Ingredients to Avoid

It is important to understand all about the various ingredients that you should avoid – and MaMa Organic Herbs can help you with this. We are not against all synthetic chemicals and they are not as dangerous as many people make them off to be. We understand that synthetic materials and chemicals are able to have their purpose in life. We simply want to use the ones that are developed, used, produced, and recycled in a responsible manner. We also believe that synthetic chemicals have no place in beauty and food products where they replace natural ingredients. These will simply pollute our bodies as well as our environment. Many of these same synthetic chemicals are also tested extensively on animals – and we are against this.

Before you purchase any kind of product, take a look at the ingredient list. This includes the cosmetic bottles that you have in your medicine cabinet. Your skincare products will only be as good as the ingredients that are found inside. No matter how many good ingredients are inside, they do not neutralize or minimize the damage that the bad ingredients can cause. As a general rule, if the name is hard to pronounce or it sounds synthetic, don’t buy it until you have the chance to research the ingredients and find out if your hunch is right or not.

There are also some ingredients that sound natural but are deceitful. As an example, Japanese honeysuckle extract and grapefruit seed extract both contain parabens. The term “extract” can enhance product appeal and with this, the price usually goes up.

It has been estimated that approximately one out of eight of the 82,000 ingredients that can be used in personal care products contain synthetic chemicals. This can include pesticides, hormone disruptors, and even carcinogens. These chemicals are the same ones that can help to get grease off of an auto part, keep concrete soft, and help to reduce the surface tension in paint.

When you look at it like this, do you really want to apply these products onto your skin? These products can cause irritations, breakouts, and other issues. If they are doing this to your body, just think about what they are doing to the environment at the same time.

You could be harming yourself as you place these products on your body. While you need to brush her teeth, shampoo your hair, and wash your body with soap, you do not need to do so with products that are made from synthetic chemicals. Each time you use these products made with pesticides, degreasers, and other dangerous chemicals, you are putting your body at risk. You are also washing these products down the drain, which can be filtered into the environment.

By using these products, you are constantly fueling the companies that produce them. They are taking away from natural resources that are needed for other purposes. The companies produce more because you buy more and the environment is the one that suffers because natural resources are being depleted and you are dumping these chemicals back into the environment through your wastewater and overall waste.

You can stop the vicious cycle by looking for organic, natural ingredients. Remember that even a small percentage of a synthetic chemical can be dangerous. If it contains 1%, it is just as dangerous as containing 100%. This means that you cannot focus on products that have “some” organic products. If you choose to go all-natural and help the environment, you need to go all the way.

We are going to provide you with a list of ingredients that you need to watch out for so that your beauty products do not contain them. All of the products that you will find on our website are free of all of these ingredients – making them safe for you to use on a regular basis.


The list of products below is organized alphabetically. It is updated on a regular basis as we receive new information. This ensures that you are always able to purchase the best skin care products and cosmetics to avoid side effects as well as harming the environment.

Aluminum: This is a skin irritant that is commonly linked to such diseases as Alzheimer’s as well as lung disease. It is found in antiperspirant sticks as well as various cosmetics, which means you need to be on the lookout for this compound.

Avobenzone: This is a product commonly found in sunscreen and can generate free radicals. It can also damage DNA and lead to a variety of cancers in the body. It may be found in other products beyond sunscreen as well – many lotions and moisturizers add sunscreen as a UV protectant.

Benzophenone: This is a product commonly used in cosmetics as well as sunscreen to help protect the skin against ultraviolet rays. It can produce free radicals throughout the body and include skin redness and irritation.

Benzyl Alcohol: Benzyl Alcohol is derived from petroleum. This preservative is harmful if it is inhaled, swallowed, or even absorbed through the skin. It can cause irritation for the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.

Bismuth Oxychloride: This inexpensive product is found in cosmetics because it provides a sheen. It is a byproduct of copper and lead refining and is considered a heavy metal. Such metals have been linked to Parkinson’s disease as well as Alzheimer’s. Rashes and bad irritations can demonstrate sensitivity. It is also commonly seen in “pure” mineral cosmetics.

BHA and BHT: These chemicals will help break down vitamin D, cause cholesterol levels and lipid levels to increase and have commonly been linked to endocrine disruption as well as cancer.

Borax: This product is already banned in Canada for use in cosmetics, though it is not banned in other parts of the world. It is used as an emulsifier in various creams and lotions. It can be highly irritating to the skin.

Denatured Alcohol: This is a petrochemical byproduct that can cause dermatitis, chemical sensitivities, and other things. It is also undrinkable because of containing benzyl alcohol. It is commonly used in perfumes as a solvent.

Diazolidinyl Urea: This is a product found in almost every cosmetic and skin care product on the market. It is found in eyeliners, sunscreen, body wash, lubricants, makeups, bronzers, and much more. It can cause skin irritations because of releasing formaldehyde.

Diethanolamine (DEA): DEA can become carcinogenic when it is combined with other ingredients. It can irritate the skin and is inside of personal care products as a humectant and skin softener.

Dioxin: This is an ingredient that is not usually listed on the bottle. It is found inside of other ingredients, which can include emulsifiers and triclosan. It can cause cancer, disrupt the nervous system, lead to birth defects, and miscarriages.

DMDM Hydantoin: This product releases from aldehyde and can result in dermatitis. This is a product commonly used in shaving cream, body wash, shampoo, and other products because of its ability to create foam.

Ethoxylates: Ethoxylates are contained in chemical compounds and can contain a variety of other unhealthy ingredients. Some of the trace contaminants have also been traced back to potent carcinogens.

FD&C: US products will be listed as FD&C blue number one, red number three, and other items and are really synthetic dyes that have been cleverly renamed. These can cause cancer and be contaminated with a variety of heavy metals that are toxic to the human brain. In Canada, the products are listed as CI, with five digits following it for identification purposes.

Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is the same preservative used in biology class when you dissect frogs and fetal pigs. It is widely known as a carcinogen as well as an irritant and is hidden in a variety of other ingredients.

Fragrance/Parfum: Fragrances are similar to recipes in the fact that companies do not have to disclose all of the chemicals used. Phtalates are found in all synthetic fragrances unless they specifically say that they are essential oils or certified as an organic flavoring. This means that they disrupt hormones and can cause a variety of allergies. A common perfume fragrance is Cinnamic Aldehyde.

Glycols: These are used as solvents for fragrances, preservatives, and other substances. They are commonly referred to as animal land, humectant, or preservatives. They are harmful when applied topically and can be irritating. Various glycols exist in the form of propylene, pentylene, butylene, and others.

Grapefruit Seed Extract: Grapefruit seed extract may sound natural, but it is produced commercially with GSE, which means that it is contaminated with parabens – and this leads to a variety of preserving qualities.

Isopropyl Alcohol: The main concern with this product is that it is found in antifreeze. In comparison to ethanol, it is twice as toxic. Ingesting is the main concern, but it can still lead to other issues on the skin, including irritation. It is found in nail polish, pore like strips, hair dyes, and conditioner.

Japanese Honeysuckle Extract: Japanese honeysuckle extract is similar to grapefruit seed extract in that it contains parabens. Some companies will advertise that they are “preservative free” or even “paraben free”, however, there are not a lot of information about these products and can be dangerous.

Lanolin: Lanolin is commonly found as a base in cosmetics. It often contains a lot of impurities, which can lead to an allergen. Many manufacturers also use a chemical bleach to help white color. Additionally, it can be tainted with DDT as well as various other toxic pesticides. Much of this has to do with the food supply that the sheep is eating prior to it being shorn.

Phthalates: These are chemical compounds commonly used to create fragrances. These can be found in shower curtains, squeeze bottles, and other soft plastics as well and can be carcinogenic. You will need to become familiar with the various forms of these in order to spot them on a label.

Parabens: These are synthetic compounds used for preservation in many mainstream cosmetics. This includes not only skincare products and makeup but also makeup tools, which can include loose powder puffs. They contain skin irritants and can mimic estrogen, which can lead to issues with hormonal balance.

Petrochemicals: Oil, natural gas, and other non-renewable raw materials are where these products come from. Such items include polyethylene glycol, mineral oil, and ethoxylates. They can cause a significant amount of irritation and cause cancer.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): This product has been known to contain impurities that are carcinogenic. It also acts as a plasticizer as well as an emulsifier. These are most commonly found in cleansers as well as acne treatments.

Phenoxyethanol: This is a synthetic preservative made from ether alcohol. It commonly causes dermatitis through contact. The chemical is often used in cleansers, moisturizers, and treatment for oily skin.

Silicones: These are emollients that are made synthetically that can help a formula glide on. Such silicones on the market include Methicone and Dimethicone. These are extremely harmful to the skin as they can be irritating and are widely used in both hair care products as well as skin care.

Sodium Laurel (SLS): This is a harsh detergent that is commonly used in soaps, cleansers, toothpastes, and shampoos. This is because it helps to create a foaming property. It can be extremely drying to the skin and hair and can also lead to skin irritation. For prone individuals, it can also lead to aphthous ulcers.

Stearalkonium chloride: In all fairness, this product is only toxic if ingested, but it could lead to a variety of other potential issues – especially if it is released into the environment. You will find this product in hand creams, hair dyes, hair gels, and conditioner.

Synthetic Dyes: All synthetic dyes available on the market are byproducts of petroleum. The molecular structures of these are so minute that they are able to pass through the brain barrier. The side effects can manifest in the form of acne, ADD, peeling skin, or dyslexia. Synthetic dyes are also referred to on ingredient labels as artificial colorings and can cause allergic reactions within a number of people.

Talc: Talc often contains asbestos – which is a dangerous carcinogen that is linked to ovarian as well as lung cancer. It is a respiratory toxin and is commonly found in baby powder, skin care products, and cosmetic foundation. The safer alternative to talk is cornstarch.

Tetrasodium EDTA: Many soaps (liquid and bar), cleansers, creams, lotions, shampoos, and other products contain Tetrasodium EDTA. This is used to produce a rich lather as well as animal lien and preservative in skincare. It is known to cause skin irritations.

Triclosan: This chemical is found in antibacterial cosmetics that include toothpaste, cleansers, and deodorant. They have been suspected as an endocrine disruptor and are harmful to fish as well as other wildlife. It can also result in bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics.

Triethanolamine (TEA): TEA can contain ammonium salts and is a sensitizer as well as can be irritating to the eye because of toxins. These can be found in bath and body washes, cleansers, soaps, and other skin care products.

Other Ingredients to Avoid

We wanted to list a variety of other ingredients to avoid because of how animals are used to produce them. These products are commonly obtained by injuring the animals, though they may be on the list to let you know that they originate from an animal in case you lead a vegan lifestyle. MaMa Organic Herbs has a soft spot for animals and therefore we want to share this list with you.

Albumin: This is a product used for smoothing the skin. However, the albumin can come from bovine or eggs – and can lead to issues with how the animals are farmed. For vegans, this is also a no-no.

Allantoin: This is the uric acid produced by cows. You will find it in creams and lotions.

Arachidonic Acid: This acid is found in the liver, fat, and glands of animals. It is often used to soothe eczema and irritated skin.

Gelatin: This is a protein created by boiling bones, tendons, and ligaments of cows and horses. Commonly used in face masks as well as other cosmetics.

Keratin: This is a product commonly found in conditioners. The source is often the hooves and fur of animals. It is not vegan, though there are now derivatives that do not come from animals.

Mink Oil: Mink is obtained from the mink and they are often on farms where they are overcrowded and then subjected to a violent death.

What You Need to Know

New research comes out all of the time that has to do with synthetic chemicals and their side effects. Some of the products should not be used because of the side effects they can create topically as well as inside your body. Some of the products should not be used because of how they can harm the environment. Our goal is to provide you with all of this information so that you can make more informed decisions about the products that you use.

We will continuously update this list of Ingredients to Avoid so you understand what the risks are when you use such products. It is a good idea to get the habit of looking at the bottles, boxes, and labels of products that you purchase at your local drugstore. You may find that the ingredients are not as healthy or as natural as you think they might be. Even if you buy them in a health store, they may not be healthy. This means that it is your responsibility to check the labels.

You can always rely on MaMa Organic Herbs to help you determine what products are safe and unsafe. If you have questions or concerns about a particular ingredient, we welcome your feedback – and you can email us at

Each and every product that you apply should be researched. This includes all of your morning ritual products – soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, toothpaste, sunscreen, moisturizer, and any cosmetics that you wear. Deodorant and antiperspirant are also ones that you should look at. Many companies are beginning to label their products differently because people are getting smarter about being able to spot synthetic chemicals. This is why they are commonly using extracts when they contain parabens and why they are switching to abbreviations, such as PEG’s.

If you have a smart phone, you can research these on the spot before you put something into your shopping cart. Otherwise, jot down the ingredients and do the research as soon as you get home.

The simpler solution is to simply shop at MaMa Organic Herbs where you can count on all of the products that are available to be free of each and every one of these ingredients. This means that you will be able to use them and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you are offering the healthiest, most natural, and most eco-friendly product to you and your family on a daily basis.