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The Toxic 20

What are the Toxic 20?

Regular beauty products use a lot of ingredients that can be bad for you. We consciously exclude these 20 substances from our formulations to make sure you have happy skin and hair.

Clean Compatible

Oraiste is “Clean Compatible”. Not just free of harmful and toxic chemicals but also uses only those ingredients that either enhance the health of your hair & skin or support the effectiveness of our formulations.

The ubiquitous Toxic 20 chemicals are often the root cause of imbalance of our skin-hair health. When eliminated from our products altogether, our body has the ability to reset and return to its natural & healthy state.


Toxic 20 Chemicals & Why are they harmful


Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen, which can cause breast cancer and urogenital abnormalities. Methylparaben, propylparaben, isoparaben and butylparaben are examples of parabens one should look out for in the ingredient list.

Sulfates (SLS/ SLES)

SLS/ SLES (sulfates) are the same chemicals used to wash cars, utensils, clothes and garage floor. It helps create a foamy lather which has very little to do with cleaning.

Sulfate-free (SLS/ SLES free) products often do not lather (or lather much less) and clean gently. Many products claim to be SLS free but they contain SLES. SLS & SLES are from the same family and both are harmful. Sulfates have been shown to irritate our skin & eyes, cause organ toxicity, developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, biochemical changes, possible mutations, and cancer.


Toluene may affect the nervous system and cause headaches, dizziness, or unconsciousness. Effects such as incoordination, cognitive impairment, vision and hearing loss may become permanent with repeated exposure. High levels of toluene exposure during pregnancy, such as those associated with solvent abuse, may lead to retardation of mental abilities and growth in children. Other health effects of potential concern may include immune, kidney, liver, and reproductive effects.

Diethanolamine (DEA)

Up to two-thirds of DEA in beauty products linger on the skin after rinsing, which can cause skin and eye irritation. Exposure to high doses of these chemicals cause liver cancer and precancerous changes in skin and thyroid. Diethanolamine (DEA), cocamide DEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate and oleamide DEA are all a part of the same family and should be avoided.

Monoethanolamine (MEA)

Monoethanolamine can cause side effects like cough, headache, shortness of breath, redness, pain, skin burns, sore throat and abdominal pain.

Triethanolamine (TEA)

Triethanolamine is used to balance pH levels as well as a cleansing base. When absorbed into the body it can become toxic. Even short periods of exposure can cause allergic reactions, including eye problems and dry hair and skin.


Labelled as a human carcinogen it may also cause nausea, coughing and asthma. Many products don’t add the actual formaldehyde itself and therefore goes unlisted. Instead, certain ingredients, known as Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (or FRPs) degrade while sitting on your shelf, releasing the toxic chemical over time. Avoid FRPs, which may be cited as quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea or sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.

DMDM hydantoin

A preservative known to release formaldehyde, is a known carcinogen. It is an allergen linked to contact dermatitis. The use of DMDM hydantoin in the product can cause or contribute to hair loss and scalp irritation.


Oxybenzone is a potential hormone disruptor. It may interfere with the endocrine system, which regulates biological processes like metabolism, growth and development, sexual function and reproduction, thyroid function, and more. Oxybenzone is absorbed through the skin in large amounts. Oxybenzone is also allergenic and has relatively high rates of skin reactions. Beyond its potential side effects in humans, oxybenzone has a negative impact on our ocean life and can damage coral, cause reproductive issues in fish, damage sea urchins, and accumulate in the tissues of dolphins.


Petrolatum is a jelly made of mineral oil. It can interfere with the body’s natural moisturizing abilities, damaging the skin or hair. It may be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, compounds that are associated with cancer.


Triclosan is known to interfere with thyroid and reproductive hormones. It may also contribute to making bacteria antibiotic-resistant.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is a cheap oil that is used as a filler for cost savings. While Mineral oil may appear to have a moisturizing effect, it actually seals and skin and prevents it from breathing. It contains no nutrients whatsoever.

Lead & Other heavy metals

Heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, aluminium, zinc, chromium and iron are often added as ingredients, while others are contaminants. Exposure to metals has been linked to health concerns including reproductive, immune and nervous system toxicity. Ingredients may appear as lead acetate, chromium, thimerosal, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, sodium hexametaphosphate etc.

1,4 Dioxane

It is classified as a known animal carcinogen and likely human carcinogen. More than 56 ingredients are associated with the toxic chemical, including sodium Laureth sulfate, sodium myreth sulfate, polyethylene glycol and ingredients ending in “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth”.


Hydroquinone is used as a skin bleaching and lightening agent. Common side effects of hydroquinone include skin irritation, sensitization (burning, stinging), dermatitis & dryness.

Alpha-isomethyl Ionone

Alpha-isomethyl Ionone can cause allergies, skin sensitivity and is toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects. Also called isomethylionone, gammanolene or irisantheme.

Aminomethyl Propanol

Aminomethyl Propanol can cause serious skin & eye irritation and is harmful to aquatic life. Apart from the ingredients side effects, aminomethyl propanol could also form nitrosamines in products.The formed nitrosamines are one of the most well-known carcinogens: 90 % of all nitrosamines tested are said to be carcinogenic.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide can cause skin redness, dryness, peeling, mild burning, swelling, or worsening of acne. It may also cause a serious allergic reaction, including rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness and trouble in breathing.


Polyacrylamide is a polymer that is formed from units of acrylamide, a known neurotoxin. While Polyacrylamide is not considered to be toxic, it may secrete Acrylamide and can cause neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity and data gaps.


Paraphenylenediamine or PPD can cause reactions ranging from mild skin irritation to more severe allergic contact dermatitis. Individuals may even experience dermatitis—skin inflammation and eczema. In more serious cases, there may be marked reddening and swelling on the scalp and the face.