How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XVIII

Not only do I encourage all of my lovely readers to develop and practice their Label Poise, I also continuously work on my own Label Poise.  This has been a staple cleanser of mine for several years now.  I knew the ingredients were not the best but it worked very well.  I was debating whether or not I should repurchase this product.

The Label

LabelPoise18

The Ingredients

Purified Water:  Safe! Water is the ultimate moisturizer and is a key ingredient in any moisturizing product.

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine: Beware!  This ingredient is a mild amphoteric (reacts as a base and an acid) synthetic surfactant, and the bottle indicates this product is derived from coconut/palm. This ingredient is not believed to be an eye or skin irritant, though an additional study found it to be a skin allergen in a patch test. It is not believed to be a carcinogen, mutagen, teratogen, or reproductive toxin, though there is limited information available. (MSDS)

Glycerin:  Safe!  Glycerin is a humectant that attracts moisture in the skin.  The Glycerin in this product is vegetable derived.   (MSDS)

Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate:  Beware!  Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate is a mild ionic surfactant that is a sodium salt of lauroyl sarcosine, which was derived from coconut and palm kernel. It is also used as a foaming and hair conditioning. It is considered safe when used in concentrations less than 5%, though there is concern over contamination with nitrosamine, a carcinogen. It is considered a skin and eye irritant in pure form. There is no information available on carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, developmental toxicity, or teratogenicity. (MSDSMSDS)

PEG-150:  Beware!  This ingredient is polyethylene glycol with a molecular weight of 150.  PEG-150 is used as a surfactant and cleansing agent, as well as a thickener.  Though polyethylene glycol is a penetration enhancer, due to the high molecular weight of this ingredient, it is less likely to be absorbed through intact skin.  PEG-150, along with other PEG chemicals, are generally regarded as safe on intact skin, though PEG-150 can be contaminated with Ethylene Oxide, a suspected carcinogen, and 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen. PEG-150 can be a slight skin and eye irritant in pure form.  No information on carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, or developmental toxicity. (MSDS)

Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate and PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides:  Avoid!  This ingredient is a mixture of PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate and PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides. PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate is a tetraester of stearic acid and a polyethylene glycol ether of pentaerythritol mixed with ethylene glycol. PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides is mixture of mono-, di-, and tri- glycerides fo caprylic and capric acids mixed with ethylene glycol. PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides is used as an emulsifier and surfactant, whereas PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate is used as an emulsifier and aqueous viscosity increasing agent. PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate is not believed to be skin irritants or sensitizers No MSDS.

Niacinamide:  Safe!  This ingredient is the amide of nicotinic acid (vitamin B3/niacin). It is used to improve the appearance and feel of hair. This ingredient is generally considered safe, but can be a skin irritant in pure form. It is typically used in concentrations of 1-4% of the formula. (MSDSMSDS)

Propylene Glycol:  Beware!  Propylene Glycol aka PPG is used as a penetration enhancer, humectant, and stabilizes the product despite temperature changes. This ingredient is not believed to be carcinogenic or a developmental toxin, though it may be contaminated with impurities such as Ethylene Oxide and 1,4-dioxane which are carcinogens. It is a suspected mutagen and teratogen. It is believed to be a skin irritant. In pure form it can be toxic to the central nervous system and may cause target organ damage (lungs and kidneys) with prolonged or repeated exposure. This ingredient is low on this list and should only be a low-moderate concern.  (MSDS)

Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate:  Avoid!  This ingredient is the sodium salt of coconut fatty acid amide of N-methyltaurine. It is used as a surfactant and cleansing agent, as well as a foaming agent. It is not believed to be a skin irritant or sensitizer, though limited information is available. No information on toxicity. (MSDS)

Ceramide 3:  Beware!  This ingredient is a synthetic ceramide, which is similar to wax like skin lipids. Ceramide 3 is used as a skin conditioning agent and restores the nature lipid barrier. There is very limited information about this ingredient. No individual MSDS. It is part of a ceramide complex used in this product. (MSDS [Ceramide Complex])

Ceramide 6-II:  Avoid!  This ingredient a skin conditioning agent. There is no additional information about this ingredient. No individual MSDS. It is part of a ceramide complex used in this product. (MSDS [Ceramide Complex])

Ceramide 1:  Safe!/Beware!  This ingredient is a synthetic ceramide, which is similar to wax like skin lipids. Chemically it is a N-acylated phytosphingosine with an erythro structure. It is used as a skin conditioning agent that restores lost moisture in the skin. No individual MSDS. It is part of a ceramide complex used in this product. There is limited evidence that this ingredient is toxic, though it is also rated Beware! as a precaution. (MSDS [Ceramide Complex])

Hyaluronic Acid:  Safe!/ Beware!  Also known as Hyaluronan, this ingredient is an anionic non sulfated glycosaminoglycan (unbranched polysaccharides) that is present in the human body in eye and nerve tissues. It can be used as an antistatic agent, humectant, skin conditioning agent and moisturizer. It is not known to be a skin irritant or sensitizer, though it is a slight eye irritant in pure form. No information on carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, or developmental toxicity. (MSDS)

Cholesterol:  Safe!/Avoid!  Cholesterol is made up of lipids and sterols (steroid alcohol), which is essentially fat. This ingredient is either plant or animal derived and is used to as a moisturizer in hair products, skin products, lipsticks and some sunscreens. It functions as an emollient, stabilizer, and water binding agent. It is not known to be a carcinogen, mutagen, or genotoxin. If you are vegan Avoid! this ingredient unless you can verify it is plant based. (MSDS; MSDS)

Sodium Chloride:  Beware!  This is common table salt. Sodium Chloride can be added to a lotion as a thickener or as a preservative. Salt can dry moisture away from the skin, however, given the likely concentration it should not be a concern.  (MSDS)

Phytosphingosine:  Beware!  Phytosphingosines (free sphingolipids) are lipids formed from the breakdown of ceramides. It is a skin conditioning agent that is believed to be a water-binding agent. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is not known to be carcinogenic. It is a potential skin irritant. The is no information on teratogenicity, mutagenicity, developmental toxicity, or environmental toxicity. (MSDS; MSDS)

Citric Acid:  Safe!  This ingredient is naturally occurring in citrus fruits, but is typically produced by feeding sucrose or glucose to mold and additional chemical treatment.  It is used in cosmetics as a pH adjuster.  It is generally considered safe, though it is a skin and eye irritant in pure form. (MSDS)

Edetate Disodium:  Beware!  Also known as Disodium EDTA. EDTA is short for “Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid” and is used in cosmetics as a preservative, chelator (prevents metal ions in hard water from depositing on hair, skin, and scalp), stabilizer, and penetration enhancer. Therefore if there are toxic or harmful chemicals in this product, this ingredient can allow for them to penetrate the skin and possibly be absorbed into the bloodstream. This ingredient is used in a myriad of cosmetics and personal care products, and food (FDA Approved). The ingredient itself is not considered toxic at the low concentrations in cosmetics, but its ability to act as a penetration enhancer for other chemicals is a concern. This ingredient can also cause environmental problems as it is slow to degrade (lingers in the environment) abiotically (typically from sunlight) though it can be biotically degraded up to 80% by microorganisms in water treatment plants. (MSDS)

Dihydrate:  No information found. This may be a typographical error on the bottle. Dihydrate likely corresponds to Edetate Disodium (Disodium EDTA).

Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate:  Avoid!  This ingredient is a salt derived from the lauric acid ester of lactyl lactate (derived from milk or coconut oil). It is typically used as an emulsifier and surfactant. It readily penetrates the skin, enabling its moisturizing properties to reach deeper layers of the skin. No additional information available. No MSDS.

Methylparaben:  Beware!  This ingredient is synthetic and acts as a preservative with anti-fungal properties.  It is naturally occurring in fruits such as blueberries as p-hydroxybenzoic acid.  This ingredient is readily absorbed into skin and it along with other parabens have been at the center of controversy about its role in causing cancerous cells in breast tissue being that parabens are xenoestrogens (mimic estrogen).  There is not conclusive proof that states that use of personal care products containing parabens causes cancer.  Methylparaben is suspected to cause DNA damage and increased skin aging when it reacts to UVB rays. (MSDS)

Propylparaben:  Beware!  Propylparaben is used as an anti-fungal preservative, typically in concentrations less than 1%. It is commonly synthetically produced though it is produced naturally in fruits as p-hydroxybenzoic acid.  It is readily absorbed into the skin and metabolized, and has been found in urine in limited tests.  This ingredient is readily absorbed into skin and it along with other parabens have been at the center of controversy about its role in causing cancerous cells in breast tissue being that parabens are xenoestrogens (mimic estrogen).  There is not conclusive proof that demonstrates that use of personal care products containing parabens causes cancer.  (MSDS)

Carbomer:  Beware!  Used as a thickener, typically at very low concentrations. This ingredient is not toxic, but can be slightly hazardous upon skin contact.  Concentrations likely not high enough to be hazardous.  (MSDS)

Xanthan Gum:  Safe!  This ingredient is a polysaccharide (carbohydrate consisting of sugar molecules) secreted by Xanthomonas campestris (a bacterium).  It is not known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, or cause developmental toxicity, though it can be an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form.  There is a risk of long term biodegraded products being more toxic than pure Xanthan Gum.  (MSDS)

 

Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict:  This product is fully of questionable ingredients.  The most troublesome are the various polyethylene glycols, propylene glycol, methylparaben, and propylparaben.  The components of the Ceramide Complex likely are not toxic, but there is limited information on Ceramide 6-II and Ceramide 3 so it is best to be cautious.  It is frustrating that this product is filled with questionable ingredients because it is one of my favorite cleansers.  This is the perfect example of when do you compromise ingredients for performance.    Should you downgrade your Label Poise for your favorite product?  Just in case you were wondering, I did not repurchase.

 

Would you purchase this product?

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One thought on “How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XVIII”

  1. I recently learned a ton about this information and more on the many toxic chemicals in most of our personal care products on the shelves and market today! It’s nutty and alarming!!! The fact that we only have 11 banned toxic chemicals in the US and Europe has over 1300 is crazy!!!! I’m Thankful for the companies that are truly trying to make a difference in not only producing fully nontoxic prodcuts but also the education to go with!!!!

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