No way, not in our makeup
Our mission isn’t to be clean-ish. It’s to be cleanest. So we’re hawks when it comes to harmful chemicals – obsessing over the latest scientific studies and regulatory news, and updating our stringent standards in real time. You’ve come here seeking the safest beauty products out there, and we take that responsibility seriously.
This No List represents just one of the ways we meet that commitment. Developed with a team of research scientists, it’s a running list of chemicals you won’t see in products on our site. Because when it comes to your health, you shouldn’t have to do any guesswork.
The NakedPoppy ‘No’ List
Some ingredients you’ll never find in our products
Animal Oils, Fats, and Musks
Ingredients used in cosmetics for diverse purposes, including to create a certain texture or scent. Can cause skin irritation. In some cases, they're not good for animal welfare or the environment.
Can be found in eye makeup, lipstick, and foundation.
Animal-Derived Stem Cells
Ingredients used to try and promote younger looking skin. The effects of animal-derived stem cells in personal care products are understudied, but in some cases have caused adverse skin reactions and tumor growth.
Can be found in products that describe themselves as "anti-aging".
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Antioxidants linked to health concerns including cancer, hormone disruption, and organ toxicity. To learn more, read our blog post about BHA and BHT.
Can be found in lipstick and eyeshadow.
Used for a variety of purposes, including as an emulsifier and binder. Carrageenan contributes to inflammation in the body.
Can be found in a range of skin care and personal care products as well as some bronzers and highlighters.
Used to filter harmful UVA/UVB rays. Chemical sunscreens have been linked to endocrine disruption and environmental harm. They may also contribute to cell damage. Chemical sunscreens include oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octocrylene. Instead, NakedPoppy allows mineral sunscreens that are shown in research to effectively protect against the sun. These include zinc and titanium dioxide sunscreens.
Can be found in a variety of makeup and personal care products including lip balms with SPF, moisturizers and foundations with SPF, concealers and other makeup with SPF, nail products, and hair products.
Chemicals that may contribute to endocrine disruption and reproductive issues. They're also harmful to the environment, as they build up in nature over time. Cyclical silicones include cyclotetrasiloxane (D4), cyclopentasiloxane (D5), cyclohexasiloxane (D6), and cyclomethicone.
Can be found in foundation, eyeliner, lipstick, concealer, and skincare products.
Clear, colorless thick liquids used to help form emulsions and used as pH adjusters. May contribute to skin and eye irritation, respiratory sensitization, and be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals like nitrosamines. Ethanolamines include monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), and triethanolamine (TEA).
Can be found in skin care products, mascara, eyeliner, and foundation.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA)
Acts as a chelating agent to bind up free metal ions to improve stability of personal care products. Although EDTA compounds don't cause serious concerns to human health, they may cause skin and eye irritation and can also harm aquatic life.
Can be found in blush, foundation, and mascara.
(Except for phenoxyethanol at <1%)
Ethoxylation is a process in which ethylene oxide, a carcinogen, is used to synthesize ingredients. A common byproduct of the process is 1,4-dioxane, also a known carcinogen. Ethoxylated ingredients include polyethelene glycol (PEG) compounds, polysorbate compounds, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and more.
Can be found in a wide range of makeup and skin care products including mascara, eyeliner, and foundation.
Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasers
(Except for phenoxyethanol at <1%)
Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, doesn't usually appear on ingredient labels but can be created if certain chemicals called "formaldehyde releasers" are used. Formaldehyde releasers include bronopol, diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, and more. To learn more, read our blog post about formaldehyde.
Can be found in eyeshadow, eyelash glue, and nail polish.
Used to lighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation, hydroquinone is the derivative of a known carcinogen and can cause skin irritation.
Can be found in skin care products.
Methyl cellosolve or 2-Methoxyethanol
Used as a solvent. Can cause cell damage, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and developmental problems, as well as skin and eye irritation.
Can be found in creams described as "anti-aging", eyelash extension glue, and remover solvents.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
Chemicals used as preservatives that can lead to skin/eye irritation, skin sensitization, and may be neurotoxic.
Can be found in moisturizers, cleansers, mascara, and makeup with SPF.
Mineral Oil and Paraffin
A byproduct of petroleum distillation that can carry carcinogenic impurities. Highly persistent in the environment.
Can be found in a range of cosmetics including lip gloss, lipstick, lip balm, eyeshadow, concealer, and SPF products.
Ingredients used to bring down the white cast of mineral sunscreens. They may be harmful to human health and have been shown to hurt the environment. Nanoparticles are between 1 and 100 nanometers in size. Because they're so small, they could get absorbed more easily through the skin.
Can be found in sun care products and certain color cosmetics.
Chemicals used as preservatives. Some parabens might contribute to endocrine disruption and cancer. To learn more, read our blog post about parabens.
Can be found in a wide variety of cosmetics.
Used to improve the cosmetic feel when applied to the skin. Polytetrafluoroethene (PTFE), also known as Teflon™, is linked to hormone disruption, as well as developmental and reproductive toxicity.
Can be found in eyeshadow, foundation, and bronzer.
A petroleum-derived chemical that acts as a barrier on the skin's surface and is often recommended for dry skin. However, petrolatum often isn't refined enough to remove the impurities that make it toxic to human health. Health concerns related to impurities include cancer and adverse developmental outcomes.
Can be found in petroleum jelly, lip balm, lipstick, lip gloss, and eyeshadow.
A group of compounds used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Includes dibutyl phthalate (DBP), di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), and more. Phthalates have been linked to endocrine disruption, lower IQ scores in children, early onset of puberty in girls, and reduced sperm count in men. They're also harmful to the environment. Phthalates don't usually appear on the ingredient list but may be part of "fragrance," which can be made up of dozens, if not hundreds, of chemicals. They're commonly used as scent carriers. To learn more, read our blog post about phthalates.
Can be found in a wide range of makeup and skincare products.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
An ingredient used to create that foaming experience you get when using products like face wash and soap. While SLS likely isn't very harmful to human health or the environment, it's a common skin irritant. To learn more, read our blog post about SLS.
Can be found in products that foam.
Used to give structure to certain cosmetics. Styrene is a known carcinogen so residual styrene monomers may contaminate the raw material used.
Can be found in eyeliner, sunscreen, and skincare products.
A group of chemicals, which vary between products, that give cosmetics a flavor. Depending on the ingredients included, synthetic flavor could have a variety of effects including increased risk of cancer and disruption to the endocrine system.
Can be found in lipstick, lip gloss, and other lip products.
A group of chemicals, which can vary widely, used to deliver a scent. Fragrance is considered a "trade secret," so companies aren't required to disclose the ingredients in a given synthetic fragrance. There can be hundreds of undisclosed chemicals used to make the fragrance, some of which can be hazardous. To learn more, read our blog post about synthetic fragrance.
Can be found in a wide range of makeup and skincare products.
A soft mineral that is often used as an absorbent in cosmetics. While the main concern with talc is due to its potential contamination with asbestos, there are studies suggesting a potential link between talc and cervical cancer.
Used in powdered products.
Triclosan and Triclocarban
Antimicrobial chemicals often used as preservatives in soaps, toothpaste, and other personal care products. Have been linked to health issues including organ toxicity, skin and eye irritation, reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption. They're also toxic to aquatic life and persistent in the environment. NakedPoppy often gets asked about triclosan, so we blogged in more detail about it here.
What About These Other Ingredients?
NakedPoppy often gets asked about these ingredients as well. We've reviewed the scientific research carefully and approach them as follows:
An ingredient extracted from insects used to pigment makeup, especially lip color, with red coloring. NakedPoppy allows its use, but any product made with carmine will be clearly labeled and isn't considered vegan.
Heavy metals like lead and nickel aren't used in cosmetics as ingredients. But they can be present in trace amounts if certain ingredients were sourced in nature, because heavy metals are ubiquitous in nature. NakedPoppy tests each batch of its own products for heavy metals. We encourage our brand partners to do the same.
Due to their molecular structure, some silicones — linear ones, like dimethicone — are safe for human use. However, linear silicones can be associated with skin irritation and environmental concerns so we allow them sparingly.
A common skin conditioner or emollient, palm oil poses no known harm to human health but is often harvested in an unsustainable fashion. NakedPoppy discourages the use of unsustainably sourced palm oil and actively encourages the use of RSPO-certified palm oil. RSPO refers to the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil.
A preservative used to help kill or prevent the growth of microbes, the EU has found phenoxyethanol to be safe in concentrations of 1% or less. Safe preservatives are extremely important in preventing harmful microbial growth, so NakedPoppy permits phenoxyethanol when used in concentrations of 1% or less. However, since phenoxyethanol is ethoxylated, NakedPoppy works with its brand partners to ensure it's purified and there are no residual contaminants of concern.