Skin Care Ingredient Blacklist: Chemicals and compounds which shouldn’t be in skincare products


All Puraglow products are Pure, Natural and Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free, Not Tested on Animals and Halal and we pride ourselves on the quality of our ingredients.

But many skincare products—including some big sellers in the market—are not made naturally but use terms to suggest they are natural, pure and even organic when they use chemical ingredients.

Regulations guiding the description of skincare products are lax with only a 1% organic content required by law to permit a product to use “Organic” on the label.

Research shows that 59% of women in Europe and the USA study product labels to identify ingredients before buying. There is huge concern about ingredients and chemical products made by traditional brands have been damaged by links to toxins and

Widespread use of the internet and social media has resulted in women becoming more informed and knowledgeable shoppers. They are concerned about ingredient safety, increasingly aware of the latest world-wide beauty trends, and are paralysed by too many choices. They want natural products, prestige trends at mass market prices, and more effective tools to help inform them what to buy. Sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances top the list of chemicals women want to avoid.

Nearly one-in-four women say it’s very important their skin care purchases are all-natural, this is even more pronounced with women in the 18-34 demographic. Researchers found 63% of Millennial women believe it’s ‘very important’ to buy natural skincare products and they actively seek them out. Many mass market buyers are dissatisfied with the range of natural options—17% of department store customers, 14% of speciality drug and grocery shoppers, and 13% of mass market drug consumers are looking to switch to a morenatural option than that offered by their usual supplier.

Our Ingredient Blacklist

The following list is incomplete but details products you may well find in cosmetic product but will never find in a Puraglow bottle—and why:


Abietic Acid – Used to create a smooth texture in cosmetics and soaps. Can cause irritation and may cause allergic reactions.

Acetamide Mea – A chemical solvent used in skin creams. It can cause cancer when given orally to laboratory animals.

Aluminium Acetate – Used as an astringent in skin creams. Originally developed for waterproofing fabrics. If ingested it may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea. Prolonged use may produce severe sloughing of the skin.

Arachidonic Acid – Used to emulsify cream and to smooth skin. This acid is extracted from an ANIMAL liver.

Behenyl Alcohol – Used in the manufacture of synthetic fabrics, insecticides and lubricates, now used as a cream thickener and emulsifier.

Benzophenone-2 – Used to keep the fragrance scents, may cause skin sensitivity.

Benzalkonium Chloride – Used as a germicide and may cause allergic conjunctivitis.

Beta-Naphthol – Used in skin peeling preparations. Derived from Coal Tar, may cause kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions.

Bithionol – Used as a germicide in creams. May cause sensitivity to light, skin rashes and swelling.

Borates – A cosmetic preservative. May damage the central nervous system, kidneys, liver and skin.

Butyl Oleate – Used to condition skin but is also used for manufacturing industrial solvents and lubricants.

Calcium Chloride – Used as an emulsifier. Also used in fire extinguishers and as a wood preserve.

Calcium Hydroxide – Used in the cream and lotion of depilatories. Also used in the manufacture of mortar, plaster, cement and pesticides.

Calcium Sulfate – Used as a skin firming ingredient. Also known as Plaster of Paris. Used in cements and wall plaster. If mixed in cream depilatories. Used for Tanning leather. May cause thyroid problems.

Carbolic Acid – Used in creams as a disinfectant. Derived from Coal Tar. Must not be taken internally as it can cause vomiting, convulsions, paralysis, respiratory failure.

Carboxypolymethylene – Also known as Carbomer 934 – 940 – 941 or Carbopol. Used as a thickener and as a emulsifying ingredient.

Cocamide DEA – Used as a emulsifier. Considered highly toxic.

Diethanolamine DEA – Used as an emulsifier. Considered toxic, proved to cause cancer in laboratory rats.

Diethylstilbestrol DES – Used as a synthetic hormone in skin care products. Carcinogen and linked to a rare form of vaginal cancer.

Epichlorohydrin – Used as a solvent in varnishes and lacquers. Chronic exposure is known to cause kidney damage.

Ethylene Glycol – A chemical solvent. Also used in Antifreeze.

Ethylenadiamine Tetraacetic Acid EDTA – Used as a preservative. Can cause allergies, asthma and skin rashes.

Euxyl K 400 – Used as a preservative. Can cause allergic contact dermatitis.

Formaldehyde – Used as a preservative. It may cause skin irritation and has been linked to cancer.

Isopropyl Alcohol or Isopropanol – Used as a solvent. Derived from propylene which is from Petroleum. Also used in antifreeze.

Lanolin – Used in face creams. Can cause allergic reactions, skin rashes. Derived from Sheep’s wool and may also contain pesticides used on the sheep and wool.

Mineral Oil – This is petroleum by product which may form an oil film and suffocate the skin which can clog skin pores. It is a cheap mixture and widely used in skin care products.

Morpholine – Used as an emulsifier. Also used as an insecticide and fungicide.

Nitrobenzene – Used as a cheap fragrance. Also used in metal polish. May cause nausea, vomiting and drowsiness.

Parabens – Butylparaben – Methylparaben – Propylparaben – Used as a preservative. Can cause contact dermatitis and allergic reactions.

PEG – Polyethylene Glycol PEG 4 to PEG 350 – the higher the number the harder the composition. Used as a plasticising ingredient, solvent or softener. Also used in hair straighteners, antiperspirants and polish removers.

Petrolatum – Used to make skin creams smoother. Can cause allergic reactions.

Polyacrylamide – Used as a thickening agent. Used in manufacture of plastics and adhesives. Highly toxic.

Potassium Hydroxide – Used as an emulsifier. Extremely corrosive.

Proplyene Glycol – Used as a Humectant. Also used as an embalming fluid, anti freeze, brake fluid, hydraulic fluid, paints and floor wax. Can cause contact dermatitis, rashes, dry skin, cell damage, kidney damage and cellular regeneration.

Quaternarium 15 – Used as a preservative. It is a formaldehyde releaser and can cause dermatitis.

Sodium Hydroxide – Used in skin creams. Also used in drain cleaners.

SLS Sodium Lauryl Sullfate – Used in skin creams and tooth paste. May cause skin rashes, hair loss, allergic reactions and eye irritations.

Stearalkonium Chloride – Used in face creams as a softener. Toxic

Synthetic Fragrances – Used in cosmetics. Can have as many as 200 ingredients which do not have to be listed and listed only as Fragrance. May cause headaches, dizziness, rashes, hyper pigmentation, vomiting and skin irritation.

Trichloroethane – Used in cosmetics for de-greasing. Can cause allergies, rashes and vomiting.

Triethanolamine – Used to adjust the pH balance in cosmetics. May cause skin dryness, allergic reactions and could be toxic.

Trioctanion – Used as a preservative. Can cause skin irritation.

This information has been obtained from previously published magazines, newspapers, studies, journals, cosmetic ingredient dictionaries and Material Safety Data. The reader is encouraged to do their own research to decide for themselves the validity regarding any of the above. Puraglow will add to the list from time to time.


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