The AROMATICA Clean & Sustainable Standard
Participating in EWG Safe Cosmetic Campaign in 2009, AROMATICA introduced EWG in South Korea. In 2011, AROMATICA was awarded with the title, and became Korea’s first EWG Verified Certified cosmetic brand. AROMATICA gained recognition from Vegan Society Partner, the world’s oldest and most prestigious vegetarian certification organization. In addition, AROMATICA was Ecocert Certified and standardized a field of natural and organic cosmetics.
AROMATICA boycotts the ingredients that are linked to health issues such as cancer, hormone disruption, as well as environmental issues. We never use the following ingredients in any of our products.
AROMATICA Worry List
Synthetic fragrance is widely used in cosmetics and food. Actually, it is made from petroleum natural gas with chemical process. Sometimes, synthetic fragrance brings out allergies, dermatitis, dyspnea and potential effects on the reproductive system. Even numerous compounds to combined with different flavors, usually the whole mixture is marked as just ‘flavors’ (fragrance or perfume in English). It’s highly likely that the ingredient labeled as ‘flavors’ may contain various chemicals like phthalate (a hormone disturbance) that might not be tested for safety.
Sulfate surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), and Ammonium Lauretha Sulfate (ALES) are widely used in commercial cleaners namely shampoo, body wash, and toothpaste. There are many controversies that these surfactants are really harmful to the body. Studies have shown that SLS may be irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system when used over a certain amount of time. SLES is also known to cause 1,4-dioxane(carcinogenic) since it is added to the ethylene oxide component in the course of ethoxylation (ethoxylation). These two sulfates are classified as toxic or potentially hazardous by many organizations including the Canadian Environmental Protection.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine is usually used in baby products and shampoos. It’s also called ‘Coconut-derived surfactant’ to make an impression that it’s a safe natural product. However, some toxic components such as nitrosamines, acrylonitrile, and carcinogen are likely to be formed during the processing of this ingredient.
Paraben is a chemical preservative that has been commonly used in food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. The general term, ‘Para hydroxybenzoic acid’, refers to various substances formed by the reaction of ethyl alcohol, propyl alcohol, and butyl alcohol. The main parabens are Ethyl paraben, Methyl paraben, Propyl paraben, Isopropyl paraben, Butyl paraben, and Isobutyl paraben. One of the main reasons why parabens are used a lot is their economic and antiseptic power. However, studies suggest that long-term exposure to parabens increases the risk of disrupting the hormonal system, internal disorder, skin irritation, and allergies.
PEG-based emulsifier is a typical hazardous component of surfactants which widely used for emulsifying and solubilizing agents. PEG stands for Polyethylene Glycol and means that it has been synthesized with “ethoxylation” to increase the detergency and emulsifying power. Among 900 different PEGs, the ones that used in cosmetics are found to have the risk level 3-4 by EWG, which might seem not too dangerous. However, in the ethoxylation process, it is known that ethylene oxide can cause 1,4 dioxane (carcinogen).
Sunscreens are products that you put on your skin to protect from the Sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. They are divided into chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. To prevent the skin from UV rays, chemical sunscreens have a chemical reaction on the skin. If you look at the components, you can find that chemical sunscreens use one or more chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate. These chemicals are proven to be harmful and likely to cause hormonal disturbance and allergies.
Due to its antibacterial effect, Phenoxyethanol is commonly used in cosmetics, food, and medicine. However, there are many studies that suggest it is likely to cause skin irritation and allergies.
Mineral oil is colorless and odorless substance obtained by refining oil. It is widely used in massage oils, sun creams, and body lotions. There is a controversy that mineral oil can actually damage the skin. Because it clogs the skin with dust and pollutants in the air and blocks skin from breathing. Moreover, mineral oil might be contaminated with Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) during the process of oil refining.
Silicone oil components such as Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, and Cyclopentasiloxane are ingredients that provide soft feeling on the skin. It is broadly used in cosmetic products namely, hair essence, lotion, cream, sunscreen, BB cream, and conditioner. Although silicones are comparatively safe products, it is severely criticized that silicones obstruct skin breathing and have harmful effects on the environment because of poor biodegradability.
The key components of Ethanolamine, Triethanolamine (TEA), Nonethanolamine (NEA), and Diethanolamine (DEA), are typical substances that act as surfactants (emulsifiers) or pH adjusters. These components can cause allergies, skin toxicity, and hormonal disturbances. They are also known to cause itching in the eyes and scalp and to create pores and blackheads on the skin.
Chemical pigments, commonly referred to as tar pigments, are the mixtures of pigments, rake, salts, and diluents derived from chemical or synthetic intermediates of coal tar.
Polymers of ethylene oxide used as humectants, solvents, binders, emulsion stabilizers, and viscosity increasing agents in cosmetics. It’s found to cause contamination concerns and organ system toxicity.
Retinyl palmitate is an ingredient composed of palmitic acid and retinol (Vitamin A). Data from an FDA study indicate that retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions. FDA, Norwegian and German health agencies have raised a concern that daily skin application of vitamin A creams may contribute to excessive vitamin A intake for pregnant women and other populations.
Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic impurity released by a number of cosmetic preservatives. The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as ‘carcinogenic to humans,’ and the U.S. National Toxicology Program has classified it as ‘reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,’ based on emerging evidence in humans and robust evidence in animals.
Hydroquinone is an aromatic organic compound that is used as an active ingredient in OTC drug products. It may cause organ system toxicity (non-reproductive).
Dibutyl Phthalate, one of the most hazardous types of Phthalate, is banned by European Union and other authoritative bodies to be used in cosmetics and personal care products. It is classified as reproductive and developmental toxicant that causes endocrine disruption.
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent and preservative used in personal care and home-cleaning products; persistent in the environment and may be associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity, irritation, persistence and bioaccumulation.