Cosmetics Ingredients Guide

Did you know that more than 90% of the cosmetic products on the market may cause allergic reactions and may be hazardous? 

Here is your guide to understand why.
Bee Glorious cosmetics do not contain any of these substances.


      Parabens come in different forms like Ethyl-, Methyl-, Propyl- and Butyl-Paraben.Used to inhibit microbial growth and to prolong shelf life. May cause: allergic reactions and cutaneous eruptions. Some scientists conclude that parabens may be associated with the occurrence of breast cancer.

      Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), sodium lauryl sulphate (SLES)
      Used in laboratories as skin irritants in order to test soothing products. Contained in the majority of shampoos and cosmetic foaming products. May cause: fertility problems, allergic reactions, lesions of the scalp, hair loss. These harmful effects were underlined by several studies, and certain studies have asserted that SLS and SLES cause or tend to cause cancer.
      PEG (polyethylene glycol) and PPG (propylene glycol)
      PEG/PPG are colourless, nearly odourless, syrupy liquids that are derived from petroleum. Used to help to retain moisture in cosmetics. May cause: dermatitis (acne or skin problems), damages to ear nerves (ototoxicity), and kidney damage and liver problems.

      Phenoxyethanol is present in many cosmetics, even in so called "natural skincare products" or "natural cosmetics". Used as a substitute for parabens as a preservative for cosmetics. It is derived from natural sources but is toxic nevertheless! Phenoxyethanol is banned in Japan. Studies also showed that phenoxyethanol affects the brain and nervous system and increases the risk of getting cancer due to mutation of DNA.

        Silicones: dimethiconedimethicone copolyol and cyclomethicone

        Used to soften and smoothen the skin. May cause: irritation to the skin from prolonged exposure to sweat because silicones coat the skin. Some synthetic skin softening effects are known to promote tumours and accumulate in liver and lymph nodes.

          Mineral oil 

          Mineral oil is a derivative of petroleum. Used industrially as a cutting fluid and lubricating oil. It forms an oily layer and traps moisture under the skin thus preventing the skin from breathing. At the same time, it stops toxins and wastes from escaping.

            Synthetic perfumes

            200 chemical products, which are unabashedly unlisted, hide behind the simple word "perfume" on labels of conventional products. May cause: headache, dizziness, and hyperpigmentation, vomiting and skin irritation.

              BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) 

              BHA/BHT: closely related synthetic antioxidants. Used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservatives. May cause: allergic reactions in the skin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has also listed BHA as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function.

                Coal Tar Dyes

                Coal tar is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum. Used extensively in cosmetics. P-phenylenediamine is a particular coal tar dye used in many hair dyes. Coal tar is recognized as a human carcinogen and the main concern with individual coal tar colors (whether produced from coal tar or synthetically) is their potential to cause cancer. As well, these colors may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminum substrate. Aluminum compounds and many heavy metals are toxic to the brain. P-phenylenediamine has been linked to tumors in laboratory tests conducted by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

                  DEA (diethanolamine) 

                  Used to make cosmetics creamy or sudsy. Mainly found in moisturizers and sunscreens, while cocamide and lauramide DEA are found in soaps, cleansers, and shampoos. May cause: mild to moderate skin and eye irritation. In laboratory experiments, exposure to high doses of these chemicals has been shown to cause liver cancers and precancerous changes in skin and thyroid. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency classifies cocamide DEA as hazardous to the environment because of its acute toxicity to aquatic organisms and potential for bioaccumulation.


                    A petrochemical derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. You may see it on labels listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene. Used to dissolve paint and paint thinner. It can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair color/bleaching products. May cause: nausea, skin irritation and can affect respiratory, and immune system. Expecting mothers should avoid exposure to toluene vapors as it may cause developmental damage in the fetus.


                      Used in many cosmetic products to help prevent bacteria growth. It can be found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows, nail polish treatments. May cause: allergic skin reactions and harmful to immune system. This chemical was deemed as a human carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) and has been linked to occupational related cancers: nasal and nasopharyngeal.

                        Propylene glycol 

                        Can be found in moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays. Used as a skin-conditioning agent and classified as a skin irritant and penetrator. May cause: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), allergies / immunotoxicity. It has been associated with causing dermatitis as well as hives in humans.

                          1, 4-Dioxane 

                          Used in products that create suds (such as shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath), hair relaxers, others. What to look for on the label: Sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, chemicals that include the clauses xynolceteareth and oleth. May cause: Cancer, organ-system toxicity, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs). Vulnerable Pregnant women, infants, teenagers. Banned/found unsafe for use in cosmetics in Canada.


                            Lead typically occurs as a contaminant, such as in hydrated silica, an ingredient in toothpaste. Lead acetate is added as an ingredient in some lipsticks and men's hair dye. Lead is a neurotoxin. May cause: brain damage and developmental delays even at extremely low concentrations.


                              The FDA permits the use of mercury compounds in eye makeup at concentrations up to 65 parts per million. The preservative thimerosol, found in some mascaras, is a mercury-containing product. May cause: allergic reactions, skin irritation, toxicity, neurological damage, bioaccumulation, and environmental damage. Mercury readily passes into the body through the skin, so normal use of the product results in exposure.

                                Butyl Acetate 

                                Butyl acetate is found in nail strengtheners and nail polishes. May cause: dizziness or drowsiness. Continued use of a product containing butyl acetate may cause skin to crack and become dry.


                                  Antibacterial (e.g., Triclosan) are found in many products, such as hand soaps, deodorants, toothpastes and body washes. Some antibacterial agents are absorbed through the skin. May be toxic or carcinogenic. May interfere with the functioning of testosterone in cells. Antibacterial can kill the 'good' protective bacteria as well as pathogens, actually increasing susceptibility to infection. The products may increase the rate of development of resistant strains of bacteria

                                  Dibutyl Phthalate 

                                  Dibutyl phthalate (pronounced thal-ate), orDBP, is used mainly in nail products as a solvent for dyes and as a plasticizer that prevents nail polishes from becoming brittle. Phthalates are also used as fragrance ingredients in many other cosmetics, but consumers won't find these listed on the label. Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets, so manufacturers are not required to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients (see also Fragrance/Parfum). DBPis also commonly used in polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC) to render it flexible.


                                  A petroleum product, petrolatum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs — including skin contact over extended periods of time — is associated with cancer. i On this basis, the European Union classifies petrolatum a carcinogen ii and restricts its use in cosmetics. PAHs in petrolatum can also cause skin irritation and allergies. Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly (i.e. petroleum jelly). It is used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin in a variety of moisturizers and also in hair care products to make your hair shine.

                                  Siloxanes - Cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in "siloxane" (e.g., cyclotetrasiloxane)

                                  exposure to high doses of D5 has been shown to cause uterine tumours and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. These silicone-based compounds are used in cosmetics to soften, smooth, and moisten. They make hair products dry more quickly and deodorant creams slide on more easily. They are also used extensively in moisturizers and facial treatments. 


                                  Triclosan can pass through skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption). In other words, it doesn't easily degrade and can build up in the environment after it has been rinsed down the shower drain. In the environment, triclosan also reacts to form dioxins, which bioaccumulate and are toxic. The extensive use of triclosan in consumer products may contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  Triclosan is used mainly in antiperspirants/deodorants, cleansers, and hand sanitizers as a preservative and an anti-bacterial agent. In addition to cosmetics, triclosan is also used as an antibacterial agent in laundry detergent, facial tissues, and antiseptics for wounds, as well as a preservative to resist bacteria, fungus, mildew and odors in other household products that are sometimes advertized as "anti-bacterial." These products include garbage bags, toys, linens, mattresses, toilet fixtures, clothing, furniture fabric, and paints. Triclosan also has medical applications.


                                  This chemical was deemed as a human carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) and has been linked to occupational related cancers: nasal and nasopharyngeal. It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and it may also be harmful to the immune system.


                                  They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Unfortunately, it is not disclosed on every product as it's added to fragrances (remember the "secret formula" not listed), a major loophole in the law. 

                                  Synthetic colors

                                  These synthetic colors are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Classification and Labeling considers it a human carcinogen and the European Union has banned it.


                                  Hydroquinone works by decreasing the production of melanin pigments in the skin. Because the chemical lightens skin by reducing melanin, it simultaneously increases exposure to UVA and UVB rays deep in the skin [5]. This increases skin cancer risks due to UV exposure, in addition to the carcinogenic effects of the chemical itself. Found in: Skin lighteners, facial and skin cleansers, facial moisturizers, hair conditioners, nail glue. What to look for on the label: Hydroquinone, tocopheral acetate, tocopheral, tocopheral linoleate, other ingredients with the root “toco”


                                  Detected in nearly every American; found in mother’s milk; 1-to-9% skin penetration in lab studies. Acts like estrogen in the body; alters sperm production in animals; associated with endometriosis in women. Relatively high rates of skin allergy.

                                  Stearalkonium Chloride 

                                  Allergies/immunotoxicity. Human toxicant or allergen - strong evidence


                                    Bee Glorious cosmetics do not contain any of these substances.


                                    Research references

                                    1. Parabens^Wikipedia
                                    2. BHA & BHT - David Suzuki Foundation
                                    3. Coal Tar Dyes - David Suzuki Foundation
                                    4. DEA (diethanolamine) - David Suzuki Foundation
                                    5. Toluene - Wikipedia
                                    6. Formaldehyde - The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
                                    7. Propylene glycol - EWG's Skin Deep
                                    8. 1,4-Dioxane - EWG's Skin Deep
                                    9. Lead - About.Com (chemistry)
                                    10. Mercury - About.Com (chemistry)
                                    11. Butyl Acetate - About.Com (chemistry)
                                    12. Antibacterials - About.Com (chemistry)
                                    13. Dibutyl Phthalate
                                    14. Petrolatum
                                    15. Siloxanes
                                    16. Sodium Laureth Sulfate
                                    17. Triclosan
                                    18. Formaldehyde
                                    19. Phthalates
                                    20. Synthetic colors
                                    21. Hydroquinone
                                    22. Oxybenzone
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