Ingredients We Avoid

Simply; we don’t use them. They are unnecessary when there are perfectly good natural options that are incredibly good for your skin.

This is a list of some ingredients that Natural Instinct avoids because they are man-made and of synthetic form. So if you want to avoid unnecessary chemicals, here is a quick reference to check out or read our top 10 worst ingredients to avoid.

Alcohol denat. (denatured alcohol)

Denatured using a petrochemical by-product. May cause skin sensitivities.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Chemical bleaching agent used to remove colour and whiten products. Can be used to treat blemishes. A strong oxidant that is irritating to the skin.


Synthetic anti-oxidants which can cause sensitivity reactions in users.

Bismuth oxychloride

Synthetic, crystalline powder used in cosmetics as a filler. Can block pores and increase the chance of skin irritation.

Carboxymethyl cellulose (cellulose gum)

Synthetic thickening agent used in cosmetics, foods and surfactants. Has been linked to increased skin reactions.


Generally synthetic with many derived from coal tar dyes. Some colourants are formed by reacting with metals such as Barium, Sodium and Calcium. Can be source of skin irritations in some individuals.


Diethanolamine (DEA) are a group of chemical compounds including Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, Linoleamide DEA and Oleamide DEA. NDEA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine) forms when DEA compounds react with nitrosating agents or the actual addition of nitrite as a preservative. NDEA is a strong sensitiser and can cause skin irritation. DEA chemicals are used to adjust the pH of a product.

Dimenthicone (and other methicone ingredients)

Synthetic silicone emollient used in cosmetics which forms a barrier on the skin, thus not allowing the skin to breathe and allow impurities to escape.

Emulsifying waxes (and the "fatty acids")

Petroleum derived ingredients that help prevent products from separating. Can be irritating to the skin.


A preservative that has been phased out of use due to its suspected carcinogenic effects. It is a toxic gas and is usually found as a solution which is also toxic.


Many fragrances are a combination of over 200 synthetic chemicals. Fragrance ingredients are one of the main causes of skin sensitivity reactions.


Highly toxic solvent that can be used to extract essential oils and active materials from plant matter. Not permitted for use in organically certified oils and extracts.

Imidazolidinyl urea

Synthetic preservative that can react within the product to release formaldehyde (see above).

Laureth family (ingredients with laureth, laurate or lauryl extensions)

Group of surfactants and emulsifiers. Raw/Impure forms of these chemicals can contain toxic impurities and are linked to skin sensitivies.


Synthetic preservative ingredient that can cause skin sensitisation reactions. Toxic in its concentrated form.

PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid)

Group of sunscreen agents that can produce nitrosamines within the product. Nitrosamines are known skin sensitisers.


Synthetic preservatives that can cause skin reactions in some individuals.

Paraffin wax

Petroleum derived wax that can form a barrier on the skin and reduce the skin natural elimination of toxins.


PEG, Polyethylene Glycols. Synthetic petroleum derived emulsifiers and emollients that can cause skin reactions in some individuals.


Commercial blend of several synthetic preservatives including phenoxyethanol, methylparben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben & isobutylparaben. Can cause skin reactions in some individuals and not recommended to be used at levels above 1 – 1.5%.


Synthetic preservative that can cause skin reactions in some individuals.

Propelene glycol

Petroleum derived synthetic ingredient that has been associated with allergic reactions and skin irritation.

PVP/VA copolymer

Synthetic petroleum derived ingredient that is a film former. Found in hair sprays and other hair fixative products and coats the hair strand.

Quaternium, 7, 15, 31, 60

Group of synthetic preservatives that all function by producing formaldehyde in the product. May cause skin reactions and other sensitivity reactions. If used should not exceed recommended usage levels.

Sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate

Synthetic preservative that can irritate the skin. Claims to be naturally derived.

Synthetic elastin

Synthetic version of elastin. Can suffocate skin and hold in moisture and prevent skin from breathing.

Talc powder

Mineral that is drying on the skin. Can contain traces of heavy metals and other impurities.


Synthetic chemical that has anti-microbial properties. Under certain conditions it liberates cholroform. Several animal based studies have indicated that it may be an endocrine (hormone) disruptor.


Widely used pH adjuster in skin care products. Alkaline and reacts with fatty acids to form soaps found in cleansers. Also known as TEA. Low grade and poor quality TEA can contain high levels of nitrosamines (see DEA and Nitrosamines above) that are known skin sensitisers.

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