It's What We Don't Stock That Makes Us Different

JustGoodness works hand in hand with several organizations that work as ‘verification partners’. These companies include The Good Market and the USDA Certification Body. All products listed for purchase on JustGoodness have been checked, tested and verified by these partners.

The Ingredient and Material Guide supplements the minimum standards of these bodies.  You can search within the page for specific ingredients and materials. If you cannot find the ingredient or material you are looking for, please get in touch. 

​Here are the underlying principles:

  • Ingredients and materials from natural biological and mineral sources that our bodies and ecosystems have evolved to process and metabolize over thousands of years are allowed.
  • Compounds with known health and environmental risks are NOT PERMITTED.
  • Transparent information about all ingredients and materials so people are able to make informed decisions must be included. 

"Nature-identical" ingredients are not considered natural because they are extracted or manufactured using compounds that our bodies and ecosystems have not evolved to process and metabolize. 

In order to maintain alignment with international organic and natural certification systems, some ingredients and materials that do not meet these principles have been included in the permitted list.  This may be updated in the future based on community input.  

  • ACETIC ACID (E260)

    Acetic Acid or Synthetic Vinegar (E260) is not permitted for natural food because it is an industrial additive.  It may be synthesized from petroleum derivatives.  Natural vinegar made by fermenting traditional foods is the recommended alternative.

  • AGAR (E406)

    Agar (E406) is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Agar is used as a thickener, gelling agent, and vegetarian alternative for gelatin.  It is naturally derived from red algae and traditionally used in Asian desserts.

  • ALUMINIUM​​

    Aluminium that is in a biologically available form and can be absorbed into the body is not permitted.  Aluminum-based compounds like aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium are the active ingredients in antiperspirants. They block sweat glands to keep sweat from getting to the skin’s surface. Research suggests that these compounds may be absorbed into the skin and bind to blood cells and hormones.  Biologically available aluminium is a known neurotoxin and a risk factor for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  Mined aluminum salts like potassium alum and ammonium alum are permitted under the natural category.  The molecules are not absorbed by the skin.  When used as a deodorant, they form a protective layer on the skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

  • ANTIMICROBIALS

    Chlorinated antimicrobials like triclosan and triclocarban are not permitted.  They are used in a wide range of consumer products including detergent, soap, shampoo, deodorant, body lotion, cosmetics, toothpaste, mouthwash and clothing. They are also embedded into plastic that is used to make furniture, fitness mats, toys, and cutting boards.  Chlorinated antimicrobials can be ingested or absorbed through the skin and don't degrade easily. They can react with other compounds to form toxic dioxins.  They are associated with adverse endocrine, thyroid, and reproductive changes and their use can lead to resistant strains of bacteria.  They are also harmful to fish and other wildlife.

  • ASCORBIC ACID (E300)

    Ascorbic acid is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Ascorbic Acid is part of the Vitamin C complex. It is used in food as an antioxidant.  It is usually synthesized from corn syrup which may be genetically modified.

  • BAKING POWDER

    Baking powder is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Baking powder is made from baking soda and an acid and is used as a raising agent in baking.  It can be made at home from baking soda and cream of tartar.  Commercial baking powder often contains other acids (e.g. monocalcium phosphate, sodium aluminum sulfate, sodium acid pyrophosphate) and starches (e.g. cornstarch).  Cornstarch may be genetically modified.  Some consumers may want to know whether the baking powder is aluminum-free.

  • BAKING SODA (E500)

    Baking Soda also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Baking soda is used as a raising agent in baking.  It can be naturally mined.  It can also be made by treating soda ash with carbon dioxide.

  • BENZOIC ACID

    Benzoic acid and its salts (e.g. sodium benzoate) are synthetic preservatives and therefore are not permitted for food and beverages under the Good Market minimum standards.  In order to maintain alignment with international organic and natural certification systems, benzoic acid and its salts are permitted for personal care products.  They are not recommended ingredients, and they must be clearly labeled so customers can choose.  Sodium benzoate is often a hidden secondary ingredient in “natural” extracts and other raw materials.  Benzoic acid salts are mild skin irritants and can cause allergic reactions.  They are implicated in asthma and eczema.  When mixed with Vitamin C, they can form benzene, a known carcinogen.

  • BHA & BHT

    BHA and BHT are synthetic antioxidants that are used as preservatives.  They are not permitted.  BHA and BHT are suspected endocrine disruptors that can interfere with hormone function and may cause cancer.  In animal studies, it causes skin depigmentation, liver damage and stomach cancers, and disrupts reproductive system development and thyroid hormone levels.  They are harmful to fish and other wildlife.

  • BISPHENOL (BPA)

    Bisphenols are used to make lightweight, hard plastics and epoxy resins.  Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor that interferes with the production or activity of hormones. There are concerns that it disrupts the reproductive system and fetal development.  Bisphenols are found in food and drink packaging, water bottles, baby bottles, plastic dinnerware, eyeglass lenses, toys, and medical devices. BPA epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal food cans, bottle tops, water supply pipes, etc.  It is also used in thermal receipt paper and fax paper.  BPA is not recommended, but it can be difficult to source BPA free materials in some parts of the world.  Consumers should be informed if BPA materials are used and efforts should be made to transition to BPA free options.

  • BORAX

    Sodium borate or borax is a naturally mined boric acid salt used in detergents and as a pesticide.  It is permitted, but it is a skin, eye, and respiratory irritant and should be handled carefully.

  • CALCIUM CHLORIDE (E509)

    Calcium chloride (E509) is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about industrial processes.  Calcium chloride is a salt used as a firming agent in soybean curd (tofu) and some cheese and for preservation.  It is a byproduct of the Solvay process, which is used to produce soda ash from salt and limestone.

  • BHA & BHT

    BHA and BHT are synthetic antioxidants that are used as preservatives.  They are not permitted.  BHA and BHT are suspected endocrine disruptors that can interfere with hormone function and may cause cancer.  In animal studies, it causes skin depigmentation, liver damage and stomach cancers, and disrupts reproductive system development and thyroid hormone levels.  They are harmful to fish and other wildlife.

  • CAMPHOR

    Natural camphor is derived from the sap of specific evergreen trees and is permitted.  Synthetic camphor is not permitted. Camphor can be toxic if consumed.  Laboratory tests show that the synthetic form is more toxic than the natural form.

  • CARRAGEENAN (E407)

    Carrageenan is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Carrageenan is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier.  It is extracted from red seaweed and highly processed.  Some people have an allergy or sensitivity to carrageenan.  It has been associated with gastrointestinal inflammation and disease.

  • CITRIC ACID (E330)

    Citric acid is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Citric acid is used as a natural preservative and approved for certified organic foods.  It is produced by growing the mold Aspergillus niger on a carbohydrate. The mold is filtered out and the solution is treated with calcium hydroxide to yield calcium citrate salt, which is treated with sulfuric acid to yield citric acid.  The mold and carbohydrate may be genetically modified.  Citric acid can cause food intolerance symptoms for people with mold or sulfur sensitivities.

  • CORNSTARCH

    Cornstarch or cornflour is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Cornstach is used as a thickener.  It is produced by soaking, separating, and drying corn.  It may be made from genetically modified ingredients.

  • CREAM OF TARTAR

    Cream of tartar, also known as potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartrate is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Cream of tartar is used as an acidity regulator.  It can be combined with baking soda as a raising agent in baking.  It is a natural acid byproduct of wine making.

  • DEHYDROACETIC ACID (DHA)

    Dehydroacetic Acid (DHA) and its salts are preservatives.  In order to maintain alignment with international organic and natural certification systems, DHA and its salts are permitted for personal care products.  They are not recommended ingredients, and they must be clearly labeled so customers can choose.  DHA is often combined with benzyl alcohol.  EU restricts use in products for lips.

  • EPSOM SALTS (E518)

    Epsom Salts or magnesium sulfate is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Epsom Salt is an acidity regulator.  It can be used as a firming agent in tofu.   It is mined from natural mineral deposits. ​

  • ERYTHRITOL

    Erythritol, xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol and other polyols are not permitted because they are not traditional or natural foods.  They are food additives made by hydrogenating sugar.  The human body is not able to absorb them or process them, and they can cause gastrointestinal problems.  They may be made from genetically modified ingredients.  Stevia and natural unrefined sweeteners are recommended alternatives.

  • ESSENTIAL OILS

    An essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing the volatile oils, or essence, of a plant.  It can have antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.  Essential oils that are naturally extracted through steam distillation are permitted.  Essential oils produced with petroleum-based solvents are not permitted.

  • ETHANOLAMINES

    Ethanolamines, including coco amides, cocamide diethanolamide (DEA), monoethanolamide (MEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) are synthetic foaming agents made from coconut oil.  They are not permitted.  In lab studies, ethanolamines cause liver cancer and pre-cancerous changes in the skin and thyroid.  They can react with nitrites in products to form carcinogenic nitrosamines.  There is potential for bioaccumulation and they are acutely toxic to aquatic life. 

  • ETHOXYLATED INGREDIENTS

    Ethoxylated ingredients are synthetic conditioning and cleaning agents that are frequently contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.  The ingredients often contain the letters "eth," e.g. polyethylene glycol (PEG), ceteareth, and sodium laureth sulfate.  ​They are not permitted.  Ethylene oxide is a known human carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane is a possible human carcinogen.  They have been linked to brain, breast, and uterine cancer and leukemia.  Ethylene oxide can also harm the nervous system and may interfere with human development.  The 1,4 dioxane contaminant is persistent and can bioaccumulate in the environment.  

  • FLAME RETARDANTS

    Halogenated flame retardants, also known as organohalogen flame retardants, contain chlorine or bromine bonded to carbon.  They are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and present significant risks to human health and environment. Examples include PBDE, DecaBDE, and TDCPP. They are associated with endocrine disruption, reproductive, neurologic, and immune impairment, and cancer.  They are used in baby products, textiles, furniture, electronics, and building materials.  Halogenated flame retardants are not recommended, but it can be difficult to source some products and materials without flame retardants.  Consumers should be informed if flame retardants are used and efforts should be made to transition to flame retardant free options.

  • FLUORIDE

    Calcium and sodium fluoride are permitted in toothpastes for oral cavity prevention if it is clearly labeled so customers can choose

  • FOOD COLORING

    Synthetic food dyes that are made out of petroleum products and coal tar are not permitted.  They are not active or necessary ingredients, and they can have adverse health and environmental effects.   Plant-based food colors can be made at home from natural ingredients like beetroot (red) and spinach (green).  Some companies produce concentrated plant-based food colors that are as bright as artificial petroleum-based food colors.  Commercial plant-based food colors that are made with synthetic additives or solvents like hexane and acetone are not permitted. 

  • FORMALDEHYDE

    Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring volatile organic compound. It does not accumulate, but it is highly toxic and a known carcinogen.  It is not permitted.  Formaldehyde is used in construction materials, pressed wood products (e.g. MDF and plywood), paints, foam insulation, textiles, leather tanning, carpeting, fingernail polish, cosmetics, cleaning products, and other consumer products.  Tosylamide is formaldehyde resin.

  • FORMALDEHYDE RELEASERS

    Formaldehyde releasers are synthetic preservatives that slowly form formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen.  Examples include DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.  Formaldehyde releasers are not permitted.  Formaldehyde may off-gas and be inhaled.  It can also be absorbed through the skin.  Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives can also cause allergic skin reactions and may be persistent in the environment.  

  • GELATIN

    Gelatin is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Gelatin is a protein extract from animal bones and tissues that is used as a gelling agent.  It is not permitted by some religions and is not consumed by vegans.

  • GENETICALLY MODIFIED

    Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are produced in a lab by inserting the genes from one species into another species to achieve a desired trait. This creates crosses that would not be possible through natural breeding. Since the long-term health and environmental impacts are unknown, they are not permitted.  The most common GM crops are canola, corn, cotton, soy, and sugar beets.  Ingredients commonly derived from GM crops include: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Lecithin, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.

  • GLITTER

    Non-compostable glitter is not permitted.  Glitter is classified as a microplastic, which means it is not caught by waste water treatment systems and flows directly into natural waterways.  Microplastics are not biodegradable or recyclable.  Once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.  They contribute to the “plastic soup” swirling around the world’s oceans.  Marine animals absorb or eat microbeads and they are passed through the food chain.  Plant-based compostable glitter is permitted.

  • GLYCERIN

    Glycerin is not permitted as a food additive because it is not a traditional or natural food.  It is used in food as a sweetener.  Glycerin is a natural byproduct of the soap making process.  Glycerin and glycerol derived from natural biological sources are permitted in personal care products.   Synthetic propylene-based glycerol is not permitted.

  • GUAR GUM (E412)

    Guar gum (E412) is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Guar gum is used as a thickener and stabilizer.  It is made from ground guar beans.  It is often used in gluten-free recipes.

  • GUM ARABIC (E414)

    Gum arabic, also known as acacia gum, is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Gum arabic is used as a thickener and stabilizer.  It is made from the hardened sap of acacia trees.

  • GYPSUM (E516)

    Food grade gypsum or calcium sulfate is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Gypsum is a salt used as a firming agent in Chinese style soybean curd (tofu) and some cheese.  It is also used for food preservation.  It is traditionally mined from natural mineral deposits.

  • HEAVY METALS

    Heavy metals (e.g. arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury) are frequently present in skin whiteners and colored cosmetics including lipstick, eye liner, eye shadow, blush, concealer, and nail polish. They are not permitted.  Some heavy metals are intentionally added as an ingredient (e.g. calomel, mercuric, thimerosal, lead acetate).  Others are present as contaminants and are not listed on the labels.  For example, when 33 popular brands of lipstick in the US were independently tested in 2007, 61 percent contained lead.  Exposure to lead is not safe at any level.  Lead can cross the placenta and enter the fetal brain and can be transferred to infants via breastfeeding.  Heavy metals build up in the body over time and cause a wide range of health problems including brain damage, cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurological problems, cardiovascular, skeletal, kidney, respiratory, and immune system problems.

  • HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP

    ​ High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is not permitted because it is an industrial sweetener. It is not a traditional or natural food.  The production process separates fructose and glucose which affects how it is processed by the body.  High fructose corn syrup is associated with increased weight gain, cancer, liver stress, and diabetes.  It may be made from genetically modified ingredients.

  • HYDROGENATED OILS

    Hydrogenated oil and margarines containing hydrogenated oil are not permitted because they are not traditional or natural food.  Hydrogenated oil or trans fats are made by synthetically altering the chemical structure of vegetable oils.  This process increases shelf life and lowers costs for manufacturers.  Most margarine is made from refined, solvent-extracted oils and may contain synthetic colors, emulsifers and genetically modified ingredients. 

  • HYDROQUINONE

    Hydroquinone is a synthetic skin bleaching chemical.  It is not permitted.  Hydroquinone can cause a skin disease called ochronosis that results in blue-black lesions or permanent black bumps.  It has caused tumor development in animal studies.

  • ISOTHIAZOLINONES​

    Isothiazolinones are anti-microbial preservatives.  They are not permitted.  Isothiazolinones are irritants and a common cause of contact allergies.  They can cause chemical burns in sensitive individuals and may be neurotoxic.  Look for ingredients with isothiazolinone in the name.  Also may be listed as Kathon, MI or MIT (methylisothiazolinone), MCI (methylchloroisothiazolinone) or BIT (Benzisothiazolinone).

  • LEATHER

    New conventionally tanned leather is not permitted.  Leather processing can involve cyanide, chromium salts, formaldehyde, arsenic, lead and mercury, which cause environmental issues and health issues for the people working in and leaving near the tanning facilities. There are also concerns that the chemicals that remain in the leather can enter the skin.  Since leather is treated with chemicals to prevent decay, it can take 50 years to decompose, and when it does decompose, it can release toxic chemicals into the environment. If leather is used in a product, it must be from a known source and made with an environmentally responsible tanning process (e.g. vegetable tanning, Naturland certified) or it must be reclaimed and recycled from material that would have otherwise entered the waste stream.  Vegan alternatives like natural cork are recommended.

  • LOCUST BEAN GUM (E410)

    Locust bean gum or carob bean gum is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Locust bean gum is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and gelling agent.  It is made from the ground seeds of the carob tree.

  • LYE

    Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, is used in soap making and in the preparation of some traditional foods.  Lye was traditionally made from wood ashes, but today it is produced industrially through the electrolysis of salt.  It is an ingredient in all soaps, but none remains in the final product.  The lye reacts with oil in a process called saponification.  The final product is soap and glycerin.  Sodium hydroxide is used to make hard soaps.  Potassium hydroxide is used to make liquid soaps.  Some companies include sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide on their ingredient list and some include “saponified oils.”  The meaning is the same.  Lye is permitted in the production process with proper safe handling measures.

  • MICROBEADS

    Microbeads are tiny particles of plastic that are used as exfoliating agents in face and body scrubs and toothpastes.  They are not permitted.  Microbeads are not caught by waste water treatment systems and flow directly into natural waterways.  They are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.  They contribute to the “plastic soup” swirling around the world’s oceans.  Marine animals absorb or eat microbeads and they are passed through the food chain.  The long-term impact of this recently introduced product is unknown.  A few states and countries have started the process to ban the production and sale of products containing microbeads, but they are still produced and used globally.

  • MILK POWDER

    Milk powder is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Milk powder is used as a substitute for fresh milk.  Traditionally milk was sun-dried.  Commercial milk powder is made by spray drying.  Heat treatment and the drying method can alter the properties of milk.  Commercial milk powder contains oxidized or damaged cholesterol, which is associated with cardiovascular disease.  Some consumers prefer to avoid milk powder.

  • NANOPARTICLES

    Nanoparticles are materials less than 100 nanometers in size. Particles exhibit new and unexpected properties at the nanoscale. For example, they are able to pass through cell membranes.  There are many potential applications in a controlled setting, but the long-term health and environmental inputs of using nanoparticles in consumer goods is unknown.  Nanoparticles are not currently subject to safety testing, regulation, or labeling in most places.  For these reasons, the use of nanoparticles outside of controlled environments is not recommended.  Nanoparticles are currently used in a number of consumer goods including food, supplements, cosmetics, personal care, apparel, cookware, toys, pet products, cleaning supplies and building materials.  

  • NIGARI (E511)

    Nigari or magnesium chloride is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Nigari is salt used as a firming agent in Japanese style soybean curd (tofu).  It is traditionally made from evaporated seawater.

  • OXYBENZONE

    Oxybenzone, octinoxate and octylmethoxycinnamate (OMC) are synthetic ingredients used in sunscreens.  They are not permitted.  These compounds are linked to inflammation, eczema, and allergies and increase production of harmful free radicals.  They are persistent in the body and are particularly toxic when exposed to sunlight.  Oxybenzone, octinoxate and octylmethoxycinnamate (OMC) may have DNA-altering affects, contribute to skin cancer, liver toxicity, and hormone and reproductive disruption.

  • PALM OIL

    Palm oil is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about sourcing and industrial processes.  The palm oil industry is associated with environmental destruction, habitat loss, and human rights abuses.  Refined palm oil may be extracted with toxic solvents.  Sustainably sourced and expeller pressed traditional oils are recommended.

  • PARABENS

    Parabens are estrogen-mimicking preservatives.  They are not permitted.  Parabens may disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorders.  They are associated with breast cancer and may interfere with male reproductive functions.  Parabens do occur natural naturally at low levels in certain foods, but they are metabolized when eaten, making them less estrogenic.  Parabens used in personal care products are synthetically derived from petrochemicals.  When they are applied to the skin, they bypass the metabolic process and enter the blood stream and body organs intact.  Look for ingredients with paraben in their name.  Also hidden on ingredient labels under the term “fragrance” or “parfum.”

  • PECTIN (E440)

    Pectin is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Pectin is used as a gelling agent, thickener, and stabilizer.  It naturally occurs in fruits and many plants.  Homemade jam can be made without added pectin through traditional slow-cooking methods.  Commercial pectin is extracted from fruit waste using hot dilute acid.  It is then concentrated, precipitated with alcohol, washed, and dried.  Some brands of commercial pectin contain fillers, synthetic sweeteners, or preservatives.

  • PERFLUORINATED CHEMICALS (PFC)

    Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) contain many strong carbon-fluorine bonds. They are persistent in the human body and the environment and have been associated with testicular cancer, kidney cancer, liver malfunction, hormonal changes, thyroid disruption, infertility, and child development issues.  PFCs are used to make products resistant to water, stains, grease or oil. Common brands include Teflon®, Scotchgard™, Stainmaster® and Gore-Tex®. PFCs are used in clothing, carpeting, furniture, non-stick cookware and utensils, personal care products, cosmetics, dental floss, microwave popcorn bags and fast food containers.  New products with perfluorinated chemicals not permitted.  ​

  • PETROLEUM PRODUCTS

    In order to maintain alignment with international organic and natural certification systems, petroleum products are permitted for personal care products.  They are not recommended ingredients, and they must be clearly labeled so customers can choose.  Petroleum products like mineral oil, petrolatum, petroleum jelly, paraffin, silicone, petroleum-derived alcohols, and petroleum-based solvents are non-renewable.  They are produced in oil refineries and may be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a known carcinogen.  PAHs also cause skin irritation and allergies.  Petroleum products can interfere with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, slow down skin function and cell development, and contribute to acne and premature skin aging.

  • PHTHALATES

    Phthalates are at group of multifunctional synthetic chemicals that is most commonly used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastics.  They are usually hidden on ingredient labels under the term “fragrance” or “parfum.”  Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is used in nail polish.  Phthalates are also found in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) #3 plastics.  They are not permitted.  Phthalates are considered an endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxin. They affect hormone function, reduce sperm counts, impair fertility, and may cause harm to unborn children. They also enhance the capacity of other chemicals to cause genetic mutations. They have been associated with liver and kidney failure in young children when products containing phthalates are sucked or chewed.  Phthalates are also harmful to fish and other wildlife.  Phthalates are used in cosmetics and personal care products (e.g. perfume, hair spray, soap, shampoo, nail polish, and skin moisturizers), soft plastic toys, housewares, food packaging, medical supplies, plastic plumbing pipes, building materials, and a wide range of other products.

  • POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC)

    Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is made from vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen, which is associated with breast and liver cancer.  It is softened with phthalates or bisphenols which are endocrine disruptors linked to reproductive health issues. The manufacture and incineration of PVC releases dioxin, a potent carcinogen that bioaccumulates.  PVC is used in packaging, stickers, home furnishings, children’s toys, automobile parts, building materials, hospital supplies, artificial leather, and hundreds of other products.  PVC is not recommended, but it can be difficult to source PVC free materials (e.g. stickers and labels) in some parts of the world.  Consumers should be informed if PVC materials are used and efforts should be made to transition to PVC free options.

  • RENNET​

    Rennet is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Rennet refers to enzymes that are produced in the stomach and are used in the production of cheese.  Rennet is traditionally made from cow stomachs.  Vegetarian rennet can be made from plant extracts or through microbial fermentation or from genetically modified microorganisms.  Consumers may want to know whether the rennet is from animal, vegetable, or microbial sources.

  • SALICYLIC ACID

    Salicylic acid and its salts are synthetic preservatives and are not permitted for food and beverages.  In order to maintain alignment with international organic and natural certification systems, salicylic acid and its salts are permitted for personal care products.  They are not recommended ingredients, and they must be clearly labeled so customers can choose.  Salicylic acid an be irritating to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.  It enhances skin absorption of other ingredients and can cause allergic reactions.  Salicylic acid may be neurotoxic.

  • SALT​

    Table salt or sodium chloride is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Salt is used as a condiment and food preservative.  It can be naturally mined or made from evaporated seawater.

  • SEASHELLS

    The majority of seashells offered for sale commercially have been collected alive, killed, and cleaned. This can damage natural ecosystems. Seashells from an unknown, unverifiable source are not permitted. If seashells are used in a product, they must be from a known, verifiable source and collected in a way that does not exceed sustainable levels or damage ecosystem health. Collection of intact spiral shells should be avoided because spiral shells provide valuable habitat to crabs and other marine animals.

  • SILOXANE

    Siloxanes are synthetic silicone-based compounds used to soften and moisten. They are not permitted.  Siloxanes are suspected endocrine disrupters and reproductive toxin. They interfere with human hormone function and can damage the liver, reproductive system, immune system, and nervous system.  They are harmful to fish and other wildlife.  Look for ingredients ending in siloxane or methicone.

  • SORBIC ACID

    Sorbic acid and its salts (e.g. potassium sorbate E202) are synthetic preservatives and are not permitted for food and beverages.  In order to maintain alignment with international organic and natural certification systems, sorbic acid and its salts are permitted for personal care products.  They are not recommended ingredients, and they must be clearly labeled so customers can choose.  Sorbic acid and its salts can cause skin allergies and rashes for some people.

  • SORBITOL

    Sorbitol, erythritol, xylitol, mannitol, and other polyols are not permitted because they are not traditional or natural foods.  They are food additives made by hydrogenating sugar.  The human body is not able to absorb them or process them, and they can cause gastrointestinal problems.  They may be made from genetically modified ingredients.  Stevia and natural unrefined sweeteners are recommended alternatives.

  • SOY LECITHIN

    Soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier and stabilizer.  Conventional soy lecithin is not permitted because it is an industrial food additive.  It is extracted from soy bean oil using hexane, which is a neurotoxin.  It is then degummed and bleached.  It is usually made from genetically modified soy.  Organic soy lecithin is produced mechanically from organic soybeans, which are not genetically modified.  Certified organic soy lecithin is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies.

  • SPIRULINA

    Spirulina is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  These microorganisms, which are also called cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, are a traditional food supplement for humans.  Spirulina is cultivated on ponds or lakes and dried.

  • STEVIA

    Stevia is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute made from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana

  • SYNTHETIC DETERGENTS

    Synthetic detergents and foaming agents are not permitted.  They are cheaper to produce than true soaps, but they tend to irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. They break down cells, damage the skin’s immune system, and accelerate the aging process. Many synthetic detergents have not been independently tested, alone or in combination with other chemicals. Synthetic detergents also have a negative environmental impact. When they enter the water system, they are harmful to fish and wildlife.  Common synthetic detergents include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), ammonium laureth sulfate (ALES), and cocoamidopropyl betaine. SLES and ALES are ethoxylated and may be contaminated with carcinogenic ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.  Liquid soaps are recommended.

  • SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES

    Synthetic fragrances are not permitted.  They are not active or necessary ingredients, and they can have adverse health and environmental effects.  Synthetic fragrances include an estimated 3,000 chemical compounds, and the majority have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination.  Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets, so manufacturers are not required to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients.  Some fragrance ingredients are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors, some can trigger allergies, asthma, and migraines, and some are harmful to fish and wildlife. 

  • TALC

    Talc is a mined mineral used to reduce skin moisture. It is related to asbestos and is not permitted.  Talc is a known carcinogen associated with ovarian cancer, lung cancer and respiratory disorders.  It is commonly found in baby powders. 

  • TITANIUM DIOXIDE

    Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral that is an effective physical sunscreen.  Non-nano titanium dioxide is permitted.  Since nanoparticles can penetrate the skin, the health and environmental effects are unknown.  Nanoparticle titanium dioxide is not permitted.

  • TOLUENE

    Toluene is a petrochemical solvent used in nail polish.  It is not permitted.  Inhalation of toluene can affect the central nervous system and cause drowsiness, headache, nausea, and respiratory problems.  It is associated with immune system toxicity.  Exposure during pregnancy may affect fetal development.  Toluene is linked to birth defects.

  • VEGAN

    Vegan products do not contain any animal byproducts.  In order to be labeled as vegan, products must be free of meat, eggs, dairy, gelatin, honey, beeswax, leather, fur, silk, wool, etc.

  • VITAMIN A COMPOUNDS

    Vitamin A compounds are not permitted in skin care products.  Vitamin A is an essential nutrient but not necessarily safe for use on skin. Sunlight breaks down Vitamin A to produce toxic free radicals that damage DNA and contribute to cancerous skin lesions and tumors.  Look for retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, or retinol on label.

  • VITAMIN E

    Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant extracted from vegetable oils and is permitted for personal care products.  It may come from genetically modified sources or be extracted with hexane or other petrochemicals.  Tocopheryl acetate is not permitted because it may irritate skin and may be contaminated with hydroquinone.

  • WASHING SODA

    Washing soda or sodium carbonate can be naturally mined.  It can also be made by treating soda ash with carbon dioxide.  It is permitted as a natural cleaner.  Washing soda is more caustic than baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and cannot be eaten.

  • WHITE SUGAR

    Refined white sugar is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Less refined natural sweeteners are recommended.  

Sugar made from sugar beets may be genetically modified.  Sugarcane producing countries usually sell raw sugar which has a light brown color or white sugar which is filtered and bleached with sulfur dioxide.  Raw sugar can be further refined through treatment with phosphoric acid or carbon dioxide and calcium hydroxide.  People with sulfite sensitive may choose to avoid bleached white sugar.  Vegans may choose to avoid refined white sugar that is filtered through animal bone char.  Some darker brown sugars are made by adding molasses to refined white sugar.   Powdered sugar, also called icing sugar, is made by mechanically crushing refined white sugar.  An anti-caking agent such as calcium phosphate or cornstarch is usually added to powdered sugar.  The cornstarch may be genetically modified.

  • XANTHAN GUM (E415)

    Xanthan gum is permitted because it is approved for use in certified organic food, but products containing this ingredient must be clearly labeled for consumers that have dietary restrictions or concerns about food allergies, genetic modification, or industrial processes.  Xanthan gum is used as a thickener and stabilizer.  It is produced through fermentation of a sugar solution by the bacteria Xanthomonas camestris. The resulting gum is purified, dried, and powdered.  The sugar solution may be derived from corn, soy, whey, or wheat, which can be a concern for people with allergies or food intolerances.  Corn and soy may be genetically modified.

  • XYLITOL

    Xylitol, erythritol, mannitol, sorbitol and other polyols are not permitted because they are not traditional or natural foods.  They are food additives made by hydrogenating sugar.  The human body is not able to absorb them or process them, and they can cause gastrointestinal problems.  They may be made from genetically modified ingredients.  Stevia and natural unrefined sweeteners are recommended alternatives.

  • YEAST

    Yeast is permitted because it is from a natural mineral or biological source and has been used in traditional diets.  These microorganisms are used as a raising agent in bread. Commercial baker’s yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is dried for storage.

  • ZINC OXIDE

    Zinc oxide is manufactured from mined zinc.  It is an effective physical sunscreen.  Non-nano zinc oxide is permitted.  Since nanoparticles can penetrate the skin, the health and environmental effects are unknown.  Nanoparticle zinc oxide is not permitted.