Updated: Feb 16, 2021

These ingredients — which have antibacterial properties and can be used as preservatives, or serve as conditioners, antistatic agents, and viscosity control agents — are widely used in the beauty industry, often in hair care products.

They’re not as famous as Silicones or Parabens (yet) so it’s likely you’ve never heard of them. Also, there are 724 of them, so it’s easier for QUATS to live incognito on your labels (try to spot the ‘… onium chloride’ in their names, like Stearalkonium Chloride).

The problem is that generally, there is a lack of safety data concerning QUATS and most of them have environmental concerns for toxicity. ‘Concerns’ is enough for us to consider an ingredient problematic. If it’s not proven to be safe, we’d rather be cautious than sorry.

We’ll also be monitoring the use of grapefruit seed extract in the products we sell, as it may contain Benzalkonium Chloride as a hidden ingredient (in WaterWipes, for example). R x

Credits: Condenast.

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