Ingredients We Avoid
Acetylated Esters of Mono- and Diglycerides
These are used as emulsifying additives in food production.
Synonyms: DATEM, lactylated fatty acid esters of glycerol
Ammonium chloride is an inorganic food additive, typically used as a yeast nutrient and as an acidifier.
Artificial food coloring is linked to hyperactivity, allergic reactions and tumor growth.
Synonyms: asthaxanthin, certified colors, FD&C colors, red 40, yellow 5
Artificial food flavoring is derived from materials not found in nature, and are processed in a lab to mimic natural flavors.
These non-caloric replacements for sugar have no nutritional value. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to obesity, diabetes and potential cardiovascular problem.
Synonyms: acesulfame potassium, advantame, aspartame, cyclamates, maltodextrin, neotame, polydextrose, saccharin, sucralose, sugar alcohol
Azodicarbonamide is commonly used in the food industry as a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner. Studies have found that they increase the irritability of gluten, and disrupt immune and hormone functions.
Benzoates in Food
Benzoates are chemical food additives. When combined with citric/arsobic acid (vitamin C), these ingredients form benzene, which is a carcinogen associated with leukemia and other blood cancers.
Synonyms: sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate
Benzoyl peroxide is a bleaching agent in flour, whey processing of milk, and for some cheese making.
Bromated flour is used in baked goods to allow for higher rising, stronger dough. It is classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Synonyms: calcium bromate, potassium bromate, sodium bromate
Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
BVO is a synthetic ingredient, primarily used as an emulsifier in soft drinks. In very high amounts consumed over a long period of time, BVO can build up in the body and cause toxic effects.
BST (Bovine Somatotropin)
BST is an artificial growth hormone. This ingredient has been found to disrupt human growth hormone receptors.
Synonyms: BGH, bovine growth hormone
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Studies have shown that these chemical preservatives cause cancer in animals and may be anticipated as a human carcinogen.
Calcium peroxide is commonly used as a bread enhancer and bleaching agent for flour. It may cause allergic reaction and asthma.
Calcium Stearoyl-2-lactylate (CSL)
Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate is a synthetic chemical used as dough conditioner and aeration agent, while the sodium variety used as an emulsifier in a wide variety of foods.
Synonyms: sodium stearoyl fumarate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate
Caprocaprylobehenin is a fat substitute created for lowering the caloric content of food.
This synthetic additive is used to bleach flour and will destroy any vitamin E that remained in the flour.
Diacetyl is a artificial butter flavoring typically found in popcorns.
Synonyms: acetoin, butanedione
Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate (DSS)
Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate is a synthetic, waxy solid used as a wetting agent, solubilizing agent, an emulsifier and thickening agent, and sometimes used to clean fruits and vegetables. Studies made on animals showed that high concentrations of DSS can lead to severe diarrhea, rapid dehydration, and death.
Synonyms: docusate sodium
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA)
EDTA is used as a preservative or chelating agent in foods and beverages. It has been linked to a number of side effects such as anemia, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, irregular heartbeats and low blood pressure.
Synonyms: disodium EDTA, thylenedia mine-tetra acetic acid-chelating preservative, tetrasodium EDTA
Ethylene Oxide (ETO)
ETO is a synthetic preservative used as a fumigant and a sterilant for spices. The World Health Organization classifies it at as Group 1 carcinogen, which is their most dangerous category for known and suspected agent.
Ethoxyquin is a synthetic antioxidant used as a preservative in human food, typically fish products and in pet food.
Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a duck/goose that has been forcefully fattened.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
HFCS is a sweetener derived from corn starch. Studies have shown that HFCS causes more weight gain than refined sugar does, and induce rapid production of pancreatic cancer cells.
Hydrogenated Fats (Trans Fats)
Trans fat is considered by doctors as the worst type of fat you can eat. It increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Synonyms: hydrogenated oil/lard/tallow, partially hydrogenated fats, PHO
L-Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid that is used as a dough conditioner. It is also used when creating artificial flavours (particularly meat flavours). Much of L-cysteine is produced by hydrolysis of human hair, poultry feathers, or hog hair.
Lead Soldered Cans
Lead soldered cans are tin cans that have been sealed by soldering a tin-lead alloy. Usually containing sauces, soups, or other vegetables, lead soldered cans and seals are in direct contact with food within.
Methyl silicon is an antifoaming material added to oils to inhibit general foaming and splattering when combined with heat. It can be found in normal spray oils and cooking oils used often in fast food production.
Synonyms: dimethylpolysiloxane, polysilicone
Microparticularized Whey Protein
This is a synthetic fat substitute and emulsifier, typically found in athletic beverages and protein powders.
Synonyms: fat substitute, microparticularized whey, olean, olestra, simplesse, sucrose polyester, whey protein
Mono- and Diglycerides
Mono- and diglycerides are used as emulsifiers additives and may contain traces of trans fat.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG is a non-nutritive flavor enhancer. Researchers have found that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG, which include headache, flushing, numbness, nausea, heart palpitations and chest pain.
Synonyms: disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate
Natamycin is used as an inhibitor and preservative, typically in dairy products to prevent spoilage.
Nitrates/Nitrites are artificial additives used as a color enhancer in cured and dried meats.
Synonyms: potassium nitrate/nitrite, sodium nitrate/nitrite
Parabens are synthetic preservatives used in the food and cosmetic industry. In food, they are mostly found in cereals, nuts, baked goods, and packaged snacks. Parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.
Synonyms: butylparaben, heptylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben
Polysorbates are food additives used as emulsifiers, typically found in ice cream and powdered mixes. These additives have been linked with reduction in fertility and anaphylactoid reactions.
Synonyms: polysorbate 60/65/80
Propionates are used as a preservative to inhibit mold growth. Calcium and sodium propionate have the potential to permanently damage your stomach lining by exacerbating gastritis and inducing severe ulcers.
Synonyms: calcium propionate, calcium salt, propanoic acid, sodium propionate
Propylene glycol is used as a solvent, as the primary ingredient in antifreeze, and as the liquid in e-cigarettes. In acute levels of exposure, it might cause cardiovascular or neurological issues.
Synonyms: butane glycol, butylene glycol
Propyl gallate is a preservative used to prevent oxidation in foods, often used in meats, butter, and citrus-flavored beverages.
Silicone is a chemical used as an antifoaming material, typically added to cooking sprays and cooking oils.
Synonyms: methyl silicon, dimethylpolysiloxane
Sodium Aluminium Phosphate
Sodium aluminium phosphate is a synthetic additive used as a leavening agent in self-rising flour. It may be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Sodium diacetate is a synthetic preservative and mold inhibitor, primarily found in the production of meats.
Sodium erythorbate is an additive used in processed meats to help a faster cure and helps retain the pink color of the meat. In susceptible people, regular consumption of sodium erythorbate-containing food may cause a buildup of acidic substances that increase the risk of kidney stones.
Sodium hexametaphosphate is an artificial additive used as an emulsifier and thickener, typically found in artificial syrups, canned milk, cheese toppings, and other dessert items. In animal studies, consuming this additive caused pale and swollen kidneys, increased kidney weights, bone decalcification, muscle fiber size changes, hyperplasia and severe skin irritations.
Stannous chloride is a food additive used to help retain color in canned vegetables and soft drinks.
Potassium sorbate is a synthetic preservative commonly found in cheese, breads, frozen foods and baked goods. When mixed with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), this chemical preservative may cause mutagenicity and DNA-damaging activity.
Synonyms: acetic acid, hexadienoic acid, calcium sorbate, sodium sorbate, sorbic acid
Sulfites are food preservatives used in the distillation of beverages and syrups. Sulfites may trigger severe asthmatic symptoms and breathing difficulties.
Synonyms: potassium bisulfite, sodium bisulfite, sodium sulfite
Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
TBHQ is a synthetic food antioxidant derived from petroleum. It is often used as a preservative for unsaturated vegetable oils and many edible animal fats.
Vanillin is a synthetic sweetener created to mimic natural vanilla flavor. Today most vanillin is produced from the petrochemical raw material guaiacol.
Synonyms: ethyl vanillin
Aluminium Chlorohydrate and Aluminium Zirconium
Aluminium-based antiperspirant can interfere with the function of estrogen receptors, which is known to influence the growth of breast cancer.
Benzalkonium chloride is a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and allergies.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
BHA and BHT are synthetic antioxidants used as a preservative and stabilizer in cosmetics. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage.
Ethanolamines are surfactants and pH adjuster linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development. In large doses, they are thought to be potentially carcinogenic - especially as it builds up in the body over time.
Synonyms: cocamide DEA, triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA)
EDTA is a chelating (binding) agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. It may be toxic to organs.
Synonyms: disodium EDTA, tetrasodium EDTA
Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic preservative that can be associated with asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Formaldehyde can be released by some synthetic preservatives when put under certain conditions, such as high temperatures and long storage times.
Synonyms: quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol, glyoxal
Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation.
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate is a preservative used in cosmetics. It is considered as acutely toxic by inhalation and may induce skin allergy reactions such as dermatitis. It is also suspected to be an environmental toxin.
Methylisothiazolinone (MI) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)
These are synthetic preservatives. Doctors consider them the trigger for one of the worst skin allergy outbreaks, causing dermatitis and rashes.
Synonyms: methyldibromo glutaronitrile
Mineral Oil and Petroleum Derivatives
Mineral oil is a by-product of the crude oil industry. This inexpensive ‘filler’ makes up a large percentage of even the most expensive luxury products, such as moisturizers, cleansers, and body oils. These ingredients come from a non-renewable source.
Synonyms: paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum, paraffin oil, ozokerite
Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE)
NPE is an inexpensive nonionic surfactant frequently used in laundry detergents. NPE is an endocrine disruptor and estrogen mimicker that can potentially cause hormonal problems, or even cancer.
Octinoxate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone
These are sunscreen ingredients. They may be associated to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption.
Optical brightener is a synthetic chemical added to laundry detergents to make clothing appear whiter and brighter. Optical brightener poses a potential hazard to aquatic life as they are non-biodegradable and may bioaccumulate.
Parabens are synthetic preservatives found widely in skincare. They have been found to disrupt physiologically important functions and have a mildly oestrogenic effect on the body.
Synonyms: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ‘anything’ paraben
Phenol is an ingredient used in bath, hair and skin care products to help cleanse the skin and prevent the growth of microorganism. Phenol is highly irritating to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes in humans after acute (short-term) inhalation or dermal exposures. Phenol is considered to be quite toxic to humans via oral exposure.
Synonyms: benzenol, carbolic acid, hydroxybenzene, liquid phenol, oxybenzone, phenyl alcohol
Phthalates are compounds used in the production of plastics to make them soft and pliable. Phthalates can act as oestrogens once ingested or absorbed, interfering with hormonal function and metabolism.
Synonyms: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), ‘anything’ phthalate
Propylene Glycol (PG) and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
These are most often used as a humectant and emulsifier. It has been known to be a skin sensitizer and may cause skin reactions such as hives and eczema.
Silicones are used as a lubricant and conditioning agent. Prolonged exposure can increase skin irritation and create a dependency on the product. Silicones are non-biodegradable - it can pollute the environment during both manufacturing and disposal process.
Synonyms: cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, polydimethylsiloxane
Selenium sulfide is an antifungal agent used to treat itching, flaking, scaling and dry skin on the scalp due to dandruff. Side effects from using selenium sulfide include hair loss, scalp and skin irritation, burning sensation, garlic breath and tremor.
Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical commonly found in bleach, water purifiers, and cleaning products. Swallowing sodium hypochlorite can lead to poisoning. Breathing sodium hypochlorite fumes may also cause poisoning, especially if the product is mixed with ammonia.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
These are used as surfactants (detergents for cleansing) and emulsifiers in body washes, shampoos, toothpaste, and face wash. These ingredients upset the protective layer of oils and make the skin more permeable to other ingredients, be it good or bad ingredients. It is often associated with outbreaks of eczema.
Many synthetic colors are made of coal tar, and may contain heavy metal salts like arsenic and lead that can deposit toxicity onto the skin. These chemicals increase the risk of skin sensitivity and irritation, and are known for blocking pores and increasing the risk of acne breakouts.
Synonyms: lead acetate
Synthetic fragrance are engineered scent or flavoring agent that that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed.
Synonyms: fragrance, parfum, perfume
Talc is a naturally occurring magnesium silicate mineral that is typically the main ingredient in face powders and is also used as an absorbent in skincare products. Talc can be contaminated with asbestos fibers, posing risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer. It can be used with the exception that the product is certified organic and in a pressed form.
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent and preservative used in soaps and detergents. The use of triclosan is linked to endocrine disruption and environmental toxicity.
Toluene is a chemical used in nail products and hair dyes. In human and animal studies, toluene has been associated with toxicity to the immune system and a possible link to blood cancer. During pregnancy, exposure to toluene vapors may cause developmental damage to the fetus.