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Breaking Bad

How to Avoid Toxic Ingredients and Choose Safer Products

Every day, millions of us reach for products that help keep our skin clean, hair shiny, teeth white, and body smelling beautiful. From moisturizers and lipsticks, to sunscreens and shampoos, cosmetics contain a variety of ingredients.

And to complicate matters, skin care ingredient lists use scientic names that may sound bad but are not. To help eliminate the guesswork, we have created a list of the 30 most toxic chemical ingredients used in skin care today to break free of using.

Sure, it is cheaper and easier to use a synthetic and unhealthy ingredient — but
 that's not our philosophy. At MyChelle Dermaceuticals, we do not use any toxic preservatives, petroleum derivatives, or artificial and unnatural by-products found in most skin care. We are obsessed with creating clean and safe products that are just as effective as they are natural.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals is a proud founding member of the EWG VERIFIED: For Your Health™ program. Look for the EWG VERIFIED™ mark to easily identify our products that meet EWG's criteria for transparency and health.

Ingredient Common Uses Effects
Amylcinnamaldehyde Scent masking agent in face, skin care products Synthetic scent masking agent and known carcinogen.
Artificial Colors Nearly every personal care product Petroleum based; linked to allergies, cancer, and ADHD.
Benzalkonium Chloride Antibacterial agent used in wipes, gels, contact solution, soap, skin antiseptics Antibacterial agent linked to allergies and organ toxicity.
Benzoyl Peroxide Acne care, bleaching agent Eye, skin, and respiratory irritant; cytotoxic.
Bisphenol-A (BPA) Hard plastic packaging, bottles, make-up, nail polish Hormone disruptor.
Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) Preservative or fragrance masking agent in skin care and food products Petroleum derived preservatives linked to endocrine disruption.
Butylphenyl Methlyproprional (Lilial) Body and hair care, moisturizers Allergen and immune toxicant.
Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA) Emulsifier, pH adjuster, and foaming agent in shampoo, soaps, cosmetics Foaming agent that causes carcinogenic byproducts.
EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic), Tetrasodium EDTA, Disodium EDTA Binders in skin, hair and body care A potential formaldehyde (carcinogen) releaser.
Synthetic Fragrances Nearly every personal care product Contain thousands of chemicals; linked to cancer and allergies.
Hydroquinone Antioxidant, fragrance ingredient, bleaching agent and colorant in body, skin and hair care Causes photosensitivity and skin problems; cytotoxic.
Imidazolidinyl, Diazolidinyl, DMDM Ureas used as antimicrobial preservatives in personal care products Preservatives that release formaldehyde (carcinogen).
Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone Preservatives in make-up and skin, body, and hair care Skin irritant and possible neurotoxin.
Mineral Oil or Mineral Spirits Conditioning agent and solvent in make-up and skin, body, and hair care Petroleum based; clogs pores and inhibits cell renewal.
Octyl dimethyl PABA (padimate-0 or p-aminobenzoic acid) Sunscreen, make-up, and skin care to block UV light Linked to allergenic dermatitis and photosensitivity.
Oxybenzone Sunscreen to absorb UV light Linked to hormone disruption and cellular damage. Marine toxic.
Parabens The most commonly used synthetic preservatives in skin, hair and body care Mimics estrogen and disrupts hormones. Easily absorbs in skin and bioaccumulates. Linked to several types of cancer.
Petroleum Jelly or White Petrolatum Skin, hair and bath care, makeup, shaving, sunscreen, cleaning products Often contaminated with heavy metals and carcinogens.
Phenylenediamine (PPD)(o-, m-, p-, nitro-, amino-): Hair dye Toxic when mixed with hydrogen peroxide in hair dyes.
Phthalates Plasticizer in nail polish, hair spray, perfume. Often listed at Fragrance Impairs endocrine system. Linked to early breast development.
Polyacrylamide Antistatic agent and film forming agent in moisturizers, gels, creams Synthetic polymer made from acrylamide (carcinogen).
Polybutene, Polyisobutene Plasticizer and viscosity agent in lip and eye products, sunscreen Skin irritant derived from petroleum.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG-#) Skin care, makeup, baby products, sunscreen Often contaminated with cancer causing toxins such as dioxin.
Propylene Glycol (PG), Polypropylene Glycol (PPG) Lotion, deodorant, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, body washes Damages skin by breaking down proteins and cellular structure.
Quaternium # or Polyquaternium # Preservatives in makeup, skin, body and hair care Preservatives that release formaldehyde (carcinogen).
Siloxanes Conditioning agent and emollient in conditioners, deodorant, foundation A known endocrine disruptor and skin and eye irritant.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) Most common foaming agent in health and beauty products Corrodes skin cells by breaking down lipids and proteins. Water pollutant.
Talc/Talcum powder Makeup, baby, body and deodorizing powders Causes respiratory problems. May be contaminated with asbestos fibers.
Triclosan Antibacterial agent and preservative in toothpaste, personal care, and home cleaning products A synthetic preservative and endocrine disruptor.
Urea Humectant and buffering agent in skin care. Very common synthetic preservative. Releases formaldehyde (carcinogen).

Now that you know what to avoid, the next step is learning how to recognize safe and effective ingredients. MyChelle uses a variety of natural alternatives, so you don't have to choose between a great complexion or good health.

Toxic Ingredients MyChelle's Safe & Effective Alternatives
Phthalates Essential Oils; Natural Herbal, Floral and Fruit Extracts
Parabens D-Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Plantservative from Honeysuckle
Benzoyl Peroxide Totarol™, Willow Bark, Tea Tree Oil, Sulphur, Zinc, Lemongrass
Emulsifiers (DEA, TEA, MEA) Plant Waxes, Xanthan Gum, Cetearyl Olivate
Propylene Glycol (PG) Lecithin, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Vegetable Glycerin
Sulfates (SLS/SLES) Sugar Compounds, Coconut Oil Compounds
Ureas Enzymes, Amino Acids, Oregano, Fruit Extracts
Artificial Colors No added color; just 100% natural coloring from vitamins, herbs, fruits, and flowers
Microbeads Jojoba Beads, Fruit Pulps, Bamboo Stem Powder


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Clean Science. Professional Results.™ All MyChelle Dermaceuticals products are Vegetarian, Cruelty-free, and Free of Phthalates, Parabens, Sulfates, Ureas, Artificial Fragrances and Colors, Petroleum, GMOs, and Gluten.

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