Toxin List


Introducing Russell Organics, a distinguished line of premium certified organic and natural skincare products dedicated to creating the purest, toxin-free formulations available. Our mission is simple: to harness the goodness of botanicals ingredients to create effective and gentle skincare solutions.

In today's beauty landscape, terms like 'organic' and 'natural' are often used liberally by many brands, sometimes misleadingly. At Russell Organics, we uphold a commitment to transparency by openly sharing every ingredient used in every product — on labels, websites, and brochures. Our formulations are crafted with care and integrity, with no hidden "bases," "blends," "fragrance," or ambiguous terminology.

To assist you in making informed skincare choices, we've compiled a list of common toxins often found in beauty products. This ongoing effort reflects our dedication to avoiding harmful substances in our range. Take a moment to review the labels of products you use; you may be surprised to find that many mainstream brands contain these toxins.

Opting for toxin-free skincare isn't just a trend; it's a wise decision for your well-being. Some of these substances can accumulate in your body over time—a process known as bioaccumulation.

At Russell Organics, we're here to empower you with knowledge and offer skincare products you can trust. Join us in embracing cleaner, healthier skincare for a brighter, more radiant tomorrow.


You may wish to avoid these toxins: 

1. Parabens: The four common parabens - Methyl, Ethyl, Butyl, and Propyl. Used as preservatives to extend the shelf life of a product. These ingredients contain highly effective anti-microbial properties. For this reason, they are widely used in the beauty industry. They have been shown to cause numerous skin and health issues. 

2. Tetrasodium EDTA: A preservative made from - formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. Also used as a 'penetration enhancer' in the beauty industry. This means it actually disables the skin's protective barrier, going right into your bloodstream along with everything else in the product. 

3. Urea (Diazolidinyl and Imidazolidinyl): Another synthetic preservative. As the ingredient starts to break down sitting on the shelf, it releases formaldehyde. Research has shown the ingredient to be a skin irritant and a cause of contact dermatitis. 

4. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Sodium Laurel Sulfate is a great detergent. It really is. In fact it is so good that it is used in laundry detergent, dishwasher powder, pipe cleaners, car wash liquid, and many other commercial cleansing products. We wonder though, why anyone would use it to clean their skin? It causes eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, and allergic reactions, among many other issues. According to many global health organizations, it is also suspected of causing environmental damage.

5. Fragrance (Parfum): This ingredient is a bit of a loophole for the use of chemical toxins. You see, legally you can create the most toxic sludge on the planet, label it 'fragrance' and that is it for labeling requirements. One word covers it all. Ever come across a cologne or perfume and suddenly start sneezing, or worse your skin develops a rash? It's because in that scent, there is a toxin that you are reacting to at that moment. Who knows what it is. Fragrance secrecy is legal due to the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which requires companies to list cosmetics ingredients on the product labels but explicitly exempts 'fragrance'. By taking advantage of this loophole, the cosmetics industry has kept the public in the dark about the ingredients in fragrance, even those that present potential health risks. A brand can use any of the other toxins listed on this page in their 'fragrance' ingredient and never have to disclose it.

6. Petrolatum: Petrolatum is a mineral oil based jelly. Use often leads to dryness and chapping of skin. This ingredient causes the very problem it claims to treat. Another ingredient used because it is cheap. 

7. Propylene Glycol: This is used as a penetration enhancer, which accelerates penetration and leads the product directly into your bloodstream. This chemical is commonly used in dishwaher detergent, laundry detergent, garage floor cleaners, and automobile coolant.

8. Stearalkonium Chloride: A chemical often used in hair conditioners and creams. Stearakonium Chloride was originally developed by the chemical industry as a fabric softener. It can cause rash and allergic reactions. 

9. Color/Colorants: The truth about colorants. There are very few natural colorants that are available for use in beauty products. And those that are available are not the bright, vibrant colors you see on the shelf. They tend to be earthy type colors of brown and green shades. So, where do the pretty colors come from? They are synthetic, often petrochemical toxins. Look for FD&C or D&C followed by a number. For example - FD&C Blue No. 8. Avoid any product with these toxins. Also colorants such as 'Carmine' are created by mixing Cochineal Beetles into alcohol and then extracting a bright red color for use in cosmetics and food.

10. Triethanolamine (TEA): Numerous reactions can occur from exposure to this chemical. Often used to balance out the pH of a product, sort of a short cut ingredient. Look for it mainly in skin cleansers. 

11. Phenoxyethanol: A commonly used preservative. Also known under the brand names; Dowanol, Arosol, Emery 6705, Phenoxetol, Rose ether, Phenoxyethanol alcohol, and Glycol Monophenyl Ether. Here is a quote directly from the FDA website: "Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants."  

Phenoxyethanol is banned for use in cosmetics in Japan, and restricted for use in the EU.

12. Petrochemical Ingredients: We have singled out some of the worst offenders, but clearly all petrochemicals should be avoided. Petrochemical distillates are banned in Europe. They are cheap to make and use and are often irritating to the skin. 

13. Phthalates (Diethyl Phthalate): Commonly found in fragrance, nail polish, deodorant, and body lotions. Industrial chemical. Research has linked to potential birth defects in male reproductive system. This chemical is used inside and outside of the beauty industry. This chemical has been found in urine samples and remains in the bloodstream and tissue. This chemical is estimated to be in the body of 97% of Americans. 

14. Cyclopentasiloxane: A silicon based cyclic compound, may be associated with environmental toxicity. Commonly used in hair care products as a hair conditioning agent, and in skin care products as a skin conditioning agent. Concerns for this toxin include bioaccumulation and organ system toxicity. 

15. Dimethicone: Also called polymethylsiloxane. A silicon based polymer. Used as a commercial lubricant and conditioning agent in many industrial applications. Also used in hair care products. Suspected as an environmental toxin and being bioaccumulative. 

16. Cyclomethicone: A silicon based cyclic compound used as a conditioning lubricant in hair care products. Ingredient is persistent, and bioaccumulative in wildlife. Toxicity concerns for humans.  

17. Butylphenyl Methyl Propional: Also known as Lilial, is a synthetic scent ingredient, used in hair care and skin care products. Associated with allergies and contact dermatitis. Banned and/or restricted for use in the EU as a possible human immune system intoxicant. 

18. Coumarin: A scent chemical used for fragrance enhancement. Associated with allergies and contact dermatitis. Known human immune system toxicant. Prohibited for use in food by the FDA.  

19. Benzyl Benzoate: Used as a solvent and a preservative. Associated with allergies and contact dermatitis. Possible human system intoxicant and on the EU Banned and restricted list. Associated with endocrine disruption, wildlife and environmental toxicity. 

20. Alpha-Isomethyl Lonone: Lonones are a group of synthetically produced chemicals, used in perfume as a scent enhancer. Associated with human system intoxication. Suspected to be an environmental toxin. 

21. Sodium Tallowate: Rendered beef fat. If the thought of rubbing fat scraped from the back of an animal hide onto your skin appeals to you, this is a product to consider.  

22. 1,4-dioxane: Effects of over exposure 1,4-dioxane is an eye and mucous membrane irritant, primary skin irritant, central nervous system depressant, nephrotoxin, and hepatotoxin 

23. Benzalkonium Chloride: Effects of overexposure can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose, throat and mucous membranes. Symptoms include muscular paralysis, and low blood pressure. 

24. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) compounds: Potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin's natural moisture factor. This could increase the appearance of aging and leave you more vulnerable to bacteria. Used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease. 

25. Silicone derived emollients: Silicone emollients are occlusive - that is they coat the skin, trapping anything beneath it, and do not allow the skin to breathe (much like plastic wrap would do.) Recent studies have indicated that prolonged exposure of the skin to sweat, by occlusion, causes skin irritation. They are also non-biodegradable, causing negative environmental impact.

26. Linalool: Linalool is a known toxicant or allergen. It is an ingredient that has a single use of being a fragrance enhancer.

27. Geraniol: Geraniol is known immune system toxicant. The only reason it is use din cosmetics is as a fragrance ingredient.

28. Limonene: Limonene is a scent ingredient and solvent. It is a known skin and respiratory irritant.

29. Citronellol: Citronellol is a skin irritant and suspected immune system toxicant.