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Avoid List

This is a list of items to avoid. There is a lot of information on most of these items available in other places, for instance a Google search on the internet. I left out details because they would make this list too complicated and long. So please do further research if you are interested in any of these items.

Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to mammary tumors in lab research.

Artificial (Synthetic) Colors
Found in most personal care products, including hair dyes. Some examples are FD&C Red No. 6, D&C Green No. 6, or FD&C Blue No. 1.

Artificial fragrances
In laundry detergents. Linked to various toxic effects on fish and mammals, and can cause allergies, skin and eye irritation to humans.

Also Known As Equal and Nutrasweet.

bisphenol-A (BPA)
A compound in hard plastic containers and water bottles that can impact developing genitals, hasten puberty, and affect behavior in children.

butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane
A chemical used in sunscreens to filter out ultraviolet A

Canola oil

Cocamidopropyl Betain

Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA)
Found in bubble baths, shampoos, body washes, soaps, facial cleansers, face and body creams, aftershave lotions, and hair dyes.

Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin.
Dioxane’s carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”.

FD & C artificial colors

Found in most shampoos, skin care, body care, sunscreens, and baby products.
The FDA does not require manufacturers to list the ingredients of a "fragrance." When you see the word "fragrance," it can have as many as 4,000 separate chemicals.

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) (GM)
GEO (Genetically Engineered Organism) (GE)

Genetically modified food.

Hydrogenated oils / trans fatty acids

Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin
Found in makeup, hand creams, baby shampoos, hair products, fragrances, moisturizers, bath oils, mouthwash, cream conditioners, and lotions.

Found in moisturizers, lotions, makeup, hair conditioners, eye creams, lipstick, and other cosmetics.
Cosmetic grade lanolin may be contaminated with carcinogenic pesticides such as dieldrin, lindane, and DDT. Pesticides are likely to migrate through your skin into your bloodstream to do their damage.

Linear Alky Benzene Sulfonates (LAS)
Synthetic petrochemicals that biodegrade slowly making them an environmental hazard. Benzene may cause cancer in humans and animals.


MSG (monosodium glutamate)

Nitrosamines are found in many foodstuffs especially beer, fish, fish byproducts, and in meat and cheese products preserved with nitrite pickling salt.

Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE)
Petrochemical surfactant banned in the EU and Canada. May cause liver and kidney damage. Biodegradable, but biodegrades into more toxic substances.

Olefin Sulfonate

octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC)
The main chemical used in sunscreens to filter out ultraviolet B light. OMC was found to kill mouse cells even at low doses. It was also shown to be particularly toxic when exposed to sunshine.

Optical brighteners
Used in laundry detergents. Can be toxic to fish and cause allergic reactions in humans.


Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Parabens)
Found in almost all of your personal care products. They are the most commonly used preservatives in the United States. They have hormone-disrupting qualities, mimicking estrogen and interfere with the body’s endocrine system.

PEG (polyethylene glycol) & PPG (polypropylene glycol)
Found in antiperspirants, hair products, skin care products, fragrances, lipsticks, makeup, baby lotions and most baby shampoos.

Petroleum distillates (aka napthas)
Derived from synthetic crude oil, linked to cancer, lung and mucous membrane damage.

Petroleum products
Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatologic issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity.

Can cause toxicity throughout the entire body.

Phenol carbolic acid
Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.

Phthalates (pronounced "thalates")
Phthalates are plastic softeners, used in everything from toothbrushes and toys to vinyl flooring. But they're also in shampoos, hairspray, perfumes, lotions, cosmetics, toys, shower curtains, and other products. Even the "new car smell" is partly due to phthalates used in car manufacturing.
Phthalates are a hormone-altering chemical. Phthalates are linked to reproductive and developmental harm, endocrine disruption, respiratory problems, immune suppression, organ damage and other health problems.
Babies who are cared for with phthalate-laced products and cosmetics show developmental problems, especially in reproductive development of male children.

Propylene glycol
Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation.

PVP/VA copolymer

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/Sodium Myreth Sulfate/Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Chemical foaming agent known as a surfactant. Found in laundry detergents, shampoos, hair conditioners, face and body cleansers, bubble baths, toothpastes, body lotions, skin creams, and many other personal care products.
Breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a “nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. Studies have linked use of this chemical to a variety of health issues from skin irritation to organ toxicity. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or “coconut-derived”.

Sodium Hypochlorite (household bleach)
In laundry detergent. Chemical precursor to chlorine, which is extremely toxic. Skin contact can produce caustic irritation or burns. Mixing with other cleaning products can create hazardous fumes.

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate is NOT a natural preservative. It is a skin and eye irritant. It is not recommended for sensitive skin.


Synthetic vitamin E.
Natural is d and synthetic is dl.

Found in baby and bath powders, face powders, foot powders, skin fresheners, and makeup. It gives a slippery feel to powders and creams. Never use talc on babies. Not only is it a possible carcinogen, but inhaling it may cause acute respiratory distress and result in death.

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl.

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