Body Care - Things We Won’t Carry and Why

Our Body Care cares back.

What we put on our skin, brush our teeth with, wash our hair and hands with, and use as deodorants are as important to our health as what we eat. That’s why we created a Body Care Department with a conscience; it’s the clean with less of the crud. We partner with companies that are truly working to formulate products with the cleanest ingredients possible. Our quality standards experts examine every label and meet regularly to evaluate and review specific ingredients and address issues and concerns. We set the (soap) bar high, with one of the strictest ingredient standards around, because your health and the health of the planet, depend on it. What we don’t allow in our body care products is just as important as what we do. Below is the growing list of ingredients you’ll never find lurking in our Body Care Department.

 

Grandmothered & Limited Ingredients 

As new research becomes available, an ingredient that might not have been considered problematic may now be an ingredient of concern or unacceptable. Read more about grandmothered and limited ingredients.

Body Care Ingredients We Won’t Carry

Please see 'Hydroquinone' for more information.

Please see 'Hydroquinone' for more information.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information.

Please see 'Hydroquinone' for more information.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

Acetone is a denaturant, fragrance ingredient, and solvent used in nail polish remover. It is classified as an irritant and there is moderate evidence of associated human neurotoxicity.

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Aluminum and Aluminum-Containing Ingredients That Can Be Absorbed Through the Skin' for more information.

 

 

Many different forms of aluminum are used as antiperspirant agents, cosmetic astringents, and deodorant agents. These aluminum compounds prevent sweating by clogging the pores and preventing sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. There is evidence that the forms of aluminum utilized most commonly in commercial antiperspirant products are human toxins/allergens with possible links to breast cancer.

Potassium alum is a naturally occurring mineral salt that is most commonly used in crystal deodorants. While deodorants work by masking odor, and antiperspirants work by clogging the pores, potassium alum’s creates an unfriendly environment for the bacteria that causes body odor. Potassium alum is not an antiperspirant, nor does it inhibit the activity of sweat glands in clinical testing. The main difference between potassium alum and aluminum chlorohydrate is that potassium alum is a much larger molecule, not thought to be absorbable through human skin. Potassium alum has a long history of safe usage in a variety of products.

Please see 'Aluminum and Aluminum-Containing Ingredients That Can Be Absorbed Through the Skin'

*We allow aluminum in hair color and nail polishes.

 

Please see 'Aluminum and Aluminum-Containing Ingredients That Can Be Absorbed Through the Skin' for more information.

Please see 'Aluminum and Aluminum-Containing Ingredients That Can Be Absorbed Through the Skin' for more information.

Please see 'Aluminum and Aluminum-Containing Ingredients That Can Be Absorbed Through the Skin' for more information.

Please see 'Aluminum and Aluminum-Containing Ingredients That Can Be Absorbed Through the Skin' for more information.

Antibacterial soaps and body washes contain compounds that work like antibiotics. Currently, such products are allowed by the FDA to contain the following chemicals: benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, or chloroxylenol (PCMX). In 2016, the FDA banned 19 antibacterial chemicals, including triclosan, from use in antibacterial soaps and body washes because there was mounting evidence that these substances were harmful to humans and the environment, were no more effective than washing with soap and water, and were contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.[i],[ii]

However, the allowed replacement chemicals are, according to the researchers: “… not any safer than the banned antimicrobials.” And, “These findings strongly indicate that scrutiny should be put on these replacement compounds before their introduction into massive use in personal care products.”[iii] Unfortunately, this has not happened. Studies have found that they contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.[iv],[v],[vi]

Furthermore, consumers should be aware that while triclosan and the other 18 chemicals were supposed to have been removed from sale by 2017 due to safety concerns with them, many online vendors are still selling antibacterial soaps that contain these banned antimicrobials.

Additionally, while the FDA banned triclosan in antibacterial soaps and body washes because it is a known hormone disrupter and causes antibiotic resistance, it is still allowed in hand sanitizers and wipes, toothpaste, pacifiers, clothes, food containers, and toys. Natural Grocers does not carry any product that contains triclosan or any other antimicrobial chemicals that have been banned or are currently allowed in antibacterial soaps, body washes, hand sanitizers/wipes, etc.

 


[i] Kodjak, A. (2016, September 02). FDA Bans 19 Chemicals Used In Antibacterial Soaps. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/09/02/492394717/fda-bans…

[ii] Say Goodbye to Antibacterial Soaps: Why the FDA is banning a household item. (2017, January 11). Retrieved from http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/say-goodbye-antibacterial-soaps-…

[iii] Sreevidya, V. S., Lenz, K. A., Svoboda, K. R., & Ma, H. (2018, April). Benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and chloroxylenol - Three replacement antimicrobials are more toxic than triclosan and triclocarban in two model organisms. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29348075

[iv] Tandukar, M., Oh, S., Tezel, U., Konstantinidis, K. T., & Pavlostathis, S. G. (2013, September 03). Long-term exposure to benzalkonium chloride disinfectants results in change of microbial community structure and increased antimicrobial resistance. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23924280

[v] Akimitsu, N., Hiroshi Hamamoto, R. I., Shoji, M., Akifumi Akamine, K. T., Hamasaki, N., & Sekimizu, K. (1999, December 01). Increase in Resistance of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus to β-Lactams Caused by Mutations Conferring Resistance to Benzalkonium Chloride, a Disinfectant Widely Used in Hospitals. Retrieved from http://aac.asm.org/content/43/12/3042.full

[vi] Taheri, N., Ardebili, A., Amouzandeh-Nobaveh, A., & Ghaznavi-Rad, E. (2016, November). Frequency of Antiseptic Resistance Among Staphylococcus aureusand Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci Isolated From a University Hospital in Central Iran. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5099399/

*Allowed in hair color and nail polish products.

Artificial in terms of food means “a substance not duplicated in nature.” There are currently seven artificial (synthetic) coal-tar-based dyes on the market. There is evidence that four of the seven being used cause cancer in laboratory animals. The FDA has banned 17 food dyes since 1918 because of their potentially toxic effects. Furthermore, six of the seven being used in the US have been banned in other countries. Natural Grocers does not allow artificial colors in body care products or color cosmetics. All color cosmetics at Natural Grocers are mineral or plant-derived.

More information coming soon. 

It is estimated that 95% of the synthetic fragrances on the market are derived from petroleum by-products. The Environmental Working Group states, “Fragrance, is usually a chemical cocktail, often containing individual chemicals associated with allergic reactions and hormone disruption. Some fragrance chemicals have not been assessed for safety. Until all fragrance ingredients are disclosed on the label, consumers cannot know what is in a particular fragrance.” Artificial fragrances commonly cause skin, eye, and lung irritation, and possible organ system toxicity.  They also contain phthalates which are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers.  The phthalates found in the majority of artificial fragrances are known endocrine disruptors.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

Please see 'Chemical-Based Sunscreens' for more information.

Please see 'Antibacterial soaps, body washes, wipes, toothpastes, and hand sanitizers' for more information.

Please see 'Antibacterial soaps, body washes, wipes, toothpastes, and hand sanitizers' for more information. 

More information coming soon. 

BHA is a preservative, stabilizer, fragrance ingredient, and masking ingredient.  It is suspected to be an endocrine disruptor and is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.

BHT is a toluene-based ingredient used as a preservative, fragrance ingredient, and masking ingredient. Human case studies show significant allergenic effects.

Bismuth oxychloride is a naturally occurring mineral used as a filler ingredient in cosmetics to achieve a shiny effect.  It is typically a byproduct of lead/copper refining and may cause extreme irritation, redness, burning, itching, and worsening of some skin conditions (particularly when perspiring or in hot weather).

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see BHA for more information. 

Please see BHT for more information. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

More information coming soon.

*Allowed in hair color and nail polish products.

Please see 'Artificial colors*' for more information.

A variety of chemicals are used to protect the skin from Ultra Violet (UV) damage in commercial sunscreens. These chemicals work by absorbing the sun’s active UV rays and dissipating them into the skin and air through a chemical reaction. Each chemical used in these sunscreens offers protection against certain types of UV rays, with only a handful protecting against UVA rays. This is why multiple chemicals are combined in sunscreen products that offer more broad-spectrum UV protection. Once applied, chemical-based sunscreens are absorbed into the skin and act as endocrine disruptors, altering reproductive and hormone function in lab animals, humans, and fish, and other marine animals that come in contact with these chemicals in their water.[i], [ii], [iii], [iv], [v], [vi] One small study found that some of the most common chemical sunscreens actually increased free-radical generation in the skin, which disrupts skin cells’ function and is one of the ways a sunburn damages the skin the in first place.[vii] Chemical-based sunscreens are also bad for the environment. These chemicals contribute to the “bleaching” of the coral reefs which causes coral to die.[viii] To top it off, chemical sunscreens are more likely to cause allergic reactions and skin irritation than products containing mineral sunblocks such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.[ix]

 


[i] Dewalque L, Pirard C, Dubois N, Charlier C. Simultaneous determination of some phthalate metabolites, parabens and benzophenone-3 in urine by ultra high-pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2014;949-950:37-47.

[ii] Wang L, Kannan K. Characteristic profiles of benzonphenone-3 and its derivatives in urine of children and adults from the United States and China. Environ Sci Technol. 2013;47(21):12532-8.

[iii] Kunisue T, Chen A, Buck Louis GM, et al. Urinary Concentrations of Benzophenone-type UV Filters in US Women and Their Association with Endometriosis. Environ Sci Technol. 2012;46(8): 4624-4632.

[iv] Schlecht C, Klammer H, Jarry H, Wuttke W. Effects of estradiol, benzophenone-2 and benophenone-3 on the expression pattern of the estrogen receptors (ER) alpha and beta, the estrogen receptor-related receptor 1 (ERR1) and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in adult ovariectomized rats. Toxicology. 2004;205(1-2):123-130.

[v] Krause M, Klit A, Bloomberg JM, et al. Sunscreens: are they beneficial for health? An overview of endocrine disrupting properties of UV-filters. Int J Androl. 2012;35(3):424-436.

[vi] Coronado M, De Hara H, Deng X, et al. Estrogenic activity and reproductive effects of the UV-filter oxybenzone (2-hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl-methanone) in fish. Aquat Toxicol. 2008;90(3):182-187.

[vii] Hanson KM, Gratton E, Bardeen CJ. Sunscreen enhancement of UV-induced reactive oxygen species in the skin. Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2006;41(8):1205-1212.

[viii] Danovaro R, Bongiorni L, Corinaldesi C, et al. Sunscreens Cause Coral Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections. Environ Health Perspect. 2008;116(4):441-447.

[ix] Bryden Am, Moseley H, Ibbotson SH, et al. Photopatch testing of 1155 patients: results of the U.K. multicentre photopatch study group. Br J Dermatol. 2006;155(4):737-747.

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Antibacterial soaps, body washes, wipes, toothpastes, and hand sanitizers' for more information.

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Coal tar is a thick liquid or semi-solid obtained as a byproduct in the destructive distillation of coal.  It is commonly used as an anti-dandruff agent, cosmetic biocide, denaturant, and is a known human carcinogen.

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Cyclic Siloxanes' for more information. 

*Allowed in hair color and nail polish products.

Please see 'Artificial colors*' for more information.

Please see 'Cyclic Siloxanes' for more information. 

Please see 'Cyclic Siloxanes' for more information. 

Please see 'Cyclic Siloxanes' for more information. 

Please see 'Cyclic Siloxanes' for more information. 

DBP is a fragrance ingredient, plasticizer, and solvent.  It is classified as a reproductive and developmental toxin, endocrine disruptor, and a known human respiratory toxin

Please see 'Cyclic Siloxanes' for more information. 

This insecticide can be found in most over-the-counter insect repellents. However, there are some concerns about the toxicity of DEET. For instance, a Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist named Mohamed Abou-Donia, Ph.D. has conducted a number of animal studies that found the chemical causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats after frequent and prolonged use. While the chemical’s risks to humans are still being intensely debated, Abou-Donia says his 30 years of research on pesticides’ brain effects clearly indicate the need for caution among the general public. Children, in particular, are at risk for subtle brain changes caused by chemicals in the environment, because their skin more readily absorbs them, and chemicals more potently affect their developing nervous systems. With heavy exposure to DEET and other insecticides, humans may experience memory loss, headache, weakness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tremors and shortness of breath. There are many other insect repellant products that are DEET-free on our shelves that we are comfortable offering to the community.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information. 

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information.

Please see 'Cyclic Siloxanes' for more information. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

More information coming soon.

*Allowed in hair color and nail polish products. 

Please see 'Artificial colors*' for more information.

(DMDM Hydantoin, Quaternium 15, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Tetrasodium EDTA, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropane-1, 3-Diol) – Formaldehyde donors/releasers come in many forms and under many different names.  They function as antimicrobial preservatives in creams, gels, and liquids.  There is strong evidence that formaldehyde donors/releasers are human skin toxins and allergens.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Chemical-Based Sunscreens' for more information. 

Please see 'Cyclic Siloxanes' for more information. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Hydrogenation is a process that takes an unsaturated fat, such as soybean or other vegetable oil, and makes it more solid at room temperature, thus more saturated. A large percentage of the once healthy fats are converted to the trans-configuration, also known as trans-fatty acids. This process changes the molecular shape of these fatty acids, which negatively alters their biological functions.  Applying these damaged oils to the skin is not recommended.

Hydroquinone is an aromatic organic compound used as a fragrance ingredient, hair colorant, reducing agent, & skin bleaching agent.  There is strong evidence that this ingredient is a human skin toxin and allergen.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information.

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Isopropyl alcohol is a common solvent used as an anti-foaming agent, fragrance ingredient, and a viscosity decreasing/controlling agent.  It can cause skin, eye, and/or lung irritation, possible organ system toxicity.

More information coming soon. 

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Please see 'Talc' for more information

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information. 

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information. 

More information coming soon. 

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

More information coming soon. 

Mineral oil, petroleum, and petrolatum are liquid or semi-solid mixtures of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum.  They are commonly used as a fragrance ingredient, skin protectant, hair/skin conditioning ingredient, and solvent.  These ingredients interfere with the body’s natural moisturizing mechanism.  They are also directly obtained from the petroleum industry which has a negative environmental impact.

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon. 

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

Please see 'Cyclic Siloxanes' for more information. 

Please see 'Chemical-Based Sunscreens' for more information. 

Please see 'Chemical-Based Sunscreens' for more information. 

Please see 'Chemical-Based Sunscreens' for more information. 

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Chemical-Based Sunscreens' for more information. 

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Please see 'Hydroquinone' for more information.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Hydroquinone' for more information.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

(Methyl, Propyl, Butyl & Ethyl Parabens) – Parabens are esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid and are commonly used as preservatives.  Parabens mimic estrogen and are therefore possible endocrine and reproductive disruptors.

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

(phthalate Esters, phthalic Acid(s) see artificial fragrances) – Phthalates are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers.  The phthalates found in the majority of artificial fragrances are known endocrine disruptors.

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information. 

Please see 'Phthalates' for more information. 

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

More information coming soon.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information.

More information coming soon.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

This anti-caking agent is used in some dry powdery foods, personal powder products (bath, baby, face, etc.), creams, and supplements. Prolonged inhalation of talc (magnesium silicate) can cause lung problems because it is similar in chemical composition to asbestos, a known lung irritant and cancer-causing agent. Talc is not considered food grade by the FDA.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information. 

Although some men may benefit from testosterone, the use of any steroid hormone should be supervised by a trained physician. Even bio-identical hormones can be dangerous in excess. Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer, but it does increase the growth rate of cancer that is already there. So it is important to not take more than directed by a physician after adequate assessments.

Toluene is a volatile petrochemical solvent that is a potent neurotoxicant that acts as an irritant, impairs breathing, and causes nausea.

Please see 'Chemically modified fats' for more information. 

Please see 'Antibacterial soaps, body washes, wipes, toothpastes, and hand sanitizers' for more information.

More information coming soon. 

Please see 'Parabens' for more information.

Please see 'Formaldehyde & formaldehyde donors' for more information. 

More information coming soon. 

References available upon request