How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XLII

Remember, I am teaching you Label Poise–how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and buy products that meet YOUR standards, whether natural, organic, or safe enough.  For instructions on Label Poise visit our Label Poise page.

The Label

The Ingredients

Aqua (Water): Safe!  Water is the ultimate moisturizer and is a key ingredient in many moisturizing products.

Glycerin: Safe!  Glycerin is a humectant that attracts moisture in the skin. Glycerine can be derived from fats and oils, or synthetically–which is not indicated here.  (MSDS)

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)

PPG-5-Ceteth-20: This ingredient is a polyoxypropylene, polyoxyethylene ether of cetyl alcohol and is used as a surfactant and emollient. PPG-5-Ceteth-20 is typically used in concentrations of 0.05-10% in leave-on products and 0.5-9% in rinse-off products. The primarily concern of this ingredient is contamination with Ethylene Oxide, a suspected carcinogen, and 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen. It was not found to be a skin or eye irritant in tests performed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR). There is limited additional information available about this ingredient, it is not known to be a carcinogen. (MSDS)

PEG-12 Dimethicone: Beware!   This ingredient is 12 molecule polyethylene glycol combined with dimethicone, making it a silicone-based polymer.  It can also be described as an ethoxylated polymidethylsilocane.  It is used to improve spreadability and create a smooth feeling.  It is typically used in concentrations of 0.5-3%.  It can be a skin and eye irritant in pure form.  This ingredient, along with various other ethoxylated chemicals and PEGs, may be contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals such as 1,4-dioxane and Ethylene oxide, as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). (MSDS; MSDS; MSDS; CIR)

Honey Extract: This ingredient is an extract of honey and is used for its antiseptic, skin moisturizing, and soothing properties. No toxicological information available. (MSDS) safe/beware

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice: Safe!  This ingredient is used for its nutrient content and moisturizing properties.

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein: Safe!  This ingredient is naturally derived and contains wheat oligosaccharides (carbohydrates) and acts as a moisturizer and film former to nourish skin (or hair). It is not known to be a carcinogen or mutagen, though it can cause eye and dermal irritation in pure form.  Avoid! if you have a gluten allergy. (MSDS)

Panthenol: Safe!  This ingredient is a provitamin of B5.  Panthenol is an alcohol analog of Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).  It is used as an anti-static and conditioning agent.  It can be derived from plants or animals therefore it may not be vegan friendly. There is debate about what benefits panthenol can actually provide to hair as a vitamin being that hair is not living.  Panthenol is a mild skin and eye irritant in pure form, though there is no information on carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, mutagenicity, or developmental toxicity.  It is low on the list of ingredients and should not be a concern.  (MSDS; MSDS)

Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract:  Beware! Green Tea extract is used for its antioxidant, antimicrobial, astringent, emollient, skin conditioning, uv absorption, and humectant properites. It is typically used in concentrations not exceeding 2% in leave-on products, and 1% in rinse-off products and are considered safe for use in cosmetics when formulated to be non sensitizing. Green Tea Extract is a slight skin, eye, and lung irritant in pure form.  No information on developmental, reproductive, or teratogenic toxicity available. (MSDS;CIR)

Amodimethicone: Beware!/Avoid!  This ingredient is a derivative of silica and is used as an anti-static film forming agent.  Silicone polymers typically are not toxic though they are not the best ingredients for hair due to their film forming properties which prevent moisture from entering the hair shaft.  No toxicological data available. (MSDS)

Trideceth-12: Beware!/Avoid! This ingredient is an ether of polyethylene glycol and tridecyl alcohol, a long chain fatty alcohol, with 12 units of ethylene oxide, a suspected carcinogen. Tricedeth-12 is primarily used as a surfactant that reduces the buildup of silicones (a silicone is the 5th ingredient). This ingredient has a low molecular weight and show not be used an broken or irritated skin or scalp as it has the ability to absorb through the skin. 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen, is often a byproduct of the reaction used to make this ingredient (ethyloxylation), and therefore may be present in low levels. This ingredient is deemed safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review when formulated to be nonirritating and in current use concentrations, however, there is limited information about this ingredient and no MSDS available, therefore it is rated AVOID as a precaution.

Cetrimonium Chloride: Beware!  Cetrimonium Chloride is a positively charged quaternary ammonium salt. It is used as a conditioning agent and softener, it also improves wet and dry combing of hair. It is also listed as a topical antiseptic and preservative. It is listed as a skin irritant and allergen in a small portion of individuals; it is not a carcinogen (MSDS;MSDS).

Hydroxyethylcellulose: Safe!/Beware!  This ingredient is a modified celluose polymer. Hydroxyethylcellulose is primarily used as a binder, viscosity controlling agent (aqueous), emulsion stabilizer, and film forming agent. It is typically used in concentrations of 0.1 – 3% by weight of the formula. It can be a mild skin or eye irritant in pure form, though it is not known to be carcinogenic. (MSDS;MSDS)

Acrylamidopropyltrimonium Chloride/Acrylamide Copolymer: Avoid! This ingredient is used as a film former and anti-static agent. It is typically used in concentrations of 0.1 to 0.25% by weight of a formula. No MSDS found.

Dehydroacetic Acid: Safe! This ingredient is a preservative used for its fungicide and bactericide properties. Dehydroacetic acid is a sodium salt of sodium dehydroacetate. It is suggested to be used in concentrations of no more than 0.6%. It can be a skin, eye, and lung irritant, and can be toxic to kidneys, liver, and central nervous system in pure form. It is not believed to be carcinogenic or mutagenic. (MSDS)

Benzyl Alcohol:  Beware!  This ingredient is made naturally by many plants or can be synthetically derived. It is typically used as a preservative and based on its placement on the list is in low concentration. Benzyl Alcohol is not known to be a carcinogen or teratogen, though it is a mutagen in bacteria and yeast, and may be toxic to the liver and central nervous system in pure form. Benzyl Alcohol can be slightly hazardous with skin contact, but due to its concentration it should be okay. (MSDS)

Parfum (Fragrance): Beware!  Fragrances are often synthetic. Though they are low in concentration in the product, there is still a small chance of having an allergic reaction.

Amyl Cinnamic Alcohol: Beware!  Also known as alpha-amyl cinnamic alcohol or amylcinnamyl Alcohol, this incredient is a water insoluble synthetic fragrance. The used of Amyl Cinnamic Alcohol is restricted by the International Fragrance Association because this ingredient is a possible skin sensitizer. It is not known to be carcinogenic, though it is a possible eye irritant. (MSDS)

Lilial: Avoid! Also known as lily aldehyde or butylphenyl methylpropional, this ingredient is a synthetic fragrance ingredient. It is a suspected cause of contact dermatitis in certain individuals and is a suspected immune system toxicant. The use of lilial is restricted in the European Union and must be labeled if used in concentrations greater than 0.001% in leave-on products and 0.01 in rinse off products. No MSDS found.

Linalool: Safe!/Beware!  This ingredient is used as a fragrance and is banned in rinse off products above a concentration of 0.01% (or 0.001% in leave-on products).  It is naturally occurring in various plants and spices, though it may also be made synthetically.  It is considered a skin irritant (causing eczema) and allergen, though pure linalool can have anti-cancer properties.  Given that the concentration is likely quite low it should be fine unless you are allergic to it.

CI 15985 (Yellow #6): Beware!  This is a synthetic yellow dye (food coloring) also known as FD&C Yellow 6 or Sunset Yellow FCF.  This dye in manufactured from the aromatic hydrocarbons of petroleum.  It is not known to be toxic and there are low instances of allergic reaction (aspirin intolerant should avoid this ingredient).  There is no data on mutagenicity, teratogenicity, developmental toxicity, or carcinogenicity.  (MSDS)

CI 140700 (Red #4): Beware!  / Avoid! This is a red pigment also known as Carmine, or C.I. 75470 (Author’s Note: this ingredient appears to be labeled incorrectly. “CI 140700” only yields results for the products it is found in).  Red #4 is obtained from the aluminum salt of carminic acid. This ingredient is toxic to blood, kidneys, bladder, glands, and gastrointestinal tract in pure form.  There is no data on mutagenicity, teratogenicity, developmental toxicity. It is not known to be carcinogenic to humans (IARC Group 3).  (MSDS)

CI 17299 (Red #3): Beware!  / Avoid! This is a red pigment also known as Erythrosine, or E127 (Author’s Note: this ingredient appears to be labeled incorrectly.).  Red #e is organoioine compound derived from fluorone. This ingredient is toxic to nervous system, mucuous membranes, and lungs in pure form, and is a skin, eye, and lung irritant .  There is no data on mutagenicity, teratogenicity, developmental toxicity. It is not known to be carcinogenic to humans (IARC Group 3).  (MSDS)

Advertisements

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s