When it comes to ingredients, the norm should always be questioned. Because it rarely stays still for long. New discoveries are coming to light every day, and we want what’s best for you and the planet.

With the help of Dr. Barbara Olioso - founder of the Green Chemist Consultancy - we’ve built a list of things you’ll never see in what we sell, as well as ingredients to avoid, limit or look for in green brands.


The stuff we don’t want to see. None of our brands use these treatments or practices.


incl. methyl, ethyl, propyl, isopropyl, butyl, isobutyl, phenyl parabel
. Too little is known about these ingredients. And they’ve also been found in breast cancer
tissue. For these reasons, we’d prefer to cut them out.

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors

incl. DMDM hydantoin, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, diazolidinyl urea, 2-bromo-2-
nitropropane-1, 3-diol, glyoxal, polyquaternium-15
. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen - it’s banned in cosmetics. But other ingredients
may release formaldehyde too. Either way, we ensure your skin is safe from absorption.


incl. DPB, DMP, DEP
. Despite making substances more soluble, these ingredients have been linked to hormone
disruption. Often, they hide behind parfum fragrances. But we’re 100% phthalates-free.

Placentaincl. proteins, lipids, enzymes, extracts
. Beyond ethical concerns, consuming or using placentas can harm human health. BSC (a
fatal neurodegenerative disease) can be passed from sheep to people.

BHA / BHT(Butylated Hydroxyanisole / Butylated Hydroxytolune)
. These preservatives disrupt your hormones as well. There are absolutely no BHA or BHT
additives in our store.

Again, it’s a disruptive agent - meant to fight fungi and bacteria, but damaging to natural
hormone production.

UV filters

incl. oxybenzone, octinoxate
. More research is stacking up against UV filters and their role in bleaching coral reefs. Both
Florida and Hawaii are already initiating a blanket ban in cosmetics.

Plastic microbeads

The UK was one of the first countries to outlaw cosmetic microbeads. We stick to this law
with due diligence for every brand we review.

Petroleum derivatives

incl. petroleum jelly, paraffin oil, paraffin wax, mineral oil
. Oil-based products can’t last. We’re already encouraging the switch to greener, more
natural ingredients. There’ll be a lot of research involved, but we want to support it.

EDTA salts and compounds

incl. tetrasodium, trisodium, disodium
. It’s a common preservative booster. Yet EDTA can latch to and solubilise Mercury, which
releases harmful vapours. Instead, we prefer the many green options at our feet.


There are many grades of talc under one name: some are safe, but others contain
asbestos. We’d rather be safe and avoid talc altogether.


Animal testing has been illegal in Europe since 2013. Not just for cosmetics - for any
consumer product. Our store falls in line with these laws on every level.


Our ‘sometimes’ label is for ingredients that are worth reducing.
They’re also potentially sensitive to some buyers’ bodies.


For some, this preservative can make the face sting when used in excess of 0.7%. Which is
why you might want to avoid it.

Synthetic colours

Investigations into food colourings are being carried out around the world. Many are
ongoing. We can’t say for sure whether they’re good or bad, but try to stay mindful.

Synthetic fragrance

There’s a broader spectrum of notes to savour from synthetic products. Just be aware
they aren’t natural. We want to give you a choice between the two - whatever’s

Carbomers, acrylates and silicones incl. dimethicone

These ingredients don’t biodegrade. However, you may want to put the product
experience first, and they tend to bind oils and lotions together.

Sulphates incl. SLS and SLES

These detergents are effective and don’t cost much. However, they can irritate certain
skin types. Sensitive customers may want to pass them up.

Propylene glycol

It’s what’s known as a penetration enhancer. That means it bypasses your skin’s natural
defences, and can have a more abrasive effect.

PEGS incl. polysorbates, polythene glycol

PEGS enhance product performance, but contain traces of 1,4-Dioxane - a water
pollutant. We prefer to limit them where we can.

Ethanolamine compounds incl. MEA, DEA, TEA

Negative reactions can occur with other substances; the combo might generate
carcinogenic nitrosamines. So although MEA, DEA and TEA are legal, some pairings

Nano titanium dioxide

It’s a UV filter, but oxidises without a good coating. We like the alumina coating best,
since it remains when released into seawater.

Are we missing anything? Tell us.

We’re always looking to improve and refine our green credentials. There’s so much happening online. Or down the road. Next door. From kids with phones or gardeners with muddy hands. Everyone can pitch in with their vision.

If you have any ideas, please get in touch.