garage floor cleaners. Penetrates your eyes, brain, liver kidneys and remains there for long-term. Degenerates cell membranes and can change the genetic information (mutagenic) in cells and damage the immune system. May cause blindness and lead to cataracts. Eyes cannot heal properly. Retards the eye healing process. Studies also show that these additives react with the ingredients of food supplements or cosmetics, to form carcinogenic nitrates and dioxin. All of this may enter the circulatory system with each shampooing or each oral ingestion. The end result being that these harmful ingredients can be retained in the liver, heart, eyes, kidneys and muscles for several years after being used. It is further reported to cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, dandruff and allergic reactions.

Sodium Cyanide: Carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and causes adverse reactions.

Sodium Hydroxide: This is a poison (caustic lye) found in drain cleaners and tooth paste. The warning label on sodium hydroxide products reads “POISON, May be fatal or cause permanent damage if swallowed. May cause blindness. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, mouth and clothing.”

Sodium Oleth Sulfate: May contain dangerous levels of ethylene oxide and/or dioxane, both potent toxins.

Styrene Monomer: Carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and causes adverse reactions. May be irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes.

Stearamidopropyl Tetrasodium EDTA: Nitrosamines can form in all cosmetic ingredients containing amines and amino derivatives with nitrogen compounds. Nitrosamines are known carcinogens.

Talc: It is derived in powder form from the mineral magnesium silicate. It can be hazardous to one’s health, and is toxic with prolonged inhalation. Some talc found to contain amphibole particle distribution typical to asbestos, which is cancer causing and a known lung irritant.

Toluene: Obtained from petroleum, it is used as a solvent in cosmetics, especially nail polish and dyes. It resembles benzene, and if ingested may cause mild anemia, liver damage, irritate the skin and respiratory tract. Also in pharmaceuticals and gasoline as a blending agent.

Triethanolamine (TEA): Can cause severe facial dermatitis, irritation and sensitivity. Used as ph adjuster. Reacts with stearic acid to form oil in water emulsions, typically lotions. May contain nitrosamines, known carcinogens. Its main toxic effect in animals is due to its over-alkalinity. It is used as a coating agent for fruits and vegetables.

Triclosan: Synthetic “antibacterial” with a chemical structure similar to Agent Orange, is used in antibacterial cleansers, tooth pastes, baby and household products! The EPA registers Triclosan as a pesticide, giving it high scores as a risk to human health and the environment. It is in a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. Hormone disruptors can change genetic material, decrease fertility and sexual function and foster birth defects. Internally, it can lead to cold sweats, circulatory collapse and convulsions. Stored in the body fat, it can accumulate to toxic levels, damaging the liver, kidneys and lungs and can cause paralysis, brain hemorrhages and heart problems. Tufts University, School of Medicine says Triclosan can force the emergence of “super bugs” that it cannot kill. With a half live of 500 years and a toxicity level of one part per trillion (one drop in 300 Olympic sized swimming pools), Triclosan may be a contributory factor to the sterility of future generations.