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zoobop's DIRTY LIST

zoobop’s clean & green standard bans an exhaustive list of dirty ingredients. The ingredients below will help you understand some of the top dirty contenders from that list. These are Dirty ingredients with links to health and environment concerns. Our verified brands are committed not to use these ingredients in their products.

As we evolve we will continue to add more ingredients to this list. So you can always bop and shop; clean ethical and safe!

1, 4-Dioxane

is a likely human carcinogen and does not readily biodegrade in the environment. Found in beauty & household products.

Aerosol Propellants & VOCs

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Deodorants & Hairsprays in aerosol cans have propellants containing hydrocarbons which contribute to global warming. CFC-free aerosols too emit the volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which affect the ozone and the environment.

Animal Derived Ingredients

while zoobop does not ban all animal derived ingredients, we advocate a strong cruelty free commitment from our brands . Which means that those brand using these ingredients have to be committed to ensuring the ingredients are humanely procured without injury, physical harm, culling, or killing of any animal, insect, fish or bird.

Unfortunately not all brands are committed to sourcing humanely. Leather, hide, carmine, animal hair, squalene (from shark liver), animal placenta, animal fat, animal collagen to name a few are banned on zoobop.

BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)

is listed as a chemical of potential concern, noting its toxicity to aquatic organisms and potential to bioaccumulate. The European Union prohibits the use of BHA as fragrance ingredient in cosmetics. The State of California requires warning labels on products containing BHA, notifying consumers that this ingredient may cause cancer.

BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)

is a synthetic antioxidant used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. A United Nations Environment Program assessment noted that BHT had a moderate to high potential for bioaccumulation in aquatic species. Butylated hydroxytoluene, is a known irritant, and is used to slow the discolouration of products.

BIT (Benzisothiazolinone)
is an antimicrobial and preservative used in a wide variety of applications, such as cleaning and building products with a hazard level 6 - 7 (on 10) according to EWG.


These ingredients (including DEA/TEA/MEA/ETA) can react with other chemicals in cosmetics to form carcinogenic nitrosamines.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency classifies cocamide DEA as hazardous to the environment because of its acute toxicity to aquatic organisms and potential for bioaccumulation.

T.E.A, when absorbed into the body over a long period of time, can become toxic. You can find this ingredient in eyeliners, eye shadows, blushers, mascara, foundation, hair dyes, hair care products, hand sanitizers, shaving products, and sunscreens.

Formaldehyde & Releasers

According to Safe Cosmetics, Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) are used in many personal care products, particularly in shampoos, body products, cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, skin care and liquid baby soaps. These chemicals, which help prevent microbes from growing in water-based products, can be absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer and allergic skin reactions. These ingredients are typically labelled as DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea and Quaternium-15.


is most commonly used in skin lighteners, it is linked to cancer and organ- system toxicity. It is also used as an additive in perfumes.

NPE (Nonylphenol ethoxylates)

commonly referred to as NPEs, are an example of a surfactant class that does not meet the definition of a safer surfactant. These are found in detergents that don’t completely biodegrade and they contaminate our water supplies, rivers and oceans with toxic heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic. Studies have shown that Safer surfactants are surfactants that break down quickly to non-polluting compounds and help protect aquatic life in both fresh and salt water.


Mica is a natural mineral, and an ingredient used widely in the cosmetics industry. The problem with natural mica is that it can be unethically sourced using child labour. Boycott any brand that doesn't ensure an ethical supply chain transparency for this material.

zoobop has reached out to several brands asking them on their ethics regarding the mica sourced. Though many brands have this clearly on their website, others need to be prompted for a reply. A zoobop verified brand will always have Ethical and Responsible Mica ( certified).


Microbeads are manufactured solid plastic particles of less than a millimeter in size. They are used in exfoliating personal care products specially seen in bath and body scrubs, face scrubs and toothpastes. Microbeads have been banned in several countries due to the fact that are mistaken as food particles and ingested by marine life, blocking digestive tracts and damaging digestive systems. They pose an environmental hazard for aquatic animals in freshwater and ocean water and are being banned by many countries, but there has been little action in India.

MCI (Methylchloroisothiazolinone)

Methylchloroisothiazolinone is a widely-used preservative in shampoo, creams, body wash, baby lotions, shaving cream, make up remover and cosmetic products. Ingredient has been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity.

MIT (Methylisothiazolinone)

Methylisothiazolinone, also known as MI or MIT, is a widely used preservative in shampoo, creams, body wash, baby lotions, shaving cream, make up remover and cosmetic products. This ingredient has been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity.

Nano Particles

These are extremely small or micronized particles that range in size from 1 to 100 um, or nanometers. These are used to alter properties of cosmetic products including colour, transparency, solubility and chemical reactivity. Can be found in deodorants, toothpastes, sun screens, shampoos, lotions, foundation, anti-aging creams, and nail polish to name a few products.

Known to cause aquatic toxicity and environment concerns. Look out for zinc oxide, Titanium oxide and remember to ask your brand if these ingredients (if used) are non nano.

Palm Oil and Palm-Derived Ingredients

Palm oil production, is claimed to contribute to environmental degradation, threat to the survival of orangutan populations in the wild, and increasing global greenhouse gas emissions caused annually by burning fossil fuels, due to the clearing of large areas of rainforest for the expansion of palm oil. The "sustainability" of palm oil is itself hard to define as the definition of sustainable palm oil may differ greatly between the 'grower' countries and some 'user' countries.

All zoobop clean brands need to be sourcing RSPO certified palm oil and need to be a 100% transparent about their supply chain.


are commonly used to help prevent yeast, mold, and bacteria from growing in cosmetics, lotions ,moisturizers, shampoo, shaving, and tanning products. Of late, many brands are avoiding this cheap ingredient as Parabens are believed to be endocrine disruptors that are stored in the body tissue and can interfere with glandular activity and hormone production.

Look out for Propyl Paraben, Methyl Paraben, Butyl Paraben, Ethyl Paraben, Isobutyl Paraben, and Phenonip in ingredients.


used in cosmetic products are derived from petroleum.
It is cheap, fragrance free and colourless, doesn’t oxidize and can easily be kept for a long time. Many baby oils consist almost entirely of mineral oil. Look out for labels which give ingredients like Liquid paraffin, Liquid Petroleum, Paraffin Oil, Paraffinum Liquidum, Petrolatum Liquid, Petroleum Oil, White Mineral Oil And White Oil which are all mineral oils.

PEGS: (Polyethylene Glycol) compounds.

depending on how its manufactured, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen.

There are over 1000 PEG ingredients listed in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetics Ingredients Database.


The primary concern with petrolatum is the potential contamination with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), cancer-causing chemicals found in crude oil and its by-products. It is a potential human carcinogen and environmental concern because of the toxic air pollutants associated with its refineries. Some of the chemicals released from these manufacturing plants are suspected cancer-causing agents, responsible for developmental and reproductive problems.


can be difficult to avoid, as most labels will simply list “fragrance” or “perfume” and keep secret the ingredients that make up that fragrance. Phthalates can act on estrogen pathways, which in humans have been associated with decreased sperm count, endometriosis and insulin resistance. They also end up in our waterways where they have been linked to fertility issues in marine animals.

They are readily released into the environment and create a risk of exposure for humans and other living organisms. Keep a look out for dibutyl phthalate (most common nail polish), diethyl phthalate (found in lotions and perfumes)

Polymer of Vinyl Acetate

This is an industrial polymer often found in commercial starches used for laundry. Similar to carpenter's glue. Highly toxic if ingested.

PPD (P-Phenylenediamine)

is a hair colorant often used in hair dyes.
PPD can be highly sensitizing, and some studies link it to lupus, renal failure, non-Hopkins lymphoma and asthma. PPD is often mixed with hydrogen peroxide in hair color systems. When the two mix together, they can form a substance called Bandrowski’s base. This substance has exhibited mutagenic properties – the ability to alter genetic material, which can cause cancer. The hazards of PPD have been known since its introduction for use as an industrial fur dye, and in personal hair dyes.

PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)

contaminates everything – air, water, soil; permanently. It is used most widely in anti-aging products and cosmetics, likely because it provides a smooth, sleek finish. PTFE is trademarked as Teflon®. Teflon is found in foundation, sunscreen/moisturizer, eyeshadow, bronzer/highlighter, facial powder, sunscreen/makeup, mascara, anti-aging, moisturizer, around-eye cream, blush, shaving cream (men's), facial moisturizer/treatment, brow liner, and other eye makeup. This ingredient is not only toxic to the environment but when used on or around the eyes, absorption can increase, posing a greater hazard.


is an ingredient commonly used in hair colour and bleaching products. It can cause hair dye allergy. And has a hazard level of 8 on 10, according to EWG

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

is a surfactant, which means it helps create a lather. It has the potential to interact with other chemicals to form a carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines. Watch out for this ingredient in shampoo, body wash, face wash and acne treatments.

Both, SLS and SLES can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs, especially with long- term use. Products with sulfates that get washed down the drain may also be toxic to aquatic animals. Many people and manufacturers opt for more environmentally friendly alternatives.

SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)

is a surfactant, which means it helps create a lather. SLES is considered to be less irritating to humans than SLS.

But both, SLS and SLES can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs, especially with long- term use. ... Products with sulfates that get washed down the drain may also be toxic to aquatic animals.

Soap noodles

are the fatty acids derived either from vegetable oil or animal fats used as the main ingredient in the production of soap bars. It is produced from the saponification of neutral fats and oil, neutralization of fatty acid and saponification of methyl esters.

Sodium Fluoride

Many mouthwashes contain ingredients that you definitely don’t want to swallow, or even put down the drain. Alcohol-based based mouth washes can contribute to cancers of the mouth, tongue and throat when used regularly. And you might want to avoid mouthwashes with fluoride (aka sodium fluoride). While fluoride may help fight cavities, ingesting too much of it has been linked to neurological problems and could be a cancer trigger as well.

Sodium Saccharin

or Benzoic Sulfide is an artificial sweetener with effectively no food energy. Common mouthwash sweeteners have also been linked to health problems: Saccharin is a suspected carcinogen while sucralose may trigger migraines. According to some environment studies, water containing artificial sweeteners can harm a plant’s ability to perform photosynthesis.

Sunscreens and ingredients related

Synthetic sunscreens can cause hormone disruption. Ingredients to avoid in these are Avobenzone, Benzophenone, Oxybenzone, and Octinoxate. They are known hazards for both human and eco toxicity. These chemicals are linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and organ system toxicity.

Synthetic Fragrances.

zoobop promotes Natural Fragrances over synthetic ones. We ask all brands that are “clean” to provide us with full INCI/ botanical name of the fragrance being used. The more we know of what is inside the fragrance and its possible source, transparency and segregation is easier.


may contain the known carcinogen asbestos. It is best avoided unless it is known to be asbestos-free.

TPHP (Triphenyl Phosphate )

is a potential endocrine disruptor found in many nail polish brands. It serves as a plasticizer, rendering the polish less susceptible to cracking or flaking and is commonly used in the manufacturing of plastic and foam furniture.


is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial preservative used in soaps, skincare, oral care & household products. It is a known endocrine disruptor and a suspected carcinogen.


is an aromatic liquid used in nail polish and has a hazard level of 10 according to EWG. Toluene exposure may cause liver and kidney damage and affects the central nervous system, eyes, skin, & respiratory system.

It is important and note worthy to remember that not all synthetic ingredients are dirty, similarly not all natural derived ingredients are clean. zoobop endeavours to help you make your shopping choices safe and clean*. And we will continue to add to this list of NO as we grow.

*The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.