clean skincare simplified.
better for you + the planet.


what is clean skincare?

Clean is about transparency; knowing what your products are made with along with what they’re never made with. Below is a list of ingredients we DO NOT allow in our products and why (remaining citations coming soon).

We are human and constantly striving to do better, so please reach out if you have any questions or comments about this list. You can email us at

Last updated April 6, 2020

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.


Preservatives found in almost any type of cosmetic/skincare products. It’s been linked to hormonal disruption, skin issues, and cancers.


Can be a solvent (helps chemicals dissolve) or a surfactant (create foam/bubbles), which can be found in hair + nail products. May cause reproductive/developmental toxicity, and/or endocrine disruption.

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.

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 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.


A stabilizer used to keep ingredients from changing or separating. Problematic for aquatic life as they don’t break down and have been found in lakes, streams, and seas. In humans it can cause abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, low blood pressure + skin problems.


A surfactant used in cleansers, moisturizers, + sunscreen to create foamy or creamy effect. Ingredients (like DEA/TEA/MEA/ETA) may contain Nitrosamines, possibly linked to cancer.

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
  • Emulsifying wax: A mix of Cetearyl Alcohol and Polysorbate 60 or Ceteareth-20
  • 1,4-dioxane
  • Toluene


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 carcinogen. 

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

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.


A metal mostly used in dyes/pigments. Has been linked to skin irritation, abdominal cramps/nausea, lead poisoning + cancer.

Mercury + Associated Compounds

A metal or metallic compound used in eye care, fragrance +  metallic pigment. Has been linked to skin irritation, abdominal cramps/nausea, tremors + cancer.

Methyl Cellosolve

A solvent 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.


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).


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


A mineral compound used in powders + pigments. Can be contaminated with Asbestos, which is linked with cancer.


Antibacterial agents and preservatives used in soaps and skincare. They have environmental persistence, and may cause hormonal disruption.


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