Watch out: hormonally active substances, allergy-triggering fragrances, petroleum and palm oil - all ingredients that we do NOT want in our cosmetic products.

A little warning : I've been thinking for a long time about whether I can and should post this here. If you read it carefully, the first thing you'll do is clean out the bathroom. This could get expensive. But long-term health damage is more expensive. The fact that all the negative effects of the bad INCIs are always referred to as "supposed" or "is suspected" is simply because none of the huge cosmetics giants have any interest in conducting EXTENSIVE scientific studies. In the end, there is no reason for cosmetics given to rely on harmful ingredients. Except: money. Because worse is so much cheaper. And please don't forget when reading, I myself am an advocate of natural cosmetics and you won't find any of these ingredients in any of the Voyanics or Holistic products. And: This is the first part. There's more...but let's just start somewhere.

As an ingredient in cosmetics, parabens are suspected of having a hormonal effect. This means that they can act in the body in a similar way to hormones - often similar to the female sex hormone estrogen and thus disrupt our natural hormonal balance. Therefore, they are potentially dangerous and particularly unsuitable for pregnant women (and growing babies), toddlers and adolescents.

Parabens are often found as preservatives in cosmetics and care products. Many conventional products contain paraben compounds - from shampoo to toothpaste.

Not all paraben compounds are dangerous; according to the European Union's scientific committee, some are even harmless if certain concentration limits are adhered to. In 2015, the EU Commission even lowered the maximum concentration of the two preservatives propylparaben and butylparaben. These two substances are suspected of being able to influence the hormonal system.

However, other parabens accumulate in the body and are associated with diseases and phenomena such as infertility, diabetes, premature puberty and hormone-related cancers such as breast, testicular and prostate cancer!

According to the Federal Office for Risk Assessment, the use of isopropyl, isobutyl, pentyl and phenylparaben should be avoided. Why we find parabens in conventional cosmetics is inexplicable to me.

This is how you recognize parabens on the INCI lists: They end in -paraben, here are a few examples:

  • Methylparabens
  • Ethylparabens
  • Pentylparabens
  • Benzylparabens
  • Phenylparabens
  • Butyl parabens
  • Propylparabens
  • Isopropylparabens
  • Isobutylparabens

Perfume : Such a pleasant word and one of the most common ingredients in cosmetics with no real effect, at least when it comes to synthetic fragrances (I'm not talking about essential oils here, as they have therapeutic benefits in addition to smell)

Almost all body lotions, shower gels, deodorants, etc. contain fragrances. These are usually only declared as “perfume” or “fragrance” and we consumers have no idea how many (toxic) individual ingredients are hidden behind this word. According to the EU Cosmetics Regulation, “perfume” does not have to be listed with its individual components for competitive reasons, which can be a “carte blanche” for all ingredients, so to speak. Many fragrances are considered to be harmful to health because they can trigger or worsen allergies. And also as hormonal changes.

Artificial musk scents - the so-called polycyclic musk compounds - are also potentially dangerous: They can accumulate both in the human body and in the environment and are not only suspected of causing allergies, but have also been shown to have hormonal effects and carcinogenicity in animal experiments.

I often comment on “perfume” – and since you don’t know what this term means in every product, I STRONGLY advise against it. At least for babies, children, young people, pregnant women and people who are prone to allergies or who already have skin problems (an unknown itch, for example, if you don't completely avoid scent and take the signs on your skin as a signal, it's your own fault, sorry).

PEG + SLS PEG AND PEG derivatives (polyethylene glycol) as well as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) are used as surfactants or emulsifiers in all foaming products. Shampoo, toothpaste, cleansing gel, shower gel etc.

PEG and PEG derivatives make our skin more permeable. It tends to be good for good active ingredients, but unfortunately we live in a world full of pollutants. They are therefore particularly critical for irritated skin and can potentially trigger allergies. They may also contain residues of ethylene oxide, which are potentially carcinogenic.

PEG and PEG derivatives are questionable not only from a health perspective but also from an environmental perspective: the substances are often made from environmentally harmful petroleum and are difficult to break down when they reach a certain molecular weight. And with washable products, they also end up in the water through the drain.

You can recognize PEG and PEG derivatives in cosmetics on the ingredients list

  • the abbreviation “ PEG ” in conjunction with a specific number (e.g. PEG-8, PEG-15, PEG-32)
  • at an “ -eth ” in the name of a substance. (for example sodium laur eth sulfate)

A little more about sodium laurel sulfates: They dry out the skin and can quickly cause skin irritation. They are also considered to be potentially allergenic.

are marked as such on the ingredients list according to INCI (International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients).

PEG/PEG derivatives and sodium lauryl sulfates are not permitted in certified natural cosmetic products. For example, coconut surfactants are used here.

Shampoos and other cosmetics mainly contain so-called sodium lauryl sulfates. These are negatively charged and thus attract dirt. In shampoos, sodium lauryl sulfates, or SLS for short, ensure good foaming.

Sodium lauryl sulfates belong to the group of aggressive surfactants (washing substances) and have various negative effects on skin and hair.

SLS have a strong degreasing effect and dry out the scalp in particular. You notice this when your scalp suddenly itches and even flakes. Long-term use can cause allergies and other skin problems.

Shampoos with sulfates not only attack the scalp, but also the skin of the face. They can quickly irritate mucous membranes and eyes. Sodium lauryl sulfates are said to cause red eyes or mild inflammation in the eye area.

Lauryl sulfates are quickly absorbed through the skin and then remain in the body. Unfortunately, the skin is not a one-way street; around 60% of the applied cosmetics are absorbed through our skin organ.

Attention: The above-mentioned sulfates were originally developed for cleaning machines and oily machines. This shows how aggressive the cleaning effect of this ingredient really is.

Sodium lauryl sulfates are easy to recognize on shampoo packaging because they are usually labeled with exactly this name.

Unfortunately, petroleum (mineral oil and translated as “mineral oil”, which almost sounds good and natural) is contained in some form in an extremely large number of cosmetic and care products. Many cosmetic ingredients are made from petroleum. Avoiding it completely is therefore difficult, especially in conventional cosmetics.

On the one hand, petroleum occurs in cosmetics such as hand creams or lipsticks as a greasy component in the form of paraffins (for example as paraffinum liquidum, isoparaffin) or, for example, as “wax”.

On the other hand, petroleum is the starting material for many other ingredients in conventional care products - for example PEG/PEG derivatives, some fragrances, phthalates or UV filters.

Crude oil is extremely problematic for the environment, particularly due to increasingly risky extraction and exploitation. As a component of care products, it is not directly harmful, but it is not really helpful either: the skin is “sealed”, so it appears smooth and soft, but does not receive any real care. The most environmentally harmful deception and actually disgusting when you consider WHAT exactly we are putting on our skin.

Especially since contamination is regularly found in care products with petroleum-based ingredients. In addition, so-called MOSH (saturated mineral oil hydrocarbons) and MOAH (aromatic mineral oil hydrocarbons) are harmful to health.

MOSH are easily absorbed by the body and can be deposited in some organs. MOAH are suspected of being carcinogenic and mutagenic. Crazy, right?

We recognize petroleum-based fats as an ingredient in care products by these names:

  • Paraffin Liquidum
  • Isoparaffin
  • (Microcrystalline) Wax
  • vaseline
  • Mineral Oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Cera Microcrystalline
  • Ceresin
  • Ozocerite

Other ingredients that are made from petroleum are much harder to detect. You can only really completely avoid petroleum in cosmetics by consistently using certified natural cosmetics.


Although known as a negative ingredient, it is still common. Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that many cosmetic manufacturers add to their products - for example as small beads in peeling or simply as a super cheap filler.

Sewage treatment plants cannot currently filter microplastics from wastewater, so the plastics end up in the environment and especially in the oceans. They remain there. And the damage they cause to marine organisms can already be seen.

Environmental protection organizations such as Greenpeace and BUND repeatedly and very clearly warn against plastics in cosmetics and the term microplastics also includes plastics (polymers) that are water-soluble or can occur in the products in a liquid, gel-like, waxy structure or in nano size.

Greenpeace and BUND unanimously recommend against the following ingredients in cosmetics:

  • Acrylate Copolymer (AC)
  • Acrylate Crosspolymer (ACS)
  • Polyamides (PA, Nylon-6, Nylon-12)
  • Polyacrylates (PA)
  • Polymethyl methacrylates (PMMA)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polyethylene terephthalates (PET)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polystyrene (PS)
  • Polyurethanes (PUR)
  • Acrylates Copolymer (AC)
  • Acrylates Crosspolymer (ACS)
  • Polyquaternium (PQ)
  • Polyacrylates (PA)

    You are on the safe side with genuine natural cosmetics - petroleum-based polymers are generally not permitted here.

    Palm oil

    Palm oil is not only found in many cleaning products, but also as an ingredient in many cosmetic products, as it has a moisturizing and antioxidant effect. But mainly because it is super cheap for the manufacturers (at the expense of the environment). Every time palm oil appears in a product, it could have been replaced with another variant of oil. Palm oil is not necessary.

    And it is not harmful to us or our health, but the massive use is a complete catastrophe for the environment: hectares of valuable rainforest are destroyed through slash-and-burn agriculture - and that is a serious problem for our global climate.

    Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to keep track of all the different names behind palm oil. For example, almost all ingredients that contain the word “palm” or “palmitate” refer to palm oil.

    Many ingredients can, but do not have to, have palm oil as a base; For example, it can be hidden behind the terms Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate or Stearic Acid.

    So, unfortunately there are other ingredients that, in my opinion, don't belong in good cosmetics, but if you want to clean out your bathroom with this list, please feel free to do so! There will be a very nice discount code live tomorrow, because a lot of things will probably end up in the trash now .

    Oh well, the question should now legitimately arise as to why all of this is allowed and approved at all. Well, the crucial question. I would say politics and lobbying. Money. And in my opinion, the beauty industry is the “dirtiest” (ingredients and communication about them) ever. Unfortunately. But I'll clarify further.