The Naughty List

The holidays are definitely a time to indulge. Between the holiday parties, family dinners and irresistible sweet treats set out in the office kitchen, this is the time of year when we can all take a well-deserved break from the kale, smoothies and grilled chicken that we turn to during the rest of the year.

But while our holiday diets may include some less than ideal ingredients, this philosophy should not be applied to skincare.



Many beauty and skincare products on the market are filled with chemicals and other harsh ingredients that can inflame, break out and dry out your skin. Some may even cause cancer.

At PureCeuticals, we take pride in our safe, all-natural, non-toxic ingredients that your skin will love.

In the New Year, make a resolution to be kind to yourself and your skin. Just say “NO” to the following ingredients on our skincare naughty list:

  1. BHA and BHT

Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives, BHA is a suspected endocrine disruptor that may cause cancer.

  1. Coal Tar Dyes

Look for p-phenylenediamine in hair dyes and in other products. Colors are listed as “CI” followed by five digits. The U.S. color name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1” or “Blue 1”). These ingredients could cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.

  1. DEA-Related Ingredients

Emulsifiers, pH adjusters and foaming agents in shampoo, soaps and cosmetics, DEA-elated ingredients can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Also watch out for related chemicals MEA and TEA.

  1. EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic), Tetrasodium EDTA, Disodium EDTA

Binders in skin, hair and body care; these ingredients are potential formaldehyde (carcinogen) releasers.

  1. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. All are used in a variety of cosmetics and slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.

  1. Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone

These preservatives in make-up and skin, body, and hair care products are skin irritants and possible neurotoxins.

  1. Mineral Oil

This petroleum-based conditioning agent and solvent found in make-up, skincare, body and hair care products could clog pores and inhibit cell renewal.

  1. Parabens

Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives, parabens are suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.

  1. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)

Parfum can be any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma, and some have been linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.

  1. PEG compounds (Propylene glycols)

Used in many cosmetic cream bases, PEG compounds, propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (like polyethylene glycol) can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.

  1. Petrolatum

Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers, petroleum products can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.

  1. Phthalates

Plasticizer is common in nail polish, hair spray, perfume and some personal care products. It is often listed as simply “Fragrance”, but this ingredient impairs the endocrine system and is linked to early breast development and infertility.

  1. Siloxanes

When shopping for skincare and beauty products, look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten, this is a suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane).

  1. Sodium Laureth Sulfate

This prevalent ingredient may make your shampoos, cleansers and bubble baths foam, but it can also be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Be on the lookout for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate) as well.

  1. Triclosan

This suspected endocrine disrupter might contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. It is often found in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants.

Source: EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, The Dermatology Review, Cosmetics Info.org, Safer Chemicals.org.

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