The Never Ever (Ever) List™

Banner Image

No Nasties. No B.S. Just Pure Wellness.

Leave the label reading to us — we’re keeping it clean for you. Our list includes all the ingredients we've banned to ensure that no product in our store contains these harmful substances. We make these choices not just with a sense of duty to health and the environment, but because we genuinely care about the wellbeing of our community.

Our standards are set to offer you peace of mind, allowing you to shop with confidence, knowing you're choosing from among the most conscientious options available.

A by-product unintentionally formed in the production of some cosmetics and personal care ingredients. It is not intentionally added but results from certain chemical reactions during manufacturing.

  • Use: Contaminant (unlisted in ingredients labels)
  • Why it isn't good: Classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a probable human carcinogen and environmental pollutant
  • Commonly found in: Shampoos, body washes, and other products containing ethoxylated surfactants

A group of organic compounds used primarily as UV filters in various formulations.

  • Additional Names: Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-2, Benzophenone-3 aka Oxybenzone, Benzophenone-4, Benzophenone-5, Benzophenone-6 Benzophenone-8, Benzophenone-9, Benzophenone-11, Benzophenone-12
  • Use: UV filter, photostabilizer
  • Why it isn't good: Linked to endocrine disruption and may cause allergic reactions
  • Commonly found in: Sunscreen, nail polish

A chemical compound used as a preservative that helps prevent bacterial contamination.

  • Additional names: 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol
  • Use: Preservative, biocide
  • Why it isn't good: Known to release formaldehyde; a known carcinogen classified by The International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is also a strong irritant and can be hazardous to the environment, leading to potential aquatic toxicity
  • Commonly found in: Shampoos, conditioners and lotions

A synthetic antioxidant that prevents oxidation in fats and oils, thereby extending the shelf life of products.

  • Use: Antioxidant, preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Classified as a likely carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, BHA has been linked to various health issues, including reproductive and developmental problems in animal studies
  • Commonly found in: Cosmetic products, skincare items like diaper creams and makeup, as well as food products containing oils and fats

A synthetic antioxidant used to prevent oxidation and extend shelf life of products.

  • Use: Preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Suspected of causing liver, thyroid, and kidney problems. It is also associated with potential risks of lung function impairment and effects on blood coagulation. Classified as a possible human carcinogen
  • Commonly found in: Packaged foods, cosmetics, skincare, cleaning products and laundry detergents

A fine black powder produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products.

  • Use: Pigment
  • Why it isn't good: Classified as a possible human carcinogen and associated with respiratory issues
  • Commonly found in: Eyeliners, mascara

A thick, viscous liquid by-product derived from the coal distillation process.

  • Use: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory agent
  • Why it isn't good: Contains carcinogenic compounds and can cause skin irritation and other health issues with long-term exposure
  • Commonly found in: Medicated shampoo, skin creams, ointments, and anti-dandruff treatments

A synthetic preservative that releases formaldehyde to protect cosmetics from spoilage.

  • Use: Preservative
  • Why it isn't good: It releases formaldehyde, which can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions
  • Commonly found in: Hair care products, cosmetics, and bath products

A group of organic chemical compounds used as emulsifiers and surfactants.

  • Use: Surfactant, pH adjuster
  • Why it isn't good: Associated with skin and eye irritation, and the potential formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines
  • Commonly found in: Cleansers, soaps, shampoos, all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergents and floor cleaners

A volatile organic compound used for its preservative benefits that helps prevent microbes from spoiling cosmetic products. Formaldehyde itself is rarely listed as an ingredient on product labels because it is not typically added directly to products in its pure form. Instead, formaldehyde is often released slowly over time from formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.

  • Use: Preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a known carcinogen. It can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, and has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly in scenarios where users are exposed to it over extended periods
  • Commonly found in: Hair straightening products, nail polishes, hair dyes, false eyelash adhesives and other cosmetics that require a longer shelf life

Formaldehyde-releasers are a group of preservatives designed to release a small amount of formaldehyde over time to prevent microbial growth.

  • Common formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, Bronopol (2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol)
  • Use: Preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Release formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. People with sensitive skin or respiratory issues may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of formaldehyde released by these compounds.
  • Commonly found in: Shampoos, conditioners, body washes, moisturizers, cosmetics and cleaning products

Natural metallic elements (e.g. Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, and Cadmium) that can be toxic and are often found as contaminants in various cosmetic products.

  • Use: Contaminants, not intentionally added but occur as impurities or during manufacturing (not listed in ingredients labels)
  • Why it isn't good: Toxic and can cause a variety of health problems, including neurological damage, kidney and liver damage, and developmental issues
  • Commonly found in: Color cosmetics like lipstick and eyeliner, skin lightening creams, and other products where colorants are used

A chemical commonly used in sunscreens and skin care products with SPF, is known for its ability to absorb UVB rays.

  • Use: UV filter
  • Why it isn't good: It is a potential endocrine disruptor, meaning it can interfere with hormonal function. It's also been linked to reproductive and developmental issues. Additionally, it poses environmental concerns, particularly for marine ecosystems, as it contributes to coral bleaching and damage when washed off into oceans.
  • Commonly found in: Sunscreens, lip balms, moisturizers, foundations

A synthetic organic compound used in sunscreens and other products for its ability to absorb UVB and UVA rays.

  • Use: UV filter
  • Why it isn't good: Potential endocrine disruptor and environmentally pollutant. It's particularly harmful to coral reefs, contributing to coral bleaching and damage, making it a significant concern in marine conservation.
  • Additional Names: Benzophenone-3
  • Commonly found in: Sunscreens, moisturizers, lip balms, and makeup with SPF

A group of are widely used as preservatives in many cosmetics and personal care products. They help extend the shelf life of products by preventing microbial growth.

  • Use: Preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Potential estrogen-mimicking effects, which may be linked to increased breast cancer risk and reproductive issues. Additionally, their presence in wastewater has ecological implications, affecting the hormonal balance of aquatic life.
  • Commonly found in: Moiturizes, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, facial and shower cleansers, and make up

A white or colorless soft solid derived from petroleum, coal, or oil shale.

  • Use: Plasticizer, solvent
  • Why it isn't good: May contain impurities linked to cancer and other skin issues. In skincare, it is problematic because it creates a barrier on the skin, trapping dirt and impurities. This can lead to clogged pores, skin irritation, and disrupt the skin's natural moisture regulation, especially problematic for sensitive or acne-prone skin types.
  • Commonly found in: Moistuirizers, lotions, creams, nail polishes, lip balms and hair sprays

Chemicals used to make fragrances last longer and plastics more flexible.

  • Includes: Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Diethyl phthalate (DEP) and Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Use: Plasticizer, solvent
    Why it isn't good: Known endocrine disruptors and linked to developmental and reproductive issues including early onset puberty, reduced sperm count, and brain development harm. Their widespread use and persistence in the environment raise concerns about their impact on human health and ecological systems, including wildlife
    Commonly found in: Perfumes, nail polishes, hair sprays, aftershaves, air freshners, scented candles, cleaning products with fragrance

A type of plastic used in cosmetics to create a smooth, slippery surface that facilitates easy application.

  • Additional names: Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether, DEA-C8-18 Perfluoroalkylethyl Phosphate, Teflon
  • Use: Texture enhancer, binding agent
  • Why it isn't good: Can be a concern if inhaled as a powder in makeup products. Environmental persistence and the potential for bioaccumulation raise further concerns
  • Commonly found in: Foundation, pressed powders, loose powder, bronzer, eye shadow, mascara, and blush

A quaternary ammonium salt used as a preservative in various personal care products.

  • Use: Preservative, antimicrobial agent
  • Why it isn't good: Known formaldehyde releaser, a known carcinogen
  • Commonly found in: Shampoos, conditioners, skincare products, and cosmetics

SLS is known for its strong cleaning power and ability to produce suds or foam, while SLES is a gentler variant.

  • Use: Surfactant, foaming agent
  • Why it isn't good: Can cause skin, lung and eye irritation and may be contaminated with potentially carcinogenic by-products like 1,4-dioxane. These ingredients also raise environmental concerns due to their toxicity to aquatic life
  • Commonly found in: Shampoos, body wash, toothpaste

A natural oil derived from the liver of sharks.

  • Use: Moisturizer, emollient
  • Why it isn't good: Its sourcing contributes to shark overfishing, impacting marine ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Commonly found in: Moisturizers and anti-aging creams

A clear, water-insoluble liquid derived from coal tar or petroleum.

  • Use: Solvent, paint thinner
  • Why it isn't good: Toxic to the nervous system - exposure can lead to symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Chronic exposure may result in more severe neurological and developmental problems. It's particularly hazardous during pregnancy, as it can affect fetal development. Toluene is also an environmental concern, as it contributes to air and water pollution
  • Commonly found in: Nail polish, hair dyes and paints

An antimicrobial chemical used in personal care products.

  • Use: Antibacterial agent, preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Endocrine disruptor and contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It's also been found in human bodily fluids, raising questions about its long-term health effects. Environmentally, triclocarban is persistent and can accumulate in aquatic ecosystems, negatively impacting wildlife.
  • Commonly found in: Facial wash, body wash, hand sanitizers, deodorants and cleansers

An antimicrobial agent used to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination.

  • Use: Antibacterial agent, preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Linked to hormone disruption and contributes to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It can also persist in the environment and negatively impact aquatic life, disrupting ecosystems
  • Commonly found in: Facial wash, body wash, antibacterial soaps and disinfectants

A volatile compound commonly used in cleaning products due to its effectiveness in cutting grease and cleaning glass.

  • Use: Cleaner, degreaser
  • Why it isn't good: Ammonia fumes can irritate the eyes, respiratory tract, and skin. High exposure can result in severe health problems.
  • Commonly found in: Window cleaners, floor polishes, and bathroom cleaners

A type of quaternary ammonium compound used for its antimicrobial properties to disinfect surfaces

  • Use: Disinfectant, preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Can cause skin and respiratory irritation. It is also toxic to aquatic life
  • Commonly found in: Disinfectant sprays and wipes, hand sanitizers

A chemical compound used as a preservative that helps prevent bacterial contamination.

  • Additional names: 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol
  • Use: Preservative, biocide
  • Why it isn't good: Known to release formaldehyde; a known carcinogen classified by The International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is also a strong irritant and can be hazardous to the environment, leading to potential aquatic toxicity
  • Commonly found in: Household cleaners and personal care products

A synthetic antioxidant used to prevent products from deteriorating.

  • Use: Preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Suspected of causing liver, thyroid, and kidney problems. It is also associated with potential risks of lung function impairment and effects on blood coagulation. Classified as a possible human carcinogen
  • Commonly found in: Cleaning products and laundry detergents

A solvent used to dissolve dirt and grease and also aids in reducing the surface tension of water.

  • Use: Solvent, grease remover
  • Why it isn't good: Can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. Long-term exposure may damage blood cells and the liver
  • Commonly found in: Multi-purpose cleaners, degreasers, and window cleaners

A group of organic chemical compounds used as emulsifiers and surfactants.

  • Use: Surfactant, pH adjuster
  • Why it isn't good: Associated with skin and eye irritation, and the potential formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines
  • Commonly found in: Cleansers, soaps, all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergents and floor cleaners

A volatile organic compound used for its preservative benefits that helps prevent microbes from spoiling cosmetic products. Formaldehyde itself is rarely listed as an ingredient on product labels because it is not typically added directly to products in its pure form. Instead, formaldehyde is often released slowly over time from formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.

  • Use: Preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a known carcinogen. It can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, and has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly in scenarios where users are exposed to it over extended periods
  • Commonly found in: Disinfectants

Formaldehyde-releasers are a group of preservatives designed to release a small amount of formaldehyde over time to prevent microbial growth.

  • Common formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, Bronopol (2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol)
  • Use: Preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Release formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. People with sensitive skin or respiratory issues may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of formaldehyde released by these compounds.
  • Commonly found in: Cleaning products

Natural metallic elements (e.g. Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, and Cadmium) that can be toxic and are often found as contaminants in various cosmetic products.

  • Use: Contaminants, not intentionally added but occur as impurities or during manufacturing (not listed in ingredients labels)
  • Why it isn't good:
  • Heavy metals can accumulate in the body and cause a variety of health issues, including skin irritation, neurological damage, kidney and liver damage, and developmental issues, especially with prolonged exposure
  • Commonly found in: Paints, pesticides, and old plumbing systems affecting water-based products

A group of chemicals used to resist stains, grease, and water.

Use: Stain and water repellent

Why it isn't good: Persistent in the environment and linked to serious health conditions, including cancer and thyroid disease

Commonly found in: Cleaning products, non-stick surfaces and stain-resistant carpets

Salts used to soften water and enhance the effectiveness of detergents.

  • Use: Water softener, detergent booster
  • Why it isn't good: Contributes to algae growth in water systems, leading to environmental damage
  • Commonly found in: Dishwasher detergents and laundry detergents

Chemicals used to make fragrances last longer and plastics more flexible.

  • Includes: Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Diethyl phthalate (DEP) and Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Use: Plasticizer, solvent
  • Why it isn't good: Known endocrine disruptors and linked to developmental and reproductive issues including early onset puberty, reduced sperm count, and brain development harm. Their widespread use and persistence in the environment raise concerns about their impact on human health and ecological systems, including wildlife
  • Commonly found in: Cleaning products with fragrance

A synthetic material known for its exceptional resistance to heat, chemicals, and electrical insulation properties

  • Additional names: Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether, DEA-C8-18 Perfluoroalkylethyl Phosphate
  • Use: Non-stick coating for cleaning equipment, protective layer in cleaning products
  • Why it isn't good: When overheated, it releases fumes that can be toxic; exposure has been associated with various health concerns, including hormonal disruptions, immune system issues, and potential carcinogenic effects. The concerns are heightened due to the bioaccumulation and persistence of these compounds in the environment and the human body.
  • Commonly found in: Non-stick cookware and some fabric protectors

A clear, water-insoluble liquid derived from coal tar or petroleum.

  • Use: Solvent, paint thinner
  • Why it isn't good: Toxic to the nervous system - exposure can lead to symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Chronic exposure may result in more severe neurological and developmental problems. It's particularly hazardous during pregnancy, as it can affect fetal development. Toluene is also an environmental concern, as it contributes to air and water pollution
  • Commonly found in: Paint thinners

An antimicrobial agent used to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination.

  • Use: Antibacterial agent, preservative
  • Why it isn't good: Linked to hormone disruption and contributes to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It can also persist in the environment and negatively impact aquatic life, disrupting ecosystems
  • Commonly found in: Antibacterial soaps and disinfectants

These are synthetic substances designed to mimic the taste of natural ingredients.

Why they aren’t good: Artificial flavors are unnecessary in supplements and can cause allergic reactions or other health issues in sensitive individuals. Natural alternatives can provide flavor without the need for synthetic chemicals.

Typically found in: Flavored vitamin gummies, chewable tablets, and protein powders

Chemical substances made in laboratories, used to improve the visual appeal of products.

Why they aren’t good: Linked to behavioral issues and allergic reactions, artificial dyes are not essential for the effectiveness of supplements and can be replaced with natural color sources.

Commonly found in: Vitamins that are marketed to children, as well as in some capsules and tablets to enhance appearance

Synthetic substitutes for sugar that provide sweetness without adding calories.

Why they aren’t good: They can interfere with the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake and blood sugar levels. Long-term use may be linked to negative health effects like metabolic disorders.

Commonly found in: chewable vitamins and low-calorie protein powders

A highly processed form of liquid sugar derived from corn.

Why they aren’t good: It is connected to obesity and other metabolic diseases and is unnecessary in supplements, which are meant to promote health.

Commonly found in: Liquid supplements, protein shakes, and effervescent tablets

Inert materials used to bulk up the volume of supplements or aid in the manufacturing process.

Why they aren’t good: They dilute the active ingredients, potentially reducing the efficacy of the supplement and can cause digestive issues.

Commonly found in: Capsules, tablets, and powder mixes where they are used to make the product cheaper to produce

Oils that have been chemically altered to be solid at room temperature, often creating unhealthy trans fats in the process.

Why they aren’t good: They can increase bad cholesterol levels and reduce good cholesterol, contributing to cardiovascular disease.

Commonly used as binders in tablet-based supplements and sometimes in vitamin gummies to enhance texture and shelf life

Derivatives of petroleum used in the manufacture of some additives found in food and supplements.

Why they aren’t good: These by-products can be harmful and have been linked to cancer and other serious health issues. They are unnecessary and potentially hazardous in products meant for health improvement.

Occasionally found in supplements as lubricants or coatings for pills and capsules

Last updated in May 2024

Sources

European Commission Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), California Prop 65 Chemical List, Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Environmental Working Group (EWG), National Institutes of Health (NIH).