Here's the list of what we call the "Mean 15" - the ingredients in skin care, cosmetics and body care products we all need to shelve for good.
For more information read Ecoholic Body by Adria Vasil
1. BHA and BHT: Cancer-linked preservatives.
2. DEA/MEA/TEA (diethanolamine): Can create carcinogenic by-products.
3. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: (DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15 and bronopol a.k.a. 2-bromo-2-nitropro-pane-1,3-diol).
4. Oxybenzone (BP-3/benzophenone) and octinoxate (octylmethoxcinnamate): Two of the worst sunscreen chemicals.
5. Palm Oil: (or anything with "palm" or "palmate" in its name, like sodium palmate): Avoid unless it's fair trade/organic.
6. Parabens: Estrogenic preservatives.
7. Parfum/fragrance: Note: some natural Euro brands with "parfums" are actually made with natural essential oils (it should say so on the label).
8. PEGs: (polyethylene glycol compounds, and anything with "-eth" in its name).
9. Petrolatum/paraffin/mineral oil/petroleum distillates. Also known as petroleum jelly, is a derivative of petroleum (yes, oil!)
10. PPD: In all permanent hair dyes. Can also be called p-Aminoaniline: 1,4-benzenediamine; p-benzendiamine CI 76060; p-diaminobenzene; 1,4-phenylendia-mine; 1,4-diaminobenzene.
11. Phthalates: Hidden behind the word "fragrance," but you can look for the phrase "phthalate free."
12. Retinyl palmitate: Keep this one out of the sun.
13. Siloxanes: Pass on cyclo- or "-methicone." Cyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and cyclopentasiloxane (D5) are eco toxic siloxanes (silicone-based polymers). Cyclomethicone is a mix of D4, D5 and D6 siloxanes.
14. Sodium laureth sulphate: Frequently contaminated foaming agent.
15. Triclosan/triclocarbon: Now officially toxic but still on shelves!