The Toxic Index™

The Pure Treesy team has developed the following list of ingredient families which may disqualify any beauty product from being considered clean.

“Dirty 31”


“Dirty 31”

are listed along with the potential health hazard.

Any products sold on Pure Treesy marketplace will be validated as free from all of these harmful chemicals.

The Toxic Index

BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluen)

Your ContentOften found in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other types of cosmetics, BHA and BHT are classified as possible carcinogens. Long-term exposure to these ingredients has been linked to liver, thyroid, and kidney problems.


2.Hair Dyes
Coal Tar (CI-#), P-phenylenediamine, M-Phenylenediamine, M-Phenylenediamine Sulfate,Phenylenediamine, Para-phenylenediamine, 4-aminoaniline, 1,4benzenediamine, p-diaminobenzene, 1,4-diaminobenzene, 1,4-phenylene diamine

Many of the ingredients used in hair dyes are derived from petroleum and composed of many different chemicals. Coal tar dyes are recognized as a human carcinogen and have been linked to brain damage. P-phenylenediamine is a highly common skin allergen. Health concerns exist for these ingredients that include: skin sensitization, cancer, mutagenicity (i.e. DNA-altering), organ system toxicity and respiratory distress.



This ingredient helps make cosmetic products creamy or sudsy. It can be found in products like facial cleansers, shampoos, soaps and moisturizers. In the short term, DEA can cause moderate skin and eye irritation, while sustained exposure has been linked to liver, skin, and thyroid cancers.


Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Dimethyl phthalate (DMP), Diethyl phthalate (DEP)Diethylhexyl phthalate

Utilized to increase durability and longevity of products, Phthalates may disrupt hormones and damage the reproductive system. Dibutyl phthalate is a plasticizer commonly used to prevent nail polish from becoming brittle. Consistent use of DBP has been linked to hormonal disruptions and developmental defects in fetuses, as well as liver and kidney failure.


5.Formaldehyde / Paraformaldehyde
DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, Quaternium 15, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, methylene glycol

Formaldehydes are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics. They can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. High levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers.

Source: EPA,

Bisphenol A

BPA has been used in lipsticks, face and eye makeup and nail lacquers. It may be reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen in the breast and prostate due to its tumor promoting properties. BPA can mimic estrogen to interact with estrogen receptors α and β, leading to changes in cell proliferation, apoptosis, or migration and thereby,

contributing to cancer development and progression.

Source: NCBI

Isobutyl, butylparaben, isopropyl, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben

Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetic products. Their exposure has been linked to hormonal disruptions, breast cancer, increased skin aging, and DNA damage.


8.Parfum or Fragrance
Parfum, fragrance

Typically showing up as one word on ingredient lists as “fragrance” or “parfum”, there are about 3,000 different ingredients that contribute to fragrances. Used in more than just perfumes, these smell-enhancing substances can be found in almost every type of cosmetic product. Many of the unlisted ingredients that create fragrances have been linked to health problems like asthma, allergies, and even cancer.


9.PEG Compounds

Common in cream-based cosmetics, PEG compounds are used as thickeners, solvents and moisture-carriers. Depending on how they are manufactured, these ingredients can get contaminated with carcinogenic substances like ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. Even when not contaminated, PEG compounds have been shown to cause skin irritation.


PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)

Petrolatum is a petroleum jelly that is used in hair products to add shine. It is also used in lip balms, lip sticks, and moisturizers as a moisture barrier. The ingredient is often contaminated with PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), a known carcinogen, and can cause skin irritation and allergies in smaller doses.


These most frequently are ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone”, which are most commonly found in hair products and deodorants. Many of these ingredients have been found to impair fertility and cause hormonal disruptions.

Silicones are smoothing - they give products like creams or make-up a silky, spreadable, luxurious texture. They also give shine and softness in shampoo and other hair care products. While not considered particularly harmful to the skin, non-soluble in water, dimethicone molecules are chemically inert, and very stable.  That raises the question of their biodegradability. It can take them 400-500 years on average to decompose, there is significance of pollution risks and risks of disturbing the ecosystem.


12.SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
Ethylene oxide, 1,4-dioxane

This foaming agent can be found in cosmetics like cleansers, bubble bath, and shampoo. Many commercial varieties are contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane – known carcinogens.


This ingredient is found in antibacterial cosmetics like deodorants, cleansers, and hand sanitizers.

The ingredient is said to cause skin and eye irritations in the short run, and

conditions like antibiotic resistance and hormonal disruptions with sustained use.


Fears have been raised about aluminum’s role in breast cancer, breast cyst and Alzheimer’s disease.

The human population is exposed to aluminum from vaccines, diet, and drinking water, yet the frequent use of aluminum-based cosmetics might add additional local exposure. Aluminum may cause gene instability, alter gene expression, or enhance oxidative stress.

Source: ncbi


Used for sunscreen protection, these chemicals are destroying our oceans. They cause genetic damage to marine life, including coral reefs. It has even been detected in human

breast milk and blood and can act as an endocrine disruptor that may increase the risk of breast cancer and endometriosis

Source: Prevention,, civil beats

16.Plastic Microbeads
Polyethylene, Polypropylene beads

Micro plastic pollution, that is difficult to filter out of the water supply, ends up being consumed by sea life and humans through the water systems. Although microplastics are small — plastic debris less than five millimeters long — they pose one of the largest emerging threats to the global environmental community today. Microplastics have been

introduced to the environment over the last 50 years through plastic refuse which has been broken down, and particles in health and beauty products which have entered the waste stream. Almost all species of life that have been studied demonstrate exposure to degraded micro-plastics.

Source: itrc,

17.Mercury Compounds
Common in skin-lightening cosmetics, mercury is well known to be readily absorbed through the unbroken skin as well as through the lungs by inhalation and by intestinal absorption after ingestion.

Mercury may cause skin defects such as rashes, discoloration and scarring, as well as loss of resistance to bacterial and fungal infections. Mercury can damage the kidneys and nervous system. Mercury toxicity may also cause miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, stillbirth and low birth weight.

Source: toxic twelve,,

Perfluoroalkyl, Polyfluoroalkyl

Many lotions, cleansers, nail polish, shaving cream, and some types of makeup, such as lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara contain PFAS, which number in the thousands. They have been linked to several serious health concerns, including: increased risks of kidney and testicular cancers, liver harms, higher cholesterol levels, immune system effects, and elevated blood pressure in pregnant women.

Source: FDA, Environmental Health News

Octocrylene is an organic UV filter used to provide sunscreen.

Studies have found that octocrylene causes relatively high rates of skin allergies (Bryden 2006). It has been linked to aquatic toxicity, with the potential to harm coral health (Stein 2019), and it is often contaminated with the known carcinogen benzophenone.


Bithionol has been used to some extent as an antibacterial agent in cosmetic preparations such as detergent bars, shampoos, creams, lotions, and bases used to hide blemishes.

Evidence of clinical experience and photopatch tests indicate that bithionol is capable of causing photosensitivity in humans when used topically and that in some instances the photosensitization may persist for prolonged periods as severe reactions without further contact with sensitizing articles. Also, there is evidence to indicate that bithionol may produce cross-sensitization with other commonly used chemicals such as certain halogenated salicylanilides and hexachlorophene. 


21.Trichloroacetic acid / Dichloracetic Acid
The use of Trichloroacetic acid in cosmetics is banned in the US, Canada and the EU.

They are considered potential carcinogens and may present non-reproductive systemic toxicity.

Source: EWG Skindeep

Chloroform has been used as a solvent in cosmetics.

Studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute have demonstrated that the oral administration of chloroform to mice and rats induced hepatocellular carcinomas (liver cancer) in mice and renal tumors in male rats. Scientific literature indicates that chloroform is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, through the respiratory system, and through the skin. 


23.Halogenated salicylanilides
di-, tri-, metabromsalan and tetrachlorosalicylanilide

Halogenated salicylanilides have been used as antimicrobial agents for a variety of purposes in cosmetic products. They are potent photosensitizers and cross-sensitizers and can cause disabling skin disorders. In some instances, the photosensitization may persist for prolonged periods as a severe reaction without further exposure to these chemicals. 


Though considered safe for many years, this preservative is now associated with toxic effects, including deaths.

Studies have shown that toxic amounts of hexachlorophene can be absorbed through the skin of humans, especially the skin of premature babies or damaged skin. Human toxicity reports include data on symptomatology, blood and tissue levels of hexachlorophene, and descriptions of neuropathologic lesions. Recent infant deaths due to use of baby powder accidentally contaminated with 6 percent hexachlorophene have occurred.


Sulfate-containing soap and other personal care products can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Some people are particularly sensitive to sulfate-containing products and may develop dermatitis (skin inflammation) due to these products. Sulfates can also clog pores making skin prone to acne.


26.Methylene Chloride
Methylene chloride has been used as an ingredient of aerosol cosmetic products (principally hair sprays).

In a 2-year animal inhalation study sponsored by the National Toxicology Program, methylene chloride produced a significant increase in benign and malignant tumors of the lung and liver of male and female mice. 

Source: FDA,

The use of Aminophenol is prohibited in the EU. It is a proven skin irritant and allergen.

Aminophenol is suspected to present an occupational hazard if used in excess of low dose standards and is considered a wildlife and environmental hazard.

Source: EWG skindeep

Naphthol is restricted from use in cosmetics in Canada and the EU.

It is considered a human skin, eye and lung irritant and toxicant. If ingested it may cause gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms.

Source: EWG Skindeep

29.Vinyl Chloride
Vinyl chloride has been used as an ingredient in cosmetic aerosol products including hair sprays.

When used in the confines of a small room, the level of vinyl chloride exposure could be significantly in excess of the safe level. Inhalation at high concentrations can result in acute toxicity, manifested by dizziness, headache, disorientation, and unconsciousness. Furthermore, vinyl chloride has recently been linked to liver disease, including liver cancer, in workers engaged in the polymerization of vinyl chloride.


30.Zirconium-containing complexes
Evidence indicates that certain zirconium compounds have caused human skin granulomas and toxic effects in the lungs and other organs of experimental animals.

When used in aerosol form, some zirconium will reach the deep portions of the lungs of users. The lung is an organ, like skin, subject to the development of granulomas. Unlike the skin, the lung will not reveal the presence of granulomatous changes until they have become advanced and, in some cases, permanent.


31.Titanium Dioxide
European Food Safety Authority has concluded that titanium dioxide is no longer safe in foods due to the concerns over nanoparticles.

As a result, titanium dioxide is now banned as a food additive in the EU. Although studies have shown that the absorption of ingested titanium dioxide is low, evidence suggests that titanium dioxide nanoparticles can accumulate in the body over time. In a recent study titanium dioxide nanoparticle accumulation in colon cells has been determined to be a carcinogen.


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