Clean + Planet Positive: Ingredients


 - By Kailey Bradt

Clean + Planet Positive: Ingredients


Introducing Clean + Planet Positive at Sephora: the next wave of Clean at Sephora focusing on clean brands that are on a mission to change the beauty landscape, and the earth, for better. 

The first piece of Clean + Planet Positive is clean ingredients. Know that when you see our Clean + Planet Positive seal, this means our products are formulated without phthalates, formaldehyde, or formaldehyde releasers, oxybenzone and octinoxate, hydroquinone, triclosan, coal tar, methylisothiazolinone, insoluble plastic microbeads, and more. These ingredients are considered harmful to humans and the environment. We believe in transparency and choose to avoid the scare tactics often used by self-described “clean” or “all-natural” brands, so let’s break down the effects of each ingredient and why they are not considered clean.


Commonly used in ​​personal care products, such as nail polish, hair sprays, color cosmetics, and body washes. These chemicals have been linked to endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity and cancer. Phthalates have been banned from cosmetics in the European Union, but still remain prevalent in US products. Source

Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde Releasers

These ingredients are typical in shampoos as well as some other personal care products. Formaldehyde is known to be carcinogenic and a strong irritant. The EU lists formaldehyde as a category 1B carcinogen. These ingredients are not banned in shampoos, because they are often used in extremely low concentrations. Nonetheless, as it is a strong irritant, this ingredient is not necessary in our formula. Source 


Typically in sunscreens, this ingredient is considered a hazardous eye irritant and, as an allergen, is also known to cause allergic reactions on the skin. It also been linked to hormone disruption in humans, affecting estrogen production particularly in women and testosterone production in men. Source


Although most commonly found in sunscreens, this ingredient can also be found in hair color products and shampoos, lipstick, nail polish, skin creams. This ingredient is approved for use in cosmetics worldwide, as it is generally safe for humans in small doses (below 7.5 according to FDA regulations), but studies have shown this ingredient may be harmful to animals and the environment. This ingredient has shown to be an “endocrine disruptor” in animals, which means that it can alter the way hormones work.  Source


A popular skin-lightening ingredient, this OTC ingredient was recently banned by the FDA. Hydroquinone has been long banned in Europe because it is cytotoxic, meaning it is toxic to the cells to prevent the production of melanin pigments. Source


Most commonly this ingredient is found in soaps and detergents. Widespread use with few regulations has led to concerns regarding their effects on humans and the environment, such as endocrine disruption, bioaccumulation, and the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibodies and antibacterial products. Source

Coal Tar

Most commonly you’ll find this ingredient used in shampoos, soaps, hair dyes, and lotions. It is a  known carcinogen derived from burning coal. Experimental studies have found that application of and exposure to coal tar produce skin tumors and neurological damage when used in large quantities. Source


A preservative found in many liquid personal care products. This ingredient has been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity. Source

Plastic Microbeads

This ingredient is commonly used in exfoliating face and body products as well as toothpaste. Microplastic ingredients often get washed off and end up in the sea, then attract and absorb toxic chemicals as if they were little magnets and sponges. The particles become polluted and are eaten by fish and other sea animals; the ingested microplastics can then be passed along the food chain. Source

Image: Hannah Thornhill for Susteau