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Safe Cosmetics Australia

The Toxic-Free Campaign

Key Allergens

- Please refresh your browser to load new content published 5th April, 2019 -
SCA's  Allergy Certified Campaign, aims to raise awareness concerning the use of potential irritants and allergens that are commonly used in cosmetics, personal care and household products. Campaigning for ingredient transparency and improved product labelling requirements. It is important to understand that each product is a complex mixture of natural and synthetic ingredients. Most products contain fragrances as well as preservatives, emulsifiers, binders, fillers, colours, dyes, and often metals, resins and sunscreen, as well as some food grade ingredients and components that are known to cause mild to severe skin irritation, dermitis and allergic reactions including rash and anaphylaxis in some people.

Most cosmetic ingredients are highly processed and purified, this ensures product stability and integrity is maintained. Purifying cosmetic ingredients also greatly reduces the risk of exposure to skin irritants such as proteins that can be removed during processing, for example Soy, Wheat and propolis in bee derivatives. "The most common causes of contact allergies are fragrances and preservatives. " - NCBI. In Australia the ACCC considers it 'good practice' to provide a full list of ingredients at point of sale ie. published on websites and in-store. However, many brands ignore this and fail to publish the full ingredients on their website, brands that SCA endorses are required to publish their full ingredients as stated on the actual product labels, either on their product listings or a page that is easily accessible on their website.

Brands that SCA endorses with the Allergy Certified seal, must also provide specific 'product safety advice' regarding potential allergens and irritants. This is to be published on their website and product labels. In the EU, it is a mandatory requirement to provide allergy advise on the cosmetic product labels, however Australian labelling laws are scant and labelling allergens is only required on food labels. SCA's Allergy Certified campaign seal endorses brands that pledge to provide consumers with full ingredient transparency, and specific safety advice concerning potential allergens.

  • Irritated skin and allergic reactions can be triggered by natural or synthetic ingredients.
  • The majority of reactions to makeup and other products are usually 'irritations' and not an allergy.
  • The best way to eliminate the problem is to avoid the products that cause redness, irritation and rashes.
  • Products can contain a multitude of chemicals, any of which have the potential to trigger irritation and allergies.
  • It's important not to confuse skin conditions like seborrheic and atopic dermatitis or rosacea with chemical sensitivity.
  • Once you are allergic or sensitised to a particular chemical, the sensitivity typically persists, and can become far worse with repeated use.
  • Always discontinue use of a product at first sign of a skin reaction, do not continue using a product that causes irritation, redness, rash etc
  • Continuing to apply a product to the skin (that causes a reaction) can have long-term systemic effects that can potentially increase sensitivity, duration and severity of skin irritation allergic reactions and the likelihood of cross reactivity.

Women are more at risk of skin irritation compared to men. This is simply because women apply more products to their face on a daily basis. Reactions to products are also more likely to be on the face, because people apply more products to the face than any other part of the body. Learn more about allergies and skin irritation: MedicineNet.com, Allergy to selected cosmetic ingredients, The Chemistry of Cosmetics.
Contact dermatitis, falls into two categories: Allergic Contact Dermatitis & Irritant Contact Dermatitis
It can be difficult to identify which type of reaction you are having. Some people can have a combination of both allergic and irritant dermatitis, the best advice is to avoid using the product or avoid whatever is triggering the reaction. There is no 'safe' exposure to allergens and irritants, the first reaction may be mild and the second exposure life threatening, dermatitis is unpredictable. "A dermatology study published in 2010 found that more than a third of over 900 study participants had at least one allergic reaction to cosmetic ingredients." - WebMD continued; "Problems can range from simple rashes to full-blown allergic reactions. Symptoms can start right after you use something new or after years of using a product with no problems."

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Caused by or relating to a specific allergy, "allergic contact dermatitis and symptoms can include redness, swelling, itching and hives. Your skin can get red and raw. You can get an allergic reaction on any part of your body, although it happens most often on the face, lips, eyes, ears and neck."WebMD
 

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

A substance that causes slight inflammation or discomfort to the body. "Irritant contact dermatitis, happens when something actually damages your skin. Your skin might burn, sting, itch, or get red right where you used the product. You might get blisters and have oozing, especially if you scratch" - WebMD
 
 
Cosmetics are divided into two subsequent groups:
Products that are left on the skin like creams, lotions and perfumes, are responsible for the vast majority of skin inflammation. SCA campaigns for usage restrictions to apply, maximum of 1% or less of known irritants.
Wash-off products like shampoo and body wash, sensitise the skin far less significantly as the contact with skin is brief. SCA campaigns for usage restrictions to apply to rinse off products with a maximum of 3% or less of known irritants.
"People with allergies should avoid allergens  completely as there is no 'safe use' of exposure for diagnosed allergies."
Manufacturer's of cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products should always refer to TGA's Poison Standard (SUSMP):- both natural and synthetic chemicals may have restrictions as well as product labelling requirements. This site is for educational purposes only and should not be a substitute for advice or treatment from qualified medical professionals. All information on this website remains the intellectual property of their respective owners. Excluding intellectual property owned by others, all site content is copyrighted or licensed for use by the owner of this site. All Rights Reserved. For more information see Terms & Conditions.
Experts warn that Fragrances, Preservatives & Dyes are the the most common allergens.
"Despite the control of the production of cosmetics and withdrawal of the composition of substances causing adverse reactions in people, harmful compounds found in cosmetics still pose a major problem. It even turns out that allergy to components of cosmetic disease is increasing. In order not to replace withdrawn, highly allergenic substances, with new ones which also cause adverse side effects, allergies to cosmetics should be constantly monitored." - Allergy to select cosmetics ingredients, NCBI. "If you develop a weird reaction on your face and you suspect that it’s due to your makeup, stop using that product immediately, Dr. Ogbogu says" - Self.com, Princess Ogbogu, M.D., director of allergy and immunology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF that the most widely used offenders are: Fragrance (especially balsam of Peru), Parabens, quaterium (preservative), propylene glycol (used to maintain moisture in cosmetics), lanolin (a moisturizing fat sourced from sheep’s wool).
 

Who is responsible for the safety of cosmetics?

Manufacturer's of a cosmetic product are responsible for ensuring that their product(s) are considered 'safe' for consumers to use in accordance with the directions for use as stated on the product label and point of sale. SCA does not have the legal authority to approve a product before it enters the market, nor do leading authorities around the world including NICNAS and the FDA. There is also no such list of specific tests that are required in order to make such a claim that any particular cosmetic product, or ingredient, is 100% safe for consumers. Ultimately, consumers must ensure that they avoid known allergens and irritants, and always follow the manufacturers directions for use.

Licensing of SCA's trademarked logo's requires the manufacturer to sign SCA's licensing agreement. Brands also sign a legally binding pledge to uphold the campaign criteria, SCA's terms and conditions (detailed below) require that brands that license SCA's logos, 1. must display their full product ingredients on their website available for consumers to view (this can be on the product listings or another page on the website); ingredients are published in descending order as required by Australian labelling laws; 2. brands also sign an ingredient pledge to always consider the Ingredients FIRST in accordance with SCA's campaign criteria. 3. Products exclude and/or restrict the key allergens listed below OR clinically test their products and provide 'safety advice' in bold text where a key allergen is used in a given product formulation.

"The EU regulatory framework states that “in accordance with the relevant harmonised standards”, the manufacture of cosmetic products shall comply with the principles of GMP; and cosmetic products “must be safe” when used under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions." - SGS.com.au
 

Registered IP Australia Trademark ALLERGY CERTIFIED Figurative No. 1841366

Australian Allergy Certified® Campaign

Licensed to brands that agree on excluding and/or restricting the following chemicals from their cosmetics, personal care and household products; OR they clinically test their products and/or known irritants/allergens OR provide safety warnings for known irritants/allergens including irritants/allergens in bold text on the product label and published at point of sale. The following chemicals are associated with allergic dermatitis, contact dermatitis and/or skin irritation that has the potenial to trigger systemic reactions either immediately or after repeated long-term use.

- The list of Key Allergens are just SOME of the potential irritants commonly used in cosmetics, personal care and household products -

Licensing SCA's Allergy Certified Trademark is subject to the following terms and conditions


Use of SCA's campaign logo Australian Allergy Certified. Where a product is Clinically Tested and found to be suitable for sensitive, allergy prone skin, the product is scientifically proven to be 'safe' for use on human skin; clinical tests can confirm that the product is a 'non-irritant to skin' or 'non-toxic to skin' or 'non-sensitising to skin'. Brands can therefore substantiate their claim with clinical test reports, confirming the nature of their product formulation(s), and in this case SCA will permit the brand to market their product(s) with SCA's campaign logo "Australian Allergy Certified". Clinical testing is not required by standards for cosmetics. Brands that exclude and restrict known irritants meet a higher standard than current legislation. Brands have 6 to 12 months to comply from date of signing SCA's trademark licensing agreement(s).


- Products that are not clinically tested are advised to exclude and/or restrict the chemicals of concern detailed below -

The campaign highlights the need for improved labelling laws with ingredient transparency and allergy advice similar to mandatory food labels. 


- All  brands that carry the Allergy Certified Trademark are required to publish their product ingredients accessible on their website - 
This is not required by standards of cosmetic labeling, it is required to license any of SCA's trademarks.

Brands pledge to always consider the Ingredients FIRST™  by signing Safe Cosmetics Australia's Ingredient Pledge, brands furthermore demonstrate their commitment to improving the safety of products by way of ingredient transparency, clinical tests and/or by providing consumers with clear safety advice regarding the potential allergens at point of sale and on their product packaging.  
 

Fragrances Synthetic & Natural

Synthetic Fragrances, Parfum, and Xylene are restricted to a combined total usage of 1% or less for leave on products, and 3% or less for rinse off products. The percentage usage for certain essential oils are listed below, products that use these essential oils should require a warning to "always patch test before use". All other essential oils are permitted at standard usage rates up to 3% according to product type and intended consumer.

Fragrance, Parfum

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that restrict all fragrances (including essential oils) to a CTU combined total usage of 1% or less for leave-on products, and 2.5% or less rinse off products
CAS No: 879-67-4; 52844-21-0; 2257-09-2; 6379-73-3; 67801-43-8; 7779-72-8
CAS No: 6502-23-4, 7774-82-5, 142-83-6, 52844-21-0, 3613-30-7, 7775-00-0, 65405-84-7, 33885-51-7, 93981-63-6, 605-85-6, 1333-52-4, 68459-99-4, 10316-66-2, 7549-37-3, 40910-49-4, 6379-73-3, 68213-86-5, 2114-29-6, 101-85-9
CAS No: Confidential
SYNTHETIC MAN MADE FRAGRANCES; Synonym(s): AROMA, PARFUM, PARFUME OR PERFUME; INCLUDING TRADE SECRET AROMAS. Related content: Phenol, 2-methoxy-4-methyl-, acetate.
HOW IS IT USED?
Fragrances are used in almost evevery product including 'fragrance free' products; masking agents are used. Synthetic man made fragrances are found in; colognes, perfumes, fragrance mists, eau de cologne. A fragrance/perfume is imparts and diffuses an aroma, a fragrant odor.
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
  • Known human immune toxicant or allergen, Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety
  • NICNAS - IMAP - Tier III - Human Health; not restricted for use; Critical Health Effects "The critical health effects identified have not changed from the Tier II assessment [potential skin sensitisation and systemic long-term effects (genotoxicity and carcinogenicity)]." And, "Health Hazard Information Fragrance ingredients may pose a concern in relation to their potential skin sensitisation, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity hazards. Since the time of the Tier II assessment of these chemicals, no animal data have become available on skin sensitisation and carcinogenicity." - NICNAS October 2018
  • "This Tier II group assessment includes further refinement of the risk characterisation for these chemicals where possible, and outlines the most significant data gaps that would need to be addressed to further refine the risk assessment." - NICNAS Australia September 2015
  • The Dirty Dozen
  • "The word "fragrance" or "parfum" on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. Synonym(s): AROMA; PARFUM" - EWG

  • "Linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. “Many fragrances are toxic. Some of these fragrances may be phthalates, which can act as obesogens (cause obesity) and may otherwise disrupt normal endocrine function, including reproductive health. Phthalates may cause developmental defects and delays.” – Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert.
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED READING;

Essential Oils

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that adhere to the recommended Essential Oil usage outlined below. And, that restrict all fragrances (including synthetic and essential oils) to a CTU combined total usage of 1% or less for leave-on products, and 2.5% or less rinse off products
Restricted by SCA - Standard usage guide:
  • Face care products 0.2-1.5%
  • Body massage 1.5-3%
  • Bath & Body products 1-4%
  • Specific skin issues 4-10%
  • Antiseptic for wounds 5-20%
  • Treating pain 5-20%
Restricted by SCA - Standard usage by age:
Safety guidelines recommend by Tisserandinstitute.org
  • 0-3 months old 0.1% to 0.2%
  • 3-24 months old 0.25% to 0.5%
  • Age 2-6 years old 1% to 2%
  • Age 6-17 years 1.5% to 3%
  • Age 18+ years for most adults 2% to 3%
  • Adult short term application 3% to 10%
  • Elderly or sick 0.5% to 1%
Essential oils extracted from plant material by steam distillation or mechanical expression are acceptable. EO's produced with the aid of chemical solvents are not considered 'true' essential oils, therefore SCA classes these EO's as synthetic fragrance/parfum. Ref: NICBI
IRRITANT ESSENTIAL OILS USAGE:
Maximum Usage Permitted:
1.4% Ajowan Oil
0.1% Garlic Oil
0.01% Massoia Bark EO
1.1% Oregano EO
1.4% Summer Savory Oil
1.3% Thyme Oil
1.2% Winter Savory Oil
ALLERGIC ESSENTIAL OILS USAGE:

Maximum Combined Total Usage Permitted 1% leave on or 3% rinse off:

Usage Guidelines Recommended by Tisserandinstitute.org

0.9% Bay Oil West Indian

0.4% Bergamot

0.05% Cassia Oil

0.1% Cinnamon Bark Oil

0.6% Cinnamon Leaf

0.5% Clove Bud Oil

1.0% Holy Basil Oil

0.7% Jasmine Absolute

0.5% Lavender

0.05% Lemon (TGA poisons standard)

0.7% Lemongrass Oil

0.7% Lemon Myrtle

0.8% Lemon Scented Tea Tree

0.5% Lime

0.8% May Chang Oil

0.01% Massoia Oil

0.9% Melissa Oil

0.1% Oakmoss Absolute

0.6% Opoponax Oil

0.4% Peru Balsam Oil

0.8% Ylang Ylang Oil

ADDED COMPOUNDS:
Products containing the following compounds require a safety warning to patch test before use. These fragrance components are included in the total usage of fragrance ingredients 1% leave on products and 3% rinse off products: Benzoyl Benzoate, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carbox-aldehyde, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool. Benzoyl Benzoate, and Farnesol.
HOW IS IT USED?
Whilst Essential oils boast all kinds of positive health benefits, they should never be used undiluted.  In cosmetics, essential oils are used as fragrance ingredients, for their therapeutic benefit, as well as their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. EO's also act as natural preserving agents. "Children are particularly susceptible. As little as 2mL (less than half a teaspoon) of eucalyptus oil can cause significant poisoning in an infant." - WA Health

Xylene

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain xylene.
CAS No: 68650-36-2
XYLENE or ortho-lean.; and "Synonym(s): BENZENE, DIMETHYL; BENZENE, DIMETHYL-; DIMETHYL- BENZENE; DIMETHYLBENZENE; META-XYLENE; TOTAL XYLENE; TOTAL XYLENES; XYLENE (MIXED) ; XYLENES; XYLENES (TOTAL) ; BENZENE, DIMETHYL-. Fragrance Ingredient; Solvent; MASKING; PERFUMING" - EWG
HOW IS IT USED?
Xylene can be hidden in the term, 'Fragrance or Perfum' on the ingredient label and used in almost every product from deodorants to skincare, bath and body, baby care, oral care and more.
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
WHAT IS XYLENE?
  • Xylene is a synthetic musk fragrance that mimics natural musk, but is man made with synthetic chemicals. It is not natural. “The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label,” reports EWG.

  • "Xylene is a known to be irritating to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. Also causes dizziness , nausea and drowsiness; chronic dermatitis, kidney/liver/peripheral nerve damage." Mysafetylabels.com

 "Avoiding the dangers of synthetic scents is crucial. It’s something I need you to share with your family and friends. When a company puts “fragrance” on the label, don’t be tricked. This is a catch-all term actually can stand for thousands of different ingredients (literally, at least 3,000). And when you use a product containing “fragrance” or “parfum,” all of those mysterious ingredients are absorbed right into your bloodstream. These ingredients are predominantly made from chemicals and are just outright toxic for your health in so many ways."
 
  • Fragrances are found in most cosmetic products including makeup, skincare creams, lotions and serums, hair care, shampoo and conditioners, scented candles and air fresheners, personal care like deodorant, soap and sunscreen, and of course perfumes, colognes and body sprays.

  • The most vulnerable are pregnant women, infants and children.
RESEARCH & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:


 
MORE INFO ON FRAGRANCES & ALLERGIES:
  • The key is to look for products that are totally fragrance-free — which is not the same as unscented. "Unscented means that a product can contain a masking fragrance to camouflage its pungent, unpleasant odor," says Bank in an article for MarieClaire. "Fragrance-free means truly no fragrances."

  • “There is definitely credible science behind certain benefits for certain essential oils,” says Cynthia Bailey, MD “Once you become sensitized, you will forever be allergic to it,” says Bailey in an article for WebMD.

  • "If you suffer from contact dermatitis from fragrances, have a history of allergies to weed pollens, have significant asthma or chronic nasal symptoms, I would highly recommend speaking with your physician, allergist or dermatology prior to the use of any essential oil product." Daniel More MD, VeryWellHealth.com
USING ESSENTIAL OILS:
  • When using essential oils, a low usage of 1% or less is considered safe for use for sensitive skin, and unlikely to cause irritation. 

  • Any allergen has the potential to trigger an allergy, therefore if you are allergic then avoid using the allergen all together. 

  • The percentage for products that are not applied directly to the skin ie. wash-off products are restricted to <2.5% for the combined total usage of fragrances including esssential oils and synthetic fragrances.
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY - ESSENTIAL OILS
RESEARCH & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES - ESSENTIAL OILS:
 

Coal Tar - Colourants & TGA Approved Medicated Products

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES: 14 Allergens in cosmetics, Standards - Cosmetic Ingredient Labelling, Search TGA & NICNAS

The Chemistry of Cosmetics, Carcinogens in your cosmetics? "The EU bans 1,328 chemicals from use in cosmetics – including formaldehyde, asbestos and coal tar – that are known or suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive harm or birth defects. The US Food & Drugs Administration (FDA), by comparison, has only banned or restricted 11." - TheGuardian.com - Australia has not banned any of these ingredients, some are listed as poisons with usage restrictions. Safe Cosmetics Australia campaigns to raise chemical awareness in a world where authorities act after significant incidence is reported concerning adverse health effects, and that are chemicals commonly used in our food, cosmetics, textiles and household products.

"Australia has banned testing cosmetics on animals, maybe it is time to ban testing cosmetics on unwitting consumers."
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Coal Tar

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain coal tar.

Where a brand tests their products and/or the ingredient of concern is tested for carcinogenic contaminants, test reports confirming that the product and/or ingredients are free-from carcinogens can be submitted; SCA will endorse product(s) containing toxic-free coal tar with unrestricted usage provided proof of testing is provided.
CAS No: 8007-45-2
Use: Cosmetics
Other Names: coal tar; coke-oven tar; coking tar; crude coal tar; aquatar.
WHAT IS IT?
  • "Coal tar is a thick dark liquid which is a by-product of the production of coke and coal gas from coal. It has both medical and industrial uses. It may be applied to the affected area to treat psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. It may be used in combination with ultraviolet light therapy." - WikiPedia
HOW IS IT USED?
  • Coal tar is used in food, personal care products, cosmetics, medicated shampoos, soaps, ointments, antiseptics, hair dyes and more. "It is a complex mixture of hundreds of compounds, many of which are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),. Coal tar is used in food, textiles, cosmetics and personal care products. Experimental studies have found that application of and exposure to coal tar produce skin tumors and neurological damage.- SafeCosmetics.org
WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY?
Common side effects from using coal tar products, applied topically include: redness, burning, itching, swelling, rash, sensitivity to sunlight, and staining of your skin and hair. Severe irritation can occur. Contains carcinogenic compounds.
  • "dyes such as toluidine red, calcium salts of lithol red, or lead oxide, which may be the cause of allergic reactions" - Pierzchała E, Lis-Święty A. Allergy to cosmetics on lips and perioral region [Polish] Dermatol Estet. 2005;7:273–6. [Google Scholar]
 

Coal Tar Dyes

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that restrict the use of synthetic colours to a maximum of 1% or less for leave on-products and a maximum of 2.5% or less for wash-off products. Colour additives should also require a warning on the product label to "always patch test before use" and "discontinue use if irritation occurs".

Where a brand tests their products and/or the ingredient of concern is tested for carcinogenic contaminants, test reports confirming that the product and/or ingredients are free-from carcinogens can be submitted; SCA will endorse product(s) containing toxic-free coal tar dyes with unrestricted usage provided proof of testing is provided.
RESEARCH & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
"FD&C and D&C DYES; COLOUR INDEX NUMBERS; 42090, 61570, 61565, 59040, 15510, 45370:1, 14700, 26100, 45380:2, 48380, 45410:1, 45410, 17200, 16035, 60730, 19140, 15985, 47005, 47000. *Important note; FD&C Red 3 and FD&C Blue 2 are not permitted in cosmetics. FD&C and D&C ALUMINUM LAKES; COLOUR INDEX NUMBERS; 15850:2, 15850:1, 45410:2, 45410:2, 73360:1, 17200, 16035, 42090, 60730, 19140, 47005:1. *Important note; FD&C Blue 2 lakes are not approved for cosmetic use." - IFC SOLUTIONS
HOW IS IT USED?
RESEARCH - WHAT EXPERTS SAY
  •  The European Classification considers coal tar dyes to be a human carcinogen and they are banned by the European Union.
  • The Dirty Dozen
WHAT ARE COAL TAR DYES?
  • Synthetic colours. FD&C or D&C artificial colours are derived from coal tar or petroleum. Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. Dyes are not pure chemicals and may contain upwards of 10% impurities.

  • Many artificial food colours are derivatives of petrochemicals and coal tar. Coloring agents blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5, and yellow 6 are banned in the EU. Dyes are manufactured as powders, granules or liquids. They are used as a colouring agent in food, cosmetics and other household products.

  • Studies show that long-term exposure to artificial dyes can cause cancer or other effects.
  • EWG "Other HIGH concerns: Contamination concerns, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Persistence and bio-accumulation"
 

Hair Dyes & Makeup

P-phenylenediamine

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain PPD.

CAS No: 106-50-3
PPD phenylenediamin; and "Synonym(s): p-PHENYLENEDIAMINE, 1,4-BENZENEDIAMINE; 1,4-PHENYLENEDIAMINE; 1,4BENZENEDIAMINE; CI 76060; OXIDATION BASE 10; P-AMINOANILINE; P-DIAMINOBENZENE; 1,4-BENZENEDIAMINE (9CI) ; 1,4-DIAMINOBENZENE; 1,4-PHENYLENEDIAMINE; 4-AMINOANILINE" EWG
HOW IS IT USED?
"Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is found in most permanent hair dyes. Those who are allergic will likely develop a rash not on the scalp but around the hairline on the forehead and neck and behind the ears. According to Gross, allergy to PPD seems to increase with age. Avoid contact by requesting PPD-free dyes or opting for henna and color rinses that don't contain the irritant." - MarieClaire
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
WHAT IS PPD?
  • Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) is a chemical substance that is widely used in permanent hair dyes. PPD can cause cross reactions triggering a secondary allergy to other hair dyes: NCBI PPD Allergy

  • "PPD is also present in many inks used for temporary tattoos. ... The FDA stated, “So-called “black henna” may contain the “coal tar” color p-phenylenediamine, also known as PPD. This ingredient may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. The only legal use of PPD in cosmetics is as a hair dye." And, "PPD is potentially capable of causing multiple toxic effects following skin contact." And, "PPD has potent skin-sensitizing properties." And, "Studies have also identified the chemical as the third most common ingredient, after fragrances and preservatives, that can cause contact dermatitis from cosmetics"- AnnMarie
RESEARCH & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Monoethanolamine MEA

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain MEA.

CAS No: 119337-98-3

Ethanolamine or MEA; "Synonym(s): 2-AMINO- ETHANOL; 2-AMINOETHANOL; 2-HYDROXYETHYLAMINE; ETHANOL, 2-AMINO-; ETHANOL, 2AMINO; MEA; MONOETHANOLAMINE; 2-AMINOAETHANOL (GERMAN) ; 2-AMINOETANOLO (ITALIAN) ; 2-AMINOETHANOL (OSHA) ; 2-HYDROXYETHYLAMINE." - EWG
HOW IS IT USED?
Used in the production of cosmetics, personal care products, household products, detergents, emulsifiers, polishes, pharmaceuticals, corrosion inhibitors, chemical intermediates. Monoethanolamine is the salt of acrylic acid, ethyl acrylate, methyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate.
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
  • NICNAS not restricted for use.
  • Restricted in the US

  • "Ethanolamine may cause a skin allergy. If allergy develops, very low future exposure can cause itching and a skin rash. Ethanolamine can irritate the lungs. Repeated exposure may cause bronchitis to develop with cough, phlegm, and/or shortness of breath." - NJ.gov/health

  • Restricted in the US, the CIR expert review panel concluded that ethanolamines were "safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products designed for discontinuous, brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin. In products intended for more prolonged contact with the skin, the concentration of TEA and DEA should not exceed 5% percent, while ethanolamine should be used only in rinse-off products."Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics "Human immune and respiratory toxicant or allergen - strong evidence air borne products"
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Carbon Black

CAS No: 1333-86-4
SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain Carbon Black.
Carbon Black; and "Synonym(s): CHANNEL BLACK; PIGMENT BLACK 6; PIGMENT BLACK 7; ACETYLENE BLACK; AROFLOW; AROGEN; AROTONE; AROVEL; ARROW; ATLANTIC; BLACK PEARLS " -  EWG
HOW IS IT USED?
Carbon Black functions as a colourant; "composed of finely divided particles of elemental carbon obtained by the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons (channel or impingement process)." - EWG
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
WHAT IS CARBON BLACK?
  • NICNAS has No restrictions on importing or use of this colourant that is banned in the US;
  • "Violation of government restrictions - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Color additive not approved by FDA for cosmetics used around eyes (only for products for use around the eyes)" And, "Violation of government restrictions - Banned or found unsafe for use in cosmetics." CTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook. And, "Possible human carcinogen California EPA Proposition 65" - EWG

Toxicity Assessment "Results from reactive oxygen species (ROS) assay indicated that carbon black waste extract induced oxidative stress by increasing intracellular ROS generation in these three human cell lines. Moreover, induction of oxidative damage in these cells was also observed through the alteration of glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities. Last but not least, by treating the cells with V-spiked solution of concentration equivalent to that found in the carbon black waste extract, V was identified as the main culprit for the high toxicity of carbon black waste extract. These findings could potentially provide insight into the hazards of carbon black waste extract and its toxicity mechanism on human cell lines." - NCBI
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
 

Cross Reactivity

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
WHAT IS CROSS REACTIVITY?
  • Many chemicals are very strong and can be extremely sensitising to the skin and body. For example, chemicals in hair dyes such as PPD para-phenylenediamine, TDA toluene-2,5-diamine and other aromatic amines are different chemicals, but they have similar structures that can trigger skin irritation. Fragrances are often the culprit of cross reactivity becuase they contain thousands of different chemicals rolled into one ingredient on the product label. 

  • In food, cross-reactivity occurs when protein is present. "If the same protein is present in several foods, then that person may have allergic reactions to any food containing that protein. Examples of cross-reactivity include people allergic to similar proteins present in hen's egg and duck eggs; or cow's milk and goat's milk; or cashew nut and pistachio nut." Allergy.org
WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
  • "Many of the approved ingredients of oxidative hair dyes are strong or even extreme contact allergens; for instance, p-Phenylenediamine (PPD, 1,4-diaminobenzene, CAS no. 106-50-3), toluene-2,5-diamine (TDA, 1,4-diamino-2-methylbenzene, CAS no. 95-70-5; synonym p-toluenediamine, PTD) and p-aminophenol (CAS no. 123-30-8) are three important precursors or intermediates associated with hair dye-related allergic contact dermatitis." And, "Cross-reactivity has been described as a contact allergic reaction to a molecularly similar chemical to which the individual has not yet been exposed. The immune system is not capable of differentiating between the sensitizing chemical and the almost similar new chemical" - Mdpi.com Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands.
 

Azo Dyes, FD&C Colour Cosmetics

Synthetic Azo dyes can break down, releasing aromatic amines that are known carcinogens. Mandatory testing of azo dyes is not required. Azo dyes are used to colour cosmetics, bath products and many other personal care items and home cleaning agents, furniture, decor and clothing. It is increasingly difficult to identify azo dyes, and if they pose a risk of releasing carcinogens. The FDA offers a guide for manufacturers advising them not to use certain dyes, lakes and pigments in eye products - Colour Additive Status List. However, when comparing the use of food dyes in the US to the EU, it is limited to just 30 colours and only 6 of these colours are authorised in both countries. 

It is fair to say that colour additives are the subject of much debate, and this has not resulted in a coherent use of colour additives globally. The EU's Cosmetic Ingredient Database, Cosing, provides a list of colourants allowed in food and cosmetic products; usage ranges from colours being banned and not permitted in eye products, up to 3% maximum usage in other cosmetics, and up to 2% for some eye products. In Australia, Azo dyes are listed on the Poisons Standard.

Who is at risk to colour additive allergies and skin irritation? People who have asthma and allergies as well as children are most at risk. Australia has scant usage guidelines and restrictions for colour additives, NICNAS has no restrictions and the TGA only restricts Iron Oxides to 1% for oral products, the presence of tartrazine must be stated on the product label, Mordant Red is restricted to 0.05% and Phloxine D&C Red 28 is to comply with the FDA's standards. All other additives are permitted without restrictions for Colourings used for medicines for topical or oral use



"Public exposure - Cosmetic and domestic Some of the chemicals in this group (Solvent Red 23; Solvent Red 24; CAS No. 131-79-3; Solvent Red 1; Orange Oil SS; CAS No. 4482-25-1; CAS No. Acid Red 73; CAS No. Acid Red 35; CAS No. 8005-78-5; and Basic Red 76) have been identified as having potential cosmetic use. In Australia, Acid Red 35 and Basic Red 76 have reported use in hair dyes. A recent international use of Solvent Red 23 and Orange Oil SS in hair dyes was also reported. Some of the potential cleavage products or impurities of the chemicals in this group (aromatic amines) such as o-toluidine; p-aminoazobenzene; o-aminoazotoluene; and p-chloroaniline have been detected in a number of cosmetic products." NICNAS Carcinogenic amines (azo dyes). Banned and restricted in th EU, ASEAN, China, but not Australia. 

Banned Amines - Azo Dyes Regulations Textiles & Leather Overseas: "Some amines are carcinogenic in nature i.e. they can cause cancer and hence there is a ban on usage of dyes and pigments that can release such amines." Nimkartek.com, And, "Azo dyes releasing specific amines (under certain conditions) are restricted in the EU, China, India, Egypt, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. The amount of a banned amine that can be detected in the finished articles is limited to either 30 mg/Kg in the EU and 20 mg/Kg in China. Several brands have a Maximum Allowable Concentration on finished articles as 20 mg/Kg." - See full list of azo dyes here >


p-aminoazobenzene (CAS No. 60-09-3); The chemical is reported to be found in some semi-permanent hair dyes (Haz-Map). Banned in EU, SEAN, NZ, China and restrited in United Arab. Reported use in hair dyes, known carcinogen, skin irritation induced at 0.1% - Azo dyes are Not restricted for use in Australia, NICNAS Classified as hazardous, "oral exposure by young children sucking textiles containing the dye" is a health concern. o-aminoazotoluene (CAS No. 97-56-3); Classified as hazardous, may cause cancer; The chemical has been reported to cause allergic contact eczema of the hands and arms in humans. Not restricted in Australia. o-anisidine (CAS No. 90-04-0), p-chloroaniline (CAS No. 106-47-8); Toxic if swollowed, restricted in the EU to 0.1%, no restrictions in Australia; found in cosmetic ingredients, such as chlorhexidine and triclocarban in deodorant soaps, sticks, sprays, roll-ons and mouthwashes. 4-chloro-o-toluidine (CAS No. 95-69-2) listed on the Poisons Standard "Substances with a high potential for causing harm at low exposure". 6-methoxy-m-toluidine (p-cresidine) (CAS No. 120-71-8) Not listed with NICNAS; this chemical is imported from China, India and Japan, the same chemical is banned and/or restricted for use in China and other countries, 2-naphthylamine (CAS No. 91-59-8) Reported use in detergents, ASEAN, EU, China & NZ banned & restricted, not restricted in Australia. 5-nitro-o-toluidine (CAS No. 99-55-8) ASEAN, EU, China & NZ banned and restricted, not restricted in Australia detected in tattoo inks. 2,4-toluenediamine (CAS No. 95-80-7) used in food packaging and pigments, o-toluidine (CAS No. 95-53-4) ASEAN, EU, China & NZ banned & restricted, not restricted in Australia, used in azo dyes and pigments. 2,4,5trimethylaniline (CAS No. 137-17-7) 95-53-4. o-Toluidine. Not directly listed. Hazardous at 0.1%. (137-17-7. 2, 4, 5-Trimethylaniline) - see chemicals identified in tattoo inks.

Colour additives are divided into two groups: Organic or Inorganic

Unless botanical derived, all coloured additives in cosmetics are synthetic, including: Azo Dyes, Lakes, FD&C colours, ultramarines, and Oxides that are derived from naturally occurring minerals, however iron oxides are synthetically processed, therefore they become synthetic. Iron oxides pose the least risk of developing an allergy or sensitivity to colour cosmetics, they are the preferred choice of Natural & Organic brands.

Organic Colours

Organic color additives include all synthetic dyes, lakes and botanical derived colours. Only the botanical additives are natural, including: henna, turmeric, beetroot (Red: made from Maltodextrin, Beta Vulgaris Root Powder, Citric Acid, Beetroot Red), annatto (orange/yellow), spirulina, Chlorophyll (Green Alfalfa Grass or Polysorbate 80, CI 75810 found in almost all grass, edible plants, algae, and cyanobacteria), curcumin (yellow Turmeric Powder), Tartrazine (lemon yellow) and caramel.

Inorganic Colours

Inorganic color additives are synthetic, and include mineral derived colors like mica and ultramarines as well as iron oxide, zinc oxide, and carmine; these colours are less intense than organic colours. "Carmine is also known as cochineal, cochineal extract, crimson lake or carmine lake, natural red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120, is a pigment of a bright-red color obtained from the aluminium salt of carminic acid.." - WikiPedia.org  "A red dye we now know as cochineal, carminic acid, or carmine." - Chemistryworld.com
 

Colour additives are broken into two more groups: Colour Additives In Specific Products

Certified Coal Tar Dyes

United States of America FDA; "Colors subject to certification. These color additives are derived primarily from petroleum and are sometimes known as "coal-tar dyes" or "synthetic-organic" colors. (NOTE: Coal-tar colors are materials consisting of one or more substances that either are made from coal-tar or can be derived from intermediates of the same identity as coal-tar intermediates. They may also include diluents or substrata. (See Federal Register, May 9, 1939, page 1922.) Today, most are made from petroleum.)" And, "Except in the case of coal-tar hair dyes, these colors must not be used unless FDA has certified that the batch in question has passed analysis of its composition and purity in FDA's own labs. If the batch is not FDA-certified, don't use it." - FDA Colour Additives

Colours Exempt From Certification

United States of America FDA; "These color additives are obtained primarily from mineral, plant, or animal sources. They are not subject to batch certification requirements. However, they still are considered artificial colors, and when used in cosmetics or other FDA-regulated products, they must comply with the identity, specifications, uses, restrictions, and labeling requirements stated in the regulations [21 CFR 73]. These certified colors generally have three-part names. The names include a prefix FD&C, D&C, or External D&C; a color; and a number. An example is "FD&C Yellow No. 5." Certified colors also may be identified in cosmetic ingredient declarations by color and number alone, without a prefix (such as "Yellow 5")." - FDA Colour Additives
"FDA-regulated products must comply with the color additive regulations; otherwise they are adulterated and/or misbranded. Color additive violations are common reasons for warning letters and import detentions."- Colour Additive Regulations.

Australia has it's own set of guidelines when it comes to colour additives in food. In a study, the government Food Authority (click to download the full report) says, "The results from the Authority’s 2010-2013 survey show an overall compliance of 84.1% (270/321). Majority of non-compliant samples were from undeclared colours (62.7%, 32/51) followed by samples containing erythrosine (23.5%, 12/51) an artificial colour not permitted in confectionery."

Which are the safest colours in cosmetics? Experts advise Iron Oxides are the safest.

Susan Church CCPC, CPDA "Iron oxides used for permanent makeup pigments are essential because iron is the most stable and the most common of all of the elements. It’s nontoxic and has a variety of colours available to technicians." And, "Iron oxides are inert, innocuous and non-reactive. In other words they are safe, harmless and inactive." And, "I have been in the industry since 1988, and many of my colleagues longer than that and no one has heard of any allergic reactions to iron oxides. The metal content is way below the FDA’s list of approved colorants." - Chemistryworld.com

Usage Restrictions

SCA campaigns for mandatory restrictions of synthetic colour additives (excluding iron oxides) including food dyes, FD&C colours and carmine (cochineal or carmine extract) used in cosmetics and personal care products, especially eye makeup and lip products; SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo that restrict the use of synthetic colours, including carmine, to a maximum of 1% or less for leave on products and a maximum of 2.5% or less for rinse off products. Colour additives should also require a warning on the product label to "always patch test before use" and "discontinue use if irritation occurs" - The EU and FDA has banned the use of many colour additives in products applied to the eye area >

Where a brand tests their products and/or the ingredient of concern is tested for carcinogenic contaminants, test reports confirming that the product and/or ingredients are free-from carcinogens can be submitted; SCA will endorse product(s) containing toxic-free colour additives with unrestricted usage provided proof of testing is provided. (Brands have 12 months to comply with SCA's terms effective as of 4th April, 2019 or discontinue use of SCA's Allergy Certified seal).

Food Colourings: Natural & Synthetic

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that highlight carmine and cochineal extract in bold text with allergy safety warnings. *See usage restrictions above.
Carmine Red RED4  : CAS No: 1390-65-4 also known as cochineal extract or Natural Red4:  
"Cochineal may be made from bugs, but other synthetic red dyes such as Red No. 2 and Red No. 40, which carry far greater health risks, are derived from either coal or petroleum byproducts." LiveScience.com

102 Tartrazine FD&C Yellow 5; CAS No: 1934-21-0. Other names: Acid Yellow 23, Trisodium 5-hydroxy-1-(p-sulfophenyl)-4-(p-sulfophenylazo) pyrazole-3-carboxylate. The FDA sates: "Do not confuse certified colors with their uncertified counterparts. For example, FD&C Yellow No. 5 is the certified form of tartrazine, and is approved for use in cosmetics generally. But tartrazine, which has not undergone FDA analysis and received FDA certification, must not be substituted for or identified in an ingredient declaration as FD&C Yellow No. 5." - With so many colour additives available, some certified and some banned, yet they have the exact same name, it is not reassuring from a consumers perspective. The same colour additive can be banned in one country, and permitted in another. If industry insiders cannot agree then SCA's advise to consumers is to take a conservative approach to colour additives and avoid them where possible.

160b Annatto (natural) CAS No: 1393-63-1
110  Sunset yellow FCF
122  Azorubine
123  Amaranth
124  Ponceau 4R
127  Erythrosine
129  Allura red AC
132  Indigotine
133  Brilliant blue FCF
142  Food green S
151  Brilliant black BN
155  Brown HT

Food colourings are often used in cosmetics because they are approved for consumption, topical application is considered safe. However, people with allergies or sensitive skin, the young or the health conscious, should also avoid food colourings especially in eye and lip products to avoid ingestion.

Banned in Norway, Austria, and other countries in the European Union have banned the sale of foods containing harmful dyes like red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6 and/or blue 2 which happen to be the most commonly used food dyes in the US. They have been linked to toxicity and hazardous health effects.

"The major food dyes responsible for food coloring allergies are carmine (red #4), tartrazine (FD&C yellow #5), and annatto." - NYAllergy.com

Annatto (Other names: achiote, onoto, atsuete or urucum) is a natural alternative to synthetic food colors, but it is linked to rare cases of food allergies. DrAxe.com
  • Food colouring & additives: "There is a big number here of both natural and chemical food additives that are hazardous to human health. FD&C blue, red dye and tartrazine are a few of them from the class of chemical food additives. Among natural food additives, food colors like annatto pose quite a few health risks for those who are allergic to it. Brilliant Blue FCF, or the FD&C blue 1 is a food color that has often been banned in some countries, not due to some one time food intolerance, but because it is known to cause cancer and skin and eye irritating substances." - FoodAdditiesWorld.com

  • "Brilliant Blue FCF, or the FD&C blue 1 is a food color that has often been banned in some countries, not due to some one time food intolerance, but because it is known to cause cancer and skin and eye irritating substances. Red dye is also a harmful food additive among the harmful synthetic food colors category. " And, "Tartrazine is a yellow dye 5 that is a harmful food additive that causes a number of allergy intolerance reactions like depression, weakness, patchy skin, migraine, vision disorder, sleeping irregularities and most of all, hyperactivity in kids. It is commonly found in ice creams, juice drinks, jams, jellies and other canned foods. Red dye is also a harmful food additive among the harmful synthetic food colors category" - FoodAdditiesWorld.com
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

FD & C Synthetic Colour Additives

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that exclude and restrict FD&C colour additives as detailed above. *See usage restrictions above.
  • Synthetic dyes are used in all toiletries and bath products like soap, shampoo and body wash, body lotions, smelly jellies, creams and gel products, as well as hair dye.

  • Article for EatingWell.com, Hidden health risks of food dye: "The three most widely used culprits—Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40—contain compounds, including benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, that research has linked with cancer. Research has also associated food dyes with problems in children including allergies, hyperactivity, learning impairment, irritability and aggressiveness." And, “We see reactions in sensitive individuals that include core ADHD symptoms, like difficulty sitting in a chair and interrupting conversations,” says David Schab, M.D., M.P.H., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and co-author of a 2004 meta-analysis that found food dyes promote hyperactive behavior in already hyperactive children.
FD&C Red 40 or E129 : CAS No: 25956-17-6; Other names: C.I. 16035; CI 16035; CURRY RED or Allura Red 17 CAS No. 25956-17-6 Other names Disodium 6-hydroxy-5-[(2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo]-2-naphthalenesulfonate Allura Red Food Red 17 , FD&C Red 40 E129 2-Naphthalenesulfonic acid, 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-, disodium salt.


Tartrazine Yellow 5 [CI19140], E102, primarily a food colouring, personal care products and hair colouring. CAS No: 1934-21-0;
manufactured using benzene.

Green 8 [CI59040]
Blue 1 [CI42090]

Red 76 CAS No: CAS No: 8005-78-5 NICNAS search states "Basic Brown" (Dyes that could release selected carcinogenic amines (listed on AICS)) Other Names:
Acid Black 132, CAS No. 12219-02-2
Disperse Yellow 23, CAS No. 6250-23-3 Disperse Yellow 7, CAS No. 6300-37-4
Basic Brown 4, CAS No. 5421-66-9
Bismark Brown R; C.I. 21010.
Direct Red 24, CAS No. 6420-44-6
Direct Red 26, CAS No. 3687-80-7
Acid Red 73, CAS No. 5413-75-2
Acid Red 264, CAS No. 6505-96-0
Acid Red 264, CAS No. 8005-78-5
Basic Red 42, CAS No. 12221-66-8
Disperse Red 151, CAS No. 70210-08-1  Disperse Red 151, CAS No. 27165-08-8


  • EU approved for use in food and cosmetics with restrictions, but local laws banning food colorants are preserved. Wikipedia.com


  • "The break down and release of carcinogenic by-products is a major concern but it isn’t the only problem to besiege colours.  More and more research is being done into the fate of colours in UV light following on from concerns over UV induced rashes and dermatitis made worse with cosmetic use.  These free radical style reactions can affect almost any type of chemical and might result in a complete re-think of how we formulate colour cosmetics in the future." - RealiseBeauty.wordpress.com

Solvent Dyes : Soap, Candle & Hair Dyes

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that exclude and restrict FD&C colour additives as detailed above. *See usage restrictions above.
HOW ARE THEY USED?
Used in all toiletries and bath products like soap, shampoo and body wash, body lotions, smelly jellies, creams and gel products, candles, household products and more.

Synthetic dyes are used at approximately 10ml per 250ml or blended with water or just over 4%. Ingredients used to make each dye can include: Purified Water, Petroleum Colour Additives, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY:
ABOUT SOLVENT DYES:
These colorants are used primarily in engineering plastics, oils and waxes, printer inks, as well as bath and body care products.

BLACK WAX:
Solvent Blue 36 CI 61551, CAS No: 14233-37-5 Solvent Red : CI 26105
Solvent Yellow 14 : CI 12055

LAKE:  Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake
Solvent Yellow 93 CI 48160,
Solvent Blue 36 CI 61551,
Acid Red 18 Aluminum Lake

BRILLIANT BLUE FCF triarylmethane dye; "It has the capacity for inducing allergic reactions in individuals with pre-existing moderate asthma." - Wikipedia, J. Allergy Clin. Immunol.; VOL 64 ISS Jul 1979, P32-37, (REF 25)

ULTRAMARINE BLUE:
Cosmetic Ultramarine Blue (Pigment Blue 29)
Synthetic Pigment consisting of sodium, silicate, aluminium and sulfides or sulfates.


BODY CARE & FACE (not lip products): Ultramarine Pink [CI 77007]

Ultramarine Violet: Pigment Violet 15 

[CI 77007] CAS Number: 12769-96-9


VIOLET: Acid Red 27 Aluminum Lake

YELLOW WAX: Stearic Acid, CI 48160
Oil Blue A is a blue anthraquinone dye used for colouring certain plastics such as polystyrene and acrylic resins, as well as other materials such as petroleum and inks. It has good resistance to light. Used to colour: cosmetics, smoke, plastics, fuel, mineral oils, lubricants and shoe polish. - FastColours.com

"AZO DYES that are derivatives by diazotisation when used in non-oxidative hair, eyelash and eyebrow dye products where the percentage of free o-anisidine as listed in Schedule 7 is no more than 0.001%." OR "AZO DYES that are derivatives by diazotisation when used in cosmetic hair, eyelash and eyebrow dye products where the percentage of free carcinogen as listed in Schedule 7 is no more than 0.001%." - TGA Scheduling Medicines & Poisons

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
 

FRPs Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives

SCA campaigns for some FRP's to be excluded from Australian cosmetics, personal care and household products. Products endorsed by SCA exclude certan FRP's and restrict all preservaives to a mximum of <1% or less for leave on products and a maximum of 2.5% or less for rinse off products. FRP's should also require a warning on the product label to "always patch test before use". Standard use of preservatives ranges from 0.01 to 0.3% the percentage usage should vary according to the age of the consumer eg. baby products and those intended for sensitive allergy prone skin like eczema should not contain FRP's, FRP's should be restricted to a maximum of 0.1 to 1% or less depending on the age of the consumer. 
"Oral products such as toothpastes may only contain up to 0.1 percent formaldehyde, while nail hardeners can have up to 5 percent. All other cosmetic products (such as shampoos and straightening solutions) can have up to 0.2 percent. At these low levels, the use of formaldehyde is deemed to be safe." - Science.org.au

"Formaldehyde is also produced naturally in the human body as a part of normal functions of the body to produce energy and build the basic materials needed for important life processes. This includes making amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins that the body needs." - FDA
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES: Formaldehyde in vaccines,

Quaternium-15

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain Quaternium-15.
CAS No: 4080-31-3
HOW IS IT USED?
Cosmetics; used as an antimicrobial preservative in cosmetic, soaps and shampoos. International restrictions 0.1 to 1% - other use; surfactant, hair conditioning, adhesives, binding, lacquers and varnishes. 

Commerical use; cutting fluids, lubricants, hydraulic fluids, additives, cleaning, pesticides, bacteriasides, food additives, paper, pharmaceuticals (antiarrhythmic and anticonvulsant agents).
WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY:

  • "Quaternium-15 is safe as a cosmetic ingredient at concentrations not exceeding those presently in use" max 1% by European standards. - Journals - SagePub.com

  • "The safety data sheet also shows that quaternium-15 exposure via inhalation may cause damaging effects on the respiratory tract. According to the guidelines, inhaling the toxic compound may result in respiratory tract irritation. Furthermore, the harmful chemical is found to cause severe skin irritation and dermatitis." - Chemicals.News

  • "Quaternium-15 is one of the most widely used preservatives (Rietschel & Fowler, 2008). It is not surprising that it is also the most common preservative that causes ACD (Marks et al., 2002; Zug et al., 2009). It affected 10.3% of patients that were patch tested in 2005–2006 (Zug et al., 2009). Quaternium-15 is the top allergen in hand ACD (Warshaw et al., 2007). It is the sixth most common allergen to cause eyelid dermatitis (Rietschel et al., 2007). This is a broad-spectrum preservative that is effective against bacteria, fungi, molds, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and P. cepacia (Maier et al., 2009; Marks et al., 2002). Quaternium-15 releases the highest amount of free formaldehyde when compared to other FRPs (Maier et al., 2009). Quaternium-15 0.1% concentration (1,000 ppm) releases 100 ppm of free formaldehyde; this amount is enough to induce dermatitis in a patient with formaldehyde sensitivity (Frosch et al., 2006)." - MedScape.com

  • "Formaldehyde-releasing preservative used in cosmetics. It can aggravate skin, as can all preservatives, although quaternium-15’s ability to do so is very low if the amount in a product is less than 0.2%." - PaulasChoice.com
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Formaldehyde 

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain Formalin.
CAS No: 50-00-0
Synonym(s): FORMALIN; FORMIC ALDEHYDE; MERTHALDEHYDE; METHANAL; METHYL ALDEHYDE; OXOMETHANE; OXYMETHYLENE; ALDEHYD MRAVENCI (CZECH) ; ALDEHYDE FORMIQUE (FRENCH) ; ALDEIDE FORMICA (ITALIAN) ; BFV" - EWG

"Formaldehyde gas is not used as a cosmetic ingredient. Instead, Formaldehyde may be dissolved in water and used as Formalin." - Cosmetics.info
HOW IS IT USED?

Formalin is commonly found in nail hardeners, keratin hair straighteners, shampoo and conditioners, baby wash including liquid soaps and liquid baby wash, cosmetics, hand gels, toothpaste, cream cleansers and eyelash glue.

"High levels of exposure to formaldehyde, particularly in cosmetic products, can cause:

  • sensory irritation
  • skin sensitisation
  • breathing difficulties
  • asthma
  • cancer, in circumstances where there is chronic high exposure." - Productsafety.gov.au ACCC
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
  • Banned in cosmetics in Japan and Sweden.
  • Banned in the United States
  • Restricted in Canada.
  • NICNAS Australia - Human Health Tier II assessment November 2006, Not restricted.
  • "The most common cause of eyelid dermatitis is the formaldehyde in nail polish," says dermatologist Dr. Marsha Gordon. "After you polish your nails, there is a day or two when the finish is not rock hard, and that's when formaldehyde may be released. Your hands may not show redness because that skin is tough, but when you touch your eyes while washing or moisturizing, you can end up with dermatitis there." - MarieClaire
  • Productsafety.gov.au ACCC Australia
WHAT IS FORMALDEHYDE?
  • Naturally occurring and commonly used in the form of formalin, it inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Other names: Formic aldehyde; Methaldehyde; Methanal; Oxomethane; Oxymethylene.

  • Multiple health concerns, mainly skin irritation. Commonly used in colour cosmetics and liquid hair and baby care products, hand sanitisers, paint and carpets, nail products and all kinds of household cleaning agents.

  • Approximately 20% of cosmetics and personal care products, contain a formaldehyde releasing preservatives. In 1996, the production of formaldehyde was estimated at 8.7 million tons per year.

  • NICNAS Australia; Toxicity Category I for eye irritation and Toxicity Category II for skin irritation.

  • "Low levels of formaldehyde are found in many consumer products, but high levels of exposure to the chemical are unsafe. Always check ingredients labels and follow care instructions when using products that contain formaldehyde." - ACCC - "High levels of exposure to formaldehyde, particularly in cosmetic products, can cause: sensory irritation, skin sensitisation, breathing difficulties, asthma, cancer, in circumstances where there is chronic high exposure."

  • "the highest risk is from the air when formaldehyde is inhaled from breathing, and occurs more frequently in people who routinely use formaldehyde in their jobs." - FDA

  • "What are the short-term health effects of formaldehyde exposure? When formaldehyde is present in the air at levels exceeding 0.1 ppm, some individuals may experience adverse effects such as watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation." - Cancer.gov
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Imidazolidinyl Urea

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo that restrict usage of Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea, to 1% or less.
Imidazolidinyl Urea  CAS 39236-46-9

Diazolidinyl Urea CAS No: 78491-02-8

Synonym(s); Urea, N,N''-methylenebis[N'-[3-(hydroxymethyl)-2,5-dioxo-4-imidazolidinyl]. Other names: N,N-methylenebis (N'-)1-(hydroxymethyl)-2,5-dioxo-4-imidazolidinyl urea, Urea, N,N-methylenebis [N'-[3-(hydroxymethyl)-2,5-dioxo-4-imidazolidinyl], 1,1'-Methylenebis[3-[3-(hydroxymethyl)-2,5-dioxo4 imidazolidinyl]urea], Germall 115®, Imidurea NF®, Biopure 100®, Imidurea®, Sept 115®, Tristat 1U®, Unicide U-13®

WHAT IS IT?

Human skin toxicant or allergen, antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. Standard usage concentration of 0.2 to 0.4%, up to a maximum of 1 .O% - preservative in cosmetics and personal care products. Imidazolindinyl Urea is a formaldehyde-releasing preservative.
HOW IS IT USED?
Used in: foundations, powders, concealers. Eye makeup, eye liners, lotions, creams body powders, shadows, mascara, self tanning lotions, makeup removers, nail products, sunscreen, cleansers and topical medications.
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY:
  • "Typical allergic contact dermatitis reactions may occur, however, imidazolidinyl urea is not a common cause of contact allergy when compared with other preservatives. However, if you have sensitivity to imidazolidinyl urea, these products are far from being hypoallergenic and should be avoided." - DermNet NZ

  • NCBI "Contact allergy to diazolidinyl urea may or may not be due to formaldehyde sensitivity" - PubMed.gov

  • "Discontinuation of use of products containing Imidazolidinyl Urea should result in improvement and/or resolution of your dermatitis. Imidazolidinyl Urea allergic patients should avoid this preservative by examining the ingredient labels before purchase. Imidazolidinyl Urea is frequently found in products that carry the ‘hypoallergenic’ label. Here is a partial list of products known to have contained Imidazolidinyl Urea in the past." - SkinSafe.com

  • "known for being non-toxic, non-irritating and a relatively non-sensitizing agent, but is a formaldehyde-releasing agent." - ContactAllergy.com

  • "Imidazolidinyl urea is known to release formaldehyde, which is used globally by scientists and morticians in preserving corpses and body parts. Formaldehyde is toxic to humans and may cause many negative side effects." - Naturalpedia.com

  • "The toxic preservative is also detrimental to bone and muscle health. According to experts, diazolidinyl urea exposure may raise the odds of joint and chest pain, fatigue and dizziness. The compound is also shown to trigger immune dysfunction and eye damage." - Naturalpedia.com
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
 

Toluenesulfonamide Formaldehyde Resin

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain
Toluenesulfonamide, formaldehyde polymer.
CAS No: 25035-71-6
Other names: Toluenesulfonamide, formaldehyde polymer.
HOW IS IT USED?
  • Toluenesulfonamide formaldehyde resin: is a nail hardener or lacquer, found in enamel products. "A synthetic resin" - Cosmetic.info

RESEARCH - WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY?

  • International restrictions apply 0.1% to 5%


  • "Other frequent causes of cosmetic-related contact allergic reactions were toluenesulfonamide formaldehyde resin in nail hardener and/or nail lacquer (15 patients [12.6%])." - Scinapse.io/papers

  • TGA Poisons Standard Schedule 6 -
    "human therapeutic use,  oral hygiene preparations,  nail hardener cosmetic preparations containing 5 per cent or more of free formaldehyde; in nail hardener cosmetic preparations containing 0.2 per cent or less of free formaldehyde when labelled with the statement: PROTECT CUTICLES WITH GREASE OR OIL. in aerosol sprays for cosmetic use containing 0.005 per cent or more of free formaldehyde; nail hardening products at a maximum concentration of 5 % in ready for use preparation; if the concentration exceeds 0.05 %, the label must indicate 'Contains formaldehyde';"
 

DMD Hydantoin

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that restrict DMD to 0.074% or less.

CAS No.6440-58-0
HOW IS IT USED?
DMDM Hydantoin is a formaldehyde-donor preservative , that prevents or retards microbial growth, thereby protecting cosmetics and personal care products; body wash and sprays, moisturisers, creams, toners, lotions, cleansers, hair care, pet care.
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY:
WHAT IS DMDM HYDANTON?
  • DMDM hydantoin is a formaldehyde donor: "DMDM is a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products. DMDM hydantoin is also an antimicrobial agent used in cosmetics and personal care products. As an antimicrobial, it can help prevent the growth of fungi, yeast and harmful bacteria that can make people sick or give them rashes, for example." - ChemicalSafetyFacts.com - continued:

  • "The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), an independent expert scientific panel established by the Personal Care Products Council, also has evaluated the scientific data and concluded that DMDM hydantoin is safe as a cosmetic ingredient at current levels of use –  0.074 percent, or less. In 2005, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on DMDM hydantoin and reaffirmed its safety conclusion. The Cosmetics Directive of the European Union also has approved DMDM hydantoin as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products at a maximum concentration of 0.6 percent"

RESEARCH & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

  • "The use of a cream containing 0.25% DMDM hydantoin in these 4 patients still caused dermatitis in 1 and provoked itching in another. An increase in the use of DMDM hydantoin in cosmetic products will also inevitable increase the risk of cosmetic dermatitis in consumers allergic to formaldehyde." - NCBI Patch test reactivity to DMDM hydanton.

Bronopol

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain bronopol.
CAS No: 52-51-7 - Key Issues
"Synonym(s): 2-BROMO-2-NITROPROPANE-1,3-DIOL, 1,3-PROPANEDIOL, 2-BROMO-2-NITRO-; 1,3PROPANEDIOL, 2BROMO2NITRO; 2-BROMO-2-NITRO- 1,3-PROPANEDIOL; BRONOPOL; 2-BROMO-2-NITRO-1,3-PROPANEDIOL; 2-BROMO-2-NITROPROPAN-1,3-DIOL; 2-BRONOPOL; BETA-BROMO-BETA-NITROTRIMETHYLENEGLYCOL; BRONIDIOL; BRONOCOT; BRONOPOL" - EWG
HOW IS IT USED?
Commonly used in colour cosmetics, liquid hair and baby care products, hand sanitisers, cosmetics, bleaching agents, adhesives, odour agents, topical medical creams, paint and carpets, nail products and all kinds of household cleaning agents.
  • Bronopol is a known formaldehyde releaser in cosmetics, PSIC.
  • NICNAS not restricted for use. Tier I assessment indicated that it needed further investigation. Tier II assessment November 2014.
  • EU Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC Annex VI Part 1, List of preservatives allowed (at up to 0.1%);
  • New Zealand Cosmetic Products Group Standard—Schedule 7: Preservatives cosmetic products may contain with restrictions;
  • Health Canada List of prohibited and restricted cosmetic ingredients (The Cosmetic Ingredient ‘Hotlist’)—Permitted at concentrations equal to or less than 0.1%. Not permitted in formulations that contain amines or amides; and
  • US Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Cosmetic ingredients found safe, with qualifications—should not be used in cosmetic products in which N-nitroso compounds can be formed.
RESEARCH - WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY:
  • "Bronopol allergic contact dermatitis. Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol) is an antimicrobial compound widely used as a preservative, primarily in cosmetic formulations. Analysis of patch tests performed on our patients revealed an incidence of 12.5% relevant positive results to 0.5% and/or 0.25% bronopol." - NCBI

  • Bronopol is found in an array of household products from cleaning agents to personal care products including: "Toiletries and Cosmetics; Blushers, Cleansing lotions, Creams, Eyebrow pencils, Formaldehyde releaser, Foundations, Hair conditioners, Hair dressings, Humidifiers, Mascara, Moisturizers, Shampoos, Deodorants
Washing Detergents." -ContactDermatitisInstitute.com
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Benzyl hemiformal

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo that restrict the use of benzyl hemiformal to 0.2% or less. *SCA does not endorse baby products that contain benzyl hemiformal.
CAS No: 14548-60-8
Other Names: Methanol, (phenylmethoxy)-
benzyl hemiformal (phenylmethoxy)methanol
(benzyloxy)methanol
WHAT IS IT & HOW IS IT USED?
Benzyl hemiformal is a formaldehyde-releaser that is found in cosmetics, hair products and makeup removers, oils, glues, adhesive and binding agents, paper products, textiles, polishes, waxes, detergents, and soaps; pesticides and bacteriacides. "contact allergies may be triggered by this substance or by cross reactions from the formaldehyde"- ContactDermatitisInstitute
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
  • "Benzylhemiformal is found in oils, glues, adhesives, paper products, textiles, polishes, waxes, detergents, soaps, and make-up remover. It is a formaldehyde-releaser and contact allergies may be triggered by this substance or by cross reactions from the formaldehyde." - Contact Dermatitis Institute
  • International EU; restrited to 0.2%
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
 

Antimicrobial Preservatives

isothiazolinone & derivatives

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo inaccordance with international restrictions; 0.01% or less for leave-on and rinse-off products; less then 1% for cleaning products. Safety advice should be included for products containing isothiazoline derivatives - "not suitable for sensitive allergy prone skin" and, "not suitable for children under 3 years of age" and, "discontinue use if irritation ocurrs".

WHAT IS IT?
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and
Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT; "are two of the most predominant contact allergens found in cosmetic products. The American Contact Dermatitis Society named MIT Allergen of the Year for 2013 due to the skin sensitization resulting from dermal exposure to it." - SafeCosmetics.org

3-Isothiazolone: commonly known as Kathon preservative; found in baby products, shampoos, soaps, detergents, bubble baths, lotions, oils, powders, creams, makeup and remover, fragrances, face powders, hair products and dyes, deodorant, after shave and shaving products, hand and body creams, masks, ltions, suntan gels and self tanners.
HOW IS IT USED?
"Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a preservative  used in baby wipes and other personal products, which is currently causing an appreciable number of cases of allergic contact dermatitis, an itchy skin rash. Preservatives like MI are needed in moist wipes to prevent bacterial contamination." - occderm.asn.au (and biocide; a poisonous substance)
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY:
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED READING:

Phenoxyethanol

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that conatin 1% or less of phenoxethanol.

CAS No: 122-99-6

Other names: 2-Phenoxyethanol; PHENOXYETHANOL; Phenylglycol ether.

HOW IS IT USED?
Phenoxyethanol is an alternative to formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. In Japan and the EU, its concentration in cosmetics is restricted to 1%.

Phenoxyethanol is used as an anti-bacterial in cosmetics as well as a stabiliser in perfume and products including creams, sunscreens, foundations, lipsticks, mascaras, hand sanitiser, soaps, insect repellents, antiseptics, dyes, inks and medications.
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
  • Phenoxyethanol - Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, APRN — Written by Cammy Pedroja, PhD on November 27, 2018: article for HealthLine.com - When asked: Is phenoxyethanol safe? Cynthia says that "Deciding whether or not you want to use products with this chemical is a complicated decision. There’s conflicting data about its safety. Most of the concern stems from recorded incidents of bad skin reactions and nervous system interaction in infants."

  • FDA permits phenoxyethanol in cosmetics and indirectly in food.

  • The Cosmetics Ingredient Review agrees it is safe up to 1% or less usage.

  • European Commission on Health & Food Safety also agree that a 1% or less usage is safe for adults.

  • Japan has a 1% maximum usage restriction for phenoxyethanol.

  • Australia, NICNAS - has no restrictions.
Paula Says that: "Phenoxyethanol is a widely used synthetic preservative that has global approval for use in all cosmetic products in concentrations up to 1%. It’s often used in even lower amounts, such as when combined with other ingredients like ethylhexylglycerin. In this case, lower amounts of phenoxyethanol can be just as effective as the maximum approved amount. Phenoxyethanol is incredibly versatile: It works in a large range of formulas and pH ranges, has broad spectrum activity against many pathogens you don’t want multiplying in your skincare products, is stable, and is compatible with many other preservatives used in cosmetics."
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Triclosan

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that contain 0.3% or less Triclosan (in accordance with Australian law).

CAS No: 3380-34-5
Triclosan is listed on Australia's TGA's Poisons Standard, for cosmetic use containing more than 0.3 per cent.
Triclosan; "Synonym(s): 2,4,4'-TRICHLORO-2'-HYDROXY DIPHENYL ETHER; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) - PHENOL; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) PHENOL; PHENOL, 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) -; PHENOL, 5CHLORO2 (2,4DICHLOROPHENOXY) ; 2,4,4'-TRICHLORO-2'-HYDROXYDIPHENYL ETHER; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) PHENOL; CH 3565; IRGASAN; IRGASAN DP300; PHENOL, 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY)"EWG
HOW IS IT USED?
Used in soap, personal care products, baby care and sanitisers.
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
WHAT IS TRICLOSAN?
  • Known endocrine disruptor and skin irritant; especially thyroid and reproductive hormones. Studies raise concerns that triclosan contributes to making bacteria antibiotic-resistant. Tricolson can be found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and deodorants. Commonly used in baby care products including body wash, toothpaste and shampoo. SafeWork Australia's HSIS states "Toxic by inhalation (R23)"; "Irritating to eyes, respiratory system and skin (R36/37/38)"; "Very toxic to aquatic organisms (R50)"; and "May cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment (R53)".
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
 
 

Parabens

PROPYL CAS No: 94-13-3
BUTYL CAS No: 94-26-8
SCA does not endorse products with the Allergy Certified logo, that contain more than 1% Propyl & Butyl Parabens for leave-on products or 2.5% wash-off products. Products containing Parabens should have a Safety Warning "do not apply to broken skin" and "discontinue use if irritation ocurrs" - Propyl & Butyl Parabens should not be used on children 3 years and under. 
HOW IS IT USED?
Parabens are a synthetic preservative system for an array of cosmetics and personal care products: known to cause skin irritation and sensitivities when applied to broken skin.
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY
  • Parabens and breast cancer; "A new study has found that chemicals called parabens can spur the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells" - WebMD.
  • "Parabens are chemicals that have been shown to have estrogen-like properties, and estrogen is one of the hormones involved in the development of breast cancer." - Dr Mercola.
WHAT ARE PARABENS?
  • Parabens get a bad name because they are synthetic, In an article for Allergic Living, Dr Sandy Skotnicki, Dermatologist, advises that they are safe to use on normal healthy skin. "The one area where parabens can cause problems is with inflamed skin. This is known as the “Paraben Paradox”. In essence, parabens almost never cause a problem on normal skin, but can cause allergic dermatitis when used on active skin disease, such as wounds or eczema. This is why parabens are never used to preserve topical hydrocortisone creams or antibiotic ointments."

  • Parabens prevent bacteria from growing in products like moisturisers that repeatedly come into contact with germs from your hands as you apply it to your face. "The American Chemical Society estimates that parabens are in about 85% of personal care products -- everything from shampoo to shaving cream. Researchers believe most of us get our greatest exposure from these products as they’re absorbed through the skin." - Brenda Goodman, MA

In an article for Healthland.time.com it is noted that "[T]he SCCS considers the use of Butylparaben and Propylparaben as preservatives in finished cosmetic products as safe to the consumer, as long as the sum of their individual concentrations does not exceed 0.19%"
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Phthalates

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain Phthalates.
dibutyl phthalate (DPB):
CAS No: 84-74-2

dimethyl phthalate (DMP):
CAS No: 131-11-3

diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP):
CAS No:117-81-7

diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP):
CAS No: 84-69-5

dimethyl phthalate (DMP):
CAS No: 131-11-3
HOW IS IT USED & WHAT EXPERTS SAY:

  • "DEHP is listed on the Canadian Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist (Health Canada, 2015) as prohibited for use in cosmetics." - NICNAS

  • "According to relevant Australian industry sources, concentrations of DMP in domestic detergents, cosmetics, perfumes and personal care products are highly variable and range from 0.00004% to 34% (in combination with DMP's analogue [structurally very similar compound] diethyl phthalate—DEP)." - NICNAS March 2019

  • NICNAS - "DEHP is also imported as a component of cosmetics - mainly perfumery products - with typical concentrations of approximately 0.05%. It is also reported to be used in toys, but detailed information on content is lacking."
RESEARCH & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
  • "Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in hundreds of products, such as toys, vinyl flooring and wall covering, detergents, lubricating oils, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, blood bags and tubing, and personal care products, such as nail polish, hair sprays, aftershave lotions, soaps, shampoos, perfumes and other fragrance preparations." - FDA

In Australia:
  • dibutyl phthalate (DPB): Nail polish
  • dimethyl phthalate (DMP): Hair spray
  • diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP): Banned
  • diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP): Cosmetics

  • CHOICE.com.au - (Phthalates) "have been found to have endocrine disruption effects, and have been linked with endometriosis and early puberty in girls, and reproductive organ abnormalities and reduced fertility in males. They can also act on the thyroid, and have been linked with obesity" - Note that there appears to be an error in thsi article: Restrictions apply to childrens toys, not cosmetics and household consumer goods. You can verify this by search for each CAS number above.

Resorcinol

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain resorcinol.
CAS No: 108-46-3
Other Names: resorcinol; 1,3-dihydroxybenzene; 3-hydroxyphenol; 3-hydroxycyclohexadien-1-one; m-dihydroxybenzene
HOW IS IT USED?
It is used as an antiseptic and disinfectant in topical pharmaceutical products to treat skin problems, and infections, such as acne, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, corns, calluses and warts. And, as a colour additive, hair dye, speciality adhesive, in textiles, construction materials, and as a fragrance ingredient. NICNAS
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
TGA Poisons Standard Feb, 2019; except in hair dye, eyelash and eyebrow dye products (after mixing) containing 1.25% or less; label must state: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN, and "WARNING - "This product contains ingredients which may cause skin sensitisation to certain individuals. A preliminary test according to the accompanying directions should be made before use. This product must not be used for dyeing eyelashes or eyebrows; to do so may be injurious to the eye." And, "in hair lotions/shampoo products containing 0.5 per cent or less of resorcinol when the immediate container and primary pack are labelled with the following statement: WARNING – This product contains ingredients which may cause skin sensitisation to certain individuals" - TGA.
  • ASEAN Cosmetic Directive List of substances which cosmetic products must not contain except subject to restrictions.
  • New Zealand Cosmetic Products Group Cosmetics must not contain except subject to the restrictions and conditions laid down;
  • Health Canada List of prohibited and restricted cosmetic ingredients (The Cosmetic Ingredient ‘Hotlist’); and Chile list of Cosmetic Ingredients with limited use or concentration.
  • The chemical is classified as hazardous with the risk phrase 'Harmful if swallowed'
  • Safe Work Australia - 'Irritating to skin' and 'Irritating to eyes' (Xi; R36) in HSIS.
  • Repeated dose Toxicity: Human patch-testing using the chemical elicited allergic skin reactions in 0.7–0.8 % of 1694 dermatitis patients.
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
  • "resorcinol, which can sometimes cause allergies and can be irritating." - Choice.com.au
 

Synthetic Alcohol & Hand Sanitisers

"alcohol as a main ingredient in any skincare product is a problem. When you see these names of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question they will aggravate and be cruel to skin. No way around that, it’s simply bad for all skin types. Consequences include dryness, erosion of the surface of skin (that’s really bad for skin), and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin. Just to be 100% clear, there are other types of alcohols, known as fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for skin. Examples (good alcohol) you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol. All of these are good ingredients for dry skin, and in small amounts fine for any skin type as they give a pleasing texture and help keep ingredients stable in products. " - PaulasChoice.com
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that restrict synthetic alcohols to 1% or less for leave-on products, and 2.5% or less for rinse-off products.

Where a product has been clinically tested and found to be 'non-sensitising' or 'non-irritating' to the skin; product test reports can be submitted for SCA to endorse the product with the Allergy Certified logo. This is provided that the ethanol has been tested for carcinogens and is toxic-free, not containing carcinogenic impurities. *Provided a warning is provided on the product label "may dry the skin, do not use on broken skin".

2-Propanol CAS Number: 67-63-0 Other names: Isopropyl Alcohol, Dimethyl Carbinol , IPA , Isopropanol , Propan-2-ol or 2-Propanol
  • Not restricted for use in Australia, classified as hazardrous. Restricted for use in Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, UK, France and USA.
HOW IS PROPANOL USED?
Ethanol CAS No: 64-17-5
  • Other Names: Ethyl alcohol; Alcohol; Anhydrol; Ethyl hydrate; Methyl carbinol. "NICNAS Reported Cosmetic Use and domestic use as a cleaning/washing agent; as petrol additives/substitutes such as ethanol blended fuels and solvent"
HOW IS ETHANOL  USED?
  • "Contact dermatitis is caused by a substance you're exposed to that irritates your skin or triggers an allergic reaction. The substance could be one of thousands of known allergens and irritants. Some of these substances may cause both irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis." - MayoClinic.org
RESEARCH - WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY?
  • "Allergic reactions to alcohol-based formulations may represent true allergy to the alcohol, or allergy to an impurity or aldehyde metabolite, or allergy to another product constituent. Allergic contact dermatitis or immediate contact urticarial reactions may be caused by ethanol or isopropanol. Allergic reactions may be caused by compounds that may be present as inactive ingredients in alcohol-based handrubs, including fragrances, benzyl alcohol, stearyl or isostearyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, myristyl alcohol, propylene glycol, parabens, or benzalkonium chloride." - Skin reactions related to hand hygiene, NCBI, 14.2.

  • SD alcohol functions as a cosmetic astringent in skin care products; "Specially denatured (SD) alcohol is a mixture of ethanol with a denaturing agent. Ethanol is considered broadly toxic and linked to birth defects following excessive oral ingestion." - EWG


  • Isopropyl, isopropanol and ethyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol, ethanol or surgical spirit); "It is common to find isopropyl rubbing alcohol at concentrations from 68% alcohol in water up to 99% alcohol in water. The 70% rubbing alcohol is highly effective as a disinfectant. Isopropyl alcohol is toxic, in part because the body metabolizes it into acetone." - ThoughtCo.com
 

Oral Care & Personal Hygiene

Chlorhexidine

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain Chlorhexidine.
CAS No: 55-56-1

Other Names: Chlorhexidine; 1,1'-hexamethylenebis(5-(p-chlorophenyl)biguanide); 1,6-Bis(5-(p-chlorophenyl)biguandino)hexane; Hexadol
HOW IS IT USED?
Oral hygiene products including toothpaste, dental floss, denture cleansers and mouth wash: "Chlorhexidine and its salts have reported use in cosmetics with the identified functions as preservatives, antimicrobial and oral care agents." And, "The major reported cosmetic use is in hair treatment applications. Other products include make-up and makeup removers, skin care products, hair colouring products, shampoos, aftershave and mouthwashes and breath fresheners. The concentration in cosmetic products is restricted in several countries (see International restrictions). Typical reported concentrations in products are below 0.1 %."
RESEARCH - WHAT EXPERTS SAY
WHAT IS CHLORHEXIDINE?
  • "Contact reactions to oral hygiene products affect all age groups. Toothpastes consist of flavourings, preservatives, colouring agents, abrasives, detergents, binding agents, humectants, antiseptics, antacids and fluoride salts." - Chlorhexidine Oral Mouth Wash

  • "Chlorhexidine is a common ingredient of mouthwashes as it kills bacteria. Prolonged use of a chlorhexidine-containing mouthwash can cause discolouration of the teeth and dental restorations. Chlorhexidine can also affect the sensation of taste."Dermnetnz.org
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
Also see "peroxide" - Toothpastes and mouth rinses may also contain low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant to prevent plaque and inflammation of the gums. Studies have shown that hydrogen peroxide from toothpastes or mouth rinses is rapidly broken down in the mouth by the saliva, but some of it is swallowed" - GreenFacts.com

SLS & SLES

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain SLS & SLES.

Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)
CAS No: 9004-82-4
Other Names: Sodium laureth sulfate; Genapol ZRO; Polyethylene glycol, sulfate, monododecyl ether, sodium salt; Polyoxyethylene, lauryl sulfate, sodium salt; Sodium dodecylpolyoxyethylene, sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
CAS No: 151-21-3
HOW IS IT USED?
  • Found in 90% of personal care products and cleaning agents including foaming products: such as soaps and shampoos as well as toothpaste and bubble bath: "Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate are detergents used in everything from shampoo and body wash to baby soap — so if you’re experiencing chronic eye and/or skin irritation, you may want to try giving these products a break. “I have known these chemicals to cause rashes, blemishes, and eye irritation,” says O’Connor. “Not to mention, they are incredibly drying to your hair and skin.”EverydayHealth.com
RESEARCH - WHAT EXPERTS SAY
  • Canada - suspected to be toxic or harmful
  • Europe - Banned.
Detergents and Soap: all types of detergents and soap can be extremely drying to the skin. Dry cracked skin can quickly lead to skin irritation or contact dermatitis.

  • "Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a common ingredient found in soaps and shampoos. ... And while it's not technically an allergen because it doesn't provoke a reaction from the immune system, SLS can cause contact dermatitis and aggravate eczema by weakening that oily barrier on our skin." And, "While SLS is useful for breaking up greasy foreign substances, it also breaks up the layer of oil that keeps our skin from drying out. And while it's not technically an allergen because it doesn't provoke a reaction from the immune system, SLS can cause contact dermatitis and aggravate eczema by weakening that oily barrier on our skin. This means that SLS can usher other allergic elements into your body. After repeated exposure to these elements, you may develop reactions to things you weren't allergic to before." - Top 5 allergens in soaps that cause dermatitis by Gallagher Finn, Health.HowStuffWorks.com
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain DEA.

Cocoamide DEA CAS No: 111-42-2
Other names: Di(2-hydroxyethyl)amine; Diethanolamine; Ethanol, 2,2, Related chemicals: MEA and TEA

CAS No: 8051-30-7 Other names: Coconut oil, diethanolamine condensate.

Lauramide DEA: CAS No: 68603-42-9

Related to: "MEA (monoethanolamide) and TEA (triethanolamine). Like DEA, they can react with other chemicals in cosmetics to form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Cocamide DEA was responsible for occupational allergic contact dermatitis" - toxnet.nlm.nih.gov
HOW IS IT USED?
DEA is a semi-synthetic pH adjuster and wetting agent that is used to make foaming bath products like shampoos, body wash and soap. It is also commonly found in cosmetics such as creams, body lotions, face moisturisers and sunscreens as well as hair dyes, pet care, antistatic agents and household cleaning agents. "In Australia, the chemical is known to be used in washing and household cleaning products. Although the chemical was not reported to be used in cosmetics in the 2006" - NICNAS
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
WHAT IS DEA?
  • "Cocamide DEA, or cocamide diethanolamine, is a diethanolamide made by reacting the mixture of fatty acids from coconut oils with diethanolamine." - Wikipedia.com

  • "The concentration of diethanolamide in these preparations ranged from 1 to 25%" - NCBI 1985

  • "Allergic reactions to eating coconut have been reported, but are relatively rare.  By contrast, contact allergic dermatitis to coconut products is more common. Sensitisation to coconut pollen has been reported." - Allergy.org.au

  • "Like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), coconut diethanolamide can break down skin's oily barrier layer and dry it out, but certain people develop more intense allergic reactions to it. Since coconut diethanolamide is a common ingredient in skin care products such as barrier creams and hand protection foams, sensitizing can happen rapidly. You may begin to develop reactions after using a product for two or three months." - HowStuffWorks.com
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
 

Aluminum-Free Deodorants

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain aluminum.
CAS No: 7446-70-0 (anhydrous)
CAS No: 10124-27-3 (hydrate)
CAS No: 7784-13-6 (hexahydrate)
Other popular aluminum in deoderants and antiperspirants:
CAS No: 12042-91-0 (chlorohydrate) 
CAS No: 12042-91-0 (chlorohydroxide)
CAS No: 57158-29-9 (zirconium)
CAS No: 134910-86-4 (TetrachlorohydrexGly)
"There are 18 aluminum-based salts recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration to reduce underarm wetness. These include a number of forms of aluminum-based salts including aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate(s), and aluminum zirconium salts." -Tomsofmaine.com
HOW IS IT USED?

Deodorants; "antiperspirants, deodorants and astringents in skin fresheners and other personal care products." - NICNAS


NICNAS reports commercial use in; surface treatments, water purification, dyeing textiles, odour blockers, cleaning and washing agents and adhesives.

WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
Aluminum chloride may cause skin irritation, including contact dermatitis. It has many industrial uses and is commonly used in deodorants.


  • "Aluminum chloride has many industrial uses, but is also used in deodorants. It plugs up sweat glands and closes pores to prevent sweating. In rare cases, aluminum chloride exposure can cause Frey's Syndrome, which results in excessive sweating on the face." And, "Side Effects. Aluminum chloride is a definite life saver in the sweating department, but there are some side effects. When it comes into contact with skin it can cause burning, stinging, itching, and tingling." - Study.com

  • "Aluminum chloride is the partially neutralized form used in cosmetic antiperspirants, while aluminum chloride hexahydrate is among the most effective antiperspirants currently available.[58] Several studies have shown that aluminum salts cause an obstruction of the distal sweat gland ducts." - SweatHelp.org

  • Cosmetic allergy is common: "Deodorants and antiperspirants are two of the most commonly used cosmetic products, with millions of consumers applying these products to their axilla everyday. Deodorants are used to mask odor; whereas, antiperspirants are used to reduce the amount of sweat produced." - NCBI. And, "aluminum exposure from deodorant use has been blamed for the rising incidence of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). A recent review of 46 studies looking at aluminum exposure and risk of developing AD concluded that aluminum is, in fact, a risk factor for the development of disease."
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Peroxide

BENZYL CAS No: 94-36-0
ACTEYL CAS No: 110-22-5
LAUROYL CAS No: 105-74-8
HYDROGEN CAS No: 7722-84-1

BLEACHING AGENT; Benzoyl Peroxide; "Synonym(s): DIBENZOYL PEROXIDE; PEROXIDE, DIBENZOYL; ACNEGEL; AZTEC BPO; BENZOPEROXIDE; BENZOYL PEROXIDE (ACGIH:OSHA) ; BENZOYL SUPEROXIDE; BENZOYLPEROXID (GERMAN) ; BENZOYLPEROXYDE (DUTCH) ; BZF-60; CADAT BPO" - EWG

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain peroxide.
HOW IS IT USED?
Chemical bleaching agents that are used to remove colour and whiten products. In cosmetics it is often used in medical products to acne treat blemishes. Commonly found in hair colours to lighten hair including hair dye, lash tint, brow tint and shampoo.
WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

  • A known skin sensitiser, irritating to the skin, eyes and lungs. In cosmetics, it is believed that this compound works by destroying the bacteria associated with acne. It works by continuous daily treatment, but when you stop using it the acne comes back.

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "says products containing the ingredients benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid can cause rare but serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions or severe irritation."


  • Human exposure studies "a reaction occurred in 70% of subjects after use of occlusive patches containing a 5% or 10% concentration." - TOXNET

Oleamidopropyl dimethylamine

CAS No: 109-28-4
Other names: [3-(Oleoylamido)propyl.
SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain
Oleamidopropyl dimethylamine.
HOW IS IT USED?
"Oleamidopropyl Dimethylamine is a surfactant/cleansing agent found in personal care products." - Skinsafeproducts.com

Used in cosmetics and personal care products: skincare, soaps, creams, shampoos, shaving, makeup, hair dyes and more.

  • "This chemical is used as an antistatic agent and emulsifier in cosmetics. It can be found in products such as body lotions, creams, shampoos, conditioners and hair relaxers. Further research may identify additional product or industrial usages of this chemical."- Chemotechnique Diagnostics Patient Info
WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
  • EU usage restrictions apply: "Potentially toxic; contains toxic constituents."
  • NICNAS Australia, No restrictions.

  • "It is concluded that the presence of oleamidopropyl dimethylamine in a concentration of 0.3% in stay-on cosmetics, especially when applied to damaged skin and/or the periorbital area, bears a definite risk of the induction and elicitation of contact allergic reactions." - NCBI

  • "Oleamidopropyl dimethylamine. The cationic emulsifier oleamidopropyl dimethylamine has been responsible for many cases of cosmetic sensitisation in the Netherlands. Of 119 patients with proven cosmetic-related allergic contact dermatitis, 13 (11%) were allergic to oleamidopropyl dimethylamine from a baby body lotion containing 0.3%." - NCBI

  • Known for causing severe irritations to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes: "In the cosmetic industry, this ingredient serves as a precursor to various other ingredients, mainly solvents, surfactants and skin/hair conditioners. It's commonly used to create lauryl dimethylamine oxide (common soap ingredient), stearamidopropyl dimethylamine (common hair conditioner ingredient), behenamidopropyl dimethylamine behenate (common anti-static ingredient) and oleamidopropyl dimethylamine (common emulsifier). It can be found in mostly cleansers and hair products like shampoo & conditioner." - TruthInAging.com
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
 

Key Allergens Hotlist

"The ingredients responsible for allergy to cosmetics were determined in 119 patients suffering from cosmeticrelated contact dermatitis. Most reactions (56.3%) were caused by skin care products, followed by nail cosmetics (13.4%), perfumes (8.4%), and hair cosmetics (5.9%). Preservatives were most frequently implicated (32.0%), followed by fragrances (26.5%) and emulsifiers (14.3%). By far the most important cosmetic allergen was Kathon CG, (a preservative system containing, as active ingredients, a mixture of methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone) reacting in 33 patients (27.7%). Other frequent causes of cosmetic-related contact allergic reactions were toluenesulfonamide/formaldehyde resin in nail hardener and/or nail lacquer (15 patients [12.6%]), and oleamidopropyl dimethylamine, an emulsifier in baby body lotion (13 patients [10.9%]). ( Arch Dermatol 1988;124:1525-1529)" - Scinapse.io/papers/2141505644
 

Sunscreen

Cinnamic Acid

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that comply with Essential Oil and Fragrance usage (above): Restricted by SCA - Standard usage by age, use and concentration. Not suitable for sunscreen products or day time moistuisers.
CINNAMIC ACID CAS No: 103-26-4
Other names: Cinnamic acid, methyl ester; Methyl cinnamate, methyl ester.

BENZYL CINNAMATE. CAS No: 103-41 -3

BALSUM OF PERU CAS No: 8007-00-9
Other names: China oil; Indian balsam; Liquid storax; Peru balsam; Perul. Tolu Balsam.
HOW IS IT USED?
Chemically related to cinnamon oil cinnamic acid is widely used as a UV filter in sunscreens. It is also food grade flavour and common fragrance ingredient. Cinnamic acid can be
either natural or synthetic. Benzyl cinnamate is an esther of cinnamic acid and benzyl alcohol.

"Balsam of Peru allergy: Balsam of Peru smells of vanilla and cinnamon because it contains 60-70% cinnamein (a combination of cinnamic acid, cinnamyl cinnamate, benzyl benzoate, benzoic acid and vanillin) The other 30-40% contains resins of unknown composition. It also contains essential oils similar to those in citrus fruit peel. These are all potential allergens." - DermNetnz.org
WHAT ARE CINNAMTES?
Known skin sensitiser. commonly found in 'fragrances' that are used in all kinds of cosmetics and personal care products, makeup and sunscreen.
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY
  • "A cinnamate is a compound chemically related to cinnamon oil and other cinnamon-related compounds that are used widely as flavourings and fragrances in many toiletries and cosmetics. Cinnamates are also potent UVB absorbers and therefore used in sunscreen agents and colour cosmetics with sun protection factor qualities." - DermNetnz.org

  • An "important function of cinnamic acid derivatives in cosmetics is UV protection. Ester derivatives such as ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), isoamyl p-methoxycinnamte (amiloxiate), octocrylene and cinoxate are used in cosmetics all over the world as UV filters. However, their maximum concentrations in cosmetic products are restricted due to their adverse effects, which include contact and a photocontact allergies, phototoxic contact dermatitis, contact dermatitis, estrogenic modulation and generation of reactive oxygen species." - NCBI
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Benzophenone

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain benzophenone.
CAS No: 1341-54-4
SUNSCREEN "Benzophenone 11; and Synonym(s): A-OXODIPHENYLMETHANE; A-OXODITANE; BENZENE, BENZOYL-; BENZOYL- BENZENE; BENZOYLBENZENE; DIPHENYL KETONE; DIPHENYL- METHANONE; DIPHENYLMETHANONE; METHANONE, DIPHENYL; METHANONE, DIPHENYL-; PHENYL KETONE" - EWG 
HOW IS IT USED?
Sunscreen chemical; functions as sunscreen agent absorbing ultraviolet light.
RESEARCH - WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY:
  • NICNAS No usage restrictions apply.
  • The European Food Safety Authority EFSA classifies benzophenone as a known toxicant because it can cause liver hypertrophy in rats at low doses. "Found in: Lip balm, nail polish, foundations, baby sunscreens, fragrance, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, moisturizers, and foundation"
WHAT IS BENZOPHEONE?
  • The European Food Safety Authority EFSA classifies benzophenone as a known toxicant because it can cause liver hypertrophy in rats at low doses. "Found in: Lip balm, nail polish, foundations, baby sunscreens, fragrance, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, moisturizers, and foundation"

  • "Many chemical sunscreens have been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer. Among the most hazardous are those containing oxybenzone, synthetic fragrances and retinyl palmitate (vitamin A)" - Dr Mercola
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Oxybenzone

 

CAS No: 131-57-7

HOW IS IT USED?
SUNSCREEN "Oxybenzone; Synonym(s): BENZOPHENONE-3, (2-HYDROXY-4-METHOXYPHENYL) PHENYL- METHANONE; (2-HYDROXY-4-METHOXYPHENYL) PHENYLMETHANONE; 2-BENZOYL-5-METHOXYPHENOL; 2-HYDROXY-4-METHOXYBENZOPHENONE; 4-08-00-02442 (BEILSTEIN HANDBOOK REFERENCE) ; 4-METHOXY-2-HYDROXYBENZOPHENONE; ADVASTAB 45; AI3-23644; ANUVEX; B3; BENZOPHENONE, 2-HYDROXY-4-METHOXY-" - EWG
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY:
Sunscreen chemical; functions as sunscreen agents absorbing ultraviolet light. Oxybenzone is also used in nail polish, fragrances, hair spray, and other skin care and cosmetics.
WHAT IS OXYBENZONE?
  • NICNAS No usage restrictions apply.
  • Oxybenzone, or benzonephenone-3, is one of the most common sunscreen chemical filters that is found. It forms colorless crystals that are readily soluble and provides UV protectionm.

  • "Many chemical sunscreens have been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer. Among the most hazardous are those containing oxybenzone, synthetic fragrances and retinyl palmitate (vitamin A)" - Dr Mercola

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
 

Allergens Requiring Bold Text Labelling

Current cosmetic labelling law does not require product labels to highlight allergens in bold text (this only applies to food labels). Brands that license SCA's Allergy certified seal, pledge to always provide Safety Advice to consumers; by highlighting potential allergens in bold text, followed by stating the appropriate safety advice such as: 'this product contains potential allergens' or 'allergens are highlighted in bold' and 'always patch test before use' and 'discontinue use if irritation ocurs'. These terms protect both the manufactuerer and consumers alike. Consumers with allergies should always read the product label, and manufacturers should always provide appropriate safety advice to consumers, provided on each product and point of sale. Due to a lack of evidence, the following potential allergens are optional for brands to provide allergy and safety advice:

LanolinCoconut SurfactantsAnimal TallowCocamidopropyl BetaineAHA AcidsPropylene glycolEthylene glycolPropylene glycolHydrochloric acidAcetoneTetrachloroethyleneTrisodium NTA, Adverse Reactions To Essential Oils,

Bee derivatives

Where brands use purified bee derived ingredients, they can submit clinical test reports confirming that the allergens have been removed. SCA will endorse products with the Allergy certified logo, that do not contain propolis, the protien responsible for allergies to bee derivatives.
BEES WAX CAS No: 8012-89-3 & Other names: Beeswax oil, absolute; Beeswax white; Beeswax, absolute; Beeswax, bleached, white; CERA ALBA; Yellow beeswax, cera alba,
Polyglyceryl-3 beeswax.


PROPOLIS CAS No: 85665-41-4
HOW IS IT USED?
Bees wax, Honey, Propolis and Royal Jelly: is used in lip balms, lipstick, face creams, makeup, hand creams, balms and slaves as a moisturiser and protective barrier; they provide the skin with conditioning properties. In addition, the wax and honey are useful for hair care and waxing products. Bee derivatives contain an array of helath benefits - NCBI

Honey contains proteins and may contain propolis which contains pollen.

Propolis is known as the 'bee glue', it is the resin-like substance that bees make. Propolis is highly beneficial for many skin complaints, but it is also a key allergen as it contains pollen a known allergen.

Royal Jelly is known as the 'superfood' consumed by the queen bee. It contains proteins which can trigger skin allergy in those sensitive to bee derivatives.
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
  • "Propolis is commonly used in cosmetic and medicinal preparations because of its antiseptic, antiinflammatory, and anesthetic properties. Its therapeutic qualities have been well documented. However, 1.2 to 6.6% of patients who are patch-tested for dermatitis are sensitive to propolis. The main allergens are 3-methyl-2-butenyl caffeate and phenylethyl caffeate. Benzyl salicylate and benzyl cinnamate are less frequent sensitizers. Propolis is found in a number of "natural" products, including lip balms, cosmetics, lotions and ointments, shampoos, conditioners, and toothpastes. Dermatologists should consider patch testing with propolis in users of such remedies." - MEDSCAPE.COM
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Soy & Wheat derivatives

Where brands use purified soy and wheat derived ingredients, they can submit clinical test reports confirming that the allergens have been removed. SCA will endorse products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain the protiens responsible for allergies to soy and wheat derivatives.
Includes any ingredient that is derived from: soy, wheat, rye, barley or oats including but not limited to: hydrolised wheat protein, wheat germ oil, oat meal.

Other names include: Triticum Vulgare (wheat), Hordeum Vulgare (barley), Avena Sativa (oatmeal).

The 2015 Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel concluded that their studies indicate that soy, and hydrolised cosmetic ingredients, are unlikely to cause skin irritation or allergy.

HOW ARE THEY USED?

Wheat derivatives are used in skin care products like creams to lotions, face and body oils, balms and salves. They are also used in hair products and conditioning agents. "Cosmetics containing hydrolysed wheat proteins (HWP) can induce rare but severe allergic reactions." - NCBI

RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
  • Cosmetics & Gluten Sensitivity: "They are highly processed and purified, and it is extremely unlikely that any trace of gluten would get through the manufacturing process and end up on a users skin.  Even if it were to do so there’d be very little chance of it getting across the skin.  So I’d have to say that logically people with a known sensitivity to gluten can use products with wheat derivatives in them without fear.  But us humans aren’t that logical and I can understand why they might not want to take the chance", he also advises to especially exercise caution with children that have allergies - Wheat Alergies by Cosmetic Scientist www.colinsbeautypages.co.uk

  • "Can Gluten Be Absorbed Through Skin?

    Now according to the Mayo Clinic, gluten can’t be absorbed through the skin. Since the gluten proteins are very large, it’s virtually impossible for it to be absorbed. The main issue arises when it’s accidentally swallowed or ingested. That’s why it’s so important to use gluten free products are your mouth such as lipstick and lip balm." - Adam Bryan, Urbantastebud.com

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

CROSS REACTIVITY:

"If you’ve patch tested positive for propolis, common cross reactants include balsam of peru, fragrances, cinnamon alcohol, cinnamic acid, and vanillin. Avoid carnauba wax, beeswax (it could be contaminated with propolis) and colophonium, too. And look out for other ingredients that can be problematic in propolis like benzyl cinnamate, methyl cinnamate, and benzyl salicylate." - VMV Hypoalergenics

Nut derived oils & Other Proteins

Where brands use purified nut oils and other ingredients containing proteins, they can submit clinical test reports confirming that the allergens have been removed. SCA will endorse products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain the protiens responsible for allergies to nut oils and other derivatives.
Cosmetic nut oils include: Almond, Shea, Argan, Peanut (is actually a legume: arachis hypogaea) and Macadamia.- List of Nuts
(Coconut & Nutmeg are not nuts).

Cosmetic proteins include: milk, silk, collagen, keratin and elastin.
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY?
The primary treatment of allergies, is to avoid the trigger. However, cosmetic ingredients are highly processed, so do they pose a risk to allergy sufferers? The best advise is to avoid known allergens and irritants, always read the product label ingredients, and if your not sure then do not use it. Always patch test a new product before using it, and always follow your GP or health practioner's advise.

  • "Studies have found that contact allergic reactions can occur due to exposure to allergens in cosmetics. But these reactions only occur if the relevant proteins are intact, so in general, the more processed and refined the cosmetic, the smaller the likelihood of a reaction." - Nut Allergies & Shampoo
  • "Currently, various wheat-derived substances, including multiple forms of wheat protein (such as gluten), are processed through hydrolysis, as are other protein hydrolysates such as collagen, keratin, elastin, milk, almond, and silk, and used in myriad skin and hair products, such as soaps, bath gels, creams, and hair repair formulas.3-6 In particular, wheat – like oat – is incorporated into personal care products for the moisturizing benefits it confers.1 The positive and negative effects of the incorporation of wheat into skin care as well as the cutaneous effects of wheat supplementation are the focus of this column." - Dermatology News: Wheat in skincare by Leslie S. Baumann MD

  • "More confusing, someone with a nut allergy won’t necessarily be allergic to a nut oil in a product. It’s the protein in the nut that causes an allergic response, and some manufacturers say they remove the protein from the oil. This can involve chemicals or heat — an important distinction for a consumer interested in a natural product." - Alexandra Zissu, NY Times, Allergies Can Be Natural Too

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

 
 

Cleaning Products

What are common sources of irritant contact dermatitis?
Cleveland Clinic says that "Detergents, soaps, cleaners, waxes, and chemicals are substances that can irritate the skin. They can wear down the oily, protective layer on skin surface and lead to irritant contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is common among people who regularly work with strong chemicals or detergents, such as restaurant, maintenance, and chemical workers. It is also seen in people who do a lot of housework due to contact with cleaning products." - Contact Dermititis

Health Line says, "Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type of contact dermatitis. It happens when the skin comes in contact with a toxic material. Toxic substances that can cause irritant contact dermatitis include: battery acid, bleach, drain cleaners, kerosene, detergents and pepperspray. Irritant contact dermatitis can also occur when the skin comes in contact with less irritating materials — like soap or even water — too often." - Contact Dermititis Casues
SCA endorses products that are made from Biodegradable Surfactants are used accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4351
Ideally cleaning products should: Not contain hazardous chemicals; Use only biodegradable surfactants; Contain No or low levels of phosphates; Low Sodium = Septic Safe; Contain no or low level use of fillers; Be 100% Soluble in water; Have low environmental impact packaging. Domestic home cleaning agents should exclude and/or restrict all chemicals that form the Allergy Certified Campaign (as detailed above and below).

QUATs

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain QUATS.
CAS No: 61789-75-1 ; Other names: Benzyldimethyl tallow quaternary ammonium chloride.
CAS No: 71011-25-1 ; Other names: Dimethyl dihydrogenated tallow ammonium chloride, reaction products with dimethylbenzyl hydrogenated tallow ammonium chloride and bentonite.

CAS No: 61789-74-0
SURFACTANTS; CAS No: 8001-54-5, 85665-42-5, 63449-41-2, 68989-00-4, 91080-30-7, 85409-22-9, 68424-85-1, 68391-01-5, 68607-20-5, 91080-31-8, 61789-75-1, 61789-72-8, 61789-71-7, 61789-74-0,

CAS No: 112-00-5, 1119-94-4, 4574-04-3, 1119-97-7, 112-02-7, 57-09-0, 505-86-2, 124-03-8, 112-03-8, 17301-53-0, 5538-94-3, 7173-51-5, 2390-68-3, 10361-16-7, 3401-74-9, 1812-53-9, 107-64-2, 123312-54-9, 85409-24-1, 68391-03-7, 106233-03-8, 68607-24-9, 8030-78
HOW IS THIS USED?
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds;
found in fabric softener liquids, disinfectant wipes and sprays, as well as most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial or disinfectant”
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY
  • IMAP - Tier II - Environment.
  • NICNAS No restrictions for use.
WHAT ARE QUATs?
  • "This ingredient and related ingredients are all called quats—”quaterny ammonium compounds” that are used in a wide range of products as preservatives, surfactants, and germicides. Some are also used as conditioning agents, giving skin and hair a slippery and smooth feel." - AnneMarieSkincare

  • Disinfectant products; "effective against most vegetative bacteria and enveloped viruses, and some fungi." - Science Direct

  • "In addition to harming germs, quats are lung irritants and can contribute to asthma and other breathing problems. They irritate skin too – and can lead to rashes. (This is one reason why packages of antibacterial wipes strongly recommend washing your hands after use.  A factor that really takes the convenience out of using a wipe in the first place!)" - www.womensvoices.org
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Ammonia

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain ammonia.
CAS No: 7664-41-7 & CAS No: 7664-41-7
Ammonia and Ammonium hydroxideand; Ammonia anhydrous; Ammonia gas; and Ammoniac "Synonym(s): AMMONIA (NH3-N) ; AMMONIA NITROGEN UNIONIZED (AS N) ; AMMONIA, ANHYDROUS; AMMONIA, UNIONIZED; NH3-N; UNIONIZED AMMONIA; UNIONIZED AMMONIA AS N; AM-FOL; AMMONIA (ACGIH:OSHA) ; AMMONIA ANHYDROUS; AMMONIA GAS" - EWG
HOW IS THIS USED?
Ammonia is a cleaning solution commonly used in household and industrial cleaning products; toilet and bathroom cleaners and polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks and jewelry. It is also used in water purifucation, rubber, paper, pharmaceuticals and explosives.
RESEARCH - WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY
  • NICNAS Human Health Tier II
WHAT IS AMMONIA?


  • “Ammonia is a powerful irritant,” says Donna Kasuska, chemical engineer and president of ChemConscious, Inc., a risk-management consulting company. “It’s going to affect you right away. The people who will be really affected are those who have asthma, and elderly people with lung issues and breathing problems. It’s almost always inhaled. People who get a lot of ammonia exposure, like housekeepers, will often develop chronic bronchitis and asthma.” Ammonia can also create a poisonous gas if it’s mixed with bleach." - 8 Hidden toxins by ExperiencedLife.com

  • "Ingredients with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma or lung or heart problems. These two chemicals pose an added threat in that they can react with each other or other chemicals to form lung-damaging gases. Combining products that contain chlorine and ammonia or ammonia and lye (in some oven cleaners) produces chloramine gases, while chlorine combined with acids (commonly used in toilet bowl cleaners) forms toxic chlorine gas." - OrganicConsumers.org, How toxic are your household cleaning supplies?
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Butylethanol

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain butylethanol.
Domestic/Cleaning; CAS No: 111-76-2
2-Butoxyethanol; and "Synonym(s): 2-BUTOXY- ETHANOL; 2-BUTOXYETHANOL; BUTYL GLYCOL; ETHANOL, 2-BUTOXY-; ETHANOL, 2BUTOXY; ETHYLENE GLYCOL MONOBUTYL ETHER; GLYCOL MONOBUTYL ETHER; MONOBUTYL ETHYLENE GLYCOL ETHER; 2-BUTOSSI-ETANOLO (ITALIAN) ; 2-BUTOXY-1-ETHANOL; 2-BUTOXY-AETHANOL (GERMAN)." - EWG
Domestic/Cleaning; CAS No: 111-76-2
2-Butoxyethanol; and "Synonym(s): 2-BUTOXY- ETHANOL; 2-BUTOXYETHANOL; BUTYL GLYCOL; ETHANOL, 2-BUTOXY-; ETHANOL, 2BUTOXY; ETHYLENE GLYCOL MONOBUTYL ETHER; GLYCOL MONOBUTYL ETHER; MONOBUTYL ETHYLENE GLYCOL ETHER; 2-BUTOSSI-ETANOLO (ITALIAN) ; 2-BUTOXY-1-ETHANOL; 2-BUTOXY-AETHANOL (GERMAN)." - EWG
HOW IS THIS USED?
Domestic/Cleaning Products (not cosmetics); Found in window and glass cleaners, multi-purpose sprays; butoxyethanol is a common solvent used to remove dirt with less effort. 
RESEARCH - WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY
  • Use: Domestic/Cleaning
  • PEC - Priority Existing Chemical
  • "A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review finds inhalation of 2-butoxyethanol causes liver damage in lab animals. And,
  • Harmful in contact with skin; GHS Hazard Codes - EU GHS Hazard Labeling Codes; Harmful if inhaled." - EWG
WHAT IS BUTOXYETHANOL?
  • "2-Butoxyethanol is readily absorbed following inhalation, oral, and dermal exposure. ... 2-Butoxyethanol has moderate acute toxicity and is irritating to the eyes and skin; it is not a skin sensitizer." - World Health Organisation

  • "Harmful effects on the liver and kidney were seen in some animals and may be related to hemolysis. 2-Butoxyethanol is also irritating to the skin and eyes of animals, as it is in people. ... Other reproductive effects and birth defects in animals have only been observed at doses that were toxic to the adult animals." - Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry

  • "2-Butoxyethanol is readily absorbed via all routes of exposure (inhalation, dermal, ingestion) with low to moderate acute toxicity via oral, dermal and inhalation routes." And, 2-Butoxyethanol at 20% is too high for general consumer use in domestic products given its potential for skin and eye irritation and inhalation toxicity ." And, "Risks; The most sensitive toxicological end point is the destruction of red blood cells (haemolysis). Additional toxicities include neurotoxicity (loss of coordination, sluggishness and narcosis) and nephrotoxicity. And, 2-butoxyethanol has low to moderate acute toxicity via oral, dermal and inhalation routes, and severe skin and eye irritancy." - TGA Therapeutic Goods Administration Australia
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:

Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach)

RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
HOW IS IT USED?
SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain bleach.
Most commonly known as a household bleach as a cleaner, the very same bleach is also used in beauty creams, hair dyes and many other products. CAS No: CAS No: 7681-52-9
Other Names: sodium hypochlorite; sodium chloride oxide; sodium oxychloride; Antiformin; Chlorox.

Hypersenstivity to sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl); "the most commonly used irrigant in endodontics, is known to produce  allergic reactions. This fact, however, is rarely mentioned in endodontic texts. In the current study a case is presented in which hypersensitivity to household bleach was proven with skin patch tests." - Researchgate.net

  • For treatment of eczema, some experts recommend using bleach diluted in a bath. But they warn that it will dry the skin and can cause further irritation to sensitive skin: "An eczema bleach bath can kill bacteria on the skin, reducing itching, redness and scaling." -Mayoclinic.org
RESEARCH - WHAT DO EXPERTS SAY?
WHAT IS IT?
When you buy a bottle of bleach, what you are buying is sodium hypochlorite mixed with water in a 5.25-percent solution. Bleach is a chemical used in domestic and commercial cleaning products as well as cosmetics. It is used to whiten clothes and remove stains, lighten hair and clean tiled surfaces, sinks, baths, kitchens, floors and more.It is used as an odour blocker, in paints, lacquers and varnishes.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMMONIA & BLEACH: "Ammonia is known as a weak base, while bleach is said to be a strong oxidizing agent. ... Bleach is made from water, caustic soda and chlorine. In disinfectant quality, bleach is considered to be a stronger disinfectant than ammonia. Ammonia is better on hard surfaces than bleach." - Differencebetween.net