Common Chemical Irritants

Ingredient Selection

The primary purpose of our company is to make products for people with sensitive skin. We know from the responses of both physicians who recommend our products, and patients that use them, that we have achieved considerable success toward this goal.

None-the-less, we know that we will probably never be able to help every person with sensitive skin.

You can be assured that we go to great lengths to select ingredients that are safe and effective, are suitable for our customers, and then we continuously test and monitor them for quality. Likewise, our finished products undergo evaluation by our Quality Control and Quality Assurance departments as well as outside testing organizations.

We know that allergies are on the rise, and we remain vigilant and will revise our formulas, and will rule-out ingredients as knowledge in the area advances.

Clearly, anyone with severe allergies or contact sensitivities with unknown causes should contact their physician to see if a skin test is recommended before using any of our products when an ingredient may be of concern.

Lanolin & Derivatives

Lanolin and derivatives contribute properties to skin products that help moisturize. Lanolin is not a pure product but a complex combination of many substances which are difficult to separate and may carry over to derivatives. Some of these substances can cause skin irritation to sensitive skin, and may produce skin sensitization. Examples of lanolins are:

  • Lanolin (hydrous and anhydrous)
  • Hydrogenated Lanolin
  • Lanolin Alcohol
  • Wool Fat
  • Wool Wax
  • Alcohols (Wool Alcohol)
Irritating Preservatives

Irritating preservatives also used to prevent microbial growth, unfortunately by their own nature, cause irritation to the skin of many people. Preservatives are the second most common cause of cosmetic allergic contact dermatitis. Examples of irritating preservatives are:

  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Methylisothiazolinone

Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc. (PSI) develops and manufactures skin care products for people who need, or want, to avoid many of the common chemical irritants found in ordinary skin care products.

Our products are free of dyes, fragrance and masking fragrance, parabens, lanolin, and formaldehyde. Because we leave out these offensive ingredients, our products may be used by those with either normal or sensitive skin. You will find our products superior in terms of quality, effectiveness and value. Ideal for use by the entire family.


Dyes are used to tint skin products to disguise the undesirable color of an ingredient, are added to more closely match skin colors, or to tint the product for consumer appeal. Examples of possible irritating dyes are:

  • D&C Yellow #11
  • FD&C Blue #1
  • FD&C Yellow #5 (also known as tartrazine)

Fragrance adds to consumer appeal and may be used to cover up undesirable odors for some ingredients. Examples of fragrances are:

  • Benzaldehyde
  • Cologne
  • Herbal Extracts
  • Masking Fragrance
  • Perfume
  • Plant, flower, fruit, nut oils
Formaldehyde Releasers

Formaldehyde releasers preserve a product against bacterial, mold and fungus contamination. Unfortunately, formaldehyde also causes irritation and allergic problems for some people. Examples of formaldehyde releasers:

  • Bronopol
  • Diazolidinyl Urea
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea
  • MDM Hydantoin
  • Quaternium 15

Parabens are preservatives that guard against mold, fungus, or bacteria growth. Examples of parabens are:

  • Benzylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben

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