Blacklisted Ingredients

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Mercury & Mercury compounds (Additional Names: Thimerosal)

 Mercury and Mercury Compounds are used as a preservative in vaccines and cosmetics. According to the Federal Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), mercury compounds are readily absorbed through the skin and accumulate in the body, increasing risks of various adverse health effects including the disruption of the nervous system. They may also cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. Mercury is considered particularly toxic to the developing brain during pregnancy, infancy and childhood. The FDA has banned the use of mercury compounds in all cosmetics except those used around the eyes, where levels are limited to 65 parts per million (ppm).



An antimicrobial preservative that slowly releases carcinogenic formaldehyde into a product over time (see Formaldehyde). People may develop a contact allergy to formaldehyde or to the ingredient itself. Longer storage times and higher temperatures increase the amount of formaldehyde released from the formaldehyde-releaser, which can lead to a higher risk of skin reaction.  


Methylchloroisothiazolinone/Methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI)

A preservative mixture commonly used in cosmetic products, household cleaning products, and industrial applications. Due to its extensive use, the number of allergic reaction cases caused by MCI/MI or MI alone has been increasing. MI was the American Contact Dermatitis Society Contact Allergen of the Year for 2013.  

In addition, studies show that prolonged exposure to low levels of MI may have damaging consequences to the developing nervous system. 



Methylparaben is in the parabens family of preservatives used in food, pharmaceuticals, and beauty products. There is some evidence that parabens can accumulate in human breast tissue. Clinical studies on animals have indicated that parabens may mimic estrogen and act as a potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptor.  


Mineral Oil

A liquid mixture obtained from crude petroleum oil used as a skin moisturizer. It may contain various amounts of carcinogenic PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and other petroleum contaminants, depending on the level to which it has been refined. There is consistent evidence that untreated or mildly-treated mineral oils cause cancer of the skin in humans. 


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