It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about common soap ingredients. So lets have a go.
You’ll see this ingredient in shampoos, soaps, cosmetics, and more. It’s called “PEG” or Polyethylene Glycol. There are lots of different varieties – PEG-40, PEG-100, PEG-8, PEG-7 and more. All “PEG”s are molecular variations of each other (meaning that they are similar, but some weigh more or less).
Let’s start with the most commonly found PEGs
- PEG-100 Stearate EWG Rating – 3 (Moderate Risk)
- This PEG is in over 2,700 products on the EWG database. As with most PEGs, there is a high contamination concern.
- PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil EWG Rating: (Moderate Risk)
- Used as a perfume agent in fragrances, an emulsifying agent, and a surfactant,, this PEG is in nearly 1,200 products.
- PEG-8 Laurate EWG Rating – 5 (Moderate Risk)
- This is most commonly found sunscreens or sunless tanning products as an emulsifying agent. It has ties to organ system toxicity.
- More commonly found PEGS include:
- PEG-8 Octaethylene Glycol EWG Rating: 3
- PEG-12 Dimethicone EWG Rating: 3
- PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate EWG Rating: 4
- 1,4 Dioxane EWG Rating: 8 (High Hazard)
- This guy is bad. Really bad. 1,4 Dioxane is a known carcinogen that contaminates 46% of all personal care products tested by the EWG. It irritates the skin and eyes and is toxic to organ systems.
- Ethylene Oxide EWG Rating: 10 out of 10 (High Hazard)
- Lots of research has found Ethylene Oxide to be a known carcinogen, to have toxic effects on development and the reproductive system, and to be an allergen.