In order to hold up our values of being cruelty free to humans, animals and the planet, there are certain ingredients and sources we avoid. This list is not exhaustive and we are constantly developing this.
No Animal Derived ingredients
No BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
A preservative that’s a known carcinogen.
No BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
A Toluene based preservative and a possible hormone disruptor.
No 1, 4 DIOXANE
Cosmetic labels rarely mention Dioxane, but because it's a chemical byproduct it manages to sneak in anyway.
It forms when Ethylene Oxide is mixed in with other ingredients to make them less harsh. For example, Sodium Laurel Sulfate is a harsh chemical but mellows out into Sodium Laureth Sulfate when mixed with Ethylene Oxide.
Normally found in products containing suds like soaps, shampoos, bubble baths and shower gel.
Dioxane is a potential carcinogen, also causing organ toxicity and general irritation. Look for PEG usually followed by a number, Polyethylene glycol, Polyoxyethylene, and ingredients ending in “eth” and “xynol".
No Chemical Sunscreens
(OCTINOXATE, OXYBENZONE , PABA, OCTYL-METHOXYCINNAMATE)
One common misconception is that it takes strong chemicals to properly protect our skin from the sun. This isn't true, and many people are unaware of the dangers of chemical sunscreens.
Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, PABA and Octyl-Methoxycinnamate are active UV filters and are in sunscreen, lipsticks, nail polish, hair dyes.
As well as being banned from various areas surrounding coral reefs due to their environmental persistence, these chemicals can have multiple effects on the human body including hormone disruption, cell damage, and organ system toxicity.
No DEA, TEA, MEA, ETA
These 'Ethanol Amines' are found in household products and cosmetics as pH balancing agents or emulsifiers.
All four are carcinogens, and all four have been linked to accumulation in the organs and kidneys as well as organ system toxicity (possibly affecting male reproductive health).
They may be on ingredients lists as acronyms but are more likely to see them as Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethalomine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA) and Ethanolamine (ETA).
Formaldehyde is grade 10 chemical not often directly listed on product labels as it forms as a byproduct of several preservatives.
A known carcinogen, allergen and irritant that may cause immune system toxicity. Look for ingredients like Ormalin, Formic Aldehyde, Metaldehyde, Methanal, Methyl Aldehyde, Oxomethane and Oxymethylene.
No Nano Particles
Classified as particles 1 to 100 um in size, there is limited data as to the safety of nanomaterials when absorbed through the skin and filtered through the environment, and different ingredients will have varying consequences.
Preservatives that have endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic effects.
No Perfluorinated Compound
(PFASs or PFCs)
These are widely used across the cosmetic industry as well as a multitude of other industries to offer longer properties.
This are bio-accumulative and persistent being dubbed “forever chemicals” These have been linked to many modern health issues such as obesity, cancer, hormone disruption and organ toxicity.
No Petrolatum or Paraffin
Petroleum byproducts such as mineral oil and paraffin wax. Not only are these unsustainably sourced, they raise contamination concerns linked to cancer.
Plastics in cosmetics aren’t limited to what you can see with the eye such as the now banned micro-bead. Micro-plastics in liquid form are abundant in cosmetics creating long wearing film formers and texturing agents.
Common micro-plastics include but aren’t limited to Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), Nylon (PA), Polyurethane, and Acrylates Copolymer.
Phthalates are prevalent in many cosmetics and household items. A way to disperse and prolong the scent of fragrances and aid chip resistance in nail polish.
Phthalates are a possible carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, interfering with hormone production. There are also studies suggesting Phthalates cause birth defects as well as a lower sperm count in men and fertility issues.
Products occasionally list Phthalates as a key ingredient, but also look out for ones saying DBP, DEHP, 1,2 Benzenedicarboxylate and Dibutyl/Diethyl Esther.
No Synthetic Fragrance
Often listed as simply 'fragrance' or 'parfum', Fragrance is vague and unregulated. May contain numerous harmful allergens and irritants.
Toluene is a potent solvent and paint thinner. It's in nail polish and hardeners as well as some fragrances and is a harmful neurotoxin. Not only that, it can lead to immune system or bone marrow toxicity and is a possible link to leukaemia and blood cancer.
Toluene sometimes appears as an ingredient on its own, but also as a component of Toluol, Methylbenzene and Phenylmethane.