Ingredients to Avoid

Author: Nicole Bijlsma  

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and absorbs chemicals within seconds of exposure. We believe that what you put on your body is as important as what you eat. 


There are over 145 million chemicals registered for use on the world’s largest chemical database - the Chemical Abstract Service registry, and this figure is increasing by 200,000 chemicals every week. There are many toxic chemicals in products that are used daily. Many of those are found in all of us. Some of these are known to cause chronic diseases present today. 


Here is our list of recommended ingredients to avoid when you're looking to buy household cleaning and personal care products:


1. Fragrances, air fresheners and deodorisers
Most commercial air fresheners and deodorisers are made from synthetic fragrances which do little more than mask your ability to smell and cover up odours. Furthermore, paradichlorobenzene is the active ingredient used in many air fresheners which is an eye, skin and throat irritant and causes kidney and liver tumours in mice (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2000).

2. Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)
Sodium hypochlorite is the primary chemical used in ‘household bleach’. Whilst it is effective in killing bacteria, its wide spread use in products alleged to kill mould is quite perplexing when it does little more than ‘bleach’ the mould so it can no longer be seen. Furthermore, it may actually some types of moulds with a food source which further accentuates the problem (Mycologia, 2009). Bleach gives off toxic fumes which irritates the eyes, lungs, nose, throat and skin and may even cause burns and death.

3. Ammonia and its compounds
Ammonia and its compounds (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds) are commonly used in window, oven and floor cleaners. It is a lung, skin and eye irritant that can trigger asthma (Tox Town, 2009). In extreme situations it may cause burns and even death due to suffocation and fluid in the lungs.

4. Hazardous surfactants
There are many solvents used in cleaning products that may be hazardous to your health. The two most common detergents are sodium lauryl (laureth) sulphate and cocomidopropyl betaine (cocamide DEA, coco-betaine...) both of which are lung, eye and skin irritants. Despite the fact that coco-betaine was voted allergen of the year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society in 2004, most ‘natural’ products contain it! Once you have obtained a list of the ingredients in the cleaning product (by contacting the manufacturer or downloading the product Safety Data Sheet from their site), compare it to the following website: The Healthy Home Products range is specifally formulated to comply with the world's stricktest chemical database - Skin Deep.

5. d-Limonene
This is frequently found in citrus-based products marketed as ‘natural’ (they often have an orange or lemon on the label). This ingredient may cause skin rashes and when used in the shower, may compromise the waterproof membrane and allow moisture to penetrate into the wall cavity which may lead to hidden mould.

6. Dry cleaning solvents
Conventional dry cleaning involves the use of perchloroethylene or ‘perc’. Short-term exposure may cause eye irritation, light-headedness, confusion, lung problems, and temporary liver damage. Chronic exposure may damage the kidneys, liver, and the central nervous system (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007). Perc is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.


Healthy Home Products only use food & pharmaceutical grade ingredients in our products, which mean they are 99.99% pure, no fillers and nothing hidden. Many other companies source only industrial grade ingredients, which is only 72% pure.….so who knows what else is in there?


Discover the Abode range of vegan friendly and cruelty free Laundry, Kitchen, Bathroom and General Purpose cleaning products for your home. 


Find out more about It's Your Body range of chemical free and environmentally friendly Handwash and Haircare products for your family.

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