Potentially dangerous ingredients

Check the ingredients of the products you use!

GU invite you to question the quality and ingredients of everything you consume. Check the products you use for yourself and your family and make sure they do not contain potentially dangerous ingredients. We help you to know them better to avoid them.

Chlorine bleaching releases toxins into the environment and leaves detectable residues in the final product. The danger of this substance is that dioxins in products bleached with chlorine can be absorbed by your skin or your baby, and expose you to this cancer-causing compounds.

Benzethonium chloride may be in some baby wipes. It is a highly toxic ingredient: ingesting a small amount can cause vomiting, collapse, convulsions, coma or death.

It is often used as a disinfectant and preservative, both in medical products and cosmetics. They are often incorporated to mouthwashes.

Phenol is an alcohol produced by partial oxidation of benzene, which makes it a toxic ingredient that can affect the central nervous system, heart, liver, kidney, intestines, and skin. In oral rinses, alcohol acts as a solvent and makes tissues more vulnerable to various ailments, according to a study by the Instituto Nacional del Cáncer.

It is also considered a high environmental pollutant. In labels, it may appear as nitrofen, phenolphthalein or chlorophenol.


Preservative widely used in cosmetics, wet wipes, ointments, ear drops, and vaccines. In large doses, it is detrimental to the blood and liver. Besides carcinogen in animals, it is linked to contact allergy and dermatitis. In a report in May 2013, the ANSM (National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products in France) warned about the high levels of Phenoxyethanol in baby wipes and recommended not to use products containing this toxic substance with children under three years.

It is a volatile organic compound found in household cleaning products, furniture, varnishes and, of course, in the industrial cosmetics: gels, shampoos, toothpaste, makeup, nail polish or deodorants. It is a known human carcinogen linked to leukemia, pancreatic cancer, skin, liver, and lung. Currently, formaldehyde has been officially classified as a dangerous and toxic ingredient, and it is prohibited in cosmetics, but it is a so cheap preservative that some brands are using other substances that release it, for example, Quaternium 15, among many others.

The fragrance is a term that manufacturers can use without listing specific ingredients. Frequent and regular use of products containing phthalates is hazardous to health. Numerous scientific studies relate it to cancer, hormone system dysfunction and damage to the DNA of male reproduction, as well as fetal malformations. There are many different phthalates, each with its own chemical structure and properties, so it is hard to generalize its effects.

In 1989, the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health tested on health 2,983 chemicals fragrances and identified 884 of them as toxic substances. The US Environmental Protection Agency discovered that 100% of perfumes contain toluene, a toxic with volatile organic compounds (VOC) which may have effects on the developing baby. The European Parliament banned its use in toys that can be placed in the mouth by children, which gives us a good clue about its healthiness.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and numerous international organizations have found that phthalates are toxic ingredients carcinogenic in humans.

Isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol) may cause dizziness, loss of coordination, headache, confusion, stupor, vomiting and other serious effects. It is found in some shampoos.

Parabens are used as preservatives in many baby care products, including lotions, soaps, and wipes. Parabens can cause allergic reactions, are irritating to the skin and eyes and has been proved to damage human sperm. They are also weak estrogen mimics (chemicals that act like estrogen in the body), so some studies have linked them to reproductive problems and breast cancer. Parabens are easily absorbed through the skin and have been detected in breast tumor tissue.

There are several specific parabens - propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, and other - and several of them can be used in the same product. Since parabens are present in many products, children can be repeatedly exposed every day to its effects.

It is a mixture of chemical compounds used as an emulsifier and is typically employed in lotions and cleansers. According to various agencies and scientific journals, the problem with these chemicals is not their direct adverse effect (which has not been proved yet, but is under suspect) but the skin penetrating power they have. That is, the degree of danger depends primarily on the other ingredients in the product because other toxic substances also enter with the high penetrating power of PEG.

SLS are commonly used in shampoos, hair conditioners, and shower gels. It is a strong detergent used to make foam. The SLS can cause eye irritation, skin rashes, and peeling skin.

Triethanolamine is used in some shampoos and lotions. Cocamide DEA is used in some bubble baths. Triethanolamine and cocamide DEA can become carcinogenic when mixed with nitrosating agents - agents that form carcinogenic nitrosamines in the manufacturing processes of the body. Even without the nitrating agent, these ingredients are irritating, and triethanolamine may cause contact dermatitis.


Vaseline is a byproduct of petroleum and is a soft paraffin or wax mixture, sold as a topical skin ointment. It is recognized and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as a skin protectant and is used in the manufacture of cosmetics. However, side effects of Vaseline link to breast tumors, skin asphyxia, premature aging and aggravated acne.