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Faithful to Nature's
Bad Bunch

Know More, Choose Better

Scientific evidence and conventional wisdom are constantly evolving. New research is being performed, peer-reviewed and published by the day. Ingredients once thought safe, may one day be revealed as anything but. This constantly shifting landscape is at the centre of our decision-making process. When legitimate, verifiable, and reproducible research calls an ingredient into question - we will not hesitate to find alternatives.

Here are some of the cosmetic & cleaning ingredients that you will not find in any of the products we list:

  1. Aluminium Chloride

    Aluminium Chloride is used to plug up sweat glands in antiperspirants. It’s associated with a number of health problems, persists in the environment and is harmful to aquatic organisms.

  2. Aminophenols (M-Aminophenol, O-Aminophenol, P-Aminophenol)

    Aminophenols are a group of chemicals used in permanent hair dying and bleaching products. There is strong evidence that they can cause scalp and skin irritation.

  3. Artificial Colours (e.g. Azo Dyes)

    Artificial Colours are made from petroleum products and other fossil fuels like coal tar. They have a long history of health risks associated with them and may be contaminated with heavy metals (eg. lead) and their salts like arsenic.

  4. Artificial Fragrances

    Artificial Fragrances are commonly made using petroleum-based products like aldehydes, benzene derivatives, phthalates and more which appear on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) list of hazardous materials.

  5. Bronopol

    Bronopol, developed as a pesticide, is used in skincare and makeup products as a preservative. There is a high risk of it being contaminated with the class 1B carcinogen, formaldehyde.

  6. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

    Butylated Hydroxyanisole is an antioxidant used to keep cosmetic and skincare products from spoiling. It is a class 2B carcinogen according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

  7. Methylene Chloride

    Methylene Chloride is used in many metal polishes and aerosol cleaners. It’s associated with a higher risk of lung cancer and is banned in the US.

  8. Methylphenols (Cresol)

    Methylphenols are a wide group of chemicals used as solvents and deodorisers in household cleaners. They’re associated with severe eye, lung and skin damage.

  9. DMDM Hydantoin

    DMDM Hydantoin is a formaldehyde-releasing preservative used in rinse-off and leave-one body care products like shampoos, conditioners, and moisturisers. Formaldehyde is a class 1B carcinogen according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

  10. Ethanolamines (Monoethanolamine, MEA, Diethanolamine, DEA, Triethanolamine, TEA)

    Ethanolamines, found in many hair dyes and conditioners, are associated with severe eye and lung irritation. Some have even been banned in Canada and the EU because of the high risk of being contaminated with carcinogenic nitrosamines.

  11. Formaldehyde (Formalin, Methylene Glycol)

    Formaldehyde and formaldehyde containing ingredients, used in household cleaning, and hair products, are class 1B carcinogens according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

  12. Hydroquinone

    Hydroquinone is used in nail products, complexion correctors and dark spot creams. It’s banned from use in cosmetics in Australia, Japan and the EU because it is severely skin irritating.

  13. Nonylphenol Ethoxylates

    Nonylphenol Ethoxylates are a group of surfactants used in household detergents and some personal hygiene products to remove dirt, grime and grease. They break down in the environment into persistent, bioaccumulating substances with extreme toxicity to fish.

  14. Oxybenzone

    Oxybenzone is widely used in sunscreens. It’s absorbed through the skin and causes allergic reactions in sunlight.

  15. Optical Brighteners

    Optical Brighteners are used in laundry detergents and even some toothpaste to make clothes and teeth brighter. Many are not biodegradable in waterways and accumulate in aquatic organisms.

  16. Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl & Ethyl)

    Parabens, a category of cosmetic preservatives, are associated with hormone disruption and are toxic to aquatic ecosystems.

  17. Perchloroethylene (PERC)

    Perchloroethylene is used in a lot of spot removers, carpet and upholstery sprays to lift stains. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies it as a possible human carcinogen.

  18. Petrolatum

    Petrolatum is at high risk of being contaminated with byproducts from the manufacturing processes. Many of the chemical residues do not biodegrade and have been shown to accumulate in ecosystems, causing long term harm.

  19. Petrochemicals (Butane, Propane)

    Petrochemicals like butane and propane are used in cleaning products to dissolve grease and grime. They are linked to cancer and lung conditions. Butane alone is responsible for over 50% of the solvent related deaths per year in the UK.

  20. Phenoxyethanol

    Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in cosmetics, skincare and baby care products. It’s associated with some strong reactions like eczema and potentially harm reproductive health, especially in children.

  21. Phenylenediamine

    Phenylenediamine is used in many permanent hair dyes and naturally occurring in black henna. It can potentially disrupt hormone balance, sensitise the scalp and is toxic to aquatic life.

  22. Phthalates

    Ortho-Phthalates are a group of plasticizers and solvents, used in detergents, nail polishes, glues, and even children's toys. They are severely damaging to aquatic ecosystems, damage to human reproductive organs, developmental issues, and cancer.

  23. Polyethylene Glycols (PEGs and Ceteareths)

    PEGs are a group of related compounds used in personal care and cosmetic products to prevent them from drying out. They are at risk of being contaminated with a probable human carcinogen called 1,4-Dioxane.

  24. Resorcinol

    Resorcinol is a byproduct of coal manufacturing used in permanent hair dying products. It is associated with disrupted thyroid function, resulting in hormonal imbalances.

  25. Sodium Nitrite

    Sodium Nitrite is used in surface sprays and aerosol cleaners to kill bacteria. It’s associated with severe lung damage and may degrade into carcinogens in the body.

  26. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate

    Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate, commonly used in body care products, has been shown to cause irritation and allergic reactions.

  27. Stearalkonium Chloride

    Stearalkonium Chloride is used in hair products, especially conditioners to reduce static and soften hair. It was developed as a fabric softener and can cause skin and eye irritation.

  28. Toluene (Butylated Hydroxytoluene, BHT)

    Toluene and its related compounds are derived from benzene and used in personal care products as an antioxidant. Toluene can cause scalp, skin, eye and lung irritation. It may also be contaminated with benzene (a known human carcinogen).

  29. Triclosan

    Triclosan is used in face washes, soaps and toothpastes. Originally developed as a pesticide, it has been banned by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) because it can harm the immune system, is persistent in ecosystems and might be toxic to plants and animals.

  30. Urea (Diazolidinyl, Imidazolidinyl)

    Diazolidinyl Urea and Imidazolidinyl Urea, preservatives found in makeup, are formaldehyde releasers. Formaldehyde is a class 1B carcinogen according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

These are the food ingredients that we will not accept in the products we sell:

  1. Artificial Colours (e.g. Blue E133, Caramel E150b, E 150c and E150d, Red E127, Red E129, Red E123, Yellow E102, Yellow E110)

    Artificial Colours have been linked a slew of health concerns, including cancer and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

  2. Artificial Flavours

    Artificial Flavours are made using a huge number of different compounds, many of which don’t occur naturally.

  3. Artificial Sweeteners (e.g. Acesulfame E950, Aspartame E951, Sucralose E955, Saccharin E954)

    Artificial Sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes, some associated with cancer. More recent studies suggest that artificial sweeteners with other carbohydrates might affect insulin resistance.

  4. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

    Butylated Hydroxyanisole is an antioxidant used to keep foods and beverages from spoiling. It is a class 2B carcinogen according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

  5. Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

    Butylated Hydroxytoluene acts as a preservative in foods (especially processed meats). It’s banned from use in foods in Australia, Canada, Japan and the EU due to carcinogenic potential.

  6. Corn Syrup (High Fructose Corn Syrup, HFCS)

    High Fructose Corn Syrup is found in a staggering number of different factory foods, from fizzy drinks and sweets to bread and cereals. It’s very strongly related to massive increases in national obesity and related illnesses.

  7. Cottonseed & Canola Oil

    Cottonseed & Canola Oil are responsible for an enormous ecological burden. They are grown using vast amounts of water, broad-spectrum insecticides.

  8. DATEM (Mono- and Diacetyltartaric Acid Esters of Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, E472e)

    DATEM is a commonly used bread and dough mix additive. It’s used to condition dough for fluffier bread but may pose health risks, especially in children and pregnant women.

  9. Flavour Enhancers (e.g. Monosodium Glutamate E621)

    Flavour Enhancers are used to make processed, factory ‘foods’ taste nice. They can be habit-forming with harmful side effects including asthma, migraines, and learning difficulties.

  10. Nitrates & Nitrites (Potassium Nitrite E249, Sodium Nitrite E250, Sodium Nitrate E251)

    Nitrates & Nitrites are a collection of preservatives used mostly in processed foods and meats. Many of them are associated with heart disease, cancer, and disruption to healthy digestion.

  11. Sodium Benzoate

    Sodium Benzoate is one of the most commonly used preservatives in the world. It is associated with many health risks including inflammation, allergies, and may even degrade into benzene.

  12. Sulphates & Sulphites (Sulphur Dioxide E220, Sodium Sulphite E221, Calcium Sulphite E226)

    Sulphates & Sulphites are commonly added to dried fruit and wines to extend shelf life. They are associated with child and adult-onset asthma, hives, and nausea.

We have printed these ingredients onto a handy shopping guide that you can carry around with you and check when in doubt. If you don't have one yet, get in touch with our customer service team so we can add one to your next order!

Note to Suppliers: This list is for educational purposes and consumer awareness only. It is not a comprehensive list of ingredients prohibited by Faithful to Nature. Additionally, it is not intended for formulators and product(s) containing none of the above listed ingredients are not guaranteed to be listed.

The ingredients below are ones we’ve decided not to ban on Faithful to Nature because they aren’t strictly bad. Read on to unpack them individually and learn a little more to help make the informed purchasing decisions for your ethical journey into conscious consumption:

  1. Nanoparticles

    Nanoparticles are any particles with a diameter of fewer than 100 nanometers. Nano-sized substances have unique properties compared to their non-nano counterparts. Research is ongoing in this area and some nano-sized ingredients are safe whereas others show potential for harm.

  2. Synthetic Ingredients

    Synthetic ingredients are often confused with artificial ingredients. In short, synthetic ingredients are substances which occur naturally but are made using sophisticated, multi-step laboratory techniques (artificial ingredients don’t occur naturally). Sometimes these techniques can have down-sides making them potentially harmful. Synthetic ingredients are occasionally referred to as “nature identical”.

  3. Sodium Benzoate (in Body & Beauty Products)

    Sodium Benzoate is an extremely effective (and popular) preservative which helps to prevent spoilage of natural ingredients, thereby reducing waste. It’s absorbed much more slowly through the skin than it is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. In very small quantities it’s considered safe - the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates the acceptable daily intake (ADI) level for sodium benzoate at 5 mg per kg of bodyweight.

  4. Colourants

    No two colourants are the same! Each colouring ingredient used to give foods, beverages, cosmetics and cleaning products their own unique colour is individually vetted for safety. We don’t allow any artificial colourants or colourants with known toxicity.

  5. Flavourants

    Flavourants are complex, proprietary products bought by food and beverage companies to add to their own products. They typically include active ingredients responsible for the flavours dissolved in a carrier substance. We don’t allow any artificial flavouring ingredients.

  6. Fragrances

    Much like flavourants, fragrances are complex, proprietary products bought by cosmetic and household brands to add a beautiful scent and mask bad smells. They include a number of active ingredients from fruits, herbs, essential oils, woods and sometimes artificial or animal secretions dissolved in a carrier substance. We don’t allow any artificial or animal-derived ingredients.

  7. Talc

    Talc is a naturally occurring mineral used in cosmetics and skincare products. It’s known as the softest mineral in the world making it useful for many applications. We don’t allow it in any baby powder products, but it is recognised as safe in asbestos-free cosmetics.

  8. Mica

    Mica is a naturally occurring mineral used in cosmetics and skincare products. It lends a beautiful glitter and shimmer. Mica mined in India has been embroiled in controversy for some years now. We will not list any products we know or suspect to contain Mica implicated in child labour practices.

  9. Palm Oil

    Palm Oil is a natural raw material which is refined into hundreds of other ingredients. Irresponsible farming of palm oil is associated with habitat destruction and the endangering of at-risk animals. It can however be farmed sustainably with better ecology in mind. We leave the decision making regarding how palm oil fits into your sustainable journey to you, but we provide you with all of the information you need to do so consciously.

  10. Titanium Dioxide

    Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring compound used as a white pigment or active sun-blocking ingredient for UV protection. Micronized titanium dioxide (i.e. nanoparticle TiO2), or powdered titanium dioxide in dry products may be potentially harmful but non-nano TiO2 is recognised as safe in sunscreens.

  11. Maltodextrin

    Maltodextrin is a refined carbohydrate with a very high glycaemic index (85-105) where glucose is 100. It’s made from starchy vegetables like maize, potato, and wheat. We won’t list any products containing maltodextrin which we know or suspect to be made from GMO corn, and some may wish to avoid it in foods.

  12. Vitamin A (Skin Care)

    Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient vital for proper immune function and occurs naturally in many foods. There are two forms of vitamin A - retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids are photosensitive and may lead to skin irritation when exposed to UV light. Carotenoids on the other hand are photoprotective and may be applied topically during the day. As always, it’s best to read the ingredients and directions carefully.

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