The following made our list because of their toxicity and widespread presence in so many products.

  1. Fragrance - Products with “fragrance”, “parfum” or “aroma” can have hundreds of undisclosed ingredients because of “trade secret” loopholes in labeling. Avoid fragrance if pregnant because many have “phthalates” and other hormone disruptors that can affect the development of unborn baby boys. Please be considerate of others in public places who may have allergic reactions from second hand exposure to the chemicals in fragrance. Be aware that many fragrance ingredients, including styrene, can increase your chances of developing cancer in the long run. Buy products that disclose where the scent comes from - usually marked by an asterisk (*) with a description like “from essential oils”.

  2. Coal Tar Dyes - Coal tar is a known carcinogen that is not regulated by the FDA. It can be listed on the label as petroleum benzin, benzin B70, or different forms of naptha. Coal tar is commonly found in hair dyes, shampoos, deodorants and more. When in doubt, go without artificial colors like FD&C Yellow No. 5 for example.

  3. Triclosan - Found in soaps, toothpastes and many other products as an antibacterial agent. It is an endocrine disrupting chemical that is harmful to fish and other wildlife and is found in our food chain and breast milk. It is known to contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria and irritate the skin, eyes and lungs.

  4. Parabens - Check the label of your products and you will often find one, two, three or four different types of parabens (methyl, ethyl, butyl, propyl, isopropyl, isobutyl). They are used as a preservative in many products, have caused cancer in animal studies, and are suspected to cause breast cancer because of their estrogen mimicking qualities.

  5. Formaldehyde - Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. You won't find it on the labels of your everyday products, however you will find its relatives that emit the same gas. Look for DMDM Hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methenamine, and Quaternium-15 on the back of your shampoo bottles and AVOID at all cost!

  6. SLS/SLES - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate is used in almost all shampoos, soaps, body washes, toothpastes and sudsy products for their detergent/foaming abilities. They can cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp conditions similar to dandruff, and allergic reactions. It is frequently listed in products as being "derived from coconuts" in an attempt to make it sound natural/healthy. The chemical process to make SLS releases 1,4 dioxane, a probable human carcinogen that can contaminate the product.

  7. Oxybenzone - Common active ingredient in sunscreens that can have detrimental effects on coral, marine life and humans. Has been found in breast cancer tissue and suspected to disrupt our hormone system by mimicking estrogen. One drop of oxybenzone in the size of 6 olympic swimming pools of water can cause coral bleaching.

  8. Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate) - A study by the FDA and NTP in 2010 found it to be photo carcinogenic in animal studies, which means it can cause cancer when exposed to the sun. Ironically this ingredient is found in many sunscreens, daytime moisturizers and lip products. Look for it in even your “natural” products and avoid it!

  9. PEG Compounds - Polyethylene Glycols, usually labeled as PEG- with a number after it, are petroleum-based ingredients that are usually contaminated with heavy metals and carcinogens like 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide.

  10. DEA/MEA/TEA - Diethanolamine, monoethanolamide, and triethanolamine are found in many products and are a human and aquatic health hazard. There is strong evidence that DEA is toxic to organs and the respiratory system.