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When a common consumer store like Wal-Mart is demanding safer beauty products, you know times are a-changin’ and for the better!

Wal-Mart has asked their suppliers to remove 8 chemicals believed to have “certain properties that can affect human health or the environment.” This request is all too telling and represents a new wave in clean beauty – one we’ve been crusading for since 2001!

Let’s explore which harmful chemicals made the list!

Wal-Mart Eliminates 8 Controversial Chemicals From Products


  • Propylparaben – an inexpensive preservative found in many shampoos, conditioners and personal care products.

  • Butylparaben – another type of inexpensive preservative commonly found in cosmetics.

    In 2008, a study on women with breast cancer found parabens in 98% of breast tissue tested. Parabens are thought to mimic estrogen in the human body, causing an imbalance of hormones and damage to the human endocrine system.


  • Diethyl phthalate – an ingredient used to increase flexibility of plastic bottles.

  • Dibutyl phthalate – another plasticizer used to make plastic bottles more flexible.

    Just like parabens, phthalates are known human endocrine disruptors. What’s worse? Many of your current plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles are made with these harmful chemicals. Phthalates leach estrogen-mimickers into your products, which are readily absorbed by your body when applied to the skin or scalp.


  • Formaldehyde – recognized as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing ingredient) by WHO (World Health Organization) and IARC (International Agency For Research on Cancer). Remember all of the controversy surrounding keratin treatments using formaldehyde as an active ingredient? Let’s make sure that stays out of our products.

  • Triclosan – a synthetic chemical used in shampoos and conditioners as an anti-bacterial agent. Just like phthalates and parabens, this ingredient also disrupts the delicate hormone balance of humans.

  • Toluene – a colorless liquid found in nail polish and fragrance that has been linked to nervous system damage.


How did Wal-Mart choose which toxic ingredients to AVOID?

The Environmental Defense Fund advised them to identify harmful chemicals that had significant science backing.

Not only is Wal-Mart rewarding those who remove these chemicals from their products, they are requiring transparency. For those companies refusing to eradicate these targeted chemicals, they will be forced to add them to their warning labels by 2018.

Note: Since phthalates are not in the product itself (but rather the plastic container), many companies get away without listing them in their ingredients list.

Luckily, that’s all about to change.

While this is a giant leap in the right direction, we shouldn’t stop here. Keep demanding safer products and more transparency from these companies.

Especially in the professional beauty industry, as our vertical is even less regulated than the consumer market.

Tell us what other ingredients you hope get exposed next in the comments!

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  1. Alice Cornell

    Is anyone but me wondering what purpose there would be for companies to add or include in their products multiple chemicals which all seem to stimulate estrogen in thr human body?

    • Keila Soñe

      They don’t do with malice intentions,they do it cause cheaper and they have more profit and FDA doesn’t regulate cosmetics or beauty products so they put whatever they want dot. Even ha e hide it under fragrance. To develop products with toxin cost a lot money for companies fro. Sourcing ingredients to paying their chemist more,yes essential oils are expensive to source and process the more essential oil a product has the more expense it is,look at any cheap beauty brand the first incredient which what has most of is water then silicones and other chemicals where actually essential oil 5 or 10 or last on list they have like a drop but on marketing they say for example Aegean oil shampoo but only has .3 % of drop of it in,this beauty marketing works. People fault for commercials that hire models that only have a lot hair then show her when first walk out bed basically then show their have the hairstylist on set blowdry and stylist her so ahir look amazing then they take video or photo the edit it post production to give more shine and take flyaway off the picture and yes you can photoshop live camera with fillers too. It all design to make you think that a $5. Bottle is going to make your hair look like that.

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