Our Standards

“Between cosmetics, perfumes, personal care products and feminine hygiene products, women in the US apply an average of 168 chemicals to their faces and bodies every day...some of which are endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and neurotoxins, most of which have not been independently reviewed for safety before hitting store shelves." (The Guardian 2015)

So how do we decide if a product will be sold at Vital Body Products? We want to be as transparent as we possibly can so here are the standards that we adhere to.

- You will only find products that contain ingredients that are TRULY toxin free.

- You will never find toxic chemicals or heavy metals in our products. See below the list of 28 toxins and chemicals you will never find at Vital Body Products.

- You will never find products that have been ‘green washed’. (‘Greenwashing' is a marketing tactic where toxic products are packaged and marketed as if they are natural. This is extremely common and makes the job of finding good products even more confusing and difficult.)

- Our products must work brilliantly. All our products have been personally tested by founder Jasmine Potts and her family.

- We will always try to bring you Australian Made products unless there is not one made here that meets our standards.

- Products must be biodegradable for the environment and have recyclable packaging.

- Products will always be packed in re-used or recyclable material and we have chosen to deliver with a carbon neutral carrier. For more information please see our Shipping Policy.

 

28 toxins and chemicals you will never find at Vital Body Products

(We have included the main ones here but this list is not exhaustive, we will continue to add to this list as we go.)


1,4 Dioxane

Toxic by product of the ethoxylation process used to make some cosmetic products. Banned in cosmetics now in most countries. A known carcinogen.

The EWG stated that it contaminates up to 46% of personal care products.

This chemical is often listed as 1,4-DIETHYLENE DIOXIDE; 1,4-DIOXACYCLOHEXANE; DI (ETHYLENE OXIDE) ; DIETHYLENE DIOXIDE; DIETHYLENE DIOXIDE (OSHA) ; DIETHYLENE ETHER; DIOKAN; DIOKSAN (POLISH) ; DIOSSANO-1,4 (ITALIAN) ; DIOXAAN-1,4 (DUTCH) ; DIOXAN plus it is a contaminant in approx. 46% of all body care products from the making process.

 

Alcohol ethoxylate

Over 95% of Australian laundry detergents, including virtually all eco-brands, contain alcohol ethoxylate as a main component. This ingredient is classified as very toxic to aquatic organisms and labelled with a dead tree/dead fish label.

Under European and US conditions this ingredient has been cleared for use, and this has been copied into Australian regulations but Australian habits and conditions are different, with more direct exposure to backyards and water systems which directly impacts our environment in a negative manner.

 

Aluminium Compounds

Commonly found in deodorant & mostly antiperspirant. It is often linked to Alzheimer’s and brain disorders and is a possible risk factor in breast cancer. Also a suspected respiratory toxicity, human neurotoxicity.

Aluminium compounds can be found in drinking water, antiperspirants, deodorants, vaccinations, baking powders, feminine hygiene products, cow & soy milk, baby formula, antacids, and of course aluminium foil, pots and pans.

 

Benzyl Alcohol

(not be to be confused with Cetearyl, Stearyl, Cetyl and Behenyl alcohol) this is a preservative, solvent and fragrance ingredient. While some brands claim they use naturally-derived Benzyl Alcohol, it is unlikely. While Benzyl Alcohol is found in some plants, fruits, and oils extracted from flowers like jasmine and ylang-ylang, it is minute quantities and expensive. For most personal care products it is made in a lab mixing benzyl chloride with sodium hydroxide.

It is very irritating to the skin and is particularly dangerous to young children. In 1982 it was reported that it was linked with the deaths of 16 premature babies when it was used as a preservative in their IV fluids.#  It can affect the immune system causing itching, burning, and blistering of skin.

Toxcicity concerns on the EWG skin deep cosmetic database *For example: EcoStore says "Benzyl Alcohol is a synthetic chemical (no plant-based preservatives that meet our efficacy standards currently exist)" EcoStore uses synthetic Benzyl Alcohol in its cleaning and body products, including the kids range of Bubble Bath, Sleepy Time, Hand Wash. 

 

Cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) or coco-betaine

suspected to be an environmental toxin with contamination concerns, Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB) is a common surfactant used in personal care products, especially the so called ‘natural’ ones. It is a compound derived from coconut oil that you can find in a many of your “natural” or “organic” skin care and hair care products.

CAPB is created by mixing raw coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine which has been claimed to be an allergen. It is a harsh skin and eye irritant and was voted allergen of the year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society..

When you are shopping for a new, different shampoo, do the words ‘coconut-based cleanser’ ever lure you in? Lots of hair care products advertise the shine and volume you’ve always wanted in a ‘natural’ way.

This chemical can be found in many ‘natural’ personal care products, including shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and body wash.

Often listed as 1-PROPANAMINIUM, 3-AMINO-N- (CARBOXYMETHYL) -N,N-DIMETHYL-, N-COCO ACYL DERIVS., INNER SALTS; 1-PROPANAMINIUM, N- (CARBOXYMETHYL) -N,N-DIMETHYL-3- [ (1-OXOCOCONUT) AMINO] -, HYDROXIDE, INNER SALT; 1PROPANAMINIUM, 3AMINON (CARBOXYMETHYL) N,NDIMETHYL, NCOCO ACYL DERIVS., HYDROXIDES, INNER SALTS; CADG; COCAMIDO BETAINE; COCAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYL GLYCINE; COCOAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE; COCOYL AMIDE PROPYLBETAINE; COCOYL AMIDE PROPYLDI METHYL GLYCINE SOLUTION; COCOYL AMIDE PROPYLDIMETHYL GLYCINE; HYDROXIDE INNER SALT 1-PROPANAMINIUM, N- (CARBOXYMETHYL) -N,N-DIMETHYL-3- [ (1-OXOCOCONUT) AMINO]

 

Dioxins

The term "dioxin" is commonly used for a family of toxic chemicals found throughout the world in the environment. The highest levels of these compounds are found in some soils, sediments and food, especially dairy products, meat, fish and shellfish. Dioxins are environmental pollutants. They are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which means they don’t break down in the environment. Dioxins are of concern because of their highly toxic potential. Experiments have shown they affect a number of organs and systems. They can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.

The EWG stated that it contaminates up to 46% of personal care products.

Often listed as as DIOXIN; 2,3,7,8-TCDD; DIOKSYNY (POLISH) ; DIOXIN; DIOXIN (HERBICIDE CONTAMINANT) ; DIOXINE; NCI-C03714; TCDBD; TCDD; TETRADIOXIN

 

Dimethicone

This is a silicone-based polymer found in a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products that acts as an anti-foaming agent, skin-conditioning agent, skin protectant, and skin and hair conditioner. It is used to create a soft, smooth feel on skin and hair. This ingredient blocks pores from drawing moisture from the air and releasing toxins, and often leads to acne and irritation. It can also increase skin irritation and cause eye irritation in prolonged exposures and may cause allergic reaction to those with sensitive skin. For its environmental consequences, it is considered harmful for the environment because it is a non-biodegradable chemical.

This chemical can be found in moisturizers and serums, anti-aging products, acne products, makeup, body moisturizers, sunscreens and hair care.

Often listed as as dimethicone, methicone, phenyl trimethicone, cyclomethicone, dimethiconol, and dimethicone copolyol.

 

Formaldehyde

Chronic exposure to formaldehyde can cause issues with the nervous system. In high concentrations, it can also affect a person’s likelihood of contracting ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. In 2011, the U.S. government classified formaldehyde as a known carcinogen, yet it is still found in many skin care and beauty products.

Aside from ALS risk or other nervous system consequences, formaldehyde is a respiratory irritant that causes chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and nose and throat irritation, according to the ATSDR. It can also cause cancer, and has been linked to an increased risk of asthma and allergies in children.

This chemical can be found in most nail polishes, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers and eyeshadows.

Often listed as FORMALIN; FORMIC ALDEHYDE; MERTHALDEHYDE; METHANAL; METHYL ALDEHYDE; OXOMETHANE; OXYMETHYLENE; ALDEHYD MRAVENCI (CZECH) ; ALDEHYDE FORMIQUE (FRENCH) ; ALDEIDE FORMICA (ITALIAN) ; BFV

 

Fragrance/Parfum

This is a big one, it’s in SO MANY things. Even worse, the FDA doesn’t require an item with ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ to enclose what its ingredients actually are. There may be up to 4000 separate ingredients in any one ‘fragrance’; many of which are toxic and/or carcinogenic and are edocrine disruptors. Symptoms from these fragrances include dizziness, headaches, rashes, skin discolouration, violent coughing and allergic skin irritation.

Clinical studies have shown effects on the Central Nervous System causing depression, hyperactivity, inability to cope and other behavioural changes.

Fragrances are found in virtually all personal care products including for men and babies and also in many that are ‘greenwashed’ to appear natural.

 

Heavy Metals (Metalloestrogens)

Used as sweat blockers, colorants, whiteners, and lightening agents, common heavy metals (lead, aluminium, arsenic, mercury, zinc, chromium, and iron) are linked to hormonal disruption, an increased risk in cancer, reproductive issues, immune system disruption, allergies, cardiac problems, blood sugar problems, thyroid dysfunction and nervous system disorders etc. Heavy metals bio-accumulate in the body which means they just increase steadily over time because they are so difficult for the body to get out.

You will often find these in lip products, whitening toothpaste, eyeliner, nail colour, foundations, sunscreens, eye shadows, blush, concealer, moisturizers, eye drops.

These can be named in many ways but sometimes known as Aluminium, aluminium flake, aluminium, LB Pigment 5; Pigment metal 1; A 00; A 95; A 995; A 999; AA 1099; AA1199, lead acetate, lead flake, chromium, thimerosal, hydrogenated cotton seed oil, and sodium hexametaphosphate. Note that heavy metal contaminants will not appear on cosmetic ingredient listings.

 

Hydroquinone

This chemical is toxic in high doses and can cause nausea, seizures, and bluish skin and has been frequently linked to cancer and reproductive anomalies. Several countries have banned hydroquinone including the UK and the FDA has proposed a ban.

This chemical can be usually found in whitening solutions.

Often listed as 1, 4-Benzenediol, Quinol, Benzene-1, 4-Diol, p-Diphenol, p-Dihydroxyl benzene, Hydrochinone, p-Hydroxylphenol, Hydrochinonium, Hydroquinol, Tequinol.

 

Isopropyl Alcohol

A petroleum based solvent and denaturant – it has the ability to alter the natural substances found in another substance. It is found in hair colour rinses, body rubs, hand lotions, after shave, and many cosmetics. It is also found in anti-freeze and as a solvent in shellac, and diluted essential oils. It can be fatal if 1 ounce is ingested but in lesser amounts over time or by inhalation of the vapours, symptoms have been shown to include headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, anaesthesia and then coma.

While certain denatured alcohols can have positive, short-term effects for acne sufferers and those with oily complexions, they tend to be very harsh and will strip and dry your skin over time. When used repeatedly, these alcohols can also weaken your skin’s natural barrier, making it harder for your skin to retain moisture and elasticity - making your skin more vulnerable to environmental stressors like UV radiation. Repeated use of these alcohols can even cause cell death, which will significantly increase symptoms of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, and loss of elasticity.

This chemical can be found in perfumes, toners, anti-bacterial and antiseptic products.

Often listed as ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL, 1-METHYLETHANOL; 2-HYDROXYPROPANE; 2-PROPANOL; 2PROPANOL; ISOPROPANOL; PROPAN-2-OL; SEC-PROPYL ALCOHOL; 1-METHYLETHANOL; 1-METHYLETHYL ALCOHOL; 2-HYDROXYPROPANE; 2-PROPANOL, ALCOHOL DENAT.

 

'LAS' (linear alkylbenzene sulphonate)

A common petrochemical surfactant which is used in many detergents including many ‘natural’ ones This is poorly biodegradable under anaerobic (low oxygen) conditions that may occur in septic systems and soil, so bio-accumulates in the environment.

 

MEA/DEA/TEA

These are common pH stabilisers. Diethanolamine (DEA), monoethanolamine (MEA), and triethanolamine (TEA) are ammonia compounds used as emulsifiers and foaming agents in cosmetics. Studies show links between ethanolamines and cancer in lab animals, organ and neural system toxicity, and skin irritation and inflammation. These chemicals can also form carcinogenic compounds when mixed with nitrosamines (substances often found in cosmetics).

Ethanolamines are widely used in cosmetics and personal care, and can be found in everything from makeup and shampoo, to sunscreen and hair dye.

Often listed as DEA or diethanolimine, TEA or triethanolamine, MEA or monoethanolamine cocamide DEA or cocamide diethanolimine, lauramide DEA or lauramide diethanolimine, DEA lauryl sulphate or diethanolimine sulfate, linoleaide DEA or linoleaide Diethanolimine, or oleamide DEA or oleamide diethanolimine. plus many others too numerous to list here.

 

MIT

Methylisothiazolinone is commonly found in skin care products like lotions and sunscreens. This ingredient is a possible neurotoxin with links to health risks in unborn babies. It can also lead to allergic reaction. Europe is trying to get MIT-based products banned from shelves.

This chemical can be found in water-based products, including hair care, body wash, sunscreen, and skin care.

Often listed as 3 (2h) -Isothiazolone, 2-Methyl-; methylchloroisothiazolinone225methylisothiazolinone solution; 2-Methyl-3 (2h) -Isothiazolone; 2-Methyl-4-Isothiazolin-3-One; 2-Methyl- 3 (2h) -Isothiazolone; 2-Methyl-2h-Isothiazol-3-One; 3 (2h) Isothiazolone, 2methyl; 2-Methyl-3 (2h) -Isothiazolone; 2-Methyl-4-Isothiazolin-3-One. Be sure to check products labelled “paraben-free” for MIT.

 

Oxybenzone

This is an active ingredient normally used in chemical sunscreens, which accumulates in fatty tissues. However, it has also been linked to a rise in melanoma. Yes, that sounds counterproductive. According to the Environmental Working Group, oxybenzone has demonstrated an ability to attack DNA cells. Scientists believe it behaves like estrogen and have also linked it to breast cancer. This toxic ingredient is often associated with allergies, hormonal disruption, cellular damage, and low birth weight.

This chemical can be found in many chemical sunscreens.

Often listed as (2-Hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl) phenylmethanone; 2-Hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone; Benzophenone-3; Methanone, (2-hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)phenyl-; Oxybenzone; Benzophenone, 2-hydroxy-4-methoxy-, BP-3;  Phenyl- Methanone; (2-hydroxy -4-methoxyphenyl) phenylmethanone; 2-benzoyl-5-methoxyphenol; 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone; 4-methoxy-2-hydroxybenzophenone; advastab 45; anuvex; b3 [4, 5, 6].

 

Parabens (ethyl, butyl, methyl, propyl, isopropyl)

These ingredients which are used as preservatives  have been shown to cause cancer; specifically breast cancer, mimic estrogen in the body, and may lead to impaired fertility or foetal development. A study was done in the UK where breast cancer tumours were biopsied and they were found to have traces of parabens in them.

These chemicals can be found in deodorants, shampoos and many other personal use items as well as food and pharmaceutical products.

Often listed as alkyl parahydroxybenzoate, butylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparabens and many, many others too numerous to list here.

 

PEG compounds

These petroleum-based chemicals (polyethylene glycols) are used to thicken, soften, and help products to retain moisture. As mentioned above, PEG compounds can be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane. But these ingredients are also penetration enhancers, allowing other chemicals to more readily absorb through the skin and into the body. A 2001 study shows they cause skin irritation and system toxicity, especially when used on damaged or broken skin.

These chemicals can be foound in skincare, hair care, body care, makeup, baby care products and contact lens cleaners.

Often listed as PEG-(followed by a number), polyethylene glycol, PPG, polypropylene glycol. Propylene glycol is a related ingredient and another penetration enhancer.

 

Petroleum and it’s by products such as mineral oil

These chemicals can’t be metabolized. This means that once they are in your body they don’t ever leave. They coat the skin like plastic wrap inhibiting normal skin function which includes the elimination of toxins and normal perspiration. This alone slows down cell development, increasing premature ageing as well as the promotion of acne as it will clog pores. Petroleum derived ingredients are known to be irritating, sensitising and very drying on the skin and are suspected carcinogens although more testing is needed. Baby oil is 100% mineral oil!

These chemicals are most often found in skincare, body care, lip balm and makeup.

Often listed as mineral oil, petrolatum, petroleum jelly, BHA, BHT, paraffin wax, xylene, toluene, propylene, ethylene, butadiene, benzene.

 

Phthalates (dibutyl, diethyl, dimethyl)

Phthalates are commonly used in plastic but they’re also found in lotions, nail polish, hairspray and skin care products. Studies have linked phthalates to cancer and are known to be linked to reproductive and hormonal issues in males, birth defects and endocrine disruption.

Phthalates are commonly used in plastic but they’re also found in lotions, nail polish, hairspray, lipstick, perfume and skin care products.

Often listed as benzylbutyl phthalate (BzBP), di-n-butyl phthalate or dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethyl phthalate (DEP) and DEHP. And most often you won’t even see it on the label because they can fall under the ‘fragrance/parfum’ hidden list.

 

Propylene Glycol

This breaks down proteins and cellular structure and is used as a coupling agent in sunscreens.  It can cause consequences such as brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.

This chemical is found in makeup, hair products, lotions, after shave, deodorants, mouthwashes, toothpaste, and often in greater concentrations than allowed in industrial and manufacturing applications eg anti-freeze.

It is found in makeup, hair products, lotions, after shave, deodorants, mouthwashes, toothpaste, and often in greater concentrations than allowed in industrial and manufacturing applications eg anti-freeze.

Often listed as 1,2-DIHYDROXYPROPANE; 1,2-PROPANEDIOL; 2-HYDROXYPROPANOL; METHYLETHYL GLYCOL; PROPANE-1,2-DIOL; 1,2-DIHYDROXYPROPANE; 1,2-PROPYLENE GLYCOL; 1,2-PROPYLENGLYKOL (GERMAN) ; ALPHA-PROPYLENEGLYCOL; DOWFROST; METHYLETHYLENE GLYCOL

 

Retinyl Palmitate

It is also known to be toxic to the human reproductive systems and is warned that it may have potential side effects including cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, cellular level changes and organ system toxicity. This chemical has been shown to generate free radicals when exposed to sunlight and thus it’s suspected that it contributes to skin cancer also.

This chemical is most often found in anti-aging skin care, soap, high-SPF sunscreen, shampoo and moisturisers, shaving creams, nail polish, nappy creams and bubble baths as well as in lipsticks, concealers, eye shadows, and mascaras.

This chemical can be listed as RETINYL PALMITATE, AXEROPHTHOL PALMITATE; HEXADECANOATE RETINOL; RETINOL PALMITATE; RETINOL, HEXADECANOATE; VITAMIN A PALMITATE; AQUASOL A; AROVIT; OPTOVIT-A; RETINOL PALMITATE; VITAMIN A PALMITATE

SLS/SLES /Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate

these are detergents and/or surfactants, ‘a de-greaser’ found in many body care products that is cheap to make and use. While SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) itself is not a carcinogen, some studies have showed that it can cause mutations that can lead to cancer. Commonly used in conventional products to create foam, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) and ALS (ammonium lauryl sulfate) are penetration enhancers, allowing other chemicals to more easily enter the system.

These harsh cleansing ingredients strip natural oils from skin, causing dryness, allergic reaction, and irritation. So much so that they are actually used to stimulate an irritation response for testing purposes. Once it has been absorbed, one of its main effects is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. Possibly making it responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and more serious medical conditions. SLS is also suspected to be an environmental toxin.

These chemicals are most often found in shampoo, facial cleansers, body wash, bubble bath, baby bath and toothpaste.

There are over 100 different names that SLS can be listed under, the MOST COMMON are sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl ether sulfate, anhydrous sodium lauryl sulfate, and irium, MONODODECYL ESTER SODIUM SALT SULFURIC ACID; SODIUM DODECYL SULFATE; SODIUM DODECYL SULPHATE; SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE; SODIUM SALT SULFURIC ACID, MONODODECYL ESTER; SULFURIC ACID MONODODECYL ESTER SODIUM SALT; SULFURIC ACID, MONODODECYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; AI3-00356; AKYPOSAL SDS; AQUAREX ME; AQUAREX METHYL

(Extra info about Sodium Laureth Sulfate SLES)

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is used as a surfactant; may be contaminated with potentially toxic manufacturing impurities such as 1,4-dioxane. There is moderate concerns of organ system toxicity (non-reproductive) and casuses irritation to skin, eyes and or lungs.

Often listed as ALPHA-SULFO-OMEGA- (DODECYLOXY) POLY (OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) , SODIUM SALT; DODECYL SODIUM SULFATE; PEG- (1-4) LAURYL ETHER SULFATE, SODIUM SALT; POLY (OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) , .ALPHA.-SULFO-.OMEGA.- (DODECYLOXY) -, SODIUM SALT; POLY (OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) ,A -SULFO-W (DODECYLOXY) -, SODIUM SALT; POLY (OXY1,2ETHANEDIYL) , αSULFOω (DODECYLOXY) , SODIUM SALT; POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (1-4) LAURYL ETHER SULFATE, SODIUM SALT; POLYOXYETHYLENE (1-4) LAURYL ETHER SULFATE , SODIUM SALT; SODIUM PEG LAURYL ETHER SULFATE; SODIUM POLYOXYETHYLENE LAURYL ETHER SULFATE; SODIUM POLYOXYETHYLENE LAURYL SULFATE

(Extra info about Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS))

This ingredient is a surfactant that contains PEG (polyethylene glycol) in its structure. May be contaminated with potentially toxic manufacturing impurities such as 1,4-dioxane and cause irritation to the eyes, skin and lungs.

Often listed as ALPHA-SULFO-OMEGA- (DODECYLOXY) -POLY (OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) , AMMONIUM SALT; AMMONIUM LAURYL ETHER SULFATE; AMMONIUM POLYOXYETHYLENE ALKYL ETHER SULFATE (3E.O.) SOLUTION; AMMONIUM POLYOXYETHYLENE LAURYL ETHER SULFATE SOLUTION; AMMONIUM SALT PEG- (1-4) LAURYL ETHER SULFATE; AMMONIUM SALT POLY (OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) ,A -SULFO-W - (DODECYLOXY) -; AMMONIUM SALT POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (1-4) LAURYL ETHER SULFATE; AMMONIUM SALT POLYOXYETHYLENE (1-4) LAURYL ETHER SULFATE; PEG- (1-4) LAURYL ETHER SULFATE, AMMONIUM SALT; POLY (OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) , .ALPHA.-SULFO-.OMEGA.- (DODECYLOXY) -, AMMONIUM SALT; POLY (OXY-1,2-ETHANEDIYL) ,A -SULFO-W - (DODECYLOXY) -, AMMONIUM SALT

 

Sodium Benzonate

Is a preservative used widely across the food industry and the cosmetics industry as well. A small percentage of people are hypersensitive to sodium benzoate and can experience asthma attacks, hives, or other allergic reactions when they consume the preservative.

A more common problem, however, is the combination of sodium benzoate and citric acid and/or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) which is common in body care products. When these ingredients get together, they form benzene, a cancer-causing chemical associated with leukemia and other blood cancers. 

The Cosmetics Database found concerns regarding cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, irritation and biochemical cellular changes with Sodium Benzoate as an ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products. A professor at the University of Sheffield found that Sodium Benzoate and the damage that it can cause to DNA structure can be linked to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's Disease, and can damage the aging process as a whole (source).

This chemical is often found in mouthwash, shampoo, body lotions, and deodorant to prevent bacteria from contaminating these items. 

This chemical can be listed as benzoic acid, ‘benzoic acid, sodium salt’, antimol, benzoin sodny, benzoate of soda, benzoate sodium’, benzoesaeure, sobenate, sodium benzoic acid, benzene, sodium benzoate, E211 or benzoate. Especially be wary if you also see citric acid, ascorbic acid or vitamin C listed in the same ingredient list.  

Sodium coco sulphate (SCS)

often used to replace SLS especially often used in ‘natural products’, it is very similar to SLS just slightly less processed. It contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) as a predominant component, with all the concerns that are linked to that chemical. Both sodium coco sulfate (SCS) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) are synthetic detergents and should never be part of any natural cleanser. Basically SCS is just another way to hide SLS in formulations with yet another name. Natural products that are kind to your skin, and environmentally friendly, will not contain lauryl sulfate, laureth sulfate, coco sulfate or any of the long list of other synthetic detergents.  

Be wary, many natural companies are being deceptive with this ingredient. They say their formulations are SLS/SLES-Free, but if you look on their list of ingredients they are in fact using SCS or some other form of SLS/SLES like ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), alkylphenol/nonylphenol surfactant or sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS).

Both SCS and SLS are used to produce lots of lather, so if your product bubbles and foams excessively when only a small amount is used, that should be an alarm bell that there is a toxic, synthetic detergent in it.

This chemical can be found in shampoo, facial cleansers, body wash, toothpaste, bubble bath, baby bath.

Often listed as MONOCOCOYL ESTER SODIUM SALT SULFURIC ACID; SODIUM SALT SULFURIC ACID, MONOCOCOYL ESTER; SULFURIC ACID, MONOCOCO ALKYL ESTERS, SODIUM SALTS; SULFURIC ACID, MONOCOCOYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT.

 

Synthetic colours

Many of the colouring agents that are found in what we use on our hair and our skin are made from coal tars and/ or contain aluminium, and it’s very doubtful if any of them are safe. Coal tar colours are suspected to be carcinogenic in varying degrees. They have been found to cause nausea, mood swings, headaches and fatigue as well as ADHD in children.

Dyes derived from precipitating soluble colours with aluminium and other chemicals, are termed “lakes” and can be neurotoxic (toxic to the brain and nervous system). Both lakes and coal tar dyes can be stored in our organs and fatty tissues.  Research indicates that up to twice as much toxic material can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin as opposed to through the mouth.

Note: There are “so called natural” companies selling lipsticks with what they claim are annatto colours. When confronted with the fact that annatto colours are water soluble and not suitable for making lipstick, these companies admit that they are precipitated with aluminium to form the neurotoxic lake “colours” referred to above! The European Union has classified these dyes as carcinogens and banned them.

These chemicals can be found in shampoos, anti-dandruff products, facial cleansers, body wash, skincare, baby care products, hair care, nail care and makeup.

Often listed as FD&C or D&C followed by a name and number (FD&C RED NO. 40) or can be known as aminophenol, diaminobenzene and phenylenediamine.

 

Toluene (benzene, phenylmethane, methylbenzene)

These are petrochemicals derived from petroleum or coal/tar sources is a solvent that is used to make nail polish among many other things. Overexposure to toluene can create problems with the brain and nerves. Cognitive impairments, vision problems, and hearing loss can become permanent with too much exposure. It can also cause memory loss, nausea, and loss of appetite. Avoid in pregnancy (although, you’ll never see this on a label) - the vapours can cause developmental damage in the foetus. It also wreaks havoc with the immune system.

This chemical can be found in nail polishes and many nail products of all kinds, glues, fragnrances and hair dye.

Often listed as BENZENE, METHYL; BENZENE, METHYL-; METHYL- BENZENE; METHYLBENZENE; TOLUOL; ANTISAL 1A; BENZENE, METHYL-; CP 25; METHACIDE; METHANE, PHENYL-; METHYLBENZENE.

 

Triclosan

It is an endocrinie disruptor, especially to the thyroid and reproductive hormones. It is also a skin irritant, is a known carcinogen, can be harmful to your immune system and has links to endocrine disruption, organ toxicity, allergic reaction, skin, eye, and lung irritation, and bioaccumulation.

Not only that, Triclosan has been known to contribute to making bacteria antibiotic resistant. Think hand sanitisers, antibacterial soaps, toothpastes, and deodorants. It can potentially help you develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

This chemical can be found in hand soaps, hand sanitizers, makeup, deodorant, shaving gel, after shave, facial cleanser, facial wipes, body wash, and toothpaste.

Often listed as Cloflucarban, fluorosalan, hexachlorophene, hexylresorcinol, iodine complex (ammonium ether sulfate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate), iodine complex (phosphate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol), nonylphenoxypoly (ethyleneoxy) ethanoliodine, poloxamer-iodine complex, povidone-iodine 5 to 10 percent, undecoylium chloride iodine complex, methylbenzethonium chloride, phenol (greater than 1.5 percent), phenol (less than 1.5 percent) 16, secondary amyltricresols, sodium oxychlorosene, tribromsalan, triclocarban, triclosan, and triple dye.

 

References

26 Chemicals and toxins that you will never find in Vital Body Products references:

(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/apr/30/fda-cosmetics-health-nih-epa-environmental-working-group)

The Environmental Working Group, https://www.ewg.org

The Environmental Protection Agency https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au

The Chemical Toxicity Database https://www.epa.gov

The National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

The Department of Health & Human Services https://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics http://www.safecosmetics.org

https://facenaturals.com/blogs/news/cocamidopropyl-betaine-capb-toxic-or-safe

https://www.livestrong.com/article/226739-dangers-of-cocamidopropyl-betaine/

https://www.hebebotanicals.co.nz/sodium-coco-sulfate-another-synthetic-detergent/