There are certain ingredients, like Triclosan, that can be harmful to the skin but are still used on skincare products. There are several reasons to this problem, being the most important one that the safety of the substances is analyzed considering small concentrations of the ingredient and does not take into account that an individual can be using up to 30 skincare products a day with the same ingredient. Also, when an ingredient is found to be toxic or risky, the bureaucratic process it has to go through before it is banned, and in some cases, the lobbies trying to prevent the banning, make it a complicated and long process that the consumer ends up paying at the end of the day.

Let’s found out why should we avoid such substances.


4. Ingredients containing aminesOn the label as Triethanolamine and Cocamide DEA/MEA (and all the ingredients that end in ‘DEA’ or ‘MEA’). These ingredients are contaminated by nitrosamines, a chemical known to have cancer-causing risks to humans named in the Proposition 65 list.

5. PolyquaterniumOn the label as Polyquaternium-XX (10, 14…). This is a raw material that is contaminated by nitrosamines (a carcinogenic substance), and it is not biodegradable according to the standards of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

1. FormaldehydeOn the label as DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinylurea, Imidazolidinylurea, Quaternium-15. All of these ingredients release formaldehyde, which is known worldwide as a carcinogenic contaminant.

2. Ethoxylated surfactantsOn the label as Sodium Laureth Sulfate and all the ingredients that end in -eth (eg. Ceteareth-X, Laureth-X, Laureth-X, Steareth-X). These ingredients come from a synthetic chemical known to be carcinogenic, which is listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) because of its cancer-causing properties in humans.

3. Ethoxylated emulsifiersOn the label as PEG(polyethylene glycol), PPG (polypropylene glycol)- …, Polysorbate- (20, 30, 80…). They are all contaminated by carcinogenic substances generated from the reaction caused by ethylene oxide, just as with the ingredients mentioned above. It is important NOT to confuse these ingredients with another family of glycols like Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, etc.. refer to the blog on Butylene Glycol for more information.

6.Triclosan, endocrine Disruptor Preservatives and formula stabilizers. On the label as Propylparapen, Isopropylparapen, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, BHA, BHT, Triclosan, imidazolidinyl urea. These substances can affect the hormonal system and damage its correct functioning.

7. Sensitizing Preservatives such as Isothiazolinones. On the label as Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT), and other words ending with “isothiazolinone”. These chemicals are known to cause skin allergies and eczema. There have been multiple cases of heightened sensitivity and incidents of chemical burns because of these substances. Some of them are forbidden or limited, others are still of free use.

8. AllergensOn the label as Phenoxyethanol, Cinnamal, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, and Linalool. These are all listed by the CSSC and the EWG as allergenic substances. They pose risks of toxicity to the aquatic fauna, irritation and skin allergies. The phenoxyethanol specifically is classified as “moderate danger” for health for its toxicity to the immune system and for allergies, according to EWG.

9. Silicones and polymers. On the label as Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Acrylates crosspolymer. These are synthetics compounds, from non-renewable and non-biodegradable sources.

10. Fragrance and perfume. On the label as Fragrance/Parfum. This is a “mysterious” ingredient, as it is impossible to know (the perfume industry is not obliged to disclose the ingredients list behind their formulations) what really goes into it unless it is detailed. So it is complicated, as a consumer, to assess if the substance is secure or not.

This is why at Sepai Laboratories we follow very strict rules for the selection of the right fragrances for our formulations: we chose low or non allergenic fragrances, either naturally produced or synthetically derived, and we make sure that the fragrance chosen is free of any of the ingredients listed before, to ensure that the perfume that goes into your product is the safest for your skin.

We put a lot of effort into offering just the safest ingredients out there and following this list you too can choose the best for your skin. If you have any questions don’t doubt sending us an email to beauty@sepai.eu, or messaging us on social media. Stay safe!