Ingredients we avoid

Here is list of common synthetic ingredients that are present in most personal care products but you will never find them in Burst of Happyness products.

BHA and BHT: used as preservatives and stabilizer in moisturizers, among other cosmetics. It is a likely human carcinogen, hormone inhibitor, endocrine disruptor and skin allergen. Is also toxic to marine life.

Fragrance / Parfum: The term parfum (or fragrance) on a cosmetic ingredients list usually represents a complex mixture of undisclosed chemicals for scent and fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Even products marketed as “fragrance-free” or “unscented” may contain fragrance ingredients, in the form of masking agents that prevent the brain from perceiving odour. Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets, so manufacturers are not required to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients.  Fragrance ingredients are immune toxicant, irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines and asthma symptoms.

Coal tar dyes: is derived from petroleum and is a known human carcinogen.  It is generally identified by a five-digit Colour Index (CI) number.

DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA: This ingredient is a synthetic surfactant and foam booster. DEA and its compounds cause mild to moderate skin and eye irritation. High exposure has been shown to cause liver cancers and precancerous changes in skin and thyroid.

Parabens: Parabens are the most widely used preservative in cosmetics. They not only interfere with hormone function but have also been detected in human breast cancer tissues, suggesting a possible association between parabens and cancer. Also responsible for wildlife and environmental toxicity

Phthalate: Phthalates (pronounced thal-ate) are industrial plasticizers widely used in personal care products to moisturize and soften skin, to dissolve and coalesce ingredients, and to impart flexibility to nail polish after it dries. They disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. It has been shown to cause developmental defects, changes in the testes and prostate, and reduced sperm counts. Exposure to phthalates may cause health effects such as liver and kidney failure.

Formaldehyde: formaldehyde-releasing agents are used as preservatives in a wide range of cosmetics.  Formaldehyde in cosmetics can also be absorbed through the skin. Can irritate skin and eyes and trigger allergies. The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as ‘carcinogenic to humans’.

Polyethylene Glycols PEGs: PEGs are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. PEGs are commonly used as cosmetic cream bases.  If used on broken skin can cause irritation and systemic toxicity. PEG functions as a “penetration enhancer,” increasing the permeability of the skin to allow greater absorption of the product — including harmful ingredients. 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES): is used in cosmetics as a detergent and also to make products bubble and foam. It is common in shampoos, shower gels and facial cleansers. They can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. SLS may damage liver. It is also harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Triclosan: Triclosan is used mainly in antiperspirants/deodorants, cleansers, and hand sanitizers as a preservative and an anti-bacterial agent. Triclosan can pass through skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function. The European Union classifies triclosan as irritating to the skin and eyes, and as very toxic to aquatic organisms, noting that it may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.

Siloxanes: These silicone-based compounds are used in cosmetics to soften, smooth, and moisten and are a possible endocrine disruptor

Petrolatum:  Mineral oil and petroleum distillates are petroleum by-products used in hair oils, baby oils, and lotions. They are associated with cancer and dermatitis.

Animal derived ingredients: Ingredients obtained from animals and insects like fats, oils, colour, musk, silk, honey are procured cruelly resulting in suffering and death of the animal. It also encourages habitat destruction, illegal activities like captive breeding and poaching.

Sources: Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, David Suzuki Foundation, EWG Skin Deep Database

Note: If you aren’t aware of the many harmful ingredients present in most personal care products, see this video by the Story of Stuff.