Category: Ingredients We Avoid

The nasty truth about hand sanitizers


Hand sanitizers are becoming more and more popular and many people carry them around constantly especially if they have children. It sounds pretty simple as an alternative to washing your hands with soap and water. It’s quick, portable, and convenient, especially when you don’t have running water nearby but here are some things that you should know about these hand sanitizers before you use them:

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Nasty ingredients commonly found in beauty products

Check out this list of nasties to avoid in your hair and skin care products – read the ingredients list to make sure your favourite products don’t contain these ingredients as they are not any good for your health or the environment.

Parabens:  Methylparaben, Butylparaben and Propylparaben are some of the most common Parabens in cosmetics and anything else with ‘paraben’ in the name. A chemical preservative found in underarm deodorants, moisturises, hair care and other cosmetics that has been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen and may drive the growth of breast tumours. A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology has found that breast tumours commonly contain Parabens. There is also some evidence that Parabens may potentiate the damaging effects of UV radiation.

DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine): Hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects. In the United States however, they are still used despite the fact that Americans may be exposed to them 10-20 times per day with products such as shampoos, shaving creams and bubble baths. Repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents resulted in major increase in incidence of liver and kidney cancer.

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: these are called DMDM Hydantoin, Diaxolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl, methenamine or Quarternium-15. These are commonly found in hair products and skin moisturisers.  Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the EPA, which provides sufficient evidence that formaldehyde causes nasopharyngeal cancer in humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. These act as a carcinogen, causes allergic reactions and contact dermatitis; headaches; irritates mucous membranes; eye damage; linked to joint and chest pain; depression; headaches; fatigue; dizziness and immune dysfunction.


FD&C Colour Pigments: Synthetic colours made from coal tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins into the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Absorption of certain colours can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.  These colours are used in mainstream Blonde shampoo’s.

Fragrances: Most synthetic fragrances can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported to the FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioural changes.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG’s): Potentially carcinogenic petroleum derived 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. It adjusts the melting point and thickens products. Also used in caustic spray-on oven cleaners and hair care products.

Propylene Glycol (PG): Gaseous hydrocarbons which in a liquid state act as a “surfactant”. They easily penetrate the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs. PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats! The EPA considers PG so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles and to dispose of any PG solutions by burying them in the ground. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. But there isn’t even a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than in most industrial applications.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Detergents and surfactants that pose serious health threats. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers – and in 90% of personal-care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experience eye damage, depression, laboured breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, and even death. Young eyes may not develop properly if exposed to SLS because proteins are dissolved. SLS may also damage the skins immune system by causing layers to separate and inflame. When combined with other chemicals, SLS can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens. Your body may retain the SLS for up to five days, during which it may enter and maintain residual levels in the heart, liver, the lungs, and the brain.

Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40): A very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips your skin’s moisture and natural immune barrier, making you more vulnerable to bacteria, molds and viruses. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative and is found in many skin and hair products, fragrance, antibacterial hand washes and antifreeze. It can act as a “carrier” accelerating the penetration of other harmful chemicals into your skin. It may promote brown spots and premature aging of skin. It is also known to cause headaches, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, anesthesia, and coma.

Triclosan: Triclosan is used mainly in commercial antibacterial liquid soaps, cleansers, deodorants, detergents, toothpastes, mouthwashes, antiperspirants, cleansers and hand sanitisers as a preservative and an anti-bacterial agent. The EPA investigated Triclosan and classified it as a pesticide and it is not considered a cosmetic ingredient and it has given high scores as a risk to both human health and the environment. Triclosan can pass through skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function in humans.

Toluene: Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances, nail polish and hair dye, this is used to improve adhesion and add gloss. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.

A lot of the above ingredients are very commonly found in beauty and hair care products and unfortunately not many people are aware of this. Next time you pick up a beauty product, be sure to turn it over and read the ingredients, you will be surprised!

EverEscents are proud not to use any of the above nasties in our products. EverEscents products are also proudly Australian owned & made (even the bottles & labels), Vegan friendly, Cruelty Free & environmentally responsible.


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What is PVP/VA Copolymer?

PVP/VA Copolymer is the ingredient found in most mainstream hair care products that provides the hold factor.  So it is very common in most Hairsprays but also found in gel’s, wax’s, pomades and styling creams.  It is a synthetic ingredient that is derived from petroleum.

PVP (also known as Polyvinylpyrrolidone) was the main ingredient in the first really successful hairsprays in the early 1950s. This polymer worked as a hairspray because it was soluble in water. This meant it could be rinsed out when you wash your hair. PVP tended to absorb water out of the air, giving hair that tacky look that was so common in the sixties.

This was fixed with the help of another polymer, a silicone called polydimethylsiloxane. To understand how this silicone made a better hairspray, it helps to understand how the hairspray works in the first place. When you spray it on, the polyvinylpyrrolidone forms a thin coating on the hair. This coating is stiff and keeps the hair from moving around. (See image below)

Silicone image

Unfortunately no one was aware of the dangers that came with this Polymer.  If particles of PVP/VA Copolymer are inhaled, it can cause damage to the lungs in sensitive individuals. It can be considered toxic, since particles may contribute to foreign bodies in the lungs of people. Up until a few years ago, this ingredient was considered safe to use however now it is definitely an ingredient that is better to avoid.

Here at EverEscents we do not use this ingredient in ANY of our products and especially not in our Hairspray. Our Grapefruit and Lemon Grass Hairspray is not only kind to you but is also kind to the environment by not having an aerosol and instead having an environmentally friendly trigger spray.  This beautiful product contains a natural UV protector and hold factor which means no petro-chemicals, plastics or polymers. This gentle formula also means no more eye and scalp irritations.



To find out more about this product or any others, please head to


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What are Sulfates?

Did you know that putting chemicals on your skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them? When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break the chemicals down and flush them out of your body. When you put them directly onto your scalp, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind and going directly into your organs.

The EverEscents Blog topic this week is SULFATES.






What are Sulfates?

Sulfates are surfactants, detergents and emulsifiers. They are found in most industrial and home cleaning products such as:

* Shampoos                                          * Moisturizers
* Soaps                                                 * Floor cleaners
* Car wash soaps                                 * Body Washes
* Laundry detergents                            * Liquid Hand Soaps

They are esters of sulphuric acid. The most common one is Sodium Laurel Sulfate and is found in many mainstream shampoos. This is exactly the same ingredient that you would find in an engine degreaser! Not really what you want to be putting on your scalp!

How do you tell if your shampoo contains Sulfates?

There are many types of Sulfates and some of the common ones are; Alkylbenzene sulfonate, Ammonium laureth or lauryl sulfate, Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate, Sodium laureth sulfate, Sodium myreth sulfate, Sodium lauryl sulfate, Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, TEA- dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Ethyl PEG-15 cocamine sulfate, and Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate.
If your shampoo has any of the above then it has Sulfates. If it states that it is “Sulfate free”, then it doesn’t contain Sulfates. There are many great Sulfate-free alternatives currently available.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) have over 150 different names so it can be very difficult to determine whether your shampoo contains Sulfates. Here is a list of some of the different names used:

• Sodium dodecyl Sulfate
• Sulphuric Acid
• Sodium salt sulfuric acid
• Sodium salt

Here at at EverEscents Organic Hair Care, we have NEVER used Sulfates.

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What are some of the problems associated with Sulfates?

Some common reactions people have to Sulfates shampoos are:-

• Scalp irritations eg; eczema, dandruff, psoriasis
• Drying out the hair
• Breaking brittle hair
• Split ends

But even worse, once absorbed into the skin or scalp, one of the main effects is to mimic the activity of the hormone oestrogen. This may well be responsible for the increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, but it has also shown links to:-

• Irritation of the skin and eyes
• Organ toxicity
• Developmental/reproductive toxicity
• Endocrine disruption

Given the lack of adequate long term research regarding these ingredients, no-one really knows what the gradual cumulative effects of long term repeated exposure will be. Are you willing to put your health at risk?

Put your mind at ease by choosing a Sulfate free product such as EverEscents Organic Hair Care



Toxic blue dyes – there is a natural alternative

blueHaving a healthy and happy immune system is a key to not only feeling well, but also looking fabulous! After all, that is what keeping your hair looking its best is all about, right?  Did you know your liver must filter every chemical and food that enters your body. So, it becomes overtaxed when you assault it with chemicals like hair dye and toxic shampoos and conditioners. If your liver isn’t functioning at 100%, then your eyes, skin and hair will suffer too.

Did you know that it is highly common to find toxic blue and purple dyes in Shampoo & Conditioners designed for Blonde and Grey hair?  If not read on…

Purple and blue shampoo & conditioners are often used to help brighten blonde and grey hair. It can help neutralize orange, yellow, or green tones, since purple/blue is opposite to these colours on the color wheel. This type of shampoo should not be used every day, since it can actually cause very light hair to turn purple. Instead, most professionals recommend using it about once each week.

According to Dr Mercola, artificial toxic blue dyes have been linked to causing kidney tumors in mice. They have also been linked to ADHD, allergies, and asthma. Several European countries have banned Blue 1.  Blue 1 “Brilliant blue” is derived from coal tar and is not digestible by the body.








It is best for you and your family to stay away from hair care ranges that include toxic blue/purple dyes.  The EverEscents Berry Blonde range for blonde and grey hair is without all the toxic purple & blue dyes! This luxurious shampoo tones your hair and reduces unwanted brassy yellow tones for blonde & grey hair, with the added benefits of Certified Organic ingredients & the natural colours from Red Sweet Potato & Blue Gardenia. That’s right, the shampoo is a rich purple colour derived from plants rather than synthetics!  The premium conditioner is fortified with Certified Organic Argan Oil, Vitamin E and Provitamin B5 which moisturise & add shine to your hair leaving it truly healthy. This is the safest & mildest formula available for the care of your blonde or grey hair.  Click Here for more information

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Silicones in hair care – there is a natural alternative!

Most of the highly commercialised lines of hair products (Pantene, Garnier Fructis, Aussie, Tressame, Sunsilk, etc.) contain silicones. These are ingredients that generally end in -cone, – conol, or -xane. If at all possible avoid silicones in your hair products. In the short term, silicones will make hair look sleeker and less frizzy, but in the long run they will coat the hair shaft and seal out moisture, causing the hair to become straw like, less defined, and frizzy. Hence, silicones make quick fixes for frizz, but over time, they are truly damaging your hair. Sulfates get rid of silicones, but at the expense of completely stripping your hair of all of its natural oils! The solution to these problems is to eliminate both sulfates (in your shampoos) and silicones (in your conditioners and styling products).

Silicones that are not soluble in water and build up on the hair: Cetearyl methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Stearyl Dimethicone, Amodimethicone (and) Trideceth-12 (and) Cetrimonium Chloride, and Trimethylsilylamodimethicone. Note: Trideceth-12 and Cetrimonium Chloride are only considered a silicone when both are combined with Amodimethicone.

Silicones that are slightly soluble in water and will build up on most types of curly hair: Amodimethicone, Behenoxy Dimethicone, and Stearoxy Dimethicone.



EverEscents Organic Hair Care does not use Silicones in any of our products. One of our flagship products is our Organic Moroccan Oil (of which most competitor products contain up to 80% silicone!).  We do however use an amazing natural alternative in our Organic Moroccan Argan Oil called Lexfeel Natural.  Lexfeel is a castor oil emollient which has a similar feel to silicone and is used to assist with smoothing hair and leaving it truly healthy.




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What are PEG’s (1,4 Dioxane)

PEGSPolyethylene glycols (PEGs) also known as 1,4-dioxane (Dioxane) is a clear, colorless, volatile liquid that readily mixes with or dissolves in water as explained by Cosmetics Info.  Well known environmentalist David Suzuki wrote a blog on this very topic, here are some of the best parts for you:

PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. PEGs are commonly used as cosmetic cream bases.  Depending on manufacturing processes, 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. Ethylene oxide can also harm the nervous system and the California Environmental Protection Agency has classified it as a developmental toxicant based on evidence that it may interfere with human development.   1,4-dioxane is also persistent. In other words, it doesn’t easily degrade and can remain in the environment long after it is rinsed down the shower drain.

1,4-dioxane can be removed from cosmetics during the manufacturing process by vacuum stripping, but there is no easy way for consumers to know whether products containing PEGs have undergone this process.

In a study of personal care products marketed as “natural” or “organic” (uncertified), U.S. researchers found 1,4-dioxane as a contaminant in 46 of 100 products analyzed. It is important to note that EverEscents Organic Hair Care does not use ANY PEG’s (1,4-dioxane) in any of the hair care products we produce.

While carcinogenic contaminants are the primary concern, PEG compounds themselves show some evidence of genotoxicity and if used on broken skin can cause irritation and systemic toxicity. The industry panel that reviews the safety of cosmetics ingredients concluded that some PEG compounds are not safe for use on damaged skin (although the assessment generally approved of the use of these chemicals in cosmetics). Also, PEG functions as a “penetration enhancer,” increasing the permeability of the skin to allow greater absorption of the product — including harmful ingredients.

The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on 1,4-DIOXANE.  1,4-DIOXANE or PEGS highlights that they may exert its effects through inhalation, skin absorption, and ingestion.

warning-sign_17-11300716311,4-Dioxane is listed as a CARCINOGEN. The effects of overexposure of 1,4-DIOXANE are:

  • eye and mucous membrane irritant,
  • primary skin irritant,
  • central nervous system depressant,
  • nephrotoxin  and hepatotoxin.



Acute exposure causes:

  • irritation,
  • headache,
  • dizziness and
  • narcosis.

Chronic inhalation exposure can produce:

  • damage to the liver and kidneys
  • blood disorders.

After reading this I am sure you can now appreciate why EverEscents Organic Hair Care puts so much time and effort into our research to bring you and your family the safest hair care range possible.

Source:—peg-compounds-and-their-contaminants/ &


Artificial fragrances

perfumeMost people wouldn’t even be aware of the difference of the synthetic v’s natural fragrance.  At EverEscents Organic Hair Care we only use essential oils and natural fragrances in our products.  We guarantee you will not find a list of hundreds of chemicals in any of our products, whether shampoo, conditioner or styling products.  Read on and find out why.

Hillary Peterson from the Huffington Post states, the biggest problem with synthetic fragrance is that it is simply listed as “fragrance” or “parfum” on product labels, so one can never fully know the chemical make-up of a certain product. Given the health concerns surrounding many of the chemicals found in fragrance, one has to ask, why? Is it really that important for a baby to smell “fresh” or for a teen to have hair that smells like a “tropical rain forest”? Even if it could contribute to asthma, eczema or even worse, Cancer? And when we want a product to smell lovely, why not turn to essential oils vs. fragrance oils?

The Pure News reports that there are at least 4000 different chemicals used by the fragrance industry today, many of which have never been tested for safety.  Keep in mind that a single fragrance can contain up to 200-600 individual chemical ingredients. Fragrance sensitivity in the workplace and in the home is on the rise. Have you ever noticed that you feel ill when exposed to certain fragrances?  Most synthetic fragrances today are made from petrochemicals, which give off volatile organic compounds (vocs), these compounds have been known to produce a myriad of allergic reactions including; eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, rash, and damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system, say experts.

Way back in 1986, the national academy of science (USA) targeted fragrances as one of the six categories of chemicals that should be given high priority for neurotoxicity testing. The report states that 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. They include benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and many other known toxins and sensitizers which are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. “Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace” (Report by the Committee on Science and Technology. U.S. House of Representatives, Sept. 16, 1986) [Report 99-827]

Why do other companies use synthetic fragrances in the first place?  Money, of course. Compared to high quality pure essential oils, synthetic fragrance oils are an incredibly cheap way to scent a candle.  Many people either are naive to the dangers that synthetic chemical- based fragrances pose, or they just don’t care to share it with you.

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