With all the cosmetic options we have to choose from, many find it overwhelming to have an onslaught of new (and often more expensive) cosmetic lines to choose from: the “green” market. The rise of ”green” everything is seen by many as a hippie trend, but it’s important to consider just why the demand/necessity for it has come about.
So, why go green? Regarding everything from groceries to cosmetics, there’s a false notion among consumers that if something has made its way onto store shelves, it must be safe enough to use. The unfortunate reality is that less than 12% of the cosmetics on the market have even had their safety assessed, and in many cases we don’t even know the potential health effects of the various chemicals. Many ingredients used in everything from sunscreen to baby shampoo have been linked to cancer, learning disabilities, and even asthma, to name a few.
The huge companies and conglomerates that sell these products are actually the ones in charge of assessing the safety of their own products (talk about conflict of interest!). When they make both the rules and the products, we end up in a place where words like “herbal” and “natural” have no legal definition. Even hair perms and skin whiteners can make these claims while being some of the most toxic items on the market.
This lack of regulation is a critical part of why the truly green market has emerged. Many honest entrepreneurs have dedicated themselves to producing and making available all kinds of cosmetics that don’t contain any toxic chemicals. This often comes with higher production expenses, since they have opted for natural and organic ingredients instead of the cheaper toxic ones, but greater safety is worth it when it comes to our health. Here below are some links where you can learn more!
Animal by-products: The only animal by-products we allow are beeswax, lanolin, and carmine. For beeswax, we ensure through our makers that use beeswax that no direct harm has come to the bees. Any product containing lanolin, we verify the source is aligned with our values, and not exposed to any spraying of pesticides amongst other things.
Hydroquinone: used for skin lightening: 1,4-Benzenediol; 1,4-Benzoquinol; 1,4-Dihydroxybenzene; Dihydroquinone; Eldopacque; Eldopaque; Eldopaque Forte; Eldoquin; 4-Hydroxyphenol; p-Hydroxyphenol; p-Phenylenediol; p-Quinol.
Parabens: all preservatives containing ethylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben.
Chemical SPFs: Benzophenone; Diphenylmethanone; Diphenyl ketone; 119-61-9; Benzoylbenzene; Phenyl ketone; Oxybenzone; 2-Hydroxy-4 Methoxybenzophenone; 131-57-7; Benzophenone-3; (2-hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl). Another chemical SPF found in many brands is Avobenzone.
Ethoxylated ingredients: are ingredients that are synthetically produced using ethylene oxide - a known carcinogen. These new chemical compounds are known as ethoxylated compounds. A by-product of this process is another chemical known to be harmful: 1,4 dioxane. Also, the chemicals listed below are all produced using this process of ethoxylation and, as a result, are contaminated with 1,4 dioxane. To avoid ethoxylated compounds look for these ingredients listed on labels:
Butoxyethanol: Synonyms: Butyl cellosolve; Ethylene glycol mono-n-butyl ether; Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether; EGBE; Dowanol EB; Butyl oxitol; Jeffersol EB; Ektasolve EB
Polysorbates: Synonyms are All PEG (Polyethylene & Polypropylene glycol) compounds, like PEG-20, 40, 60, and its synonyms, Polysorbate-20, Polysorbate-40,etc.
Emulsifying Wax NF
Sorbitan Monostearate and other sorbitan based ingredients are also synonyms with PEGs (polysorbates).
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Laureth Sulfate and most ingredients ending in "-eth".
Any ingredient known to actually contain 1,4-dioxane
Ingredients that will never actually be listed on the ingredient deck, but their by-products, residues and derivatives listed below are not present [to the best of our ability to verify] in any products we carry at CLEAN BEAUTY MART.
Formaldehyde will never be seen listed as an ingredient by itself, but other concerning chemicals known as Formaldehyde releasing chemicals, also known as Formaldehyde donors, often are. So watch out for these chemicals that release formaldehyde when two or more other chemicals react to each other, or sometimes when other synthetic chemicals age and deteriorate: DMDM Hydantoin/ Diazolidinyl Urea/ Methylisothiazolinone, Tetrasodium EDTA, Disodium EDTA, and Calcium Disodium EDTA.
Heavy Metals: You'll never actually see these ingredients listed, but they occur at trace levels in some pigments that are mined, like micas. We trust that our vendors who use mineral-based pigments have procured them from trusted sources and can verify they don't contain concerning percentages. It's for this reason that the FDA regulates color pigments, to protect the consumer from exposure to high dosages of heavy metals. We follow the FDA approved guidelines for regulated pigments and ask that our vendors verify that if they use FD&C colors that they can trace the source and assure their colors are within FD&C accepted parameters. All products must meet the minimums established by FDA for cosmetics for residues of: Mercury & Mercury Compounds, Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium.
Phthalates: You may never see the word "phthalates" listed, but will see: DBP, DEHP, DEP, and its synonyms: 1,2-benzendicarboxylicacid, dimethylester; 1,2-dimethyl phthalate;ai3-00262; Avolin; caswellno380; Dimethyl 1,2-benzenedicarboxylate acid; Dimethyl benzene-o-dicarboxylate; Dimethyl benzeneorthodicarboxylate.
Petrolatum - Petrochemicals: You will rarely see "petrolatum" listed anymore. However its by-products are often listed. We've included a list of a few glaringly concerning petroleum derivatives below. But sometimes, petroleum is actually listed, but clever marketers will disguise the name, we've tried to include all of the synonyms below. Contaminants from hydrocarbons, and the processing of crude oil: Toluene, Hexane, Mineral Oil, Paraffin Wax, Benzene, Mineral oil, Liquid paraffin.
Ingredients you may find listed in some of our products that we continue to monitor and recognize there is some controversy surrounding them. We have allowed them for now and provided context for doing so:
The Glycols Specifically Propylene Glycol and Butylene Glycol. (The other glycol "polypropylene glycol", also known as PEG, is an ethoxylated ingredient and is included on our Dirty List). Propylene and Butylene Glycol are synthetic chemicals derived from petroleum compounds and are used mostly to attract moisture to the skin, as well as condition the texture of the product to keep it from separating. The Cosmos Standard in the EU accepts Propylene and Butylene at small levels and there is not enough research to document major concerns. One thing we are aware of however is that these two glycols may increase the skin's ability to absorb, meaning if the product contains anything in it that may be potentially irritating the glycols would increase their absorption.
Retinyl Palmitate and other various retinoids, (Vitamin A palmitate). The concern is mostly when the ingredient is on the skin and then exposed to sunlight. Retinyl Palmitate appears to be safe in night creams and other applications in when not exposed to sunlight.
Silicones You will mostly find them listed as dimethicone, cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, or ingredients ending in "cone" - and they are included as an ingredient to adjust the texture, make the skin feel smooth, fill in wrinkles, and add shine and glow. There really isn't enough research to identify this synthetic chemical as cause for concern for human health, but there are a few things about it that we thought we'd let you know so you can make an informed decision: 1) It is a totally synthetically manufactured chemical, not derived from plants 2) It's has been shown to bio-accumulate, meaning it does not biodegrade and may cause environmental damage 3) It is an occlusive, meaning it will clog pores. So if you are acne prone, it may be best to stay away from products that list this as an ingredient.
Synthetic Color Pigments derived from petroleum (aka coal tars). These color pigments are highly regulated by the FDA, and the FDA only allows the use of these specific FDA approved colorants – we verify this with our brand partners to ensure their compliance.
Synthetic Fragrance EU labeling laws require that any product that is scented by either plant-based (meaning essential oils) or nature-identical compounds (synthetic compounds that mimic naturally occurring ones) be listed as "fragrance" or "parfum" on the label. Brands using essential oil blends are asked to identify the individual oils by using an *. Whereas a brand that uses synthetic compounds (aka natural identical) will not list the individual chemical compounds. We thoroughly vet brands using synthetic fragrance, note it on each ingredient page and obtain a statement that they have verified that the synthetic fragrance molecules used do not contain phthalates. You can read more about our take on fragrance here.
Ingredients that you will most likely not see listed anymore on any ingredient deck anywhere– and certainly not in any brand or product at CLEAN BEAUTY MART. There has been recent legislation in the US, EU, UK and Japan, banning and restricting their inclusion in personal care products:
Triclosan: Synonyms: 5-chloro-2-(2-4dichlorophenoxy)phenol.
Triclocarban: Synonyms: TCC; cusiter; CUTISAN; CP 78416;ent26925; Nobacter; genoface; ENT 26925;Procutene; NSC-72005.
Note: As of September 2016, a new FDA ruling has now banned the use of these ingredients in antibacterial washes and sanitizers.
BHT /BHA, preservatives: butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene
Note: These chemicals are banned in UK and Japan; and are not often found in cosmetics; they are more often used as a preservative in food.
Bisphenols: Bisphenol A (BPA): bisphenol B (BPB), bisphenol E (BPE), bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol S (BPS) and 4-cumylphenol (HPP) to BPA
Note: Generally, you won't find this listed as a cosmetic ingredient, but if it does appear, its more likely found in color cosmetics. The concern is mostly in its presence in plastic containers and paper receipt coatings – which has recently been banned in France.
Methyl Cellosolve. Synonym: 2-Methoxyethanol.
Note: Because this ingredient has been banned in the EU (it's a solvent used as an additive in perfumes). Chances are you won't see it listed anymore as an actual ingredient component.
Methylisothiazolinone: Synonyms: 3(2H)-Isothiazolone, 2-methyl-; 2-Methyl-2H-isothiazol-3-one; 2-Methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one; 2-Methyl-3(2H)-isothiazolone.
Note: As of January 2016 the EU has banned the use of this preservative, also known as MIT, in leave-on cosmetic products. So you probably won't see this listed anymore as an ingredient component.
Resorcinol and 2-Methylresorcinol: also listed as 1,3-benzenediol, resorcin, 1,3-dihydroxybenzene(m-hydroxybenze, m-dihydroxyphenol) are mostly exclusively used in hair dyes, to help the color bond to hair shaft, which are a category of products we don't sell at Credo. Occasionally however they may creep into acne treatments to help smooth scaly, uneven skin. The main concern with these chemicals are their actions as colorants. The EU, Japan and even the US has restricted their use.
CLEAN BEAUTY MART also screens for ingredients accepted by referencing the below allowed lists: The California Safe Cosmetic Act, California Safe Cosmetic Act 2005 listed material and known carcinogens, ECOCERT approved ingredients