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Keeping it Green and Natural - Ingredients We Avoid and You Should Too

March 05, 2019

When we’re shopping for new personal care products, we set the standard high. We want clean, natural ingredients that support our bodies instead of harming us. Feeling confident in our purchases, knowing we’re doing something good for our bodies and the environment, is extremely important to us.

We take our personal well-being philosophy to heart–it’s as much a part of Puriya as it is in our personal lives, and we want to share what we’ve learned about buying safe products. That way, whether you’re shopping with us or someone else, you’re in control of your experience!

Ingredients We Never Use

We never buy products for our own personal use that contain these dirty, harmful ingredients  and you definitely won’t find any of them in Puriya.


Phthalates are used in cosmetics for a wide array of purposes and their level of safety varies, however, all phthalates are considered harmful to humans. They have been linked to disrupting the endocrine system, causing developmental and reproductive toxicity, and in some cases, cancer.

On your product labels, look for phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP, or fragrance and avoid products that contain any of these, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.


Used in cosmetics as UV-filters for sun protection and as a preservative, studies have shown nanoparticles have potential to cause toxicity through inhalation and skin absorption, although little is known about the potential effects on our health and environment due to research gaps. However, there’s enough evidence for us to err on the side of caution. Better safe than sorry!

When checking your product labels, look for fullerenes, micronized zinc oxide, nano zinc oxide, micronized titanium dioxide, or micronized quartz silica. It’s a good idea to avoid cosmetics in loose powder form and aerosol sunscreens containing nanoized ingredients.

Synthetic Fragrances

Now this one gets a little tricky because of how fragrance is listed on ingredient labels. Fragrance is often listed as fragrance, perfume, parfum, or aroma, but you likely won’t be able to tell if the ingredients being used are synthetic or naturally derived. Chemical compounds used to create fragrance have been linked to health effects including cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, and sensitivities.

When deciphering whether or not you can trust the safety of fragrance being used in your personal care products, it may come down to your trust of a particular brand. Many modern brands will clarify the sourcing of their fragrance somewhere on their website. When in doubt, check the FAQ or reach out to the brand for clarification.


While sulfates aren’t toxic to our bodies, they’re essentially a degreaser, stripping our skin of its natural, essential oils that keep our skin soft, healthy, and balanced. Using products with sulfates can strip your skin, causing sensitivity, irritation, and potentially contribute to allergic reactions.

Check your labels for sodium laurel sulfate, sodium coco sulfate, or other variations ending with the word sulfate in the ingredient name.

Formaldehyde Carriers

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are used to prevent microbes from growing in water-based cosmetics and have been linked to both cancer and allergic skin reactions. Most often, they’re used in hair and nail products, as well as baby shampoo.

To avoid formaldehyde in your products at home, check your labels for formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol), and glyoxal.

Harmful Additives

Sometimes referred to as ethanolamine compounds, these harmful additives are found in a wide range of products from cosmetics to personal care products and household cleaning supplies. MEA, DEA and TEA have been linked to liver tumors, making them one of the dirtiest ingredients out there.

From makeup to your go-to home cleaning spray, check your labels for triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, and TEA-lauryl sulfate.

Harsh Preservatives

While we avoid both parabens and 1,2 hexanediol in our personal lives and Puriya, the most common of the two is definitely parabens. They’re used in many cosmetics to prevent microbe growth, and unfortunately, have been linked to disrupting the human endocrine system, causing cancer and both developmental and reproductive toxicity.

It’s particularly wise of pregnant women and young children to avoid parabens, so check your labels for ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, and other ingredients ending in –paraben.

In addition to these dirty, harmful ingredients, it’s also important for our products to be cruelty-free, with no harm done to our animal friends, and that our plant-based ingredients are sourced from sustainable sources to protect our environment.

There’s a lot to be aware of but don’t let it overwhelm you. With time it becomes easier to avoid and spot these dirty ingredients and begin living a more natural, clean lifestyle. Consider this your cheat sheet to leading a healthier, happier life!

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