1,4-dioxane: Contaminant formed as a byproduct during the manufacturing process of certain ingredients. Potential ingredients can be identified by: PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, and the prefix such as: “-eth-“ or the ingredient includes “-oxynol”. Learn more about 1,4-dioxane contamination from the -FDA.
Alcohol Alkoxylate: used as an emulsifier, wetting agent, and antifoam agent. Health concerns: skin irritant and considered highly toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. 2
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: Aloe Juice.
Amylase Enzyme: used as a cleaning agent and breaks down starches.
Amine Cobalt Salt: used as a bleach catalyst. (amine=organic derivative of ammonia) More information is needed.
Borago Oficinales (Borage) Seed Oil: Borage seed oil is native to Syria and the Mediterranean. It is used as a skin conditioner and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: Shea butter is a skin conditioner.
Cellulose Gum: Binding agent, lubricant, and emulsion stabilizer. Cellulose gum is extracted from wood pulp and cotton linters.
Cera Alba (Beeswax): Purified beeswax.
Citric Acid: Weak, organic acid found in citrus fruits. Citric acid is used as a natural antioxidant, preservative, pH adjuster, and fragrance.
Coco Glucoside: A natural and mild surfactant (detergent) derived from coconut oil.
Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil: Coconut oil is a skin conditioner.
Comfrey Extract (Symphtum Officinale): Contains allantoin that encourages cell growth and reduces inflammation. The Comfrey plant also contains Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids that cause liver damage. The University of Maryland advises AGAINST using Comfrey extract on infants and children. Health concerns: Liver Damage. Do not ingest. Do not use on broken skin.
Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil: Pumpkin seed oil is used as a skin conditioner.
Decyl Glucoside: Glucose-based surfactant derived from corn and coconuts. It is considered biodegradable and gentle enough for delicate skins of fruits and vegetables (its often used in fruit and vegetable cleanser).
Dicaprylyl Carbonate: Skin conditioner derived from solid fat (synthetic, animal, or plant). No known health issues.
Disodium Cocoampodiacetate: Surfactant made from coconut oil.
Disodium EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid): A preservative salt that chelates or inactivates metal ions to promote the longevity of products.
Disodium Phosphate: An inorganic salt additive that preserves, prevents corrosion, and enhances texture.
Glycerin: Lubricant used in soaps and cosmetics. Glycerin can be made from plants, animal fat, or synthetically.
Glyceryl Oleate: Skin conditioning agent and emulsifier made from naturally occurring oils and fats (animal or plants). Glyceryl Oleate is considered a safe ingredient in cosmetics. (per FDA and CIR). Known to cause skin irritation in some. Also known as Glyceryl Monooleate.
Helianthus Annuus (Sunower) Oil: Sunflower seed oil.
Hydrozincite: used as an etching inhibitor in automatic dish detergents. Hydrozincite is a naturally occurring mineral known as zinc bloom. Health concerns: skin and eye irritant. Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. 3
Lauryl Glucoside: Surfactant (cleanser) derived from coconuts.
Microcrystalline Cellulose: Refined wood pulp used as an anti-caking agent, texture modifier, and suspending agent.
Modified Polyacrylate: used as an antiredeposition agent (keeps fine particles from settling back on clean dishes) in dish detergent. Health concerns: more information is needed.
Olea Europaea (Olive Fruit) Oil: Olive oil is a skin conditioner.
Perfumes: can contain an array of ingredients ranging from plant oils to contaminated and carcinogenic synthetics.
Phenoxyethanol: Preservative to prevent bacterial growth and as a fixative to perfumes and fragrances. Health concerns include skin irritation and central nervous system in infants. Considered “safe” in concentrations less than 1%. I personally try to limit exposure to Phenoxyethanol.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): used as a moisturizer, solvent and processing aid. PEGs are at risk for being contaminated with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane. Health concerns: skin irritation and carcinogenic effects from contamination.
Polyglyceryl-2-Dipolyhydroxystearate: Vegetable based emulsifier and skin protectant.
Polysorbate 20: Surfactant, emulsifier, fragrance. Unfortunately, polysorbate-20 is at risk of becoming contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product.
Potassium Cocoate: a natural liquid surfactant (detergent) derived from the potassium salt of coconut fatty acid.
Potassium Sorbate: Preservative that kills microorganisms. Potassium Sorbate is the potassium salt of Sorbic Acid. Recognized safe for use in cosmetics (per CIR and FDA).
Protease Enzyme: used as a cleaning agent and breaks down proteins.
Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil: Pomegranate seed oil is a skin conditioner with high antioxidant activity.
Quillaja Saponaria Bark (Soap Bark) Extract: cleaning agent derived from Soap Bark.
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil: Oil from the Ricinus Communis plant. You may recognize castor oil as a household laxative but it is also a thickening agent used in many cosmetics. The FDA identifies castor oil as a natural flavor additive and laxative. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel concludes that castor oil is safe for use in cosmetics.
Silver Citrate: Marketed as a “natural” preservative and anti-microbial.
Sodium Benzoate: Antifungal preservative used in cosmetics, foods, sodas, and medicines. Health concerns: skin irritant, possible link to ADHD. Avoid use with ascorbic acid + metals due to possibility to create carcinogenic benzene.
Sodium Carbonate (soda ash): mineral cleaning agent and water softener. Considered harmful in large quantities.
Sodium Citrate: Cosmetic manufacturers use sodium citrate to balance the acidity in products.
Sodium Percarbonate: (AKA: solid hydrogen peroxide). Sodium percarbonate is used as an activated oxygen component in detergents and cleaning aids. It is considered to be an effective and environmentally safe disinfecting and bleaching agent 1. Health concerns: virtually no toxicity concerns, local irritation is possible.
Sodium Silicate: a “water glass ” or “liquid glass” sealant made by combining water and soda ash (sodium carbonate) at a high temperature. Health concerns: Diluted solutions of sodium silicate are strong alkaline irritants and solid sodium silicate is corrosive. Exposure to alkaline corrosives could result in severe burns.
Sorbitan Oleate: emulsifier and cleaning agent derived from corn sugars. EPA Safer Choice recognizes Sorbitan Oleate of low concern based on experimental and modeled data.
Symphtum Officinale (Comfrey) Extract: Contains allantoin that encourages cell growth and reduces inflammation. The Comfrey plant also contains Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids that cause liver damage. The University of Maryland advises AGAINST using Comfrey extract on infants and children. Health concerns: Liver Damage. Do not ingest. Do not use on broken skin.
Tocopherol: Vitamin E derived from vegetable oils.
Tocopheryl Acetate: Synthetic Vitamin E.
Xanthan Gum: binding agent and emulsifier made from fermented sugars and bacteria.