Check your cosmetics to discover if your products are free from harmful ingredients

Remember to check your cosmetics (facial creams, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, deodorant, toothpaste, sunscreen, baby products, etc) for hormonal disruptors, environmental contaminants and carcinogens - see e.g. following list of examples of ingredients in cosmetics that are either considered or suspected to be harmful to health.

If you could decide yourself, you would not voluntarily put harmful ingredients into your skin every day. Nevertheless, this is what millions of people do several times a day every day. Food, skin care, make-up and hair care can contain a cocktail of harmful substances that can harm your body and organism. Not much is done to decrease the total amount of harmful substances. So it is up to each of us as individuals to take the initiative and change our habits.

In pure shop we get many inquiries every day about which ingredients to avoid and which ones that are safe to use. The entire cosmetic and beauty industry is based on many myths which you can easily avoid if you have the correct facts with you. Here are some facts:

The main lubricants in most creams are liquid paraffin and mineral oil which are both low cost waste products from crude oil. Paraffin (liquid paraffin), propylene glycol, petrolatum and mineral oil are dumped from oil refineries in mega-quantities to the cosmetic industry. They are inexpensive and stable. However, they clog pores and prevent the skin from "breathing". Your skin gets addicted to them and literally peels if you stop using them. Often when changing from mineral oil skin care to natural ones, the skin detoxes itself and cleanses out the old toxins. 

Most manufacturers who use synthetic preservatives say they use only minimal quantities, and that it is necessary to prevent growth of bacteria in the products. Synthetic/artificial preservation gives products 5-7 years shelf-life, necessary when producing hundreds of thousands of cream jars. We agree that conservation is necessary, but conservation can be achieved naturally giving about 2-3 years shelf-life which is plenty for organic producers and much nicer for the consumer. Synthetic/artificial preservatives can be carcinogenic, hormone disrupting and neurotoxic! Proven carcinogens, mutagens and substances toxic to reproduction (CMR) are generally not allowed in cosmetics. However, it is permitted to use CMR substances in category 3, if the substances in the permitted levels are not considered to be harmful! But in our opinion these permitted levels of harmful substances are problematic as the combination effects of how substances react together are not involved sufficiently in this judgement. This means that although the substances occur only in very small, "harmless" amounts, they can, when combined with other substances in the "safe" levels, have a harmful effect. This is also called the "cocktail effect" or 0 +0 +0 = 7.

Many products claim to be natural or organic, but continue to contain harmful synthetic preservatives, colorants and fragrances. The best way to be sure is to check for yourself. Start to read labels of ingredients, this is the best way to be sure. See also the list of examples below.

Pesticides used on non-organic plants and herbs, have only been around for the past 50 years. They are so toxic that if they were being invented today, they would be banned. They are proven carcinogenous, they pollute our bodies and our environment. They cause birth defects, damage the immune system and our reproductive systems.

Organic herbs, essential oils and cold pressed oils retain their nutrients and active ingredients to a higher degree. The extracts are so complex that often it is not possible to identify all the constituents. Our experience has shown that these extracts give superior results than their non-organic counterparts (in addition to being pesticide-free).

Carefully developed organic skin care products not only brings harmony and health to the skin but to our whole body and the entire environment.

In pure shop, we have checked the list of ingredients for you! As the only organic beauty store in Europe, we only sell organic beauty products that either have or meet the requirements for organic cosmetic certifications. Furthermore, as the only organic beauty store we do not allow any of the following three problematic synthetic preservatives; parabens, phenoxyethanol and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate in any of our brands. All skin care products at pure shop are organic, plant-based products without synthetic or harmful ingredients and without substances suspected by the EU to be hormone disrupting. The products have no ingredients from animals and contain no synthetic preservatives, colorants or fragrances.

Examples of organic cosmetic certifications and cooperations: Soil Association (SA), Ecocert, BDIH, NaTrue and others


Please check for yourself which of the following examples of harmful ingredients that you can find in your current cosmetic products:

1) Harmful mineral oils:
These are used as basic ingredients in many brands and are inexpensive waste products from crude oil. The oils are intended to work as a thin film that protects the skin, but actually the oils clog pores, so your skin cannot breath. Examples of mineral oils are: 

  • liquid petrolatum
  • mineral oil
  • paraffin oil
  • liquid paraffin
  • petrolatum
  • vaseline
  • propylene glycol (from mineral oil)
  • white mineral oil and similar mineral oils

2) Examples of hormone disruptors from the EU list and environmentally harmful synthetic solvents, plasticizers, emulsifiers, binders, cleaning chemicals, etc., all inexpensive ingredients which are often used to soften and bond together the ingredients in conventional products. E.g.:

  • phthalates (as used in nail polish and hair spray are endocrine disruptors, resulting in birth defects and damage the reproductive system)
  • formaldehyde
  • sodium flouride
  • polyacrylamide and other acrylates (acrylamides)
  • isopropyl alcohol
  • cocoamide MEA
  • cocamidopropyl betaine
  • BHA (butyl hydroxyanisole)
  • 3-benzylidene camphor
  • 4,4'-dihydroxy-benzophenone
  • benzophenone-1
  • benzophenone-2
  • boric acid
  • cyclotetrasiloxane
  • diethyl phthalate (DEP)
  • dihydroxybiphenyl
  • hydroxycinnamic acid
  • triclosan
  • some of the PEG´s (polyethylene glycols)
  • some polysorbates
  • DEA (diethanolamine) and TEA (triethanolamine)  both interacting with nitrites to form carcinogenic substances. Is forbidden in Germany. Are readily absorbed through skin and accumulated in the internal organs
  • sodium lauryl sulfate
  • toluene
  • tetrasodium EDTA
  • disodium EDTA
  • resorcinol
  • sodium laureth sulfate (SLS ell SLES) (= sodium laureth sulfate) (found in 90% of all shampoos, face wash, etc. SLS / SLES are both suspected to cause hair loss and kidney damage as well as to accumulate in brain, liver, heart and kidneys, and to inhibit children's eye development
  • others.

 3) Problematic synthetic preservatives that are not allowed in organic cosmetic certificatiions or preservatives on the EU list of substances suspected of being hormonal disruptors. 
These substances are cheap and easy to use and allows skin care products to have a long shelf-life, approx. 5-7 years. Parabens for example, also known as hydroxyl (benzoates) acids is a group of very common-used preservatives. They penetrate the skin, act as an artificial estrogen, and are found in breast cancer cells. 

  • It is not possible to obtain an organic cosmetic certification if one of the following examples of preservatives are contained in the product:
  • sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (formaldehyde precursors)
  • phenoxyethanol (often used now instead of the more common-used parabens)
  • butylparaben
  • isobutylparaben
  • propylparaben
  • isopropylparaben
  • methylparaben
  • ethylparaben
  • other parabens
  • others

4) Synthetic harmful hair color dyes
(e.g. azo dyes: "FD & C No. ....")

5) Harmful synthetic fragrances
(these artificial scents have been associated with: birth defects, asthma and breathing problems, poisoning of the neuro system, depressions and irritability, headaches, etc.

6) Harmful and / or hormonal disrupting ingredients on the EU list as synthetic sunscreens e.g.:

  • ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate
  • octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC) ...

Other sources: "The Safe Shoppers Bible" by Epstein Steinman,,, Organic Consumer's Association (USA), Öko-Test in Germany and the various organic cosmetic certification bodies, e.g. Soil Association, Ecocert, NaTrue, Cosmos, BDIH, etc.