3.24.14

We’ve had so much fun with Christy and the Beautycounter team this month. We asked their team to share their super-convenient, don’t-even-think-about-touching-it ingredient guide, The Never List. Here they are with a little more about it. Bookmark this one!

Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues (including but not limited to asthma, learning disabilities, cancer and infertility) are on the rise, due in part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals – whether it’s in the shower on our commute, while we lunch at a local restaurant or when we clean our kitchens at home.

It’s time for a change. Because we deserve better.

At Beautycounter, our mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone. We never, ever use ingredients known to be harmful. That includes the 1,300 ingredients banned or restricted in the E.U. and the 11 ingredients banned in the U.S.

We also rely on our proprietary Never List, which includes dozens of common toxic ingredients that we avoid at all costs . We’ve ruled out over 1,500 ingredients from our consideration set to date.

We’re really proud of our Never List. Print it out, put it in your bag, and reference it if you need a little help deciphering the ingredients in your next purchase. Here’s to working together towards a future where our children will no longer have to look at the ingredient label!

Our Never List is a robust roundup of ingredients that you will never find in Beautycounter products. We have done our homework to make recognizing, understanding, and avoiding these ingredients easier for you. Print out an always-with-you Never List and carry in your wallet for easy reference while on the go.

Beautycounter’s The Never List

Animal fats, oils, and musks:

Tallow, rendered beef or mutton fat, oils or musks from animals like mink, emu and sharks that are procured after an animal has been killed. Found in: soap, salve, shaving products, lubricants, paints, and all types of cosmetics.

Benzalkonium chloride:

A disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye and respiratory irritation and allergies. Found in: sunscreens, moisturizers.

Benzophenone and derivatives:

A possible human carcinogen and hormone disruptor used as a fragrance ingredient and to absorb ultraviolet light. Found in: nail polish, sunscreen.

BPA:

Bisphenol A is a hormone disruptor that may also alter DNA, used in plastics and resins. Found in: plastic bottles, lining of aluminum food cans, possibly in eyeshadow and styling gel.

Butoxyethanol:

A solvent used to control viscosity, or a “fragrance” additive. It irritates skin and may cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. Found in: fragrance, hair color.

BHA and BHT:

Synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors, and may cause liver damage. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.

Coal tar:

A byproduct of coal processing that is a known carcinogen. It is used as a colorant and an anti-dandruff agent. Found in: hair dye, shampoo.

1,4-dioxane:

A by-product of manufacturing that is a probable human carcinogen (a known animal carcinogen) as well as toxic to organs and the respiratory system, and a skin irritant. Likely to be present where ethoxylated ingredients like sodium laureth sulfate, PEGs, and ceteareth are listed on ingredient labels. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.

EDTA:

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid is a chelating (binding) agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. May be toxic to organs. Found in: hair color, moisturizers.

MEA/DEA/TEA:

Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA) are surfactants and pH adjuster linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development. Found in: hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances, sunscreens, dry cleaning solvents, paint, pharmaceuticals.

Formaldehyde:

Used as a preservative in cosmetics. A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Present where quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol) and several other preservatives are listed. Beautycounter does not use any of these formaldehyde-donating preservatives. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.

Hydroquinone:

A skin lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is a linked to cancer, organ toxicity and skin irritation. Found in: skin lightening creams.

Methyl cellosolve:

A fragrance ingredient and solvent that is an irritant and a possible neurotoxin, developmental toxin, and cause of DNA mutations that could lead to cancer. Found in: anti-aging creams.

Methylisothia-zolinone and methylchloro-isothiazolinone:

Chemical preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers and causes of contact skin allergies. Found in: shampoo, conditioner, body wash.

Mercury and mercury compounds

Also listed as thimerosal, metallic element used as a preservative and antiseptic known to damage brain function. Found in: ear and eye drops; may be used in mascara.

Mineral Oil:

Also listed as liquid paraffin, liquid petrolatum and paraffin oil; a by-product of petroleum distillation that may cause contact dermatitis. Found in: baby lotions, cold creams, ointments.

Oxybenzone:

Sunscreen agent and ultraviolet-light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption. Found in: sunscreen, moisturizer.

Parabens:

Methyl-, isobutyl-, proply- and others; a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Specifically, parabens mimic estrogen; they can lock on to our cell’s own estrogen receptors and mess with important natural signals. They may play a role in triggering breast cancer. Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.

Phthalates:

DBP, DEHP, DEP and others; a class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray.

Polyethylene glycol:

Also known as PEG compounds. PEGs are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. Found in: creams, sunscreen, shampoo.

Resorcinol:

A colorant and fragrance ingredient that is a skin irritant, toxic to the immune system and organs, and suspected to cause hormone disruption. Found in: hair color.

Retinyl palmitate and Retinol (Vitamin A):

A nutrient that may damage DNA and speed the growth of skin tumors when used topically. Found in: moisturizer, anti-aging skincare.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate:

SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.

Synthetic flavor or fragrance:

An engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000+ stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets, and therefore can remain undisclosed. Found in: all types of cosmetics.

Toluene:

A volatile petrochemical solvent that is toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects. Found in: nail polish.

Triclosan and Triclocarban:

Antimicrobial pesticides toxic to the aquatic environment; may also impact human reproductive systems. Found in: liquid soap, soap bars, toothpaste.

Beautycounter will never test our finished products on animals, nor do we ask others to. Sources include: EWG Skin Deep Database, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, David Suzuki Foundation.


The makeup artist behind some of the most iconic beauties of our time is joining us to celebrate green beauty! It's time to detox that makeup bag...

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Leave A Comment

  1. The Never List really is a handy guide to let you know if you see any of these harmful ingredients listed in products then make a safer choice for yourself and your family.

    Liz Taylor | 03.26.2014 | Reply
  2. Claims against SLS are completely unfounded. Carcinogen claims came from the 1,4dioxane that could be released after ethoxylation. It’s the most natural and environmentally safe ingredient and is used in almost all natural cleaning products. Other names used to disguise those who are ill informed include sodium coco sulfate and coconut based surfactant. Get the facts before tossing something off the list because it was featured in a random health blog.

    Angela | 03.26.2014 | Reply
  3. What about the face cream “Nerium AD” which has a toxic plant poison as the main ingredients in all their products? The plant called Nerium Oleander is very toxic. Should that be on your list?

    Colleen Rentis | 11.21.2014 | Reply


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