What is clean? It’s a standard meant to keep certain ingredients out of our personal care products. And who is regulating? No one, really. Personal Care Legislation in the United States is, to put it lightly, way behind. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to look to other countries to see what they’ve banned to help set our standard.

We don’t make any products, which is why we can regulate it. We evaluate every label to confirm it does not contain any of the ingredients in the list below before it can be considered for our inventory. We know how difficult it is to read and understand every ingredient, so our experts do it for you. And because we started our company with the standard, we are vigilant about upholding it. 

You can find a list of ingredients we’ve banned below in our Never MadeWith List: a comprehensive, digestible list of 26 categories, which encompasses THOUSANDS of ingredients and cite our research that backs why we banned the ingredients we did.

We’re constantly researching and updating this list, so if you have any questions or feedback, please email us at [email protected].

Acrylates (Styrene)

Adhesives generally found in nail + eyelash products. Linked to cancer, development issues, neurological damage, cellular damage, reproductive toxicity + organ system toxicity. Learn more about why we banned acrylates + view citations here.


BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are preservatives found in almost any type of cosmetic/skincare products. It’s been linked to hormonal disruption, skin issues, and cancers. Learn more about why we banned BHA/BHT + view citations here.


Can be a solvent (helps chemicals dissolve) or a surfactant (creates foam/bubbles), which can be found in hair + nail products. May cause reproductive/developmental toxicity, and/or endocrine disruption. Learn more about why we banned butoxyethanol + view citations here.

Carbon Black + Coal Tar

A dark black powder used as a pigment in cosmetics. Linked to increased incidence of cancer and negative effects on organs. Learn more about why we banned carbon black & coal tar + view citations here.

Chemical SPF (Benzophenone, Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Homosalate, etc.)

Chemicals used in sunscreen linked to hormonal disruption + possibly an acne trigger. Chemical SPF also has diminishing efficacy over time. These chemicals have been banned in Hawaii due to the destruction they cause reefs. Learn more about why we banned chemical SPF + view citations here.

Cyclical Silicones

A solvent (helps chemicals dissolve) frequently used for fragrance, essential oils + carrier fluids. May cause reproductive/developmental toxicity, and/or endocrine disruption. They are difficult to eliminate from the environment and the food chain. Learn more about why we banned cyclical silicones + view citations here.


A surfactant (creates foam/bubbles) used in cleansers, moisturizers, + sunscreen to create foamy or creamy effect. Ingredients (like DEA/TEA/MEA/ETA) may contain Nitrosamines, possibly linked to cancer. Learn more about why we banned ethanolamines + view citations here.

Ethylene Oxide

A petroleum derived compound that when mixed with other compounds creates Ethoxylates. Ethoxylates can be found in almost any skincare product, but commonly used in cream bases. Ethylene Oxide has been linked to cancer.

  • PEGS (over 1000 types)
  • Polysorbate-20, Polysorbate-40
  • Steareth-20
  • Sulfates
  • Ceteareth-20
  • 1,4-dioxane
  • Toluene

Learn more about why we banned Ethylene Oxide + view citations here.


A preservative that can be found in many skincare products. It is linked to skin irritation, including scalp burns and hair loss, and is a known carcinogen. Some formaldehyde releasers (and associated compounds) can also be problematic for aquatic life as they don’t always break down and have been found in lakes, streams, and seas.

Formaldehyde is not usually listed as an ingredient; formaldehyde “releasers” are listed on labels as:

  • Dmdm Hydantoin
  • Diazolidinyl Urea
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea
  • Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin
  • Quaternium-15
  • Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
  • 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol
  • Polyoxymethylene Urea
  • 5-Bromo-5-Nitro-1,3 Dioxane
  • Glyoxal
  • Methenamine
  • Benzyl Hemiformal
  • EDTA

Learn more about why we banned formaldehyde + view citations here.

Hydroquinone (aka: benzene-1,4-diol)

A metabolite of Benzene, which is linked to cancer. It is found in products used to lighten/brighten pigment. It may cause skin irritation and possibly encourage the discoloration it’s meant to correct. Learn more about why we banned hydroquinone + view citations here.

Heavy Metals (Lead + Mercury)

A metal or metallic compound mostly used in dyes, pigments, + fragrance. Have been linked to skin irritation, abdominal cramps/nausea, lead poisoning, tremors + cancer. Learn more about why we banned heavy metals + view citations here.


A solvent (helps chemicals dissolve) used in fragrances. Linked to skin irritation and possibly to problems in the central nervous system, blood, bone marrow, kidneys, and liver. It is banned in the EU. Learn more about why we banned methyl cellosolve/2-methoxyethanol(2-ME) + view citations here.


A preservative that can be found in water-based cosmetics and personal care products. It is banned in the EU (for leave-on cosmetics; restricted to small amounts in rinse-off products). Learn more about why we banned methylchloroisothiazolinone + view citations here.


Particles used in spf and lotions. Shown to be easily absorbed into the body. These particles may contribute to dysfunction in the immune system, as well as kidney + brain damage. Learn more about why we banned nanoparticles + view citations here.

Nitromusks/Polycyclic Musks

A class of synthetic compounds used to emulate the scent of natural animal musks in perfumes. Possible health/environmental issues, from endocrine disruption to environmental persistence. Learn more about why we banned nitromusks/polycyclic musks + view citations here.


A preservative used in many skincare products. Linked to hormonal disruption. Learn more about why we banned parabens + view citations here.

Petrolatum/Paraffin/Mineral Oil (Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons)

Mixtures derived from petroleum that can be found in moisturizers + lip balms. These ingredients are unsustainable and PAHs are linked to cancer. Learn more about why we banned petrolatum/paraffin/mineral oil + view citations here.


Fluorinated compounds found in moisturizers, shaving cream, etc. They’re used as water and grease repellents. AKA “Forever Chemicals” – they do not break down in the environment + are now found in our water supplies. Known to increase risk of cancer, disrupt fetal development + reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. Learn more about why we banned PFASS + PFCS + view citations here.


Used as a preservative in a wide variety of cosmetics and skincare. Linked to skin and immune system toxicity or allergies. Learn more about why we banned phenoxyethanol + view citations here.


Bonding or fixative solvents found in fragrance and a multitude of other beauty products. DBP, DEHP, and DEP may appear on ingredient lists. Mostly they’re still hidden behind fragrances that are not naturally derived. Phthalates have been linked to hormonal disruption. Learn more about why we banned phthalates + view citations here.

Plastic Beads

Small beads used in scrubs and exfoliators. They don’t break down in the environment and are huge contributors to the plastic buildup in our rivers and oceans. Learn more about why we banned plastic beads + view citations here.

Resorcinol (Resorcinol, 1,3-benzenediol, resorcin, 1,3-dihydroxybenzene, m-hydroxybenze, m-dihydroxyphenol)

An adhesive resin used in creating pigments and dyes. It can affect function of the central nervous system + lead to respiratory problems. May cause hormonal disruptions, specifically thyroid function. Learn more about why we banned resorcinol + view citations here.


A mineral compound used in powders + pigments. Can be contaminated with Asbestos, which is linked with cancer. Learn more about why we banned talc + view citations here.


Antibacterial agents and preservatives used in soaps and skincare. They have environmental persistence and may cause hormonal disruption. Learn more about why we banned triclosan/triclocarban + view citations here.


We are CRUELTY FREE. We only allow sustainably sourced animal byproducts that will not kill or harm animals. That means:

  • No animal squalene/squalane
  • No emu oil
  • No estrogen
  • No musks
  • No royal jelly
  • No tallow


An edible vegetable oil that comes from oil palm trees. It is used as both an emollient and occlusive in personal care products. Unchecked harvesting of wild palm oil has devastated natural habitats for animals such as orangutans. Learn more about why we banned Unsustainably Sourced Palm Oil + view citations here.

Last updated May 13, 2021