Skincare formulations consist of good and bad alcohols with regards to their molecular weights. Lower molecular weight alcohols like ethanol, methanol or isopropyl alcohol are drying and sensitizing on the skin. When used as a main ingredient in formulations, it can disrupt the skin’s surface layers. When larger molecular alcohols are used in small percentages in Vitamin C and Retinol formulations, they help the actives penetrate into the skin and can be beneficial.
Produced as a by-product of petroleum, mineral oils or paraffins coat the skin surface and form a layer that is impenetrable. This clogs the pores and causes breakouts as it deters the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. Using the ingredient over a period of time causes accumulation in the body as the molecules penetrate through broken patches of skin or when used in lip balms.
Parabens include the following commonly found items on ingredient lists like butylparaben, isobutyl paraben, propylparaben, methylparaben, and ethyl paraben. While they had extensive use in skincare because of its preservative properties, it has received immense flack in recent times because of its health impact. They cause the skin layer to break down in large concentration but aren't necessarily harmful in small percentages and can be used in limited number of products.
While we make every attempt to refrain from adding synthetic perfumes to our products, we add IFRA certified fragrances where absolutely necessary. In other circumstances, we strive to use essential oils or natural, food fragrances as substitutes.
Talc or anhydrous magnesium silicate is the main ingredient found in loose and pressed powders. With most talc compounds being contaminated with asbestos that is carcinogenic in nature, it becomes imperative to either ensure that the brand is transparent in its sourcing or uses substitutes like corn starch, rice powder or responsibly mined mica.
Chemical Sunscreens contain carbon-based compounds that protect the skin by reacting with UV rays to convert them into heat and release them from the skin barrier. In this context they can be referred to chemical absorbers. In technical terms they are categorised as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene and Homosalate. While a number of brands produce chemical sunscreens, we use natural ingredients like raspberry and carrots that are rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants to provide natural protection from the harmful rays of the sun.
Termed as industrial plasticizers in the skincare industry, they are used as skin softeners in formulations to assist in dissolving and combining ingredients. They also make the skin supple and more elastic when applied. On a skincare label you’ll find them as under DHPs, DMPs, BBPs and DNOPs. Used in tandem with fragrance, they have been linked with reproductive and hormonal issues in men and women. They can also cause breast cancer, reproductive deformations, and infertility. In place of Phthalates, we use safe natural substitutes like Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E as moisturising ingredients and Castor Oil and Carnauba Wax because of their solubility.
Sulfates fall under surfactants, which attract both oil and water molecules. In skincare they are responsible for drawing oily dirt to one side of the molecule while clinging to water droplets on the other side. Hence they strip the skin and hair off grease and dirt, emulsify it with the water droplets while it goes down the drain. These accumulate in water bodies and cause toxicity while making your hair and skin dry and prone to damage. They are found as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate Sodium Lauroyl Taurate Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate in formulations. Due to all these factors, they are a permanent feature of our No-No list.