These chemical classes cause more harm than good to our health. They are used as excipients meaning they help create texture (creamy, slippery, etc) or fragrance or color.
Sulfate salts form when sulfuric acid reacts with another chemical. Sulfates, namely sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), act as surfactants that reduce the surface tension of oil and water allowing them to spread more easily.
Silicones are a group of semi-liquid substances derived from silica. They are synthetic ingredients used in cosmetics for their conditioning benefits and slick feel. Silicones are hydrophobic (they repel water) and do not rinse off easily (they require and oil-based wash or double cleansing). After application, they may block subsequent ingredients from contacting the skin, rendering anything applied afterward useless.
Silicones include: dimethicone, cyclomethicone, cycloheasiloxane, cetearyl methicone and cyclopentasiloxane.
Silicates are commonly found in skincare products as
ingredients like silica, sodium silicate, and magnesium aluminum silicate. Some potential drawbacks associated with their presence in skincare products include:
Skin irritation - fine particles of silica can have a scrubbing effect and potentially lead to microtears in the skin, exacerbating irritation.
Clogged pores - the potential to clog pores which can lead to the development of blackheads and whiteheads, particularly in individuals prone to acne or with oily skin.
Dryness - silica is known for its absorbent properties. While this can be beneficial for controlling excess oil on the skin, it may also absorb natural oils, leading to dryness.
Phthalates are found in a variety of consumer products, including cosmetics, fragrances, and personal care items. They are known to be endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with reproductive and developmental health. Phthalates are pervasive in the environment – they can leach or migrate from products into the air, food, or other substances they come into contact with, causing concerns about unintentional exposure through inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Additionally, phthalates can accumulate in the human body over time. The EU has restricted the use of certain phthalates in cosmetics and toys due to health risks.
Petrolatum is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons derived from the distillation of petroleum. The hydrocarbons that make up petrolatum belong to the methane family. Petrolatum is often used in personal care products as a moisturizing and skin protecting agent. Though it has been deemed generally safe in the US, EU countries have classified it as a carcinogen and have restricted its use in cosmetics. Petrolatum is sometimes not fully refined, which means it can be contaminated with toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Parabens are man-made chemicals used as preservatives in cosmetics. Often multiple parabens are used in a single product. In cell studies, parabens have been found to bind to estrogen receptors. Studies demonstrate that at sufficient concentrations, parabens can increase cell proliferation in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells, which are often used as a sensitive measure of estrogenic activity.
The chemistry of perfume is generally comprised of: denatured ethanol (C2H6O), essence or fragrance, fixative, propylene glycol (C3H8O2) and distilled water (H20). A few of the most common perfume components are benzyl alcohol, acetone, ethanol, ethyl acetate, benzaldehyde, formaldehyde, and methylene chloride. Fragrance in skin care is known to cause redness, itching, hives, and sensitivities such as watery eyes and migraine headaches.
Formaldehyde is commonly used as a preservative in cosmetics and hair care products. It has been known to cause allergic reactions and rashes when in contact with skin. Although concentrations of formaldehyde in personal care products is generally found in low doses, daily product use can contain enough formaldehyde to trigger a reaction in people with formaldehyde sensitivities. Formaldehyde is easily absorbed through the skin and eyes, it can cause severe irritation and burns in skin and lead to loss of vision.
Because allergies can manifest in various ways, including skin reactions such as redness, itching, swelling, or hives...our formulas will never include the nine major substances identified as food allergens by the US FDA. These are:
Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp)
Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
Ethanolamines, including compounds such as monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), and triethanolamine (TEA), are considered problematic in cosmetics. They may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Ethanolamines can break down into ammonia, which can be irritating to the eyes and respiratory system. They can react with certain preservatives or other ingredients to form nitrosamines - compounds that have been classified as potential human carcinogens.
The EU has set limits on the concentration of diethanolamine (DEA) in cosmetic products due to their potential health risks.
Drying or Ethyl alcohols, also known as denatured alcohols, have often been used in cosmetics for their preservative effects and as a solvent to increase the solubility of ingredients. Increased solubility allows for the formulation to have a smoother, creamier feel. The use of these alcohols has been known to cause irritation and can trigger rosacea flare-ups. Continuous use can disrupt the skin’s protective barrier and make it difficult for skin to naturally retain moisture.
PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyls) substances are commonly referred to as "lifetime or forever chemicals". Many PFAS, including perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are a concern because:
they do not break down in the environment,
can move through soils and contaminate drinking water sources,
build up (bioaccumulate) in fish and wildlife.
Both state and federal regulators are increasing awareness of PFAS via media campaigns and are developing more stringent rules to mitigate their use.
Coal tar dyes are formed during the dilution of bituminous coal with hydrocarbon solvents. When coal is diluted with the solvents, it produces a variety of vibrant colored byproducts. Coal tar dyes contain compounds that are known or suspected to be carcinogens, such as carcinogens, such as benzene, toluene, naphthalene, anthracene, xylene, creosote oils and benzo[a]pyrene, which is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer). Many coal tar dyes have been banned or restricted by regulatory agencies due to their potential health risks. In both the US and EU, certain coal tar dyes are not allowed for use in cosmetics.
Additionally, coal tar dyes contain heavy metals and chemical solvents, and have the ability to bioaccumulate. The production and disposal of these dyes may contribute to water pollution and other environmental concerns.
Benzene will never be included in Carmell Cosmetics because it is known to be a human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to benzene has been linked to the development of various cancers, including leukemia and other blood-related cancers. Further impacts include:
Central Nervous System Effects - High levels of benzene exposure may affect the central nervous system, causing symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and drowsiness.
Reproductive Effects - Prolonged exposure to benzene has been associated with reproductive issues, including decreased fertility and developmental abnormalities in unborn children.
Environmental Impact - Benzene is a significant air pollutant, and its release into the environment can have harmful effects on ecosystems. It contributes to air pollution and can contaminate water and soil.