Allow me to present you with a list of ingredient that are often included in brand-name products (a hazard score* for each ingredient) - its function - and some information as to what it is:
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (0) - Skin conditioning agent - Shea butter is a vegetable fat obtained from the fruit of a tree native to Africa, Butyrospermum parkii. Shea butter is primarily composed of fatty acids such as stearic and oleic acids.
Caramel (0) - Colorant - Caramel is a concentrated sugary material obtained from heating sucrose or glucose solutions.
Carbomer (0) - Emulsion Stabilizer, Viscosity Controlling - Carbomer is a large polymeric chemical composed of acrylic acid monomers.
Cetyl Alcohol (1) - Emulsion Stabilizer, Opacifying Agent, Surfactant, Viscosity Increasing Agent - Cetyl alcohol is a long chain organic alcohol; according to the PETA's Caring Consumer guide, this ingredient can be of either animal or plant origin.
Dimethicone (3) - Anti-foaming Agent, Emollient, Skin Protecting - Dimethicone (also called polymethylsiloxane) is a silicon-based polymer used as a lubricant and conditioning agent.
Disodium EDTA (0) - Chelating Agent, Viscosity Controlling - EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is a chelating agent, used to sequester and decrease the reactivity of metal ions that may be present in a product.
DMDM Hydantoin (7) - Preservative - DMDM hydantoin is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative. People exposed to such formaldehyde-releasing ingredients may develop a formaldehyde allergy or an allergy to the ingredient itself and its decomposition products. In the U.S., approximately 20% of cosmetics and personal care products contain a formaldehyde-releaser and the frequency of contact allergy to these ingredients is much higher among Americans compared to studies in Europe.
Glycerin (0) - Denaturant, Humectant - Glycerin is a naturally occurring alcohol compound and a component of many lipids. Glycerin may be of animal or vegetable origin. This ingredient is listed in the PETA's Caring Consumer guide as a byproduct of soap manufacture which typically uses animal fat.
Glycol Stearate (0) - Emulsion Stabilizier, Emollient, Opacifying Agent - Glycol Stearate is composed ethylene glycol and stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid.
Hydroxyethyl Urea (0) - Skin Conditioning Agent - Excreted from urine and other bodily fluids. In deodorants, ammoniated dentifrices, mouthwashes, hair colorings, hand creams, lotions, shampoos, etc. Used to "brown" baked goods, such as pretzels. Derivatives: Imidazolidinyl Urea, Uric Acid. Alternatives: synthetics.
Isopropyl Palmitate (0) - Binder, Emollient - Isopropyl Palmitate is an ester of isopropyl alcohol and palmitic acid.
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (1) - Absorbent, Anticaking Agent, Voscosity Controlling, Pacifying Agent - Magnesium Aluminum Silicate is a complex silicate refined from naturally occurring minerals.
Methylparaben (4) - Preservative - Methylparaben is in the paraben family of preservatives used by the food, pharmaceutical, and personal care product industries. Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors. Petrolatum (4) - Emollient, Moisturizing, UV Absorbing - Petrolatum is a semisolid mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum.
Stearamide AMP (0) - Surfactant, Viscosity Controlling - No information available
Stearic Acid (0) - Surfactant, Emulsifying Agent - Stearic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid. It is listed in the PETA's Caring Consumer guide as a substance of animal origin, since stearic acid is primarily derived from rendered fat of farm and domestic animals.
Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter (0) - Skin Conditioning Agent, Viscosity Increasing Agent - Cocoa Butter is extracted from the roasted seeds of Theobroma cacao, a tree native to the Americas.
Titanium dioxide (1-3) - Colorant, Opacifying Agent, Sunscreen Agent, Ultraviolet Light Absorber - Titanium dioxide is an inorganic compound used in a range of body care products such as sunscreens and makeup. It appears to have low skin penetration but inhalation is a concern.
Triethanolamine (5) - pH Adjuster, Buffering, Masking - Triethanolamine is a strongly alkaline substance used as surfactant and pH adjusting chemical.
*Hazard Score Information: This rating considers potential health hazards but does not account for exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which will drive health risks, if any, but which are generally not available for assessment. Hazard ratings within Skin Deep are shown as low, moderate, or high concern categories, with numeric rankings spanning those categories that range from 0 (low concern) to 10 (high concern).
Be an educated consumer!
Mind you, our skin is our largest organ and whatever we put on our skin is absorbed by the blood stream.
I added this page to raise awareness because only too often we trust blindly without thought or questioning. Know what you are using and putting on your skin. This is not meant for you to buy from this site (which of course would be welcome); this page is meant for educational purposes.