Ingredient list


It is a humectant and coupling agent.

1,2 Hexanediol consists of several chemicals:

Alpha-Lipoic Acids - efficient antioxidant, which has been shown to protect against cholesterol oxidation,

Chrysin - bioflavonoid, possessing anti-inflammatory, antiviral, vasodilatory (relaxing the smooth muscle in blood vessels, which causes them to dilate) properties,

Diosgenin - the compound used in the maintenance of healthy blood cholesterol levels,

Glucosamine Hydrochloride - the compound clinically proven to retard the progression of degenerative changes in the joints,

Indole-3-Carbinol - the promising nutrient that may be helpful in the prevention of various forms of cancer in humans


1,4-dioxane is generated through a process called ethoxylation, in which ethylene oxide, a known breast carcinogen, is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh. This process creates 1,4-dioxane. It is a contaminant produced during manufacturing, the FDA does not require 1,4-dioxane to be listed as an ingredient on product labels.

Environmental Working Group's analysis suggests that 97 percent of hair relaxers, 57 percent of baby soaps and 22 percent of all products in Skin Deep may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. Besides sodium laureth sulfate, other common ingredients that may be contaminated by 1,4-dioxane include PEG compounds and chemicals that include the clauses "xynol," "ceteareth" and "oleth." For example, sodium laurel sulfate, a chemical that is harsh on the skin, is often converted to the less-harsh chemical sodium laureth sulfate (the “eth” denotes ethoxylation), which can contaminate this ingredient with 1,4-dioxane.

Research shows that 1,4-dioxane readily penetrates the skin. 1,4-dioxane is considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and listed as an animal carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. It is included on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known or suspected by the state to cause cancer or birth defects. The California Environmental Protection Agency also lists 1,4-dioxane as a suspected kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant and respiratory toxicant. Source: Safe Cosmetic

crylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

A film forming agent that's used as a thickener and stabilizer in cosmetic products. It’s typically designed to keep dispersions mixed in water from lumping. The film also provides water-binding properties to products.

Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer

It is a film-forming agent and a binding agent(it helps products adhere better to the skin). It also forms a layer on hair and skin and it gives a smooth feeling.

Aminopropane Sulfonic Acid 3

There is not enough studies have been conducted on it. Aminopropane Sulfonic Acid 3 is used in only a select number of face creams. For the most part, it’s found in hair products that aim to combat hair loss and promote hair growth. Although it’s frequently administered to treat Alopecia, there lies very little evidence to support its effectiveness in treating hair loss.

Acetyl tetrapeptide-5

It is a very common eye cream ingredient, because it helps to reduce puffiness. But there are better alternatives than this.

Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

A film forming agent that's used as a thickener and stabilizer in cosmetic products. It's consider to be safe.

Alcohol Denat.

It is an SD ("Specially Denatured") Alcohol. Alcohol Denat. is ethanol alcohol that has methanol or some other ingredient added to it to make it undrinkable. EWG (Environmental Working Group): "Specially denatured (SD) alcohol is a mixture of ethanol with a denaturing agent."

Alocohol, also called ethanol or ethyl alcohol is what you can find in alcoholic beverages. In cosmetic usage it has to be denatured. The denaturant makes the alcohol taste bad.

Alcohol and Alcohol Denat. function as anti-foaming agents, cosmetic astringents, solvents and viscosity decreasing agents.

It is drying and irritating especially to sensitive skin types.

Algae Extract

According to, this is an active substance used to normalize the skin’s moisture content and provide suppleness to the epidermis. Used to add vital oligo-elements and increase surface hydration. There are different types of algae but the most used is Blue Green Algae in skin treatments. Seaweed is often used as well as it does a really good job of soothing skin and adding a great protective barrier for skin. Blue green algae and seaweed are two of our great skin moisturizers.

It's non-irritating and non-comedogenic.

Rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. It has an excellent moisture-absorbing properties.

It has firming, anti-irritant and water-binding properties as well.


It is cattle's and mammals' uric acid. It can be found in some plants too ie. aloe vera and comfrey. Allantoin can be chemically synthesized (like in this cetaphil lotion) by the oxidation of hippuric acid. (Hippuric acid is a carboxylic acid found in the urine of horses and other herbivores. -Wikipedia.) Its pH is neutral. It promotes cell replication; and promotes the healing of wounds, burns, and scars. In this lotion is in a very low concentraion, so barely has an effect.

Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Extract

When used topically, aloe vera juice can soothe skin and serve as an anti-inflammatory. It is soothing, highly beneficial for treating skin irritations. The aloe vera leaves contain a soothing gel loaded with amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

The clear gel found inside the plant's leaf and the crystalline part found alongside the leaf blade, which contains aloin, are both used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. The clear gel is a remarkably effective healer of wounds and burns, speeding up the rate of healing and reducing the risk of infection. It has emollient and scar preventing properties.

Main Properties: Heals wounds, emollient, laxative. According to Dr. Danhof of North Texas Research Laboratories, aloe speeds up skin cell reproduction by as much as eight times and penetrates the epidermis four times faster than water.

Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone

It is a synthetic fragrance. It increases the skin's sensitivity. Alpha-Isomethyl-Ionone can cause central nervous system disturbances. It's a very pale yellow to colorless liquid with a woody, or floral scent. It’s been known to irritate the skin and trigger allergic reactions for some people. After evaluating the potential side effects of Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) banned the ingredient from being mixed into fragrance products (i.e. perfume, cologne). But you can still find this ingredient in a variety of other cosmetics that are not categorized as a “fragrance.”


Also known as Aluminum Oxide. Alumina serves as an insoluble carrier for mineral pigments. Alumina is not absorbed through the skin. It is used as anti-caking agent, anti-bulking agent and as an absorbent.

Both the FDA and BDIH regard it as safe to use for cosmetic purposes.

Aminomethyl Propanol

It is used as an emulsifier and a buffering agent (keeps the pH of a mixture neutral). It controls the water solubility of the resin film in hair sprays, and makes the finished film more resistant to humidity. Forms a gel with long chain acrylic polymers. Source

It’s been shown to cause mild dermal irritation and sensitization. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel reviewed the safety of this ingredient and assessed that though Aminomethyl propanol is highly alkaline in its pure form, its negative effects are buffered once mixed into cosmetic products and diluted. Initially, the CIR restricted cosmetics to using Aminomethyl propanol only in concentrations of 1% or lower. Then in 2007, the CIR reevaluated it and reassessed it safe to use at concentrations up to 7%. It should be noted, however, that Aminomethyl propanol cannot be used in products containing secondary amines because it could cause harmful carcinogenic nitrosamines to form. Source

It could contaminated with Nitrosamine and Oxazolidine. Cosmetics and personal care products containing Aminomethyl Propanediol were only minimally irritating to skin. Aminomethyl Propanol was not a skin sensitizer and products containing Aminomethyl Propanediol or Aminomethyl Propanol were minimal to moderate irritants to the eyes.

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Ammonium Chloride

It is an inorganic salt. Ammonium Chloride is used as a viscosity increasing agent – aqueous (=substances that increase the thickness of the water portion of cosmetic products). Ammonium Chloride is prepared commercially by reacting ammonia with hydrogen chloride. It is used medically, however, as an expectorant, a cough remedy and a dietary supplement. It occurs naturally in most volcanic regions, and it can be produced synthetically in an efficient manner. It is moderately irritating to the skin and eyes.

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Ammonium Laureth Sulfate

Surfactant (cleansing agent), foaming. It is an ammonium salt of Ethoxylated Lauryl Sulfate, a surfactant that contains PEG (polyethylene glycol) in its structure. May be contaminated with potentially toxic manufacturing impurities such as 1,4-dioxane. ( Acute usage causes irritation, headache, dizziness and narcosis.) This is an Anionic Surfactant which refers to the negative charge. It may be contaminated with carcinogenic nitrosamines. It is used for car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers and foam in cosmetic products.

Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Extract

Calms the skin with its mild de-sensitising properties. It has nervine, tonic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, as well as containing coumarin, a blood-thinner. Chamomile can improve skin's texture and elasticity, as well as reduce signs of photodamage. It is used in skin care products as an emollient. It is proven to treat dermal irritations at some cases, eczema and many other skin problems due to its acidic, essential oils and flavonids content. It has an antiseptic effect on the skin.

Apricot kernel oil

It is a carrier oil. (Carrier oils give the necessary lubrication to allow the hands to run smoothly over the skin and not 'drag' whilst massaging.)It can keep skin smooth. The question is if it's cold pressed or not? If not, it means it's refined and then the Apricot kernel oil doesn't have any benefits.


It is an amino acid and keeps the moisture in the skin. It could be derived from dead animals. It plays a pivotal role in cell division, the healing of wounds, immune function, the release of hormones, and the production of growth hormone. It's an antioxidant. Not one study can prove the skin regeneration effects of Arginine when topically applied to the skin.

Ascorbic Acid

According to Fodd, many people buy Vitamin C as ascorbic acid, but ascorbic acid is not Vitamin C and in fact taken by itself can be quite irritating to the lining of the digestive tract. Complete Vitamin C is composed of many co-factors such as rutin, bioflavonoids, Factor K, Factor J, Factor P, Tyrosinase, Ascorbinogen, ascorbic acid and other components. Each of these is vital to the complete biological activity that enables Vitamin C to function fully. Ascorbic acid is only a very small fraction of naturally occurring vitamin C.

Dr. O'Shea says: "The ascorbic acid you buy at the grocery store every few weeks, thinking you are buying Vitamin C, is just a chemical copy of naturally occurring ascorbic acid, which itself is still only a fraction of the actual Vitamin C. Real vitamin C is part of something living, and as such, can impart life. Your synthetic, fractionated chemical ascorbic acid never grew in the ground, never saw the light of day, never was alive or part of anything alive. It's a chemical, a cornstarch derivative, a sulfuric acid by-product. In your body it's just another drug. Synthetic vitamins have toxic effects from mega-doses and actually can increase the white blood cell count. Vitamins are only necessary in minute quantities on a daily basis."

The post points out that "more than 90% of ascorbic acid in this country is manufactured in Nutley, New Jersey, by Hoffman-LaRoche, one of the world's largest drug manufacturers. Most U.S. vitamin companies buy bulk ascorbic acid from this one company. Each vitamin company then makes its own labels and each usually claims to have a superior form of Vitamin C, even though it all came from the same plant and what's more, it's not really Vitamin C in the first place. If you look at the label on a bottle of so-called "Vitamin C" and it says only ascorbic acid, don't buy it.

Skinacea provides very useful information about Vitamin C: "Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants in skin care. It helps slow down the aging process by preventing free radical damage. Long-term topical use has been clinically shown to regenerate collagen and improve the appearance of wrinkles. Vitamin C also lightens pigmentation and brightens over all skin tone. Therefore, it is used in a lot of anti-aging and whitening products (especially in Asia), as well as fade creams.

Topically, vitamin C also provides a small amount of UV protection. Though this is not comparable to well-formulated sunscreens, C serum use during daytime can give your sunscreen an extra boost. This is partly why many people recommend using vitamin C during the day instead of at night. It usually takes around 6 months of consistent vitamin C use to start seeing results.

There are different types of vitamin C actives and these include l-ascorbic acid, ester C (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate), ascorbyl palmitate, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.

L-ascorbic acid is the most powerful one out of all of them, but it is also the one that destabilizes the easiest. Ester C, ascorbyl palmitate, and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate are all pretty stable, but they are not as potent or effective as l-ascorbic acid. If you make your own vitamin C product with l-ascorbic acid, it is essential that you make a new batch every day so the vitamin C stays fresh.

C serum will only be effective if it is at the proper concentration and pH. Many skin care products advertise themselves as vitamin C treatments, but a lot of times they barely have enough vitamin C in them to do anything. Most vitamin C products on the market range from 5% (considered fairly weak) to 20%. 20% is the highest amount you should put on your skin because if you go any higher, your skin will not be able to absorb as much of the antioxidant.

Vitamin C has to be formulated around a pH of 3 for it to be able to pass through your skin barrier and be used by your skin.

However, Vitamin C can be irritating for some skin types, causing redness and stinging."

The reason why companies use Synthetic Vitamin C is because it's less expensive, it is more sustainable and it breaks down at a slower rate than natural Vitamin C.

Ascorbyl Palmitate

A non-acidic molecule made from ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and palmitic acid (fatty acid). Also known as Vitamin C Ester.

Under code E304,it is a food additive (flour improver) and it's used in the baking industry since the fifties. It's heat-stable (not like ascorbic acid). This means that while the traditional form of vitamin C breaks down during cooking and the finished product is nutritionally insignificant, the Vitamin C contentin Ascorbyl Palmitate slightly decreased during the process.

With the advantage of being lipid (fat) soluble, it can penetrate the skin and deliver antioxidants faster than the water soluble forms of Vitamin C. This, in turn, helps prevent cellular aging by inhibiting the cross-linking of collagen, oxidation of proteins, and lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, it’s been shown to work synergistically with the antioxidant Vitamin E.

Ascorbyl palmitate is the most widely used fat-soluble derivative of vitamin C in skin care. It is nonirritating and more stable than vitamin C. Unfortunately, it appears that the concentrations of ascorbyl palmitate achievable in skin care formulas do not boost collagen synthesis as much as vitamin C.

When buying products with ascorbyl palmitate (or other vitamin C-derived skin care for that matter), it is best to choose colorless or white formulation. That way you can spot the advanced stages of oxidation of the active ingredient by the emergence of a yellowish tint. Unfortunately, the lack of tint does not guarantee complete lack of oxidation because the early oxidation products are colorless.

Its widespread use in numerous over-the-counter topical skin care products and sunscreens.

According to Stephen Allen Christensen, "studies show that it may, indeed, offer some antioxidant protection, but it's unlikely you can apply enough topical ascorbyl palmitate to have any effect on collagen synthesis."

"In November 2002 Doctors in the Department of Dermatology of the prestigious Mayo Clinic, published the results of their studies of topical Ascorbyl Palmitate (also known as C-Ester, and Ascorbic Acid-6-Palmitate). They noted that Ascorbic Acid-6-Palmitate degenerates when exposed to sunlight (UVB) on skin and is "toxic to epidermal (skin) cells." According to Mayo Clinic.

Ascorbyl Palmitate is more stable than L-ascorbic acid.

Sources: Smart Skin Care

Aspartic Acid

Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid and is found in abundance in plant proteins, especially in sprouting seeds but can be manufactured in the body from oxaloacetic acid and was first isolated in 1868 from legumin in plant seed. Aspartic acid is a type of amino acid that can be found in various foods, in certain artificial sweeteners, and inside of the human body. studies have shown that the addition of amino acids to a formula helps damaged hair regain it’s hydrophobicity or it’s water-repellent quality which means that amino acids help fill in porosities (gaps in the cuticle). Healthy, undamaged hair is also hydrophobic/water repellent. Amino acids can also strengthen and moisturize the hair because of their water-attracting habit. But what aspartic acid does in a conditioner, I didn't find any information.


It's a synthetic dibenzoylmethane derivative. Also known as Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane or Parsol 1789. It's an oil soluble sunscreen agent. Classified as a “chemical” sunscreen because it works by absorbing UV rays over a wide wavelength, and then converting them to less damaging infrared radiation (heat). It’s marketed as a “broad spectrum” sunscreen because of it protects the skin against the sun’s entire range of UVA rays. It is one of the few chemical sunscreen agents with comprehensive UV protection, and for this reason, used in a large majority on sun protection products. It is also used in cosmetic products to protect other ingredients from deteriorating under the sun. Tests have revealed Avobenzone’s tendency to significantly degrade in light over time, lessening its sun protection capabilities. For this reason, most sunscreens containing the ingredient also include photo-stabilizing ingredients like octocrylene.

Avobenzone appears to be relatively non-toxic and non-irritating to the skin. However, because it is often used in conjunction with photo-stabilizers, there is a greater risk for skin irritation and low-level toxicity. Furthermore, some studies have demonstrated it to be absorbed by the body and secreted into urine, and is therefore not recommended to use on children or pregnant women. Some skin specialists believe it to be just as harmful as PABA.

Both The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union have assessed the safety of this ingredient, and approved it safe to use in concentrations up to 3% and 5% respectively. Source

Behenyl Alcohol

A natural fatty alcohol in the form of a white, waxy solid. An emulsifier that also keeps the oil and liquid parts of a solution from separating. It has antiviral properties and is used to treat herpes (under the name of 1-docosonal). It can cause skin irritation.

Benzyl Alcohol:

It is an aromatic alcohol and it works as a preservative, solvent, and viscosity-decreasing agent. Benzyl Alcohol is metabolized to Benzoic Acid, which reacts with glycine and excreted as hippuric acid in the human body. According to a 1998 study it "can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin." It is also a known neurotoxin. Benzyl Alcohol naturally found in essential oils including jasmine, hyacinth, and ylang-ylang. In small dosages, it can cause various toxic effects including respiratory failure, very low blood pressure, convulsions and paralysis. According to MSDA Safety Data Sheet, Benzyl Alcohol is harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Severe irritant for eyes, skin and respiratory system.” (Oh, yes, we are talking about an eye gel.) "Its use as a preservative and an antiseptic has been halted since the 1980s" (CancerWeb- UK).

Benzyl Alcohol can break down the barrier layer of the skin, which makes you more susceptible to sun damage and the environmental elements. They can also cause dialated blood vessels (commonly referred to as broken capillaries). It is safe for use in cosmetics and skin care products at concentrations up to 5%.

Stephanie Greenwood (from Chemical of the day) says: "The term "aromatic" doesn't just mean that it's fragrant. It's a chemical term meaning that on a molecular level, the compound contains a benzene ring. Benzene is a highly toxic and carcinogenic compound, and depending on what it's combined with, can have many side effects. In addition, it can break down and create aldehydes (like formaldehyde) in the presence of other chemicals. Titanium Dioxide is one of those chemicals. So you may be using a "mineral" makeup or sunscreen and feeling like you're safe--but if it contains benzyl alcohol, it could be offgassing formaldehyde or a related chemical."

This ingredient is authoritatively classified as "known to be neurotoxic in humans," according to the medical literature (Article by P Grandjean and PJ Landrigan in Lancet).

It is suspected of causing immunotoxicity and skin or sense organ toxicity , according to sources compiled by a href="" target=”_blank”>Scorecard


The primary component of the essential oil extracted from chamomile. Also known as levomenol. It is almost insoluble in water and glycerin. It works as a skin conditioning agent. It enhances the appearance of dehydrated or damaged skin by reducing dry flaking and restoring suppleness to the skin. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps to soothe and calm the skin. Because of its high panthenol concentration, it can effectively stimulate and promote the skin's healing process. It also increases the skin penetration of other cosmetic ingredients. It also exudes a subtle floral aroma that is often used to add fragrance to cosmetic products. Because of it may increase the dermal penetration of other ingredients, they caution formulation manufacturers to be alert of this possibility.


It is a preservative. The most common allergen. Same thing like Methyl-and Ethylparaben. It mimics to estrogen in the body. Butylparaben showing the most potent activity among methyl-, ethyl- and propyl esters in in vitro recombinant yeast assay and in in vivo uterotrophic assay. Parabens are also linked to ecological harm; low levels of butylparaben can kill coral, according to Roberto Danovaro and a team of researchers from Polytechnic University of the Marche in Italy.

Butylphenyl Methylpropional

Used as a fragrance additive. cause irritation and allergic reactions in many individuals. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has restricted its use in fragrances because of the potential dermal sensitization. The European Cosmetics Directive lists this ingredient as an "allergenic" substance.

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Butylated hydroxytoluene is closely related synthetic antioxidant used as preservative in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. It is also widely used as food preservatives. It reacts with oxygen free radicals to slow down the autoxidation rate of ingredients in a product that can cause changes in the taste or color.

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) that says the following:

  • Do not let this chemical enter the environment
  • Combustible
  • Ingestion causes Abdominal pain, confusion, dizziness, nausea, vomiting
  • The substance may have effects on the liver
  • The substance is harmful to aquatic organisms

The Skin Deep site rates BHT as having a “high hazard to high hazard depending on product usage” and says it has been shown to be linked to cancer, developmental toxicity, allergies, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, biochemical or cellular level changes. (Source: The Good Human)

Butylene Glycol

It is petroleum derivative produced by propylene oxide hydration. Butylene Glycol is a solvent and viscosity (thickness) decreasing agent. It can also be used to create more volume in a jar, while reducing the actual amount of product. It stabilizers and help to increase product absorption into the skin. Butylene Glycol can weaken protein and cellular structure. It can irritates the skin, the eyes and the lungs. Symptoms of depression, vomiting, drowsiness, coma and respiratory failure have been linked to butylene glycol.

"Butylene poses a great health threat to wide array of consumers with different levels of susceptibility to toxins, and thus millions at present argue that these allegations regarding its safe use can never be justified." (No bull beauty)


A quartenary ammonium salt that the body naturally produces from the amino acids lysine and methionine. Sometimes referred to as L-Carnitine. It is a substance that helps the body turn fat into energy. It has been proposed as a treatment for many conditions because it acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants fight harmful particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cells and tamper with DNA. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Applied topically, L-Carnitine's uses are suspect.

C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate

It is an emollient, a skin feel modifier (makes other oils feel less greasy), an anti-tackiness agent, lubricant, and binder and wetting agent for mineral make-up products.

It will reduce the feeling of greasiness of other oils in your products, increases spreadability, and will solubilize other oils and silicones in an oil based product.

Not known to have any toxic side-effects.

Source: Point of Interest

C13-14 Isoparaffin

It's an emollient. It is a mixture of hydrocarbons (mineral oils) derived from petroleum. It is used as a thickener or gelling agent.

Source: Truth in aging


Citronellol is the main ingredient in the insect repellent, because the mosquitoes don't like the "smell" which is a very cheap but natural fragrance. Sometimes it can cause allergies, but not harmful in small quantities. Manufacturers replace the expensive lemon oil with Citronellol. The IFRA Standard restricts the use of Citronellol in fragrances because of potential sensitization. Indicates whether an ingredient in this product may cause contact-allergy reactions in fragrance-sensitive consumers (European Union)


It's an antioxidant, it shrinks blood vessels and it dehydrates fat cells. Its firming and tightening properties make it a desirable additive to any anti-aging product. Because of caffeine's ability to constrict (it's a vascoconstrictor) the veins, it can be used to reduce dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. However the results are not permanent. It has the ability to neutralize free radicals. When skin cells get damaged, they lose an electron. That skin cell then looks to take an electron from a healthy cell to stabilize itself. Antioxidants help to neutralize those damaged cells to help prevent further damage. But here is a way cheaper solution to reduce puffiness: wet 2 caffeinated tea bags with warm water and place them over your eyes. The caffeine can temporarily help calm puffiness.

Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea)

it contains the polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG polyphenols are widely known for their anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant abilities, and have been shown to inhibit the body's immune suppression and skin cancer induction that typically follows UVB exposure.

EGCG has been shown to be an extremely effective treatment for reducing the redness and irritation associated with Rosacea.

green tea has been shown to enhance and work synergestically with other UV absorbing ingredients.

It can help slow down the development of some of the visual signs of aging.

It is an antioxidant, astringent, stimulating, anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory.

Source: Truth in aging

Candelilla Cera (Euphorbia Cerifolia Wax):

Candelilla wax is extracted from Euphorbia cerifera, a shrub native to Mexico. I was searching I found that actually there is synthetic Candelilla Wax, so who knows what POND's use in this cream since they didn't indicate if it's natural or not. ("Synthetic Candelilla Wax is a blend of waxes, which have been designed to match the properties and characteristics of the natural product. This wax is light colored, hard, yet brittle. The synthetic wax is more consistent than the natural product and contains no resins. "-Coastal Scents-)

Candelilla Wax (Cera) offers the possibility to apply for rheology control while keeping the viscosity low, enabling to stimultaneously adjusting thixotropy (=is the property of certain gels or fluids that are thick (viscous) under normal conditions, but flow -become thin, less viscous- over time when shaken, agitated, or otherwise stressed)and the elastic behaviour of low viscous emulsions.

It has a film-forming properties.

Caprylyl Glycol

It could be plant-derived or synthetic. Check the label if it indicates where it was derived. It is a humectant and it functions as a stabilizer too. It increases the antimicrobial activity of other preservatives. In fact, it's often used in a preservative blend containing phenoxyethanol and chloroxylenol, named Optiphen. It works on skin's surface to give it a soft and smooth texture.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

It is produced by chemical reactions between various fatty acids and glycerol (synthetic glycerine). A mixed triester derived from coconut oil and glycerin. It is largely synthetic. It has spreading properties. Helps products to glide on the skin. It's an emollient, dispersing agent and solvent. It can clog the pores, because there is naturally occurring bacteria in our skin and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride has medium chain fatty acids which are great food for that bacteria.

Caprylhydroxamic Acid

Performs superbly at neutral pH and has excellent efficacy of fungistatic agents. It is the only organic acid which can maintain unionized state in acid to neutral, strong inhibitory mold(A. Niger). Caprylhydroxamic Acid has the best length (C8) of C chain to promote degradation of cell membrane structures,it can take place of traditional preservatives when applied to the cosmetic. (Source


It is a thickening agent. It is primarily made from acrylic acid. It is gives the viscosity of a product and it also stabilises the formulation and gives it texture. By varying the level and the exact way you use it, you can use carbomer as a base to create anything from a stiff hair gel that will stay exactly where you put it, a lotion with body but which still flows easily or a rich cream that holds it shape. If you see carbomer listed you will almost always see either sodium hydroxide or triethanolamine listed as well. These are neutralising agents used to neutralise the carbomer.

Carbomer keeps oils or creams suspended in water and prevent separation. It gives the rich texture of the product. It doesn't absorb to the skin and it's absolutely neutral for the skin. In other words: there is no effect on the skin at all.


It's naturally occurring combination of two amino acids (alanine and histidine). Sometimes referred to as L-Carnosine. Works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It functions as an anti-oxidant by neutralizing and disarming the free radicals responsible for attacking our DNA cells. It helps to chelate ionic metals (flush toxins from the body), it has immune boosting properties, and has been shown to reduce and prevent cell damage caused by beta amyloid (the substance found in the brain of Alzheimer patients). Most interestingly, many claim it can extend the Hayflick Limit (skin cells can only reproduce themselves around 52 times until they "die." Carnosine extends their ability to reproduce to just over 60 times, making it a real anti-ager).

Studies suggest this ingredient may also act as a natural anti-glycation molecule.With regards to the skin, glycation is believed to be the main culprit behind deep wrinkling, the thinning of skin and the mottled appearance of age spots.

Test tube experiments have shown the dipeptide to effectively protect proteins from cross-linking, to protect cells from AGEs and to rejuvenate aging skin tissue. What makes it stand apart from other antioxidants is its potential ability to fight against, not just oxidative damage done by free radicals, but also damage done by sugar-related glycation. However, most studies testing carnosine's are in its preliminary stages, and more research is warranted to prove the ingredient's full effects.

This ingredient has not been evaluated by the FDA. Many European cosmetic companies, such as Ethos, have been banned from using this ingredient due to the fact that is classified as a "drug." Because the body naturally contains it and humans have forever consumed foods containing this ingredient, it is generally regarded as safe. However, it's worth mentioning that the body contains a group of enzymes, carnosinases, specifically designed to break down carnosine. The reason for the presence of these enzymes is not known, but there's a possibility that they help protect against some unknown side effect of carnosine. (Source)

Cellulose Gum

Cellulose gum (carboxymethyl cellulose or CMC) is a versatile, cost-effective and easy-to-use thickening agent.

Cellulose is a naturally occurring component found in the cell walls of plants. There are many modified cellulose polymers. It is most often used as a thickener, but also used as a film-forming agent. This ingredient has been deemed safe as used in cosmetics by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel.

Centaurea Cyanus Flower Extract:

Also known as Cornflower extract. It has anti-anti-inflammatory properties. It is a skin conditioning agent and astringent. It's rich in polyphenols, specifically flavonoids and anthocyanins.


A white/yellow wax derived from ozokerite (=is a naturally occurring odoriferous mineral wax or paraffin). It is not a vegetable wax, but more closely related to paraffin wax (petroleum wax). It is a thickening agent and also separates the oil and liquid parts from each other.

This ingredient has been shown to cause dermal irritation and sensitization, because it made up of a family of compounds called isoparaffins. Isoparaffins have been found to cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation.


It is a fatty alcohol, a blend of cetyl and stearyl alcohol (natural fatty acids from coconut oil), and ethylene oxide. The numerical value - for example cetearerth-20 - represents the average number of molecules of ethylene oxide added. It works as an as an emollient and emulsifier. It thickens a solution and helps other ingredients dissolve in a solvent. (This is really bad if the other ingredients are harmful.)The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends that consumers should stay away from products that contain "ceteareth," because it can contaminate a product with carcinogens (1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide). This ingredient should not be applied to damaged/injured skin.

Cetyl Alcohol

It is an emulsifier and thickener. Many dermatologists recommend that individuals with sensitive/irritated skin avoid it. Many medical experts believe that cetyl alcohol, and many other fatty alcohols, have the ability to altercate the lipid bilayer of the epidermis (protective barrier) and cause allergic dermal reactions in some.

Cetearyl Alcohol:

It works as an emollient, emulsifier, thickener and carrying agent. It's either produced from the end products of the petroleum industry, or derived from plants (palm oil-palmityl alcohol). It works as a "glue": doesn't let the water and the oil to separate from each other.

Cetyl Esters

These are a blend of Cetyl Palmitate, Cetyl Stearate, Myristyl Myristate, Myristyl Stearate, Cetyl Myristate, and Stearyl Stearate. This ingredient can be used as an alternative to Cetyl Alcohol although they do have different properties. Cetyl esters result in a thinner product and will contribute a silkier glide than products made with Cetyl alcohol.

They are derived from vegetables.

Cetyl esters is widely accepted as a safe, non-toxic ingredient in hair and skin care products.

Source: Salon Naturals

Cetearyl Glucoside:

This corn and coconut derived emulsifier, but it can be chemically synthesized. It is used in oil in water formulations. It helps skin and hair retain moisture, and gives a velvety after touch. It is readily biodegradable and is non-irritant, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. It exhibits exceptional stability with a wide range of fatty phase (>20%) and is also stable with silicones. It is able to emulsify extreme acid or alkali media without risk of degradation. It does not require additional stabilizers.


It's a synthetic ester of cetyl alcohol and 2-ethylhexanoic acid. Works as an emollient, skin conditioner and thickening agent. It lubricates the surface of the skin/hair, removes the appearance of dry patches and flakes and gives the skin a soft and smooth look. It gives cosmetic products water-repelling properties and an easy spreadabillity. It's used as a substitute to Spermaceti wax, which comes from whales. The safety of this specific ingredient has not been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient review (CIR) Expert Panel.

However, the CIR Expert Panel has reviewed the safety of cetearyl ethylhexanoate (which has a similar chemical composition). While undiluted forms of this ingredient were shown to cause slight dermal irritation, no sensitization was observed in studies where individuals applied products containing the ingredient. Thus, the CIR Expert Panel assessed this ingredient, as well as all cetyl esters, as safe to use in cosmetic formulations.

Cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose

The ether of cetyl alcohol and hydroxyethylcellulose. Its classified under gums, hydrophilic colloids and derivatives. It's a thickening agent for aqueous solutions and a stabilizer in emulsions. It also helps retain moisture levels on the skin & hair an reduces tackiness. (Truth in aging)

Cetyl PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone

A silicone/siloxane.

May be contaminated with potentially toxic manufacturing impurities such as 1,4-dioxane. The safety of this ingredient has not been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel.

Chelidonium Majus

Alias Swallow Wort. It is for for treating warts. It is being increasingly retailed as a wart-removal remedy in herbal pharmacies across the world.

It is also used for the treatment of skin suffering from a herpes infection. Chelidonium majus has appreciable tissue rejuvenating properties.

The juice of Chelidonium majus has anti-bacterial/anti-fungal effect and thus, it is used as a remedy for stopping excessive bleeding.

Source: Skin Care Guide


It's an organic compound. Primarily used as a pharmaceutical muscle relaxant, which works by blocking nerve impulses that are sent to the brain. In cosmetics, it's used as a preservative because of its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. As a preservative, it prevents various products from running into issues such as viscosity changes, pH changes, emulsion breakdown, visible microorganism growth, color changes and disagreeable odor formation.

Chlorphenesin has been reported to cause irritation and contact dermatitis in many, particularly those with sensitive & dry skin. In addition, research has shown it relax the skeletal muscle, depress the central nervous system and cause respiratory depression (slow or shallow breathing) in infants. Considering this, the FDA dissuades pregnant/nursing women and small children from using personal care products containing this ingredient.

Many countries, such as Japan, have restricted its cosmetic use by giving it concentration limitations. It is not commercially available in the U.S. While it has yet to be assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel, chlorphenesin is listed under the CIR website as high priority for review.

Chlorphenesin reportedly functions as a biocide in cosmetic products. It is also active against Candida albicans. More about Chlorphenesin: here

Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan)

It is known under the common name Irish moss, or carrageen moss (Irish carraigĂ­n, "little rock"), is a species of red algae which grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America.

It is made up of many mineral nutrients. Irish Moss serves as a thickening agent, as well as a skin softener. It can be used to treat inflamed tissues.

It has excellent water binding properties, as well as the ability to form gels at room temperature. They provide a wide array of textures and can stabilize a variety of formulations such as emulsion, foams and suspensions.

It's safe for use.

CI 17200 (Red 33)

It is a red dye and imparts a red color to cosmetics and personal care products. Red 33 cannot be used in cosmetics designed for the eye area. It can contain small amounts of lead. In lipstick, this colorant can only be present in concentrations up to 3%.

CI 42090/Blue 1:

It is a synthetic color. It is coal tar (bituminous coal) derivative that is continuously tested on animals due to its carcinogenic properties. Allergenic residues be included.

The only purpose color pigments serve is to make the product look attractive. It serves absolutely no beneficial purpose for the skin.

Some coal tar colors have already been banned and almost all have been found to cause cancer in animals. In addition, they are very common sources of allergic reactions in some people, causing skin rashes and hives. Artificial colors may be problematic in lipsticks as many have not been tested for carcinogenicity and, like coal tar dyes, can cause allergic reactions.

The following colors are recommended to avoid: CI 45425, Brilliant Blue FD&C (CI 42090), Acid Yellow 23 (CI 19140) and Sunset Yellow (CI 15985).

Coal-tar colors are materials consisting of one or more substances that either are made from coal-tar or can be derived from intermediates of the same identity as coal-tar intermediates. They may also include diluents or substrata.(See Federal Register, May 9, 1939, page 1922.) Today, most are made from petroleum.

Is it FD&C Blue No. 1? Is it certified? According to FDA, the CI or E number does not indicate FDA certification. If the lot is certified, the color's label must state the legal name for the color (such as "FD&C Yellow No. 5"), You may not use a color additive in the area of the eye unless the regulation for that additive specifically permits such use [21 CFR 70.5(a)].

Lake colors can trigger allergic reactions. In addition to coal tar, cosmetic colors can also be made from chromium oxide and aluminum powder. Chromium oxide is usually called chrome green and the Material Safety Data Sheet describes it as a "cancer hazard".


Citral is a component of lemongrass oil and the oils of verbena, lemon myrtle, lemon and orange. In cosmetics and personal care products, Citral is used in the formulation of many types of products including aftershave lotions, bath products, moisturizers, perfumes and colognes, skin care products and suntan products. Citral functions as a fragrance ingredient and a flavoring agent.

In Europe, Citral is included on the list of "allergenic" substances. The European Cosmetics Directive requires manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products to indicate the presence of certain "allergenic" substances in the list of ingredients if they are present above certain levels in the product (see Annex III). The presence of Citral must be indicated in the list of ingredients when its concentration exceeds: 0.001% in leave-on the skin products and 0.01% in products that are rinsed off the skin. (Source)

Citric Acid

It is a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits. Citric Acid may increase photosensitivity, so products containing this ingredient should be used in conjunction with a sunscreen. Citric acid is usually used in cosmetics for two reasons: 1. Some emulsifiers and preservatives alkalinize the product, so with some kind of acid (citric acid or lactic acid) they have to control the PH of product. And 2: the citric acid is astringent. In a small concentration doesn't do any harm to the skin.

Citric acid can treat dark spots, thus in the skin care industry, citric acid is also used for skin lightening. It may be an irritant for some.

It is also used to add an acidic (sour) taste to foods and soft drinks (it is denoted by E Number E330).

According to Stephanie Greenwood (Chemical of the day), "if it were dangerous, we couldn't eat oranges! As a cosmetic ingredient, it depends on how it's used. Citric acid at full strength can burn skin and eyes (you know the phrase...lemon juice in a paper cut), that's why it gets a little higher risk score in the Cosmetics Database. But used in shampoos and soaps, it's a minimal amount that's used just to "balance" the pH.

Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Water:

The Bitter orange, native to tropical Asia, has provided food and medicine for thousands of years. Its oil contains flavonoids which are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. Ideal for blotchy, irritated skin. It is smoothing, soothing and brightening due to the skin regenerative and vitamin-rich properties of organic citrus flowers. Orange flower water is a by-product of distillation and is used in perfumery and to flavor sweets and biscuits, as well as being used medicinally to reduce heart rate and palpitations, to encourage sleep and calm the digestive tract. Because it contains only the bare “essence” of the essential oil, it is safe to use directly on the skin without further dilution. Orange flower water contains hydrophilic properties, it acts as a natural surfactant and emulsifier to enhance the application of skin lotions and other cosmetics.

Citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil

Orange oil extracted from the peels of both sweet and sour oranges by cold compression. It’s known for its anti inflammatory qualities, helping detoxify congested skin, and soothing dry irritated skin in cases of dermatitis and acne the most. It increases the production of collagen and so removes fine lines and discourages formation of wrinkles. Also it reduces puffiness and promotes young-looking skin.

Cocos Nucifera

Alias Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is a pure, natural product obtained from the fruits of the coconut palm. Consisting primarily of saturated fatty acids, it is markedly unique among plant oils, demonstrating great stability against oxidation. It is a pleasant-smelling oil that is often used in cosmetic and hair care products.

It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.

Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

Source: Organic Facts

Cocamide MEA

It's a nonionic surfacant, foam stabilizer and thickener.

It made from the fatty acids of coconut oil and monoethanolamine (MEA). It doesn't clean the skin or the hair. It may contain traces of Cocamide DEA, which according to the FDA may lead to the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. The CIR Expert Panel has acknowledged that MEA can react with an aldehyde to form DEA, which then can be nitrosated.

If you look at many of the shampoo products today, you will see they list cocamide MEA on their labels. About Cocamide MEA, the FDA says it is one "of the most commonly used ingredients that may contain DEA."

Cocoamidopropyl Betaine

It is a surfactant. It is used as a cleansing agent and promotes lathering and foaming. It's derived from coconut oil and Dimethylaminopropylamine.

This chemical is known to cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and lungs. Under high temperatures and acidic conditions, it can form carcinogenic nitrosamines. It is also suspected to be harmful to the environment.

The American Contact Dermatitis Society named cocamidylpropyl betaine Allergen of the Year in 2004.

To make cocamidopropyl betaine one reacts coconut oil with 3-dimethylaminoproplylamine (DMAPA) producing cocamidopropyl dimethylamine, which is then allowed to react with sodium monochloroacetate to get CAPB (cocamidopropyl betaine). CAPB can still contain varying amounts of the initial reactants and intermediate chemicals, including amidoamine a known allergen. These chemicals can cause contact dermatitis, eye irritation, and other allergic reactions. In fact, the rate of allergic reactions to these impurities is so high that the American Contact Dermatitis Society named cocamidopropyl betaine Allergen of the Year in 2004.

Cocoyl Proline

There is 0 information about this ingredient. Even on the CIR site Cocoyl Proline doesn't exist.

Coenzyme A

Adapted from pantothenic acid and adenosine triphosphate. Biologically speaking, this coenzyme plays a vital role in the synthesis and oxidation of fatty acids. With regards to cosmetics, it primarily functions as a a skin conditioner and emollient, and secondarily as a solvent. In one study, oxidized coenzyme A stimulated collagen production.

Copper Gluconate

It is the orally bioavailable copper salt of D-gluconic acid and is the form of copper most often used in food supplements, because it is easily absorbed into the body. Copper is vital for the human body to function properly and is found in several types of foods. Copper is the third-most-common trace mineral in the human body, being found within virtually every cell. It can be obtained through potatoes, beans, whole wheat grains, nuts, honey and other foods. it is involved in the production of melanin, which creates pigmentation in the eyes, hair and skin. Copper also assists in the utilization of iron. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities as well, and it is believed to boost the immune system.

In skin care it's a trace-element, tyrosinase cofactor. It stimulates melanin synthesis (natural anti-UV filter) and promotes maturation of collagen fibres.

Corn Starch Modified

It can replace talc in personal care formulations. It offers improved oil and moisture absorbency when compared to talc in skin lotion formulations (below 3%). Because of its botanical nature, it is safe for topical use in baby powder products. In addition, since starch "rolls" as it moves over the skin, there is a perceivably better skin smoothness with corn starch (Zea mays) over talc. Depending on the application, the level of starch added can range from 1–99%. In lotions, 0.5–3% corn starch is incorporated to reduce tack and oiliness, whereas the starch is formulated up to 30% in cream to powder formulations and up to 99% in topical body powders. Starch is a natural, biodegradable, sustainable and nonirritating carrier for actives in many formulations. Additionally, corn starch has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory benefits, soothing itchy skin and calming both rashes and burns.


Coumarin is a chemical compound which is found naturally in some plants (including tonka beans, lavender, licorice, strawberries, apricots, cherries, cinnamon, and sweet clover), although it can be synthetically produced as well. It has a vanilla like flavour which has led people to use it as an ingredient in perfume. The chemical name for coumarin is benzopyrone. Coumarin can be toxic when used at high doses for a long period. Synthetically produced coumarin is added as a fragrance to cosmetics and can reach the body through the skin. "Consumer exposure to coumarin, which also includes cosmetics, should be reduced", says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, BfR President. No coumarin should be used in cosmetic products for infants and toddlers as a precautionary measure. Coumarin easily reaches the human body through the skin. Cosmetics can, therefore, contribute to the total exposure of consumers to coumarin.


A synthetic silicone oil. Its molecules are too big and because of that it can't absorb to the skin, so it actually doesn't have any moisturizing effect, but because until it's on the skin, it feels like the skin is smooth. After a while it evaporates into the air. It has a harmful effect to the enviroment (i.e. marine life) too. You can find it in almost every cosmetic product: facial moisturizer/lotion, foundation, shampoo/conditioner, body spray, sunscreen, anti-aging treatment, antiperspirant/deodorant, concealer, hair dye and eye cream.


Silicon. Silicones are known for their ability to lubricate and waterproof. It's mainly used in hair conditioners and facial creams as plasticizer additives and it makes the cream more more spreadable. It gives the face a temporary “plump” look, but it can't absorb to the skin, so could clog the pores. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel concluded that these ingredients are safe in the present practices of use and concentration. However according to EWG it is suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative.


A synthetic silicone oil. Its molecules are too big and because of that it can't absorb to the skin, so it actually doesn't have any moisturizing effect, but it feels like the skin is smooth. After a while it evaporates into the air. It has a harmful effect to the environment (i.e. marine life) too. You can find it in almost every cosmetic product: facial moisturizer/lotion, foundation, shampoo/conditioner, body spray, sunscreen, anti-aging treatment, antiperspirant/deodorant, concealer, hair dye and eye cream.

Because it's a greasier silicone, it’s often used in combination with dimethicone as you will see. It helps spread heavier silicones. It quickly evaporates into the air. It gives the appearance of effectiveness while it's actually not doing anything beneficial to the skin. As bravo said in a comment: it only seems to do something good for your skin (eg. plump look, soft feeling) by creating an illusion of softness.

The canadian government assessments show Cyclopentasiloxane could be killing fish and other aquatic life after it washes down the drain and into the water supply.A spokesman for Environmental Defence Canada, which lobbies for stricter regulations, says he fears D5 isn't safe for people either after Denmark's environmental protection agency linked it to liver damage and cancer. Matt Price wonders if the review means the government is wavering on listing D5 as toxic. (Source)

However On February 25, 2012, after consideration of all available information including the Board’s report and recommendations, the Government of Canada has published a revised decision on D5. The Government of Canada is therefore concluding that D5 is not entering the environment in a quantity or under conditions that constitute a danger to the environment, according to chemical (Source)

Cyclopentasiloxane may cause mild skin and eye irritation, according to the ingredient’s material safety data sheet.

It coats the skin and gives it a silky feel, but this is just a temporary feeling. It gives the appearance of effectiveness, but the the emphasis on the "appearance".

Cyclopentasiloxane is combustible, meaning that it can ignite at moderately high temperatures.

Decyl Oleate

Made from the naturally occurring fatty acid, oleic acid. Primarily used as a lubricant. It creates a thin, non-greasy film that gives the skin a smooth and soft appearance. It's frequently used in products geared at removing makeup. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel has assessed this ingredient as non-toxic and non-irritating, thus determining it as safe to use in cosmetic products. It has been shown to be comedogenic (clog the pores), and should be avoided by those with oily and acne prone skin types.

Dehydroacetic Acid:

This is a mild acid and it works with the Benzyl Alcohol as a preservative and antimicrobial to provide a broad protection from contamination. It is fungicide and bactericide. The EU Cosmetics Directive permits this ingredient to be used in personal care products at a maximum concentration of .6%.


A silicone based polymer. It's a synthetic silicone oil. Companies like to use Dimethicone, because it coats the hair and it feels like it's smooth and silky. The hair looks like it's healthy. But...jut looks like and it doesn't mean that it helps to regenerate the hair. In additon, it doesn't allow the moisture to get in as well as out. Besides, it leads to build up. Some side effects have been reported from the use of PMDS products; they include mild itching and stinging or burning sensations.

It's also used as a skin conditioning agent and emollient. According to EWG, "Dimethicone is a mixture of fully methylated linear siloxane polymers end blocked with trimethylsiloxy units." It's also known at "polydimethylsiloxane".

According to the MSDS, Dimethicone:

  • May bioconcentrate in aquatic organisms
  • May cause eye irritation
  • May cause skin irritation
  • May be harmful if absorbed through the skin
  • May cause irritation of the digestive tract; harmful if swallowed
  • May cause respiratory tract irritation. May be harmful if inhaled
  • Adverse reproductive effects have been reported in animals
  • Animal studies have reported the development of tumors

Sources:Chemical of the day

Allergic reactions such as hives, sudden respiratory problems, and swelling in any part of the mouth or face represent can also happen. Users of Dimethicone creams may be surprised to find that the product can actually worsen dryness in some individuals.


Hydroxylated synthetic silicone oil. This ingredient functions as a skin/hair conditioner, anti-foaming agent and emollient. Like most silicones, this ingredient has a unique fluidity that makes it easily spreadable. When applied to the skin, its known for creating a subtle gloss that feels smooth and silky to touch. It also acts a mild water repellent by forming a protective barrier on the skin, and can fill in fine lines/wrinkles on the face, giving it a temporary “plump” look. It's known to provide a less greasy feel than standard silicones without sacrificing any of its lubrication properties. As a heavier silicone, it's often used in conjunction with lighter silicones that help better deliver it to the skin/hair, such as cyclopentasiloxane. If it's in hair product, it can damage the hair color. Persistence.

Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer

It is a silicon. Masks and blurs wrinkles up to 84% as shown in studies, absorbs sebum and gives skin a smooth, silky, powdery feeling. Typical use level 1-5%. It's just temporary result!

Disodium Cocamphodiacetate

Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate is originally derived from coconut. It is a surfactant, same thing like Cocamidopropyl betaine. According to Susan (Point of Interest)if it's alkaline (above 8), it behaves as an anionic surfactant with good foaming and detergency properties and it's generally used as a secondary surfactant to boost foam and viscosity. If you want to use it as a secondary surfactant (...) it will increase the mildness of your surfactant blend and it will increase the viscosity of your product.

It's highly valued for cleansing the skin/hair without stripping it of its natural oils. It's a mild and it is often used in sensitive skin formulations like baby shampoos and body washes.

Disodium EDTA

It is a salt of edetic acid. It is synthetic. Disodium EDTA primarily works as a preservative, chelator and stabilizer, but has also been shown to enhance the foaming and cleaning capabilities of a cosmetic solution. Though clinical data indicates that Disodium EDTA is not well absorbed by the skin, it has been shown to enhance the dermal penetration of other ingredients contained in a product. Thus, cosmetic formulators must exercise caution when combining it with other ingredients potentially harmful if absorbed by the skin.

It allows other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream.

Some studies suggest that Disodium EDTA is weakly mutagenic (probably due to the fact that it binds with metals required for healthy cell division).

It had one or more animal studies showing brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at low doses, and one or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results for cancer.

Larger than normal doses of the ingredient (usually oral and not topically applied) were administered whenever any slightly mutagenic or toxic activity was observed.

Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide PEG-15 disulfate

Cleaning agent, foam Booster and surfactant. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments restricted in cosmetics and it's not safe for use on injured or damaged skin.

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate

It a chemical salt which lowers water's surface tension. It lets products spread out and penetrate more easily. Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate is a cleaning agent that is gentle to skin. However, many sources claim that DLS is carcinogenic because it contains surfactants, which can be contaminated with nitrosamines. 10% Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate displays "similar" signs of irritation to 2% Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It is used in car washes, engine degreasers, and other products used on an industrial level.

Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate

It's a surfacant. It is an amphoteric organic compound. The key property of amphoteric surfactants is that they generally are very compatible with aqueous ions and resistant to both acids and alkalis. Because of this they are often used for foaming, wetting and emulsification in personal care products (Dongnam Chemical, Ltd: Amphoteric Surfactants)

Distearyldimonium Chloride

Is a quaternary ammonium salt. (Quaternary ammonium salts are used as disinfectants, surfactants, fabric softeners, and as antistatic agents.)It is synthetic.

The Environment Canada Domestic Substance List didn't find it harmful, or toxic, but the Europian Union - Classification & Labelling says: "Distearyldimonium Chloride is irritant and harmful to the wildlife and environment." Please remember: The Europian Union has higher standards than USA and Canada.

Note: Distearyldimonium Chloride is synthetic detergents additives too.

DMDM Hydantoin:

It is a preservatives that decomposes and releases formaldehyde , which the International Agency on Research on Cancer lists as a known human carcinogen. Formaldehyde is quite likely to be toxic to the Langerhans Cells that are a key part of the skin’s defences. In some ways Langerhans Cells themselves are a bit like bacteria. DMDM hydantoin is definitely harmful to bacteria.

It is also a strong skin, eye, and lung irritant. It has also been known to trigger an immune response that can include burning, itching, blistering, or scaling of skin. (Source: Chemical of the day

Etidronic Acid

It is a chelating agent. The product should be thoroughly rinsed from the skin after use.


It is a preservative. Same thing like Methylparaben. In a 2004 study published by the Journal of Applied Toxicology, 18 of 20 malignant breast tumors showed high concentrations of parabens, which are known to mimic estrogen in the body and affect the growth of breast tissue.


Ethylexylglycerin (EHG) is used as a preservative for cosmetics and toiletries. Ethylhexylglycerin is a synthetic compound derived from grains and plants, but it's gone through several chemical processes, so the result is not really a natural ingredient. It has been found to be an irritant to the skin in two studies, causing allergic contact dermatitis: a Belgian study by the Department of Dermatology at the University Hospital and a study in the Contact Dermatitis Journal. The reason why companies use Ethylhexylglycerin is the shelf life of the product. EHG irritates the eye.

Let me quote Stephanie Greenwood (Chemical of the day): "...Is it the worst chemical in the world? Of course not. But are there better alternatives? Yes. If a formulator has chosen Ethylhexylglycerin, they're usually using it for two purposes: as a humectant and/or a preservative. There are plenty of truly natural humectants, like vegetable glycerin or honey that can be used instead. As a preservative, well, I recommend formulating self-preserving items without added water. But the industry loves to charge people for water so that they can make more profit.

The bottom line: Ethylhexylglycerin isn't that "bad" but it allows companies to take shortcuts by watering down their products and using cheaper ingredients. Most of the companies using it are the supposedly "organic" brands. Using a synthetic chemical like this in a product line marketed as "organic" is wrong, in my opinion. There are organic alternatives that should be used instead."

I agree with Stephanie 100%.

Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract:

I assume it's Eucalyptus oil, because the E. oil is extracted from the leaves of eucalyptus. It can help to get rid of dandruff.


It is a compound found in certain plants, such as basil, cinnamon, lemon balm, and nutmeg, but is primarily extracted from clove plants.Eugenol makes up 78% of clove oil and in an in vitro test on human fibroblasts was "highly cytoxic at concentrations as low as 0.03%". There is evidence of dental assistants getting asthma from exposure to eugenol (it is commonly used by dentists to numb the gums), dental patients with mouth rashes, contact dermatitis from cosmetics and (even more likely) fragrance, and cytoxicity from eugenol as a food flavoring.


Formaldehyde is a colorless liquid or gas with a strong and distinctive odor. It is used in the manufacturing of synthetic resins that make adhesives, coatings for paper and textiles water-proof and increase their color-fastness. Formaldehyde is also used in disinfectants and as a laboratory chemical in embalming fluids. Incidentally, formaldehyde has found its way into many of our skin care products as a preservative.

Formaldehyde is used much like parabens in skin care products. Their main aim is to prevent products such as shampoos, bubble baths, liquid hand soap, baby shampoo and other cleansing products from spoiling. Formaldehyde prevents bacteria formation in the skin care product but also has other potential health risks, including: eye, nose and throat irritation, respiratory problems, increased risk of cancer, lead to or increase existing skin irritations such as eczema, cause skin blistering and cracking.

Countries, such as Sweden and Japan have banned its use in toiletries and cosmetics. Source:a href="" target=”_blank”> My Skin


The term "fragrance" or "perfume" on a cosmetic ingredients list usually represents a complex mixture of 4000 of chemicals and there is a very big chance that some of them are toxic and harmful.

The U.S. FDA has reported that the symptoms could be headache, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing, vomiting and skin irritation.

Fragrances can affect the central nervous system causing depression, hyperactivity and irritability result. Of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity alone or in combination. Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms.

Fragrance is the second most common cause of allergy in patients at dermatology clinics. In addition, in laboratory experiments, individual fragrance ingredients have been associated with cancer and neurotoxicity among other adverse health effects. Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets so manufacturers are not required to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients.

Some Common Ingredients of Synthetic Fragrances:


A sweet-smelling, floral, rose synthetic fragrance which is irritating to the eyes, skin, and upper respiratory tract.


Used as a carrier for other fragrance chemicals, benzenemethanol is a solvent and sweet floral synthetic fragrance.


4-Hydroxy-3-Methoxy: This synthetic fragrance adds vanilla notes but is a nasty additive which aggravates the throat, mouth, lungs, skin and eyes.

Ethyl linalool:

This synthetic fragrance mimics French lavender and bergamot. In fact, it is far from the real thing. It is also commonly used in pesticides.


A synthetic fragrance used to replace clove oil. It can trigger dermatitis while irritating the skin, eyes, and airways. Also found in fungicides, insecticides, and pesticides.

Galaxolide 50:

A synthetic musk fragrances, suspected as a hormone disrupter and a carcinogen.

(Source: Truth in aging)

Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract

Ginkgo Biloba is one of the most popular Chinese herbs.Research shows this potent antioxidant helps improve blood flow. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic and promotes collagen production. It repairs and treats sun damage.


It's an ester of Gluconic AcidIt is composed of multiple water-attracting hydroxyl groups, which hydrate the skin, resulting in enhanced degrees of moisturization. According to a study featured in Dermatologic Surgery journal, Gluconolactone is a polyhydroxy acid (PHA) that is capable of chelating metals and may also function by scavenging free radicals, thereby protecting skin from some of the damaging effects of UV radiation. Gluconolactone provided up to 50% protection against UV radiation and UV radiation-induced elastin promotor activation. Contrary to some scientific fears, it does not significantly increase sunburn cells in human skin.

According to the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, it may also show improvements in patients with rosacea, and is gentle on sensitive skin. (Source)


Monosaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin.

Glyceryl Stearate SE

It is an esterification products of glycerine and stearic acid. The Greek word "stea" means "fat", so you know that stearic or stearate must have something to do with fats or oils. Beef tallow is usually the source of stearic acid, but vegetable oils or fats can be used as well. Sourece: "

It acts as a lubricant on the skin’s surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. Glyceryl Stearate is used to stabilize products, decrease water evaporation, makes the product freeze-resistant and gives greasy feeling to the product. It is neutral for the skin.

Glyceryl Stearate Citrate

It is a citric acid ester of Glyceryl Stearate. It is used as a fragrance and emollient. Glyceryl Stearate Citrate is generally classified as being of very low toxicity.

Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil

Soybean oil is produced from the seeds of the soybean plant. Soybean oil is used in cosmetics as an emollient (to soften and smooth) and emulsifier (to keep a product from separating). Soy also contains natural antioxidants.

It is a natural emollient and moisturizer.

Many people experience soy allergies, so use of any soy product should be used with caution if there are known allergies.

Glyceryl Undecylenate

It's an emollient and surfactant. It's also used in cosmetic formulations for its antimicrobial activity. Has skin-conditioning properties.

Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein

It is derived from soybean amino acids. It is rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins, which nourish and fortify skin tissues, and it is commonly used to re-condition the skin, improve suppleness and prevent over drying. It also strengthens and refines fine lines when used in all-over leave-in therapies. It's miscellaneous and emulsifying agent.

Since Glycine Soja Protein is an antioxidant and MMPI (Matrix Metallpoprotease Inhibitor) it helps defend against skin aging by inhibiting skin matrix breakdown. It also supports the function of fibroblasts, and reduces inflammation and irritations caused by UV exposure and other environmental stresses, which cause the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the dermal matrix via collagenase and elastase (MMPs).

Glycine Soja Protein is easily absorbed by the skin it also assists in the absorption of other vital nutrients, making it a great addition to any skin care regimen. (Source)


Glycerine itself is a thick, clear liquid that absorbs water from the air around it. Glycerine is a natural by-product from the soap-making process. However, many soap manufacturers remove most of the glycerin from soap to use it in more expensive lotions and moisturizing creams.

Glycerine is considered a humectant, which means that it attracts moisture. Because of this quality, this is why companies put glycerine in their body wash. It draws moisture to the skin and holds it there. As a result, it provides constant hydration to your skin.

Glycerin is used as a lubricant and humectant in a variety of personal care products, and as a cosmetic bonding agent for makeup. If it's in the first 3 ingredients and the product is not certified organic and / or there is no specific indication of the concentration, then it's synthetic. It attracts water from the lower layers of the skin (dermis), because of this hygroscopic quality and if it's the in the first 3 ingredients, then the result is dry skin.

Glycol Distearate

A widely used surfactant made from glycerin and Stearic acid. Glycol literally means “glycerin” plus “alcohol.” It is made from Stearic Acid & Ethylene Glycol, combined with an emulsifier (Steareth-4) for easy handling thickening agent. (Source: Skin Care Dictionary)

Glycol distearate is added to give shampoos an opaque and pearly effect. It is neutral for the hair.

Glycol Stearate

Glycol stearate is an ester of stearic acid and ethylene glycol (=this chemical is used in antifreeze and deicing solutions for cars, boats, and aircraft; also used as a solvent for paints, plastics, photographic developing solutions, coolants, hydraulic fluids, and inks. It damages cell membranes causing rashes, dry skin, contact dermatitis and surface damage to the skin.)

It contains some sodium and/or potassium stearate. It is used to give the surfactant products a pearlized look. Depending on how much manufacturers use, it can also turn a transparent product into a white product, depending on the other ingredients. It will also help to stabilize the surfactant systems and provide body and thickness.

Glycolic Acid

It is a natural ingredient derived from sugar cane, though it is now often made synthetically. It falls into the set of ingredients called AHA's, or alpha hydroxy acids. There are five ingredients that fall into the AHA category, which Dr. Brannon, Guide to Dermatology explains as: glycolic (sugar cane), lactic (milk), citric (oranges and lemons), malic (apples and pears) and tartaric acids (grapes).

Glycolic acid is probably the most common alpha hydroxy acid and has the reputation of being one of the safest forms of alpha hydroxy acid.

It is generally used as a natural skin exfoliant and moisturizer. Some proponents suggest that products with a glycolic acid concentrations of less than 10% are practically useless. The problem is that many large-scale cosmetic producers will not increase the acid levels for fear of liability and class action lawsuits.

Glycolic acid works as an exfoliating agent because of its high acidity but easy solubility. When placed on the skin as part of an exfoliating cream or gel, it goes under the damaged upper layers of skin and destroys the 'glue' which holds dead skin to the surface. As this dead skin is chemically burned off, the other ingredients carry the individual flakes away and a water rinse neutralizes the remaining acid. The result is a much-smoother skin surface and a more youthful appearance.

Cosmetic exfoliants and moisturizers containing glycolic acid may leave the user's skin especially sensitive to the sun, so many skin care experts recommend using a sunscreen after exfoliating with such products. Quite often after a chemical peel, a patient's skin will look as if it were extremely sunburned. (Source)

Glycolic acid can also help lighten discoloration of the skin, such as sun spots or age spots and help those with acne-prone and blackhead-prone skin.

Guar Hydroxypropyltimonium Chloride

It is an organic compound that is a water-soluble quaternary ammonium derivative of guar gum, a green bean. It gives conditioning properties to shampoos and after-shampoo hair care products.

According to VitaminIsland (a hungarian site) it may contain toxic materials.

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil

Sunflower seed oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the Helianthus annuus plant, the sunflower. There are three types of sunflower oil: NuSun, linoleic and high oleic. Each type differs in oleic levels offering unique properties. With three types accessible, they meet the needs of most consumer and food manufacturers.

Sunflower oil is very conditioning, moisturizing and skin cell regenerating. It is good for dry, aged, sensitive or damaged skin. It is high in essential fatty acids. High oleic sunflower oil contains the benefits of vitamins A, B, D and E. It's rich in minerals and contains omega 9 fatty acids, essential nutrients for the body. Sunflower seed oil penetrates, quickly, without leaving an oily residue, helps skin retain moisture and can form a barrier that resists skin infection. It can be used as the primary vegetable oil in a variety of skin care formulations including homemade lotion, salt scrubs and bath oils. Combined with essential oils, in massage oil formulations, it provides aromatherapy benefits. (Source:


A hexapeptide is a chain of six amino acids that stimulate cell activity by interacting with specific molecules. The result is that collagen is rebuilt and fine lines are supposed to be reduced and pore size reduced. But there is lack of data and I didn't find any studies about it.

Hexylene Glycol

It's a preservative and solvent that may be irritating to some. It's a solvent and viscosity agent. It is used to thin out heavy compositions and create a thinner, more spreadable product. Hexylene Glycol is also used as a food additive/adhesive, a surfactant, perfuming agent, emulsifier and skin conditioner. Avoid using formulas which contain Hexylene Glycol if you suffer from hypersensitive and/or allergic skin. igh concentrations of Hexylene Glycol could cause eyes, skin and lung irritation. Source:

Hexyl Cinnamal

It is a natural fragrance additive. It is derived from chamomile oil and is used as a masking ingredient. The DIMDI (German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information) rates it as a Class B allergen when used in high concentrations.

Hydrogenated Lecithin

It is the product of controlled hydrogenation (addition of hydrogen) of Lecithin. It's an emulsifying agent that penetrates the skin It enhances the appearance of dry or damaged skin by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness. This ingredient also helps to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. Hydrogenated Lecithin are safe as used in rinse-off products. The CIR Expert Panel limited the use of Lecithin and Hydrogenated Lecithin in in leave-on products to concentrations equal to or less than 15%.

The CIR Expert Panel also acknowledged that cosmetics and personal care products containing Hydrogenated Lecithin may give rise to nitrosoamines in the presence of nitrate or other nitrosating agents.

Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein

Hydrolyzed protein from the seeds of the lupine plant (lupinus) which are high in proteins and contain 35-45% of all the essential amino acids. It has a restructuring and regenerating effect on skin. Lupine peptides is a blend of penta- and hexa- peptides derived from lupin flower protein that works as an MMP( matrix metalloprotease) inhibitor, thus preventing MMP activity following exposure of the skin to sunlight. By doing this the lupine peptides blend prevents collagen and elastin (the main proteins making up connective tissue) breakdown catalysed by MMP activity, helping to renew skin’s outer layer, reduce the depth of wrinkles & stimulate the production of collagen & elastin, giving the skin a younger look.

Stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which gives the skin a younger look and diminishes fine wrinkles.


A lubricant and thickening agent derived from cellulose. Hydroxyethylcellulose is a plant-derived amino acid used as a preservative, emulsifier, binder and thickener in beauty products. It is not beneficial in itself to the skin. There are no adverse side effects or warnings associated with products containing Hydroxyethylcellulose. The substance is completely biodegradable and will shatter in the basic water and carbon particles. Those who are experiencing dryness of the eyes or mouth due to certain issues associated with the lachrymal glands or saliva glands will be able to get relief using artificially synthesized solutions. Furthermore, digestive tract related issues can also be ameliorated with the help of hydroxyethyl cellulose.

The cosmetic industry has also successfully used hydroxyethyl cellulose in a wide array of consumption items. Similar to the pharmaceutical industry, the testing performed prior to obtaining the FDA safety recognition have determined that hydroxyethyl cellulose does not present any mutagenic or carcinogenic properties. In addition, it does not interact negatively with the skin and it is not on the allergenic list. However, the effectiveness in boosting the consistency of cosmetics is similar to the methyl cellulose.

Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer

It is a gelling agent that thickens, emulsifies, and stabilizes products and solutions. It provides a sensation of freshness followed by a melting effect on contact with the skin. It leaves a feeling of velvety softness. Source

Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid

It is a buffering substance which minimize the change in the pH of a solution when an acid or a base is added to the solution.

I didn't find anything about its effect to our health.

Polyglyceryl 4 Isostearate

It is an emulsifier. According to Cosmetic Database, it's a safe ingredient, but we don't have much information about it.

Hydroxypropyl tetrahydropyrantriol

Other name: Pro-Xylane

There is not much information about this ingredient. Pro-Xylane is a sugar-protein hybrid made from xylose, a sugar found abundantly in beech trees, developed by Lancome in 2006. (But L'oreal speaks about it as if they developed it.)

It stimulates the production of glycoaminoglycans (GAGs), or mucopolysaccharides. GAGs an important component of connective tissues.

Pro-Xylane are small enough to penetrate the skin and because it's a series of amino acids, it increases the production on the extra cellular matrix.

There is no information about Pro-Xylane's side effects. Xylose (one of Pro-Xylane's main active components) got a 72% safety rating.

More information about Pro-Xylane here

Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine

No information was found.

Iodopropynyl Butylcarbarnate

It's a preservative. This chemical is a potent and proven contact allergen. According to 2003 results of patch-test studies, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate is one of the new allergens. (North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch-test results, 1998 to 2000. Marks JG Jr, Belsito DV et al. American Journal of Contact Dermatitis. 2003 Jun;14(2):59-62.)

In 2001, Danish researchers found that “the use of IPBC in cosmetic products can lead to contact sensitization and allergic contact dermatitis.”

Japan’s Standards for Cosmetics iodopropynyl butylcarbamate is restricted for use in cosmetics.

(Source: Green Beauty Guides)

It is a water-based preservative agent originally used in the wood and paint industries.

This iodine-based preservative produced strong evidence as human toxicant, according to Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments, and one or more human case studies show significant immune effects (Pazzaglia M, Tosti A. 1999. Allergic contact dermatitis from 3-iodo-2-propynyl-butylcarbamate in a cosmetic cream. Contact Dermatitis. 1999 Nov;41(5):290.)

Environmental Protection Agency notes about “limited evidence of gastrointestinal or liver toxicity” and by Japan’s Standards for Cosmetics iodopropynyl butylcarbamate is restricted for use in cosmetics.

This chemical is a potent and proven contact allergen. According to 2003 results of patch-test studies, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate is one of the new allergens. (North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch-test results, 1998 to 2000. Marks JG Jr, Belsito DV et al. American Journal of Contact Dermatitis. 2003 Jun;14(2):59-62.)

In 2001, Danish researchers found that “the use of IPBC in cosmetic products can lead to contact sensitization and allergic contact dermatitis.”

Source: a href="" target=”_blank”>

Iron Oxides (CI 77491)

Iron Oxides impart a color to cosmetics and personal care products. It have been used in the coloring of cosmetics since the early 1900s. Depending on the specific Iron Oxides or mixtures of Iron Oxides used, the color will vary from orange, red, yellow to black.

Iron Oxides are naturally occuring mineral deposits. These compounds are used as pigments in a variety of applications. Iron Oxides used in cosmetic and personal care products are synthetic. Because some of the starting materials for synthetic Iron Oxide may come from the earth there may be trace amounts of heavy metals present. The levels of heavy metals in Iron Oxides are regulated by the FDA, and the small amounts that may eventually be in cosmetic or personal care products do not pose a risk to human health.


Same as Buthylparaben.

Isononyl Isononanoate

is a skin conditioning emollient that leaves a silky feeling on the skin. Very little information is available about the distinguishing characteristics of this emollient. Most of the Isononyl Isononanoate used in the cosmetic industry nowadays is syntheticially produced but it also occurs naturally in lavender oil and cocoa.

Isopropyl Isostearate

It's the ester of Isopropyl Alcohol and Isostearic Acid. It is used in beauty products as an emollient, skin conditioning agent, binder and humectant. It acts as a lubricant on the skin's surface to give it a soft and silky appearance. It can be slightly irritating. According to Pharmacymix blog, it's highly comedogenic.

Isopropyl Myristate

It is a synthetic oil and thickening agent. In more than 5% of formulations it can cause skin irritation and clogs pores. In this cream this is the 4th ingredients which means it's in a high concentration. More than 5%.

Isopropyl Palmitate

It is a thickening and emollient agent. It is derived from Isopropyl Alcohol, synthetic alcohol and Palmatic Acid, a fatty acid from palm oil. Isopropyl Palmitate is considered a short chain ester that feels dry on the skin.

It contains alcohol.

It is very comedogenic.

Jasminum Officinale

Jasmine is one of the most famous flowers of the world, found in warm regions of the world. The flower is especially known for its strong and pleasing fragrance, which makes a person full of delight. The flower blooms at night; hence it has the pleasant smell which is associated with other flowers that bloom at night. Jasmine can be found in both white and yellow colors. The most common use of jasmine can be seen in aromatherapy where it is used as a sedating perfume. People who are allergic to Jasmine should avoid its use. Especially, those who are pregnant should not use it because of its sedative properties; it may result in dizziness, which can cause accidents not beneficial for pregnant women.

Keratin Amino Acids

Keratin is proven to help restore and protect our hair from harsh environmental factors and pollutants. this means that the Keratin molecules have been broken down and are small enough to go beyond the cuticle and penetrate the hair shaft. It will strengthen all 3 layers of the hair. That is why the term "deep conditioning" technically only refers to this kind of treatment using penetrating proteins.

It is an extremely strong protein which is a major component in skin, hair, nails. Keratin is difficult to dissolve, because it contains cysteine disulfide, which means that it is able to form disulfide bridges. These disulfide bridges create a helix shape that is extremely strong, as sulfur atoms bond to each other from across the helix, creating a fibrous matrix which is not readily soluble. Depending on how much cysteine disulfide keratin contains, the bond can be extremely strong to make hard cells like those found in hooves, or it can be softer to make flexible keratin like hair and skin. In general, the thicker the layer of keratin, the healthier the hair or nail is, because the dead cells outside protect the living cells at the core. Keeping the external layer of keratin moisturized will also keep it healthy and prevent cracking and splitting, whether the keratin is forming the hooves of a horse of the skin of a human.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is an effective alpha hydroxy acid that can help your skin in a number of ways. It is usually derived from cornstarch or beet sugar. Occassionally it can be derived from stearate (slaughterhouse derivative), which would make it unsuitable for vegans. However, this kind of lactic acid is less common in commercial foods due to lactose intolerance. If you want to be 100% certain - contact the manufacturer.

It is perhaps one of the oldest skin care ingredients and evidence of its use has been found over the centuries. I am sure you know the urban legend about Queen Cleopatra, who was known to have used milk baths (rich in lactic acid) enriched with red rose petals to deliver glowing skin. And, people from ancient Rome and Egypt used goat milk in their spas and baths.

Like other alpha hydroxy acids (including glycolic acid, mandelic acid, malic acid and tartaric acid), lactic acid is an effective exfoliating agent. It works by helping to remove dry, dead skin cells that sit on the skin’s epidermis, or uppermost layer. This action allows newer, healthier skin cells to show through, thereby improving the appearance of skin.

The exfoliating abiltity of lactic acid can help to improve the texture of skin and improve the look of dry, flaking skin. It has also been shown to improve the appearance of sun damaged skin. There is also some research to suggest that lactic acid may increase collagen production which can help to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

It can be useful in the management of dry skin, acne and wrinkles. The removal of dry, dead skin cells in the stratum corneum (skin’s uppermost layer) not only improves the appearance of skin, but can also help to increase the penetration of other skin care ingredients.

While it can’t unclog pores because it is not oil soluble and therefore can’t penetrate the pore, it will ensure that dead skin cells aren’t blocking the pore opening. This allows sebum (oil) to flow more freely and can help to minimize breakouts. Because its exfoliating action tends to be more gentle (yet still effective) than that of glycolic acid, lactic acid is an ideal choice for individuals with sensitive skin.

Lactic acid can increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. For this reason, it is recommended that you use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen.

Source: Pharmacymix

Laureth 7:

It is a surfactant and emulsifier. It keeps a formula well-blended. All of the Laureth ingredients are produced by reacting Ethylene Oxide with Lauryl Alcohol. Small amounts of 1,4-dioxane, a by-product of ethoxylation, may be found in the Laureth ingredients.

Source: Truth in aging

Laureth 23:

It works as a cleansing agent and solubilizing agent. The number associated with the Laureth refers to the average number of repeating ethylene oxide units in the molecule.

It could be contaminated with ethylene dioxide and 1,4 Dioxane. Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful by the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List. It is irritant around the eyes, on the skin according to Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments. It is suspected to be an environmental toxin.

Lauric Acid

The main fatty acid in coconut oil. Lauric acid is a great moisturizer for the skin and it can reduce redness and flaking of skin with no adverse side effects. It is also great for fighting skin infections and its use in fighting acne is being explored.

Lauryl Alcohol

It's a fatty alcohol. This fatty alcohol, often derived from coconut oil, is used to make anionic surfactants. It may be natural or synthetic.

It is a mild skin irritant. It has about half the toxicity of ethanol, but it is very harmful to marine organisms.

Fatty alcohols, derived from natural fats and oils, are high molecular straight chain primary alcohols. They include lauryl (C12), MyrIstyl (C14), Cetyl ( or palmityl: C16), stearyl (C18), Oleyl (C18, unsaturated), and Linoleyl (C18, polyunsaturated) alcohols. There are synthetic fatty alcohols equivalent physically and chemically to natural alcohols obtained from oleochemical sources such as coconut and palm kernel oil.>/p>

Fatty alcohols are emulsifiers and emollients to make skin smoother and prevent moisture loss. Identical fatty esters are used to improve rub-out of formulas and to control viscosity and dispersion characteristics in cosmetics, personal care products and pharmaceutical ingredients. (Source: Chemicalland21)


It's a non water soluble natural emulsifier, which helps the absorption of fat-soluble active substances. It binds water. Lecithin is a naturally ocurring lipid found in both plants and animals. According to the PETA's Caring Consumer guide, lecithin for commercial purposes is most commonly obtain from eggs and soybeans.

Lecithin helps to hydrate, replenish and repair the skin due to its essential fatty acid content. Lecithin has the ability to penetrate the epidermis and carry substances to the right cell level. It is an important source of choline and inositol, which are vital components of all cell membranes, and play an important role in cell growth and function.


Pure limonene is a clear liquid. Limonene is a monoterpene, made up of two isoprene units. Limonene occurs in two optically active forms, l-limonene and d-limonen. Both isomers have different odours: l-limonene smells piney and turpentine like and d-limonene has a pleasing orange scent. Limonene is found in the essential oils of citrus fruits and many other plant species. Industrial limonene is produced by by-alkali extraction of citrus residues and steam distillation. This distillate contains more than 90% d-limonene.


It is synthesized from plants, however it's not a plant extract, because the substance is not subtracted by pressing, distillation, or soaking, but chemically. It is a fragrance ingredient. It's safe only if satisfies manufacturing specifications or purity limits, according to industry safety panel (International Fragrance Association)It can trigger allergic reactions. Linalool has a hazard score of 5 from the Cosmetic Safety Database and it's linked to cancer.

Linoleamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate

It is naturally derived from Safflower oil. It is mild, non-irritating to skin and eyes, counter irritant from anionic surfactants, such as SLES.

Magnesium Aluminium Silicate

It is a naturally occurring mineral derived from refined and purified clay that is used primarily as a thickener in cosmetics and beauty products. It is used as a filler. Magnesium Aluminum Silicate has unusually large molecules; because of these large molecules, it is unable to be absorbed into the skin. According to the Cosmetic Database, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate is approved by the CIR Expert Panel, but only in limited concentrations. The CIR's concern stems from the known risk of any ingredient that contains aluminum compounds, which are known neurotoxins.

A study published in the International Journal of Toxicology in 2003 found that Magnesium Aluminum Silicate was a weak irritant in testing on rabbits; it has otherwise been considered to be safe for use in cosmetics and beauty products.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

AKA MAP, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is similar to Ascorbic Acid in that it is also water-soluble, but found to be more gentle on the skin, effective in significantly lower concentrations, and stable at a neutral pH. It is also important to note that Magnesuim Ascorbyl Phosphate may be better choice than Vitamin C for people with sensitive skin and those wishing to avoid any exfoliating effects since many Vitamin C formulas are highly acidic (and therefore produce exfoliating effects).

In skin care products, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) is also used for UV protection and repair, collagen production, skin lightening and brightening, and as an anti-inflammatory. It is also a potent antioxidant.

Since MAP does still degrade over time, it is important to keep these products sealed and away from sunlight.

MAP is the safest form among the forms of Vitamin C.

Magnesium Carbonate Hydroxide

It is an inorganic basic carbonate. It is used as a clay in face masks, it has mild astringent properties

According to Environment Canada Domestic Substance List, Magnesium Carbonate Hydroxide is not suspected to be an environmental toxin and classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful.

Magnesium Sulfate

Alias Epsom Salt. Naturally occurring mineral that is found in water. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1993 and the Journal of Toxicological Sciences in 1998 both reported cases of reproductive toxicity from exposure to Magnesium Sulfate in high concentrations (Truth in aging).

While Magnesium Salt has so many benefits in health care, there is the opposite effect on hair. It makes curly hair curlier, but it's extremely drying for every kind of hair.

Matricaria Flower Extract (Chamomilla Recutita)

Sedative. According to, this is more potent than Roman Chamomile and it's more widely cultivated. It is believed to possess vulnerary, bacteriostatic, carminatvie and antiseptic properties.

It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile can improve skin's texture and elasticity, as well as reduce signs of photodamage. It is used in skin care products as an emollient. It is proven to treat dermal irritations at some cases, eczema and many other skin problems due to its acidic, essential oils and flavonids content. It has an antiseptic effect on the skin.


It is an organic compound made synthetically or obtained from peppermint or other mint oils. Menthol is an alcohol, thus it shares skin-drying properties common with other alcohol-based products. It quickly penetrates the skin's layers and can easily carry other chemical compounds with it. Menthol is used as a denaturant, flavoring agent and fragrance ingredient.

Menthol and Mint: Menthol is a substance, an organic compound naturally occurring in mint plants (but it is also synthetically manufactured) and Mint is a variety of plants. Mints have menthol.

Menthol stimulates the skin's cold receptors. This property makes menthol produce a cooling effect when inhaled or applied to the skin. It does not actually change the skin's temperature, but merely produces the sensation of temperature change.


It is a synthetic cosmetic preservative. A new Brown University study in tadpoles reports that it can also interrupt neurological development even in very low concentrations. It absorbes through the skin and it is a known contact allergen. It is a powerful biocide, or "chemical substance capable of killing living organisms, usually in a selective way. One researcher explained that direct exposure to high concentrations of MIT would irritate the skin because it can damage skin cells. Lab studies have found that lower concentrations affected the growth of animal neurons. the Brown researchers performed a series of experiments to investigate how 10 days of exposure at concentrations as low as 1.5 ppm would affect whole, living tadpoles as they develop. Their results appear in advance online in the journal Neuroscience. “The lower concentrations we studied didn’t kill the animals or cause any big deformities or affect the behaviour you’d see just by looking at them,” said Carlos Aizenman, associate professor of neuroscience and the study’s senior author. “But then we decided to do a series of functional tests and we found that exposure to this compound during a period of development that’s critical for the fine wiring of the nervous system disrupted this period of fine tuning.”

Aizenman In the specific case of MIT in tadpoles, he noted, “It’s resulting in a non-obvious but real deficit in neural function.”

It is moderately toxic when applied dermally. It is concluded that Methylisothiazolinone may be safely used in “rinse-off” products at a concentration not to exceed 15 ppm (ppm means "Parts Per Million") and in “leave-on” cosmetic products at a concentration not to exceed 7.5 ppm.

According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments, it is human skin toxicant. The EWG lists Methylisothiazolinone as a sensitizer and irritant and the use of it is restricted in Canadian cosmetics. It is approved for use in rinse-off products by the CIR.

The rat studies also showed that chronic exposure to this chemical led to a malfunction in the way neurons communicate with one another. One researcher explained that direct exposure to high concentrations of MIT would irritate the skin because it can damage skin cells. (John Gilbertson)


A preservative. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal effects. Methylchloroisothiazolinone is perhaps the most potent allergen, although most reactions occurred in the 1980s and 1990s with leave-on products at concentrations higher than 15ppm. It is now mainly used in rinse-off products at lower levels (up to 15ppm but usually <10ppm). In high concentrations Methylchloroisothiazolinone can cause chemical burns and it is a skin and membrane irritant. Unfortunately there is no easy mechanism to assess quantitative exposure; it is exposure to an allergen in dose per unit area that is of pivotal importance for induction and elicitation. Because of this, for an individual allergic to the preservative, it is most practical to simply avoid using products identified as containing the preservative from the label. Levels of the allergen in a product may be too low to be able to elicit a reaction but the level will not be known.

It was largely removed from most cosmetic products except for those with only short duration skin contact such as rinse-offs. (Source: a href="" target=”_blank”>

This ingredient has been restricted for use in cosmetics in Canada, but for some mysterious reason I found this ingredient in this Head & Shoulders shampoo what you can buy in Canada.


It is a preservative. Methylparaben is quickly absorbed through the skin. Many studies have found a link between parabens and breast cancer. After being exposed to the sun, studies show that 19% of the skin cells treated with Methylparaben had died. Parabens, including methylparaben, have estrogenic affects on the body, which means they can affect the reproductive glands.

Mineral Oil(Paraffinum Liquidum)

Mineral oil is a petrochemical product which is derived from distilling crude oil. The main reason mineral oil is so commonly found in skin care and anti aging products is that it is very cheap. (Natural moisturizers, in almost every case, are way more expensive than mineral oil.) It is a mixture of heavier alkanes. The most important source of alkanes is natural gas and crude oil.

The Mineral Oil's effect to the skin:

  • It coats the skin and because of that it clogs the pores, thus blocks the skin's natural physiological processes: respiration, metabolism and excretion
  • It prevents detoxification of the skin
  • The skin becomes lifeless and brittle, because of the ceased function
  • It inhibits the skin's natural abrasion, leading to the thicker horny layer (Stratum Corneum)
  • It promotes the formation of black heads and acne
  • It strengthens the inflammatory tendency and those skin diseases that associated with inflammations, like psoriasis, eczema, hyperkeratosis, rosacea, etc.
  • It creates an "invisible", non-absorbable layer on the skin, which prevents the skin's respiration (breathing) that accompanies with the evaporation, namely the water loss, which is essential for the healthy skin's heat balance. ("Interestingly" companies indicate this as a benefit, they say it will lock the moisture in the skin, when it's not true: the hydratation of the skin depends on the work of the natural moisturizing factors (NMF) and how much water gets into the body (basically how much water you drink)
  • It can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH's (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)
  • It is a mixture of long-chain hydrocarbons (saturated hydrocarbons -alkanes) which is very rough skin-damaging petroleum derivatives

Myristyl Miristate

It's a naturally derived ester, formed by the combination of Myristyl Alcohol and Myristic Acid, which occurs naturally in animal or vegetable fats or oils. It is originally formed as a white or yellowish waxy solid, and is used as a skin conditioning agent, emulsifier and opacifier in skin care products. is an excellent emulsion enhancer that imparts a white opacifying effect or glossy appearance, and is an effective thickening agent as well. It is comedogenic.

Myristyl Laurate

It's a surfacant. It is responsible for wetting, dispersion and emulsification.


It is known as Vitamin B3 and it initiates the release of leptin, a natural repair hormone. – which aids in the DNA repair process. It also delivers increased oxygen to the skin, increases circulation, and helps transport toxins from the epidermis. Researchers are studying topical forms of niacin as treatments for rosacea, aging, and prevention of skin cancer, although it's too early to know whether it is effective.


It is one of the two principal forms of vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid is the other). Topical use is generally well-tolerated. If you see niacinamide in a product, check its placement within the product’s ingredient list. The higher an ingredient is listed, the more of that ingredient is included, but if it's in the back, it means it's in the product only for label claim.


This is a petroleum-based sun protectant. The maximum recommendation is 7.5%. It blocks both UVA and UVB rays, though it offers much greater protection against the latter. When octinoxate is exposed to sunlight, it is converted into a less UV absorbent form, thus this is why you will find an other sunscreen ingredient with it.

Some users may develop allergies to this ingredient and it is also a hormone or endocrine disrupter, which means that it may negatively impact the health of an unborn fetus. Pregnant women can't use a product with this ingredient.

This compound may build up in the body over time, leading to the potential for future health problems. It may pose a threat to wildlife in terms of pollution and endocrine disruption.

Source: WiseGeek

Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate

It is an emollient. Most often found in sunscreens because of its potential SPF boosting properties, although no scientific data was found to document an explanation for this effect. It enables compositions with an oily texture on application to be less slick. It's safe.


It is an ester formed from Methoxycinnamic Acid and 2-Ethylhexanol that is used in sunscreens to protect skin from sun damage. It is the most widely used UVB blocking agent in the skin care industry. It does not filter UVA rays. Studies have also shown that Octinoxate can protect the skin against not only sunburn but also UV light-induced DNA alterations. However, it isn't very stable. When octinoxate is exposed to sunlight, it is converted into a less UV absorbent form (from E-octyl-p-methoxycinnamate into a Z-octyl-p-methoxycinnamate). It is why you will usually find octinoxate combined with another sunscreen. Beware, though, that octinoxate combined with avobenzone degrades even faster. Maximum recommended by FDA: 7.5%.

According to the EWG, Octinoxate is a moderate hazard, primarily because it can lead to developmental and reproductive toxicity through enhanced skin absorption. It’s a penetration enhancer and is easily absorbed into the skin. It can produce estrogen-like effects and should not be used by pregnant women and children. However, the research is contradictory as to what concentrations are toxic. One Norwegian study in 2000 declared toxicity on mice at levels much lower that that used in sunscreen. Studies of percutaneous absorption indicate that 1 to 2% of the applied material may be absorbed through the skin. Most of the octyl methoxycinnamate appears to be trapped in the stratus corneum in adults. However, concerns have been expressed about the use of this sunscreen ingredient in children where the stratus corneum is less likely to be protective.

Bottom line: More research is needed. Given that it isn't even very stable in sunlight, it's probably not worth the risk. (Source)

Animal studies indicate that octyl methoxycinnamate may produce hormonal (estrogen-like) and possibly other adverse effects. Whether typical human use of octyl methoxycinnamate may cause such effects is unclear. Children and pregnant women tend to be particularly vulnerable to hormonal effects and their use of octyl methoxycinnamate is of particular concern. More research of this issue is needed.

Octyl methoxycinnamate is relatively easily absorbed into the skin and has been shown in some studies to promote generation of potentially harmful free radicals.

Evidence indicates that at least some absorbable chemical UV blocking agents (particularly octocrylene, octinoxate, oxybenzone and sulisobenzone) may cause damage to the skin upon exposure to sunlight. Until further research has established optimal usage practices, if any, for these agents, it is prudent to put emphasis on other methods of UV protection, such as reducing sun exposure and using physical sunscreens. (Source)

To make octinoxate, scientists mix sulfuric acid with methanol, a petroleum by-product. When heat is applied to this mixture, the ingredients undergo a permanent chemical reaction, resulting in a compound which is insoluble in water. This compound, known by the scientific name ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, is more commonly referred to as octinoxate. Some users may develop allergies to this ingredient, which may prevent them from coming into contact with this compound. This ingredient is also a hormone or endocrine disrupter, which means that it may negatively impact the health of an unborn fetus. Like other petroleum-based sun protectants, this compound may build up in the body over time, leading to the potential for future health problems. Finally, as octinoxate is washed into the ocean or other water bodies, it may pose a threat to wildlife in terms of pollution and endocrine disruption. (Source)


Also known as Ethylhexyl Salicylate. It is an organic compound used as an ingredient in sunscreens and cosmetics to absorb the full range of UVB rays from the sun. It is an ester formed by the condensation of a salicylic acid with 2-ethylhexanol. The salicylate component absorbs ultraviolet light and protects the skin from the harmful effects of exposure to sunlight. The ethylhexanol portion serves as a fatty alcohol, adding emollient and oil-like (water resistant) properties. FDA has approved Octisalate for use in sunscreen with up to 5% concentration. is used to augment the UV-B protection in a sunscreen. Salicylates are weak UV-B absorbers, and they are generally used in combination with other UV filters because they are insufficient on their own. It typically undergoes some degradation when exposed to sunlight. (Source)

According to Karen Roth (Holistic Nutritionis), Octisalate is known to give some people dry, itchy skin. It is a potential hormone disrupter. (Source)


Maximum recommended by FDA: 3%. It is an organic compound and ester formed by the condensation of a diphenylcyanoacrylate with 2-ethylhexanol (a fatty alcohol, adding emollient and oil-like, water resistant properties). It is primarily used as an active ingredient in sunscreens because of its ability to absorb UVB and short-wave UVA (ultraviolet) rays and protect the skin from direct DNA damage. It can penetrate into the skin and act as a photosensitizer, resulting in an increased production of free radicals. Free radicals can induce indirect DNA damage and potentially contribute to the increased incidence of malignant melanoma in sunscreen-users compared to non-users. The CosmeticsDatabase finds Octocrylene to be a moderate hazard, due to potential reproductive toxicity and the above mentioned potential carcinogenic side effects. However, toxicity issues resulted from high concentrations not found in topical sunscreens and other skin care products. (Source)

According to PubMed, "Octocrylene is a new emerging photoallergen. We report and discuss 50 cases of photoallergic contact dermatitis from octocrylene use and/or positive photopatch test reactions to this UV filter. Octocrylene appears to be a strong allergen leading to contact dermatitis in children and mostly photoallergic contact dermatitis in adults with an often-associated history of photoallergy from ketoprofen. Patients with photoallergy from ketoprofen frequently have positive photopatch test reactions to octocrylene. These patients need to be informed of sunscreen products not containing octocrylene, benzophenone-3, or fragrances." (Source)


It is a chemical sunscreen ingredient. (= It provides UV protection by absorption.) It blocks UVA and UVB rays. Oxybenzone has been shown to be easily absorbed through the skin and into the blood stream from sunscreen application and it is also a known hormonal disruptor – a classification of chemicals that can mimic or disrupt the bodies natural production of hormones which may lead to several health consequences including some cancers (e.g. bisphenol-A and breast cancer).

"It's also a 'penetration enhancer', which means it helps other ingredients enter the body more readily. That's a problem when you consider that a CDC study found oxybenzone to be present in the urine of 97 percent of the 2,500 Americans it tested." says Alexandra Spunt, co-author of No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products.

Source: Ottawa Cancer Foundation

Palmitic Acid

It is a fatty acid. It is found in both animals and plants, primarily from the oil of palm trees.

Topical application of palmitic acid on skin cancer could enhance the natural ceramide signaling function substantially.

The EWG finds Palmitic Acid to be a low hazard ingredient, but still only gives it a 62% safety rating, primarily because of lack of data and studies available. It is FDA and CIR approved.

Palmitoyl Oligopeptide

It stimulates the synthesis of collagen and hyaluronic acid in the deep layers of the skin. It also provides mild UV protection that helps protect the skin from sun damage. It was developed as the result of research to duplicate the effects of retinoic acid (retinol) without skin irritation. This peptide is used in anti-aging skin care products as it improves skin elasticity and minimizes fine-lines and wrinkles. It is especially helpful for dry or sun-damaged skin.

Pentapeptides have an extremely important role to play in keeping the skin looking young and in maintaining the elasticity of the skin. Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, which is a five-sided molecule, is said to be one of the pentatpeptides responsible for the production of collagen. It is manufactured by Proctor and Gamble and its trade name is Matryxil. (It's not the same as Matryxil 3000.) It is also known as Palmitoyl Pentapeptide.

Anti aging creams which contain Matryxil 3000 may be more effective than creams which simply contain Matryxil.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7

It's a regenerating peptide. Previously known as Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3. It's a key ingredient in Matrixyl 3000.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 is a synthetic peptide comprised of four amino acids that is used in beauty products and cosmetics to suppress the production of excess interleukins, the chemical messengers which trigger the body’s acute inflammatory response. This can lead to glycation damage, or the process by which glucose links with proteins and causes them to bind together, stiffening tissues. This negatively affects the skin's support system, comprised of collagen, elastin and other proteins, and leads to wrinkles, sagging, and uneven skin tone.

The higher the concentration of Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, the greater the reduction in interleukin production – up to 40%.

Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 is a key ingredient in Matrixyl 3000 and is used in conjunction with Palmitoyl-Oligopeptide. Together, they can boost the growth of the connective tissues and naturally increasing the production of collagen in the skin; when the production of collagen is increased, the skin can heal and rejuvenate itself.


It is the provitamin of B5. It is as a lubricant, emollient and moisturizer (It binds well to hair follicles, and attracts moisture from the air.) It reduces itching and inflammation of the skin. In cosmetics and other products, it is typically used at a much lower concentration, as a 0.5 to 2 percent solution. Individuals who wish to target difficult wrinkles, fine lines, or moderately damaged skin areas might choose a cream with a concentration higher than 5 percent.

PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides

Polymers of ethylene oxide used as humectants, solvents, binders, emulsion stabilizers, and viscosity increasing agents. The use of it is restricted. It's not for use on injured or damaged skin. It could be contaminated with Ethylene Oxide and 1,4 dioxane.


PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. PEGs are polymers of the same molecule, meaning that many of the same molecules are bonded together (like a string of beads with all the beads strung together). PEGs are almost always written with a number after their name. The number is the approximate molecular weight of that particular PEG. Cosmetics mostly use smaller PEGs, such as PEG 100 or PEG 150. PEG is just short for another type of glycol polymer.

They strip the skin's natural moisture factor, leaves the skin and hence the immune system vulnerable. PEGs have a penetration enhancing effect.

PEG-8 is restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Not safe for use on injured or damaged skin according to Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments. Besides it is made from petroleum and it can contaminates with ETHYLENE OXIDE and 1,4-DIOXANE.


Same as PEG-8. A polymer of ethylene oxide where the number refers to the liquidity, the higher the number the harder the composition. The compound is cited for developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruptor and skin irritant.

PEG-40 Stearate

A surfactant and cleansing agent. PEG 40 Stearate is used in cosmetics and beauty products primarily as a surfactant and cleansing agent, because PEG Stearates' ability to clean the skin and hair by helping water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed away, according to It is also seen as an emollient, because of secondary properties. The numerical value of each PEG Stearate corresponds to the average number of ethylene oxide monomers in the polyethylene chain (from 2 - 150). PEG 40 Stearate is not considered to be an irritant or sensitizer (it gave only minimal irritation in studies up to 100%), and are CIR and FDA approved for use, but not on broken skin.

However, according to a study published in the International Journal of Toxicology, PEGs (including PEG 40 Stearate) can contain harmful impurities, including: Ethylene Oxide, known to increase the incidences of uterine and breast cancers and of leukemia and brain cancer, according to experimental results reported by the National Toxicology Program; 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen; PAHs, known to increase the risk of breast cancer; lead; iron; and arsenic. Products and formulas containing PEG 40 Stearate should not be used on broken or irritated skin.

The EWG issues warnings regarding: cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, contamination concerns, irritation, and organ system toxicity. Avoid it if you have a sensitive skin. PEGs are used in detergents as well. As you see PEG always has a number. It represents the approximate molecular weight of that compound. Cosmetic maufacturers use PEGs with smaller molecular weights, because it's easier to penetrate into the skin. PEG-40 is a low molecular weight. PEGs make easier to absorb other ingredients into the skin.

PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate

It's fragrance ingredient and surfactant. According to EWG, this chemical belongs to the family of Polymer derivatives. Unless it's vacuum stripped, it contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which has been identified as cancer or other significant health problems, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It's not safe for use on injured or damaged skin.

PEG-100 Stearate

It is an emollient and emulsifier. PEG-100 is a synthetic polymer made by combining Oxirane (Ethylene Oxide) and fatty acids. The Cosmetics Database found PEG 100 Stearate to be a moderate to high hazard ingredient depending on usage. The EWG issues warnings regarding: cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, contamination concerns, irritation, and organ system toxicity. Products and formulas containing PEG 100 Stearate should not be used on broken or irritated skin.

Pentylene glycol

It is a synthetic humectant. Recent studies have been published showing Pentylene Glycol to be an irritant that causes contact dermatitis. "Three cases reported so far in 2008 identify pentylene glycol as a cause of contact dermatitis, suggesting this skin care product ingredient could be an emerging allergen."(Life & Health Library)

"Pentylene glycol is a preservative, humectant, and solvent. It has properties that are similar to a known allergen--propylene glycol--although it is considered by some to be less irritating or allergenic, said Dr. Joel DeKoven, who is with the division of dermatology at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto." (Life & Health Library)


Alias Vaselin, petroleum jelly. It can be defined as a colloidal system of semisolid hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum (Petroleum derivatives). In the European Union, petrolatum can only be used in cosmetics "if the full refining history is known and it can be shown that the substance from which it is produced is not a carcinogen".

"The ability of petrolatum or white petroleum to moisturize though, is extremely limited. The major advantage of white petroleum in skin care products is that it is extremely cheap. That’s an advantage to the companies that make the products, not to you. You can tell that petrolatum doesn’t moisturize because it doesn’t penetrate the skin. To moisturize successfully any ingredient in antiaging products needs to penetrate the skin, if it doesn’t it cannot add moisture.

Rather what it does is to coat the skin with an oily film which may help protect against some moisture loss, but by doing that, you have to suffer from many side effects. (See Mineral Oil)

The environmental working group that does studies on the safety of many products estimates that somewhere around one out of every 14 personal products includes petrolatum.

One of the serious worries about petrolatum in anti aging products is the problem of contamination. Concerns about petrolatum are that it can become contaminated in the manufacturing process with substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. (PAHs). PAHs are given a score of 10 out of 10 as a high hazard by the Cosmetic Safety Database and have been linked to a wide range of health concerns including cancer, immunotoxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, bioaccumulation, endocrine disruption and much more.

So whilst petrolatum itself is listed as a hazard but not a high hazard, PAHs are certainly more worrying."


It prevents the skin breathe, clogs the pores, preventing the skin detoxify and strenghtens the tendency of inflammation. Causes dryness as well, because the skin senses this vaselin with the help of Merkel cells and they get the sign that the skin is protected. Because of that, it will automatically reduce the natural sebum's production. And when you wash it off, you will get a dry skin feeling, because the skin itslef will forget how to restore the lipid layer. It leads to an addiction, forcing us to use the product more and more.

The industry uses it as a lubricant.


It is a glycol ether, an aromatic ether alcohol. (This ingredient starts out as phenol, a toxic white crystalline powder that's created from benzene -a known carcinogen- and then is treated with ethylene oxide -also a known carcinogen- and an alkalai. It works as a preservative or as a fragrance.

Oftentimes it's found in "natural" products. They'll use phenoxyethanol as the preservative and then tout that they're "paraben-free." Phenoxyethanol is structurally similar to parabens on a chemical level, so its toxicity to the reproductive system is not surprising.

Also note: some companies may claim that their phenoxyethanol is extracted from natural sources. So, while this is better because it lessens the risk for ethylene oxide contamination, it is still the same chemical structurally, and would pose the same risks.

The product's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) says that it phenoxyethanol is harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive damage. There are several animal studies that demonstrate that it is toxic - with effects on the brain and the nervous system - at moderate concentrations.

FDA about Phenoxyethanol: "Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea". The main purposes of Phenoxyethanol is for the purposes of keeping bacteria out of our organic ingredients. (Btw: Phenoxyethanol is $6.06 for a 2 oz. bottle, so it's not really expensive.) Here is the link to download the facts about Phenoxyethanol:

I read it in a comment that "it is used at 0.5% concentration to protect you from the mold, that would grow in your product within 3 weeks of production." Well if the product wasn't water based, we shouldn't worry about mold. Using products without water means we don't expose ourselves to these chemicals and mold.

Just let me point it out that Phenoxyethanol is a mild skin irritant and a moderate to severe eye irritant which may cause serious damage to the eyes.

Several animal studies clearly demonstrate toxicity of phenoxyethanol, which causes damaging effects on the brain and the nervous system, even at moderate concentrations. As a cosmetic ingredient, phenoxyethanol is restricted in Japan and the European Union. Even the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) data sheets show "chromosomal changes and genetic mutation effects in testing as well as testicular atrophy and reproductive damage in mice."

Source: Chemical of the day


According to Truth in aging, "Phospholipids are comprised of two types of fatty acid. That puts them in the lipid family, a broad group of naturally-occurring molecules which includes fats, waxes, sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E and K). The main biological functions of lipids include energy storage, as structural components of cell membranes, and as important signaling molecules.

They are described as having heads and tails. The 'head' of a phospholipid is hydrophilic (attracted to water), while the hydrophobic 'tails' repel water . This means that they attract water and hold on to it. This makes it a helpful moisturizer.

These heads and tails organize themselves into bio-layers that gives them a structure similar to that of skin. Because of this it is said that products that contain them have an affinity with the skin and high tolerance. And, what's more, phospholipids retain their structure when applied and because of this is sometimes called a “second skin”.

Phosopolipid is a useful emulsifier because it dissolves oil in water."

Phospholipids rebuild the skin’s barrier level and act as a reservoir for the prolonged delivery of the natural active nutrients and moisture to the inner layer (dermis) of the skin. Natural phospholipids serve as fantastic humectants. An important benefit, phospholipids are hygroscopic (attract water from the surrounding air) and hold water where an increased level of hydration is needed. Therefore, phospholipids increase the hydration levels of the skin without being occlusive (forming a film to prevent water loss, and preventing normal cellular function).

A study proved the value of topically applied phospholipids in skincare. It found that environmental factors (sun, wind, pollution) and the detergents and solvents, found in most skin cleansers, actually stripped the natural phospholipid content from the top layer of skin. This loss resulted in a rough feel and a pitted appearance under a microscope. Importantly, the phospholipids in the uppermost skin layers cannot be replaced by natural cell function, as the top layer of cells no longer metabolize; they serve only as a protective barrier.

Source: Exquis skincare

Phytic Acid

Phytic acid is a hexaphosphoric acid ester of inositol, also known as phytate, and a natural plant antioxidant found primarily in bran, cereal seeds, and fruit seeds. It can be used as antioxidant and anti-free radical agent. It can chelate the cupric ion, an essential part of tyrosinase (tyrosinase is an key enzyme of melanin). So phytic acid can block the formation of melanin, thus most often used as a skin lighting agent in the skin care industry. As well as acting as a melanin formation blocker, phytic acid has been described as an iron specific antioxidant which demonstrates its chelating action on iron, copper and calcium. Pyhtic acid has also proven to be very efficient in the treatment of epidermic melasmas when its associated with glycolic acid or retinoic acid. Phytic acid salt (phytate) have strong chelating ability to calcium ions to prevent tartar and pigment.


Phytosterols, also called plant sterols, are natural compounds found in the cells and membranes of plants. The most traditional sources of phytosterols are coniferous trees, soybeans and yams. Canola oil has significant amounts of phytosterols. Phytosterols can prevent the absorption of cholesterol and therefore reduce blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is one of the major components of the lipids that are part of the skin's surface layer and phytosterols are believed to reach the surface of the skin if they are part of your diet. Low humidity and use of soaps and detergent can dry skin and irritate it, but a recent European study has shown that lipid materials can repair skin and sterol-enriched lipids found in canola oil are the best. Sterols can help the surface skin to recover and therefore speed the overall skin recovery. Phytosterols have anti-irritation and anti-inflammatory activity. They will help repair damaged skin and condition both skin and hair. Phytosterols will also regulate and normalize turnover of skin cells and improve dry skin. It can help with skin damage produced by radiotherapy, scars and keloids.

Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate

Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate is an ester of lauric acid and Polyglycerin-3. It's an emulsifier. There is no more information avaliable.


It's film forming. Lack of information.


It is a binder, film former and thickener. The FDA allows Polyacrylamide (with less than 0.2% acrylamide monomer) to be used as a film former in the imprinting of soft-shell gelatin capsules. The FDA also allows Polyacrylamide to be used as a denture adhesive which is considered a medical device.

Polyacrylamide itself is not considered to be toxic, but is a controversial ingredient because of its potential ability to secrete Acrylamide. (Acrylamide, a known toxin.) The Cosmetic Database finds Polyacrylamide to be a moderate hazard ingredient and notes multiple concerns, including neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity and data gaps.

Source: Truth in aging

Polymethyl Methacrylate

It's a plastic filler. It is widely known as a plastic component used in products such as plexiglass and other transparent glass substitutes. It is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate (an organic methyl ester). It's naturally compatible with human tissue, and was a frequent component of contact lenses in the past; it's also been used for dentures and bone replacement, when combined with bovine collagen. When used in cosmetic surgery, Poly(methyl methacrylate) microspheres are suspended in biological fluid and injected under the skin to reduce wrinkles or scars permanently.

Once purified and refined, PMMA helps to fill in wrinkles and provide a “gliding” application (Sekisui Plastics, Inc.), in a manner somewhat similar to the silicones found in many beauty products. It is unlikely to have any prolonged anti-aging effects, aside from reflecting UV light.

The FDA, in a study about the use of PMMA in artificial nails, found that “traces of the reactive monomers could result in an adverse reaction, such as redness, swelling, and pain in the nail bed, among people who have become sensitive (allergic) to methacrylates.”

PMMA is safe in topically-applied beauty products, unless you have a rare sensitivity to methacrylates. When used as an injectable, PMMA has been associated with a low risk of granulomas.

Source: Futurederm

Polyamino Sugar Condensate

It's a semisolid, sugar-amino acid ingredient. It's a condensation product of several of the following sugars: fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, mannose, rhamnose, ribose, or xylose.

It functions as a humectant (=ingredients that increase the water content of the top layers of the skin by drawing moisture from the surrounding air).

Polyamino Sugar Condensate is the product of a condensation reaction between amino acids and sugars. This reaction occurs during the cooking of food. Polyamino Sugar Condensate functions as a skin conditioning agent - humectant.


It is a synthetic copolymer of isobutylene (a hydrocarbon) and isoprene (a monomer of natural rubber). Polyisobutene has detergent, skin conditioning, thickening, lubricating, viscocity increasing and film-forming properties. It's potential eye/skin irritant, toxic for the environment, bioaccumulative (builds up in wildlife), lingering in body tissues for years/decades after exposure.


It is a bulking agent and a viscosity increasing agent. This ingredient is suspected of causing gastrointestinal or liver toxicity and respiratory toxicity according to sources compiled by Scorecard


An anti-static agent and film former. It s a water soluble, white granulated powder. It is also considered a film former, supplying a sheen and coating to hair strands by easily being absorbed by proteins. The Cosmetics Database finds Polyquaternium 10 to be a low hazard, 99% safe ingredient, and it is approved for use in limited concentrations by the CIR.


It is a positively charged ion. If they combinate with PVM/MA Copolymer, then this combination of positive and negative charges creates a single complex with the unique ability to stick to damage hairs and to itself. It neutralizes the negative charges of most shampoos and hair proteins and help hair lie flat. Their positive charges also ionically bond them to hair and skin.


Anti-static agent and film former. Polyquaternium 37 works by providing a positive charge to counteract the negative charge often found in shampoos and other hair care products. Polyquaternium 37 is considered a low hazard ingredient by the Cosmetics Database, which only notes data gaps and bioaccumulation as a concern.

Polysorbate 20

It is fragrance component, a surfactant, an emulsifying agent, and a solubilizing agent. According to Stephanie Greenwood (Chemical of the day) "it's treated with carcinogenic ethylene oxide. It's called Polysorbate 20 because it's treated with 20 "parts" of ethylene oxide. The higher the number, the more ethylene oxide it has been treated with. This substance is then combined with various fatty acids. Although it's derived from a natural ingredient, it is not natural--it is an ethoxylated compound.

Ethylene oxide is highly carcinogenic and using it in an industrial setting always poses risk to the workers and the environment. Even if the contaminants were removed from the finished product, it is not a harmless ingredient because the processing has most likely, polluted someone, somewhere."

Polysorbate 40

It is a nonionic surfactant and emulsifier. Polysorbate ingredients help other ingredients to dissolve in a solvent in which they would not normally dissolve. They also help to form emulsions by reducing the surface tension of the substances to be emulsified. It's treated with 40 "parts" of ethylene oxide. The higher the number, the more ethylene oxide it has been treated with. It could be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane.

It's not safe for use on injured or damaged skin. It has apparently induced only a few cases of skin sensitization in man.

Polysorbate 60

It is a thickening agent. You can find it almost in any products, like skin cleansing products, makeup bases and foundations, shampoos, and fragrance powders, etc. Why is it in a product? "To dissolve in a solvent in which they would not normally dissolve" according to

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid. It has antimicrobial properties and because of that Potassium Sorbate is a preservative. It is used to to prevent the growth of molds and fungi. Usually potassium sorbate comes from petrochemical sources.

According to Colin's Beauty Pages a molecule of Potassium Sorbate from any source is identical once it is in beauty products, so it’s origin makes no difference to how useful it is in a formulation. It works pretty well as a preservative, in particular it is good at knocking out fungi which are the bane of the cosmetic formulators life. You also have to watch out for interactions with other components of the formulation, so it isn’t an easy option. It is well tolerated by most people, but there are a few people out there who get mild skin reactions to it.

Potassium Sorbate is considered to be active against mold, fungi and yeast, but less active against bacteria, and therefore not considered a broad spectrum preservative; it needs to be used in conjunction with other preservatives to ensure formulas are totally protected. If potassium sorbate is used as a preservative, the pH of the finished product may need to be reduced for potassium sorbate to be effective. It is considered to be safe.

Potassium Cetyl Phosphate

It's an anionic oil/water emulsifier and stabilizer for the preparation of skin-care and sun-care products. It's derived from coconut oil. According to Safety Data Sheet, it may be harmful if absorbed through skin, may cause skin irritation and may cause eye irritation.

PPG-1 Trideceth-6

Emulsifying agent. Very little information is available regarding PPG 1 Trideceth 6, which is also known as Polyoxypropylen(1) Polyoxyethylen(1) Tridecylether, according to It is used as both an emollient and emulsifying agent in a variety of skin care, hair care, and cosmetic formulas. No studies were found that reported negative side effects regarding its use.

PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate

It is a shine-enhancing emollient. PPG 3 Benzyl Ether Myristate provides a silicone-like feel, can enhance shine in hair products, high gloss in lip products, "and reduces whitening effect of fatty alcohols and silica in anti-perspirants/deodorants applications. It is actually a a silicone replacement. It is safe.

Pyrithione Zinc (1%)

It slows production of skin cells to reduce flakiness. It is allowed to be in high concentration only in products which made to be washed off.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. It acts as a penetration enhancer that keeps products from melting in heat and/or freezing when it is cold.

It alters the structure of the skin by allowing chemicals and toxins to penetrate deep into the dermis while increasing their ability to reach the blood stream and the potential for irritation..

The industry is used as antifreeze. PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats.

The Material Safety Data Sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as this strong skin irritant can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage. It is also a frequent food additive (as E1520) and is also found in deodorant sticks, toothpaste, mouthwash, tobacco products, and other industrial products such as anti-freeze and brake fluid. The Cosmetics Database finds Propylene Glycol to be a moderate hazard ingredient and has concerns regarding cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity, irritation and enhanced skin absorption, and organ system toxicity.

Why is it "skin moisturizer"? Because it clogs the pores so the moisture can't leave. If you ask me, not the best solution to keep the moisture in.

It has been found to provoke skin irritation and sensitization in humans as low as 2% concentration, while the industry review panel recommends cosmetics can contain up to 50% of the substance.


A skin-conditioning agent. It is derived from Propylene Glycol. "Data on the fatty acids and propylene glycol were negative for mutagenicity, chronic toxicity, and skin irritation and sensitizaiton" ( However, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate is considered a penetration enhancer and may enhance the skin penetration of other chemicals. Users should exercise caution when using products and formulas that contain this ingredient when combined with other ingredients for which limits have been set based on low dermal absorption.


It is a preservative. Exactly the same like Buthylparaben.


It is a film former and binder. It solubles in water. It it a water-binding and a thickening agent. It has an instant skin-tightening effect as it adheres to the skin. It is able to quickly form a sheer film that temporarily improves skin's texture and appearance. The CosmeticsDatabase finds Pullulan to be a low hazard ingredient. Commercially, Pullulan is from fermentation process. Aureobasidium pullulans grow on the carbohydrate substrate (sugar or starch). Then Aureobasidium pullulans is harvested.


It is a copolymer of methyl vinyl ether and maleic anhydride or maleic acid. PVM/MA Copolymer is a synthetic polymer prepared from relatively small chemical compounds called monomers. It is negatively charged ion.

PVM/MA Copolymer

It is a copolymer of methyl vinyl ether and maleic anhydride or maleic acid. Safe for use.

Red 33

It is an artificial color and impurities found in it. It has been shown to cause cancer not only when ingested, but also when applied to the skin.

Retinyl Palmitate

It is the ester of retinol (vitamin A) that is combined with palmitic acid, which is a saturated fatty acid that is a major component of palm oil.

Retinyl palmitate is easily absorbed by the skin and once it is there is converted into retinol.

It has to be in high concentrations to make a difference. Indeed, the concentrations would be so high that it could be as irritating as retinoic acid. This is because retinol is 20% weaker than retinoic acid.

It's been shown to have anti-aging properties, may speed up the development of tumors and lesions.

Alexandra Spunt, co-author of No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products, says: "While dermatologists love talking about vitamin A as a stellar anti-ager, a study by the FDA cited by the Environmental Working Group is now showing that in combination with the sun, retinyl palmitate actually increases skin cancer risk - at least in rats. That doesn't bode well for us, and leading experts are right when they say this is extremely disconcerting," she says.

It has been proven fine for indoor application. But when applied outside, the FDA found that "retinyl palmitate breaks down in sunlight to photomutagenic compounds" and "forms free radicals in the presence of UVA and UVB radiation." During a one year study by the FDA, tumors and lesions formed around 20 percent faster on lab animals coated with vitamin A-enhanced cream, than those that did not.

Source: Truth in aging

The daily green

Rosa Canina

Alias Rose Hip. Rose hip extract is high in vitamins A and C and has a toning effect on skin. Rose hip extracts are soothing and astringent and have been used calm skin irritation.

Rosa Damascena Flower Water:

The water from the blossoms of Rosa damascena has a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect on rash and skin irritation. It cleanses, softens, moisturizes and scents the skin. Maintains the pH balance, stimulates regeneration processes, has a calming effect in acne and sunburns. As a result the skin texture becomes even and elastic. Rose distillate is rich in water-soluble compounds beneficial for skin, particularly for soothing sensitive skin while helping harmonize and balance skin.

That is all true if it's a 100% pure and natural steam-distilled Rosa Damascena water. Are the rose plantations and soils treated with pesticides, artificial fertilizers or other synthetic preparations? Was this product distilled under the strict control by Ceres?

Salicylic Acid

Also known as Beta Hydroxy Acid. It is considered to have aspirin-like, anti-inflammatory properties and is a popular ingredient in acne treatment formulas. Salicylic Acid is one of several beta hydroxy acids, and works as a keratolytic by exfoliating the skin. It is considered especially effective because of its ability to penetrate the follicle, clearing the pores of debris at a deeper level and reducing blockage and in turn, acne flare ups and breakouts, according to

It is also well documented that salicylic acid can improve skin thickness, barrier functions, and collagen production.

as an exfoliant, it is used in concentrations no higher than 2%, and is considered more gentle than AHAs.

A study published in Dermatologic Surgery compared the two types of peels (SA and GA) and gave the nod to the salicylic acid peel. This study, performed by dermatologists at the St. Louis University confirmed the impression that most dermatologists have had for years: that the Beta peel (Salicylic Acid) is preferred for acne and the Glycolic peel for skin lightening and rejuvenation. The results of the Beta hydroxy acid peel (BHA) lasted a bit longer and had fewer side effects such as irritation. Both peels were effective in reducing acne lesions, however.

Salicylic acid peels are better for acne, but glycolic peels in higher concentration can be also very effective.

Salicylic acid penetrates more deeply into the pores to dissolve oils so is usually more beneficial than Glycolic Acid. (Source)

There are three primary concerns regarding its use: increased sun sensitivity (e.g., UV radiation induced skin damage), skin irritation, and reproductive and developmental toxicity.

Salicylic Acid is also known to increase the skin’s sun sensitivity by 50%. All exfoliants that remove layers of the dermis expose the skin to more UV rays, therefore increasing UV radiation.

Pregnant and nursing women should use caution when applying products containing Salicylic Acid, especially over large portions of their body, as in body lotions or scrubs.


Silica is most commonly found in nature as sand or quartz, as well as in the cell walls of diatoms. (Who wants to put sand on her/his face...?)

According to GoodGuide, Silica is used primarily in the production of window glass, drinking glasses, and beverage bottles. It is also the primary component of rice husk ash which is used, for example, in filtration and cement manufacturing.

There is 2 types of Silica: Amorphous silica is considered safe for use in cosmetics, and generally non-carcinogenic, while crystalline Silica is linked to a variety of health hazards, including cancer, allergies, and organ system toxicity. (Source)

It is a bulking agent, an opacifying agent and a suspending agent.

Silica Dimethyl Silylate

It is a bulking agent, a slip modifier, a viscosity increasing agent, an emollient and a suspending agent.

According to Truth in Aging, because this ingredient is a Silica derivative, users should still be aware of the potential hazards associated with Silica, which is ultimately determined to be a safe ingredient as well when used in its amorphous form (as it is in cosmetic formulations).

Sodium Benzoate:

It is a preservative. Sodium Benzoate is a salt of Benzoic Acid. It may occur naturally in some foods but is more likely to be chemically produced and added as a preservative. It may provide fragrance, preserve all the other chemicals or ensure the product against corrosion.

It can produce benzene when combined with ascorbic acid, especially when heated. It could cause skin irritation in some people. It is synthesized in a lab. It has the ability to deprive the cells of oxygen, break down the immune system and cause cancer. It is a known carcinogenic additive which, when applied to the skin, gets transported to the liver, where it is supposed to be filtered, and expelled in urine, but the damage gets done before that process is completed.

Don't combine it with vitamin C or E, as this causes benzene to be formed. Benzene is a known carcinogen.

Sodium Benzoate:

Sodium Benzoate is a salt derived from benzoic acid and is used as a preservative. When you mix sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid you get sodium benzoate. It has the ability to deprive the cells of oxygen, break down the immune system and cause cancer. When eaten or applied to the skin, gets transported to the liver, where it is supposed to be filtered, and expelled in urine, but the damage gets done before that process is completed. Sodium benzoate damages cells too.

The FDA says it's safe because the amount used to preserve foods is very low, but don't ever combine it with vitamin C or E, as this causes benzene to be formed. Benzene is a known human carcinogen that can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and death.

Sodium C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate

It's a foaming product used as primary anionic surfactant (= oily molecules and compounds dissolve in water). It is also solubilizer & emulsifier. It offers the formulator excellent viscosity and foam characteristics, as well as improved mildness over lauryl sulfates. Companies use it usually for shampoos. Sodium C 14-16 Olefin Sulfonate dries the hair, scalp and skin.

Sodium Chloride (table salt)

It is frequently used as cheap but effective thickener in cleansing products including shampoos or shower gels if the main surfactant is sodium lauryl sulfates. If used at too high concentrations it can cause eye and skin irritation.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

It is also known as sodium isethionate - is a sodium salt derived from coconut oil. It is a surfactant. It lowers the surface tension of water, which makes the cleanser easier to spread on your face when you wash it, and helps water and oil bond. "The CIR Expert Panel concludes that SCI is safe for use in cosmetic formulations at concentrations of 47.5% in rinse off products, and at 17% in leave on products." Although it derived from coconut, the result is synthetic.

Sodium Dehydroacetate

It is a preservative used in cosmetics and personal care products because of its antimicrobial properties. It kills microorganisms and "prevent their growth and reproduction, thus protecting cosmetics and personal care products from spoilage," according to CosmeticsInfo. Sodium Dehydroacetate is considered to be an effective antimicrobial and preservative even at very low concentrations, as low as .6%, prohibiting the growth of bacterial and fungal microbes, although they do not necessarily kill already developed microbes.

It is a known irritant and does have many listed concerns. The European Union restricts workplace exposure to low doses, and classifies Sodium Dehydroacetate as toxic or harmful, especially when used around the mouth or lips. According to the International Journal of Toxicology, Sodium Dehydroacetate is rapidly absorbed by the skin (when tested on rats), and was found to be slightly toxic when administered orally to rats; it was not, however, found to be an irritant when applied to rabbit skin, but did exhibit minimal eye irritation. According to the MSDS for Sodium Dehydroacetate, this ingredient is considered hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. (Source)

Sodium Hydroxide

It is a a manufactured chemical, an inorganic compound which controls the pH leves in creams and a buffering agent. It considered a strong irritant. Also known as lye, caustic soda, soda lye or sodium hydrate. According to the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health, it irritates the eyes, skin, mucous membrane, pneumonitis . It is classified as "expected to be toxic or harmful" and one or more animal studies show brain and nervous system, metabolic, and sense organ effects at very low doses and there are warnings regarding using this ingredient around the eyes or mouth.It has been linked to cancer, specifically of the esophagus. (Source: Truth in aging)

Sodium hydroxide is one of the most used chemical substances in laboratory and in industrial environment, in the manufacture of paper pulp and of various chemical products: plastics, rayon, explosives, dyestuffs, synthetic textiles, cleaning products for both domestic and industrial use, in the production of petrol and biodiesel, of soaps or even in the aluminum treatment. It is also a food additive (E524).

It is commonly present in commercial drain and oven cleaners.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows sodium hydroxide as a food additive in levels not to exceed 1%.

If the concentration is greater or equal than 5%, then it causes severe burns, if it's 2 to 4%, then it causes burns, if it's between 0,5% to 1,99% than it can irritate the eyes and skin.

Sources: Toxic Substances Portal, Truth in aging

Sodium Hyaluronate:

It is a salt form of Hyaluronic acid and is found in connective tissue, neural tissues and skin. It is also found between joints and is essential for lubrication. It made from cocks' combs. It is one of the natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) found in the skin. It works as a humectant (it draws water into the skin). Sodium hyaluronate has a smaller molecular size as HA (making it especially penetrative), and is able to hold up more than 1000 times its weight in water. When applied topically to the skin it can reach deep down into the dermis. Topically adding sodium hyaluronate transforms the dermis layer of your skin into a super-sponge for your face. Most skincare formularies recommend HA be used at a rate of .01% to 1%. Anything more results in a useless, thick goo. Imagine making Jell-O but only using 1/10th the water and you will get the idea.(Source: Truth in Aging and

Sodium Isethionate

Sodium Isethionate - more commonly called sodium cocoyl isethionate - is a sodium salt derived from coconut oil. It's a common ingredient that is often used as a replacement for animal-derived sodium salts.

It acts as a surfactant, which means that it helps to bind chemical compounds that don't typically dissolve in water. In the case of its use in soaps, it helps water cling to the dirt and oil on your skin, allowing them to be washed away.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate has been specifically shown to cause some eye irritation at higher concentrations.

Sodium Lactate

It is a preservative, buffering agent, pH controlling agent, or exfoliant . Sodium Lactate is the natural salt derived from a natural fermentation product, lactic acid. Sodium Lactate is CIR approved when used under certain concentrations, and is considered "Safe when formulated to avoid increasing sun sensitivity or when directions for use include daily use of sun protection." The Material Safety Data Sheet for Sodium Lactate notes that it is an eye, skin and respiratory irritant, but further research found that it is only considered irritating in extremely high doses unlike those found in cosmetics and personal care products.

It is photosensitizer, it can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin, it's a penetration enhancer in high contentration.

Sodium Lauroamphoacetate

It is an amphoteric organic compound. It is a surfactant and foam booster. According to a study (Foti 2001.), "amphoacetates are organic compounds used in many industrial applications and in cosmetic formulations for the skin, hair and mucosa, as surfactants, mild foaming and cleansing agents in concentrations ranging from 0.1% to 50%. Despite the fact that they have been in use for many years, cases of contact allergy to them are extremely rare."

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

It's a foaming agent (surfacant). It's very dangerous and highly irritating chemical. Concentrations of SLS as low as 0.5% could cause irritation and concentrations of 10-30% cause skin corrosion and severe irritation. The Sodium Laureth Sulfate found in our soaps is exactly the same as you would find in a car wash or even a garage, where it is used to degrease car engines.

In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, SLES also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect.

It may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. (Ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen.)

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is absorbed into the body from skin application and once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of it is to mimic the activity of the hormone Estrogen.

Source: Natural-Health-Information-Centre

Sodium Lauryl Isethionate:

It's a foaming agent (surfacant). If your face is dry after washing, or you have itchy scalp after shampooing your hair, then sodium lauryl sulfate is the likely culprit. Besides, tests on young animals showed permanent eye damage - even when the SLS was applied to areas other than the eye.

The Journal of the American College of Toxicology notes that this ingredient has a "degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties." What's more, the journal adds, "high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration."

The publication expressed additional concerns:

  • Carcinogenic nitrosamines can form in the manufacturing of sodium lauryl sulfate or by its inter-reaction with other nitrogen-bearing ingredients within a formulation utilizing this ingredient.
  • Other studies have indicated that sodium lauryl sulfate enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain from skin contact. This poses the question whether it could be a serious potential health threat from its use in shampoos, cleansers, and toothpastes.
  • Still other research has indicated sodium lauryl sulfate may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties.
  • Although sodium lauryl sulfate is not carcinogenic in experimental studies, it has been shown that it causes severe epidermal changes in the area it is applied, indicating a need for tumor-enhancing assays.
  • Additional studies have found that sodium lauryl sulfate is heavily deposited on the skin surface and in the hair follicles. Damage to the hair follicle could result from such deposition. (Source: a href="" target=”_blank”>David Steinman)

Sodium Lauryl Methyl Isethionate

It's a mild synthetic detergent produced by reacting lauryl alcohol with sulfate and neutralizing sodium carbonate that can be used as a primary or secondary surfactant and is ideally used where a dense, luxurious foam and elegant after-feel is desired. It's an emulsifier, surfactant, wetting and degreasing agent. It produces good slip, low tack on drying and has excellent water solubility properties which allow it to be used in creating clear liquid cleansing systems. Its broad pH stability range makes formulating easy. Ideal for use in shower gels, facial cleansers, shampoos, liquid cleansing systems, and luxury foam baths.

This ingredient doesn't appear to have any beneficial properties for your skin (aside from cleaning it), and may dry it out.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

It's a foaming agent (surfacant). If your face is dry after washing, or you have itchy scalp after shampooing your hair, then sodium lauryl sulfate is the likely culprit. Besides, tests on young animals showed permanent eye damage - even when the SLS was applied to areas other than the eye.

The Journal of the American College of Toxicology notes that this ingredient has a "degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties." What's more, the journal adds, "high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration."

The publication expressed additional concerns:

  • Carcinogenic nitrosamines can form in the manufacturing of sodium lauryl sulfate or by its inter-reaction with other nitrogen-bearing ingredients within a formulation utilizing this ingredient.
  • Other studies have indicated that sodium lauryl sulfate enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain from skin contact. This poses the question whether it could be a serious potential health threat from its use in shampoos, cleansers, and toothpastes.
  • Still other research has indicated sodium lauryl sulfate may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties.
  • Although sodium lauryl sulfate is not carcinogenic in experimental studies, it has been shown that it causes severe epidermal changes in the area it is applied, indicating a need for tumor-enhancing assays.
  • Additional studies have found that sodium lauryl sulfate is heavily deposited on the skin surface and in the hair follicles. Damage to the hair follicle could result from such deposition. (Source: a href="" target=”_blank”>David Steinman)

Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate

It is a surfactant and foaming agent.It is a skin and eye irritant. As a surfacant it may be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.

Sodium PCA

It is the sodium salt of pyrrolidone carbonic acid and is a humectant. It is hygroscopic (it absorbs moisture from the air). It can form carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds on the skin or in the body after absorption, if mixed with amines.( Some of the amines are Cocamide MEA, Cocamide DEA, TEA, Sodium Lauroyal Sarcosinate and Amino Methyl Propanol.)

Sodium Phytate

Sodium salt of Phytic acid. Phytic acid occurs in nature in the seeds of cereal grains and is derived commercially from corn. It is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially bran and seeds. Phytic acid may be considered a phytonutrient, providing an antioxidant effect. Phytic acid's same mineral binding properties may also prevent colon cancer by reducing oxidative stress in the lumen of the intestinal tract.

Sodium Polyacrylate

(Acrylic sodium salt polymer) It is a thickener. It's used in detergents too. This ingredient can contain methacrylic acid, acrylic acid or 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, known toxins that can be formed during its synthetic processing. According to Environment Canada Domestic Substance List, Sodium Polyacrylate is classified as expected to be toxic or harmful, because of potential organ system toxicity effects.

Sodium Riboflavin Phosphate

It's a derivative of Vitamin B2. There is little information regarding Sodium Riboflavin Phosphate. According to medical dictionaries, this ingredient "combines with phosphate to form enzyme cofactors flavin mononucleotide–FMN and flavin adenine dinucleotide–FAD, both involved in oxidation-reduction reactions." In other words, Sodium Riboflavin Phosphate, which can be developed from the water-soluble flavin of the vitamin B complex, (found in milk, organ meats, eggs, leafy green vegetables, whole grains and enriched cereals and breads, and various algae) can reduce oxidation in the skin, preventing drying or wrinkles. It is most often considered a skin conditioning agent when used in cosmetics and personal care products, and is also seen as a gentle acne treatment. The Cosmetics Database considers Sodium Riboflavin Phosphate a low hazard ingredient, and the Environmental Canada Domestic Substance List classifies it "as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful."

Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate

It is is a mild amino acid based emulsifier derived from natural and renewable resources. Created from coconut oil and Glutamic Acid this gentle ingredient has excellent emulsion stabilizing and structuring properties, is environmentally-friendly and well-tolerated by sensitive skin types. Generally used at 0.5% to 1%.

Sodium Trideceth Sulfate

It is a semisynthetic detergent-like compound derived from fatty acids modified using ethylene oxide. It is highly irritating.

Sodium Xylene Sulfonate:

A surfactant. Sodium Xylene Sulfonate has dissolving abilities, this is why is added to shampoos as a thickening agent. It is used in liquid detergent. It could be skin irritant. It's not carcinogenic.

Sorbitan Oleate:

It is a monoester of oleic acid and hexitol anhydrides derived from sorbitol. It is used in cosmetics to stabilize oils, it is also used as a fragrance ingredient, surfactant and it is primarily used as an emulsifier.

The Cosmetics Database considers Sorbitan Oleate a low hazard ingredient, although it does note it as a potential carcinogen because studies have shown cell mutation. The EWG has lesser concerns regarding organ system toxicity and irritation, due to animal studies that showed liver effects at high doses and skin irritation at moderate doses. (Truth in aging)

Sorbitan Stearate

Animal or vegetable emulsifier. If it's vegetable, then fine.

It binds moisture. This stabilization effect is why sorbitan stearate is known as an emulsifier.


It is a humectant. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol derived from fruits, corn and seaweed. It's safe.

"It is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in many fruits. It is in the same family as xylitol, mannitol, and erythritol, all of which are considered to be natural sweeteners. Many are even available in certified organic form. Just based on the fact that sorbitol is present in nature would suggest that it is, indeed, a natural compound. But what about when it is extracted from sugar beets?

When sorbitol is created on any kind of scale, it starts out as glucose. Glucose comes directly from the sugar beet without any chemical reaction occurring. Through the reduction process, glucose becomes sorbitol. So in this instance we have: Glucose >Sorbitol = Only one chemical reaction has occurred which means it's natural."

Sources: Chemical of the day

Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine

It is a positively charged surfactant, a fatty mine salt and it's used for its luminescent, pearl-like properties. It usually replaces the silicon, but it doesn't mean that the conditioner is silicone free. Made from Stearic fatty acid. It gives slip to hair without causing excessive build up because it is water soluble unlike oils or silicone.

Stearic Acid

It is a fatty acid and used as a lubricant, a hardener and an emulsifier, meaning it binds together materials -- such as oil and water -- that would usually separate. It occurs in many animal (extraction from tallow)and vegetable fats and oils. PETA states that stearic acid can be made from: Fat from cows and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters, etc. Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. Can be harsh, irritating. It can also be derived from coconut and palm oil. It helps make skincare creams and lotions “spreadable.” If you have sensitive skin, be careful, because Stearic Acid can sting.

Irritations of the skin may be accompanied by severe itching and often time redness and swelling. There are also rash-like symptoms that may occur like small red spots.

One of the milder side effects of stearic acid is making the skin sensitive to substances and direct exposure to the sun.

Animals who digested small amounts of stearic acid showed neurological side effects as well as organ system toxicity. In addition, low doses created skin irritation in lab tests, according to EWG.

Stephanie Greenwood (chemical of the day) says: "Most of the natural companies say their stearic acid is "made from coconut oil" but unless the product specifies, it's most likely animal-derived. Animal waste--the stuff that slaughterhouses can't use, the stuff that's not even good enough to make it in to hot dogs--are sent to places called rendering plants. Sometimes animal shelters will send euthanized dogs and cats to rendering plants as well. The dead carcasses and parts are separated meat from fat, bone from skin, and so on. The fat is then used to create cosmetic ingredients such as stearic acid."

It's usually used as an emulsifier or to thicken a cream.

In certain occasions, hive-like spots may occur in the skin which will often turn into blisters that can damage the skin. There are also times wherein the skin will turn scaly. (Source:

Stearyl Alcohol

It is a fatty alcohol. A product that is labeled “alcohol free” usually is free of harsh alcohols but most likely contains fatty alcohols. These fatty alcohols can, in fact, be quite beneficial for the skin and are excellent moisturizers. One example of a fatty alcohol that is commonly used in skincare products is stearyl alcohol. Generally, stearyl alcohol is a naturally fatty alcohol derived from stearic acid, coconut oil or vegetable fatty acids. In skincare products, it functions as an emulsifier and an emollient. An emulsifier is a compound used to help bind together the oil and liquid in the product. This keeps the oil and liquid from separating out over time. An emulsifier also functions to keep the finished product from generating foam when shaken. As an emollient, stearyl alcohol serves to soften the skin. It enhances a skincare product's moisturizing properties and functions as a humectant — a humectant allows water to bind to the skin. This helps give the skin a soft and smooth appearance and helps to maintain that appearance.


It is an aliphatic amine and it's used as antistatic agent. When animal-derived, a fat from cows, pigs, and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters, etc. May also be of plant origin, including from cocoa butter and shea butter. Can be harsh, irritating.

According to EWG, Stearamine is classified as expected to be toxic or harmful and suspected to be an environmental toxin.

Sucrose Laurate

It is the fatty acid esterified form of sucrose and lauric acid and is widely used as an emulsifier. It is surfactant, lowering surface tension to allow better spreading; emulsifying, allowing the mixture of liquids that wouldn't normally mix such as oil and water; and solubilizing, allowing solids to dissolve in liquids more easily. It is classed as a non-toxic generally regarded as safe (GRAS) additive. It is also used in environmentally friendly products because it's biodegradable.


Squalane was originally obtained from shark livers and sometimes it still is. The fish-friendly alternative is squalane made from olives. Unfortunately not all cosmetic manufacturers state the provenance of their squalane. It can be found in many vegetable oils. It is also found in human sebaceous secretions, as a precursor of cholesterol. In humans, squalane levels peak in our early 20s and then decline very rapidly. Highly refined squalane from olive demonstrates the most notable squalane characteristic: its ability to completely and rapidly penetrate the skin. Squalane is an antioxidant, prevents UV damage and the formation of age spots, promotes cell growth and is an antibacterial. Also in animal tests, at 100% concentrations, it was non-irritant to rabbit skin and eyes. Source

Squalane's hydrating and skin-softening effects on the skin help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, according to the February 2010 issue of the SOFW-Journal. Besides its anti-aging effects, it helps maintain healthy skin. Squalane is rapidly absorbed and spreads easily over the skin surface without leaving an oily or greasy feeling. Source

Tallow Acid

It is a refined hard fat extracted from fatty deposits of animals, especially from suet (fatty tissues around the kidneys of cattle and sheep). Often tallow is also derived from slaughtered animals.

According to the cosmetic safety database "Skin Deep," data gaps and limited availability of information from companies and government industries regarding the effects of tallow acid on human and environmental health is concerning. It is confirmed that exposure to tallow acid by itself, or in its raw form, is toxic to humans. However, not enough studies have been performed to confirm the safety of cosmetic products containing tallow acid.

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate

Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is made by taking the natural Vitamin C molecule and attaching 4 extra molecules to the corners of the Vitamin C molecule. It is a stable, oil-soluble form of Vitamin C. It increases collagen levels, reduce melanin production, brighten skin, and repair the effects of UV exposure and other environmental damage. It has a higher rate of penetration (because it is lipid soluble, like human skin) than other derivatives. It doesn't require a low pH to get it to penetrate the skin so it does not sting. Because this ingredient is effective in lower concentrations than traditional Vitamin C, it is less expensive for formulas, and has also been found to be gentler and work in some people who are resistant to ascorbic acid.

It also has the ability to stimulate the skin to produce glycosaminoglycans, natural moisturizers that allow skin to absorb moisture from the body itself.

A study showed that Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate "penetrates directly into the epidermis and dermis, acting both as an antioxidant and a direct stimulant of new collagen", however, this study was done by a company producing this ingredient, and cannot be considered independent.

It is generally considered mild and a non-irritant.

Source: Epilution, Truth in aging

Tetrasodium EDTA

It's a water softener and preservative that’s made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. It is produced synthetically for industrial purposes in the laboratory. It is also a penetration enhancer, meaning it breaks down the skin's protective barrier, going right into your bloodstream.

Thioctic Acid

Aka Alpha Lipoic Acid. It is an an antioxidant (a substance that neutralizes potentially harmful chemicals called free radicals). It has the ability to scavenge free-radicals which lead to premature aging and wrinkling. According to, Thioctic Acid is "readily transported through cellular membranes and helps to recycle other antioxidants. Thioctic Acid is both fat and water-soluble and therefore is easily absorbed and transported across cell membranes (that means it can work throughout the body.) It is also known to boost glutathione (a peptide) levels in cells. It appears to be able to recycle antioxidants such as vitamin C and glutathione after they have been used up.

Source: Truth in aging

Triethanolamine (TEA )

It is produced by reacting ethylene oxide (considered highly toxic) with ammonia (another known toxin). It is a fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster, surfactant and emulsifying agent. It has the potential to create nitrosamines, which are known to be highly carcinogenic. In animal studies, it caused cancer, kidney damage.

According to Cosmetic Ingredient Review, Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, and the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there is a strong evidence that Triethanolamine is a human skin, immune system and respiratory toxicant. One or more animal studies show sense organ effects at very low doses, especially when used around the mouth, eyes ( note: we are talking about an eye cream product!) and lips, and one or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results.

According to, Triethanolamine can cause allergic reactions including eye problems and it could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.

Tetrasodium EDTA

A 1999 studies on triethanolamine (by National Toxicology program) found that animals exposed to low concentration of triethanolamine developed skin erosion, acanthosis (dark hyperpigmentation). The 2004 study by National Toxicology Program found evidence of carcinogenic activity of triethanolamine in mice, particularly liver hemangiosarcoma and hepatocellular adenoma.

It's a water softener and preservative that’s made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. It is also a penetration enhancer, meaning it breaks down the skin's protective barrier, going right into your bloodstream.

You can find TEA in laundry detergents, dishwashing liquids, general cleaners, hand cleaners, polishes, metalworking fluids, paints and printing inks. A 1996 study found that Triethanolamine (TEA) occasionally causes contact allergy. A 2001 study found TEA in a sunscreen caused an allergic contact dermatitis.

Titanium dioxide (CI 77891)

Titanium dioxide is a widly used and durable pigment that provides a white hue, is an opacifier, reduces transparency, thickens and prevents deterioration of cosmetics, foods, paints, etc. It is a whitening agent and UV blocker.

In cosmetics, it serves several purposes. It is a white pigment, an opacifier and a sunscreen. It is a naturally occurring mineral used as a coloring agent, whitener, thickening agent, and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products.

Titanium dioxide is not a cancer-causing substance and is generally safe for use in foods, drugs, paints and cosmetics. This does not end the debate, however, as controversy over the safety of one unique form of titanium dioxide still exists.

I found an interesting post by Lori Stryker on The organic makeup company:

"One form of mineral or mineral extract, including titanium dioxide, that we should be concerned about is ultrafine or nano particles. As technology has advanced, so has its ability to take normal sized particles of minerals and reduce them to sizes never before imagined. While many are praising this new technology, others are warning of its inherent dangers to our bodies. A study by Churg et. al. at the University of British Columbia in their paper "Induction of Fibrogenic Mediators by Fine and Ultrafine Titanium Dioxide in Rat Tracheal Explants" (1999) found that ultrafine particles of the anatase form of titanium dioxide, which are less than 0.1 microns, are pathogenic or disease causing.

Many cosmetic companies are capitalizing on metal oxide nanoparticles. We have seen, however, that if titanium dioxide particles used to act as a sunscreen are small enough, they can penetrate the cells, leading to photocatalysis within the cell, causing DNA damage after exposure to sunlight (Powell, et. al. 1996) The fear is that this could lead to cancer in the skin. Studies with subjects who applied sunscreens with micronized titanium dioxide daily for 2-4 weeks showed that the skin can absorb microfine particles.

Coarse or fine particles of titanium dioxide are safe and effective at deflecting and absorbing UV light, protecting the skin, but consumers should avoid using products with micronized mineral pigments, either in sunscreens or colour cosmetics." (Kumazawa, et. al. study)

TD doesn't just reflect rays, it also absorbs them. And this means that, like chemical sunscreens, TD is a photosensitizer, absorbed by the skin and resulting in an increased production of free radicals. In a book called Sunscreen Photobiology—Molecular, Cellular and Physiological Aspects, the author Francis Gasparro says TD illuminated by short wave UV kills human cells. "The distinction between 'chemical' sunscreens and 'physical' sunscreens, attractive though it may be to those who market them, is not based on any significant difference. Both varieties have the potential to produce reactive species that can attack biological materials (human skin cells) when they are exposed to normal sunlight... What is established is that particles of titanium dioxide as large as 220 nm can enter human cells in culture."

Tocopheryl Acetate

This is the incorrect name of Vitamin E, because it is a form of Vitamin E. It's a skin-conditioning agent and antioxidant. It is the ester of Acetic Acid and Tocopherol and is often used as an alternative to pure Tocopherol (or undiluted Vitamin E) because it is considered more stable and less acidic. It's synthetic.

Tocopheryl forms may have slightly better shelf life than Tocopherol. There’s no evidence that the skin can utilize the tocopheryl forms, so for those planning to apply vitamin E to the skin it makes sense to buy tocopherol.

It does show tendencies of being a skin toxicant; several in vitro tests on mammalian cells showed positive mutation results. While most people say rubbing vitamin E on a scar helps it heal, research hardly proves that theory. In a Dermatologic Surgery article, the study shows that there is no benefit to the cosmetic outcome of scars by applying vitamin E after skin surgery.

It is a skin sensitizer and accordint to CIR, Tocopherly Acetate is a human skin toxicant and in vitro tests on mammalian cells showed positive mutation results, linking it to cancer. Potentially contaminated with impurities linked to cancer or other significant health problems. It can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. Because companies usually don't say if it's sythetic or vegetable, it's better if you avoid it. ( A good company would be proud if the ingredient is plant based, thus they would indicate it on the label.)


This is the chemical name of the Vitamin E, but unfortunately the vast majority of cases it indicates a synthetic version. The non synthetic version is germ oil and it is also written on the product (eg. Wheat Germ Oil), rather than tocopherol.


I read a post not too long ago about Triclosan in the Montreal Gazette that says Triclosan is showing up in such alarming levels in our bodies and in the environment that it should be banned from personal care products such as hand sanitizers, soaps and toothpastes, says a Toronto environmental group.

But what is Triclosan?

It is a preservative and an anti-bacterial substance. You can find Triclosan in almost every product: 76%of liquid soaps, 29% of bar soaps, toothpaste, mouthwashes, body washes, deodorants and lipsticks too (eg. Revlon).

A 2006 study found triclosan in the breast milk and blood plasma of Swedish mothers who use personal products containing the substance.

Triclosan can react with chlorine (from tap water) and these two together create chloroform, a known carcinogen.

According to Dr. Alan Inglis Triclosan kills bacteria—at first. But research has shown that prominent bacteria such as e.coli, salmonella, shigella and other intestinal bacteria become resistant to it pretty quickly. These bacteria learn to use an internal pump to expel the triclosan when they come into contact with it. Bacteria has an instinct for survival—it was around before us, and it will be here long after we’re gone.

But the bad news about triclosan doesn’t end there. It is what we call an endocrine disruptor, and may interfere with normal functioning of your thyroid hormone and estrogen. It’s associated with allergies and can become contaminated with dioxin, a known carcinogen. This is particularly troublesome, because triclosan stores itself in fat.

Triclosan is also wildlife and environmental toxicant.


It as a fragrance ingredient, buffering agent, and masking ingredient. There is a lack of information available about Tromethamine at this time.


There is no information was found.


According to Marilynn Syrett: "Urea is actually the primary organic solid of urine. It boosts the process of protein synthesis in the body and supplies essential nitrogen contents. It is a natural moisturizer that is found within the skin. This is why dry skin has very low levels of urea. In fact, it is a natural moisturizing factor (NMF) present in the outer layers of the skin. Because of this, it is extremely beneficial for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Because urea acts on the skin's barrier, it helps other ingredients of skin care products to penetrate better within the skin surface."

Urea is one of the three natural moisturizing factors in the outer horny layer of skin, the other two being lactic acid and amino acids. Representing 7% of the natural moisturizing factors in the stratum corneum (skin-building layer), urea plays a vital role in maintaining the skin's moisture balance and suppleness. Reduced levels of urea lead to a lower water-binding capacity within the skin, which in turn, can lead to roughness, tightness, flaking, and irritation.

Lab-manufactured urea can be helpful in treating scaly skin, corns, calluses, and ingrown nails. By increasing moisture levels within the skin, urea not only softens and reduces rough texture, but it also has a localized anesthetic effect, helping to curtail cycles of itching, irritation, and flare-ups. It may also be used in helping remove dead tissue to speed wound healing because it can improve the capacity of the epidermal barrier to regenerate.

Urea is an effective humectant, which means that it binds water below the surface of the epidermis, right down to the stratus corneum. Urea is highly hygroscopic, or water-loving, and modifies the structure of amino chains and polypeptides in skin.

It can be irritating to the skin and may cause dermatitis with repeated exposure. Urea's Material Safety Data Sheet indicates that this substance (in its pure form) can cause skin and eye irritation from direct contact.

Though side effects are generally mild and rare, the Cosmetics Safety Database gives it a hazard ranking of 4.

Diazolidinyl urea and imidazolidinyl urea (trade name Germall 115) both release formaldehyde, which raises a red flag for altered DNA (aka cancer), as well as a number of physical and psychological problems.

Extremely sensitive, oily, or infected skin should steer clear of all topical products containing urea.

Carbamide is the synthetic version of urea.

Source: Truth in aging

VP/Eicosene Copolymer

It's a binder, film former and suspending agent. It is used as the water-proofing compound, allowing the product to be water resistant. It helps the sunscreen adhere better to skin and resist breaking down in water, but it doesn’t last for hours.


Other name: Aqua. Almost every cream based on water. Water is an emollient, ( which means they prevent dryness and protect the skin) but because it evaporates quickly it is ineffective. Right next to or after it on the ingredient list should be a natural oil, like Pure Olive oil, Sunflower Oil, Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Macadamia Oil, etc. The water absorbs in the skin, the oil coats the water and drenches the upper layer of the skin, thus the skin won't be dry. In other words: it needs to be held on the skin by emollient oils in what is called an emulsion. Water-binding ingredients are often added to improve the water binding properties of these creams.

80% of a body wash is water, because it makes it more liquid.

Withania Somnifera

Other names: Indian ginseng and winter cherry. It is a plant that is native to Southeast Asia, and grown particularly in India.

It is primarily used medicinally.

It is also used in a preparation called ashwagandha oil, which is designed as a skin toner.

It is antioxidant and it has anti-aging potential.

Source: WiseGeek

Xanthan Gum

Accoridng to WiseGeek, xanthan gum is as natural as any other fermented corn sugar polysaccharide. The name is derived from the strain of bacteria used during the fermentation process, Xanthomonas campestris.

It is a binder and a stabilizer. It is also used in oil-in-water emulsions to help stabilise the oil droplets against coalescence. In most products it is used at 0.5 to 1% and can be used in lower concentrations.

Xanthan Gum a low hazard ingredient, although it could cause anaphylatic reaction in some after ingestion.

Yellow 5

Aka Tartrazine. It is an artificial color. It is a cheap alternative to beta-carotene. It is derived from coal tar that is continuously tested on animals due to its carcinogenic properties. Allergenic residues be included. Some coal tar colors have already been banned and almost all have been found to cause cancer in animals. In addition, they are very common sources of allergic reactions in some people, causing skin rashes and hives. Artificial colors may be problematic in lipsticks as many have not been tested for carcinogenicity and, like coal tar dyes, can cause allergic reactions.

The following colors are recommended to avoid: CI 45425, Brilliant Blue FD&C (CI 42090), Acid Yellow 23 (CI 19140) and Sunset Yellow (CI 15985).

Coal-tar colors are materials consisting of one or more substances that either are made from coal-tar or can be derived from intermediates of the same identity as coal-tar intermediates. They may also include diluents or substrata.(See Federal Register, May 9, 1939, page 1922.) Today, most are made from petroleum.

Tartrazine cause anxiety, migraines, asthma attacks, blurred vision, eczema, other skin rashes, the list is long.

It is bioaccumulative: builds up in wildlife, food chain and people lingering in body tissues for years/decades after exposure.

Accordind to The good, the bad and the nasty the mixture of sodium benzoate and FD&C Yellow 5 has been associated with increased hyperactivity in children and FD&C Yellow 5 has also been associated with cancer, especially thyroid tumors, as well as chromosomal damage and reduced sperm count.

Zinc Carbonate

Other name is: Smithsonite. It is a mineral ore of zinc.

This astringent was used in the old days to dry up skin lesions. Here, it ensures that the zinc and pyrithione stay mixed together and effective. (Source:

Zinc Oxide

It is the metal zinc that has been oxidized.Zinc Oxide is a powdered mineral that works as a sunscreen by sitting on top of the skin, scattering and absorbing ultraviolet (UV) rays. is the safest & most effective single active sunscreen ingredient. It protects from UVA and UVB rays and does not enter the body through the skin.

When a substance is so small that it is measured in nano-meters (1 to 100 billionths of a meter), the surface area to volume ratio is so great that sometimes the properties of the substance can change. One comprehensive review of the scientific literature(1) shows that particles of Zinc Oxide greater than 30nm do not exhibit characteristics any different than those of larger sized particles. Well intentioned groups such as "Friends of the Earth" and "Consumer Reports" popularize the nanoparticle controversy by highlighting the potential health risks caused by nanoparticles if they were to enter deeper tissues, the blood, or the lungs. Science overwhelmingly shows that particles of Zinc Oxide greater than 30nm, when applied to the skin, do not get absorbed into the body, do not enter the bloodstream, and are not a threat to human health.

There are no studies showing that nanoparticles of Zinc Oxide can penetrate healthy human skin, whereas there are several studies showing that chemical sunscreen ingredients, which are molecular in size and thus significantly smaller than nanoparticles, are absorbed into the blood. The biggest concern with nanoparticles in cosmetics is the threat of inhalation with powders. This is not a concern when the powder is dispersed in a cream or lotion base. Even the Environmental Working Group recommends the use of nano sized mineral sunscreens over chemical sunscreens.

Many sunscreens use Zinc Oxide whose particles have been coated with an inert substance. The reasons for coating are usually to make small particles less reactive, and to make them easier to mix with the base ingredients. Larger particles are less reactive than smaller particles. It looks like that the uncoated pharmaceutical grade Zinc Oxide is the safest, however uncoated Zinc Oxide is somewhat more photoreactive than coated Zinc Oxide.

Zinc Oxide, and most powders, can be a health risk if inhaled. This is not a concern with Zinc Oxide in our cream- and lotion-based sunscreens. Zinc Oxide can also be photoreactive, meaning that when it is exposed to UV light it can generate reactive oxygen species, or free radicals, which can damage living cells. Most researchers and health organizations agree that since Zinc Oxide sits on the outer, dead, layer of skin, any free radicals generated will not affect living cells below.

You have to use a lot of it (~20% of the formula) to get an SPF 30, and this can be whitening on some skin types, so not everyone likes it. Also, it's more expensive than chemical actives. Have you noticed how cheap chemical based sunscreens are compared to mineral sunscreens? We think the peace of mind is worth the additional cost and a little whitening on the skin.

provides complete UVB/UVA protection, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is considered a safe sunscreen ingredient. Zinc oxide is the only FDA approved sunscreen for use on children under 6 months of age. However, the regular form of zinc oxide leaves a strong white residue on the skin. To create a clear skin product rather than one that leaves a white residue, zinc oxide is now made in the form of nano-size particles. There is growing concern about the toxicity of nanoparticles, and this concern has initiated a world-wide effort to study the skin absorption and phototoxicity of nanoparticles of preparations used in sunscreens and cosmetics. Recent research shows that nanoparticles can cross the human placenta, possibly exposing the developing fetus to the tiny materials. At this time, the safety of nanoparticles has not been proven, so caution is prudent, especially when pregnant or using these products on children.

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