The Bad Stuff In Products: Why We Don't Use It

Have you ever wondered what all those ingredients are in the products you use? Everything from shampoo to hand soap contains dozens of chemicals, and some of them might sound familiar to you, but others could be completely foreign. Sometimes products come with labels that say made in the USA or organic or non-GMO, but other times they don’t. So how do you know what’s good and what’s bad?

Many prepare companies to dupe them with “bad stuff” in their products; those chemicals with incredibly long scientific names. The truth is that bad stuff really does exist, but not in our products! We’re going to tell you what the bad stuff is, so you can master the beauty world, and why we don't use and never will! 

How It’s Made 

Every part of the design and production process, from molding All-In-One to packing peanuts into your purchase, is done by hand; something that can’t be done with a machine. That’s the reason why our products are so special – they're created by hands that care. Unlike most brands on the market today, we don't want to simply label something as organic without fully understanding what it means. We believe in transparency and honesty with our customers because that's how we do business. To us, you deserve better than chemicals found in most common hair and skincare products. We also believe that the ocean doesn’t deserve to be exposed to those chemicals either.

What It Does 

The “bad stuff” can be found in almost everything, from the air we breathe to the clothes we wear, but it's not just humans that suffer from these chemicals; plants and animals can also experience their negative impacts. That's why our company strives to only use all natural, sustainable, and fresh ingredients. And while this is great for our environment, it's also good for us. For example, some studies have shown that exposure to certain chemicals like phthalates and bisphenol A are linked with cancerous cells. Phthalates are known as endocrine disruptors because they can interfere with hormones - which may lead to reproductive problems. The ocean and the state of our health aren’t worth the risk.

Ingredients We Don’t Use

Here are just a few of those bad chemicals we don’t use in our products, because we care about you: sulfates, parabens, salates, phthalates, silicone, oxybenzone, octinoxate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, plastic, behentrimonium methosulfate, butelyne glycol, dimethicone, panthenol, cocomidopropyl betaine, nut or mineral oils. (Trust us, we couldn’t read through it all either, and we’re not going to try to say them out loud…)


Sulfates are bad for the environment and our skin, so we don't use them. A sulfate is a compound that contains sulfur. There are many types of sulfates, but some of the most common ones in personal care products are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Sulfates can irritate or damage the skin by drying it out. They also contribute to environmental problems like water pollution. The ingredients in our vegan hair and skincare line are safe for everyone to use because they're biodegradable, which means they break down without releasing harmful substances into the environment. You may want to try our Rehab Balm™ - Restorative Hair Conditioner which is 100% Sulfate free. Gentle and restorative, Rehab Balm uses clean ingredients such as coconut milk and cupuacu butter to deep-condition hair, no sulfates are needed!


Parabens are preservatives that may be used in our skin and hair care products to prevent the growth of microbes, such as mold and bacteria, especially in formulas with a water base or no added preservative. Studies have shown that parabens can cause endocrine disruption by mimicking estrogen. For this reason, we avoid them whenever possible. Some people may be sensitive to parabens and could experience irritation or redness when they come into contact with them on their skin. With these issues in mind, we don’t use any parabens in our vegan hair and skincare products. Instead, we use biodegradable natural preservative compounds instead. 


An ingredient in many sunscreen formulas, homosalate is a chemical compound. It's derived from a form of coal tar that has been found to cause severe acne. If you're thinking about getting a really dark tan this summer, you might want to think twice before going out in the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology and Skin Cancer Foundation recommend using sunscreens with Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide or Avobenzone (AKA Parsol 1789) instead of Homosalate. Check out our ocean-safe Aloe Cream, free of homosalates and full of ingredients such as Hawaiian Kukui Nut oil and calendula that delves deep into the layers of the skin, intensely moisturizing. 


Phthalates are present in a wide range of products. They are used in PVC plastics and vinyl products, as well as some personal care products like nail polish, shampoo, or lotion. It’s odd that a chemical used in vinyl products is used in skin and hair care. There are many types of phthalates with different chemical structures and properties that vary in toxicity to humans. Phthalates have been associated with reproductive issues like male infertility and certain types of cancers in children (kidney and testicular) and adults (prostate). We’d rather pass on these negative side effects.


What many people don’t know is that not all ingredients in their personal care products are actually there to work on your skin. Some ingredients are added to make the product last longer or because they add a certain look, feel, or smell to the product. Silicone is an example of an ingredient that goes into products to add just those things. 

Most people who have used silicone in personal care products before know that it doesn’t do anything beneficial for your skin. Silicone doesn’t absorb into your skin and can leave a sticky feeling after applying some sunscreens and moisturizers that contain it. It also coats your hair, leaving you with tangles and knots when brushing. 

If you use a conditioner with silicone in it, you'll need to rinse the conditioner out well, or else silicone will be left behind coating your hair and clogging up pores. But why put yourself through the trouble? Rehab Balm is more efficient than generic conditioners and is formulated without silicone.

Since our products don't contain any silicone, we've found that they're less likely to produce build-up over time. If you have sensitive skin, this can be an even bigger concern since more harsh chemicals might lead to irritation over time while silicone will still coat the skin without providing any benefits like other ingredients might. Our Aloe Cream - Hydrating Body Lotion Set is a Silicone free product. 


We're not going to lie - oxybenzone can create good as much as it may be bad. The ingredient is often found in sunscreens, and we think it's a great solution for preventing skin cancer and other ills that come with too much time in the sun. But the chemical has some serious negative side effects, including increased risk of toxic shock syndrome, endocrine disruption, hives, itching and possible cellular damage. Studies have also shown that this common sunscreen may worsen if you're trying to get rid of head lice or swimmer's ear. Instead, try our Better Butter balm - a chapstick as much as a skin salve, raspberry seed, and coconut naturally protect and heal chapped, scraped skin.

Our Answer 

Most major brands use these chemicals, leading to eye and respiratory irritation. We advise you to pass on these generic brands; you deserve better! You may be wondering: “With all of this “bad stuff” in several products, who can I trust?”

Our answer is Surf Soap of course. If you aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry, we’ll point you in the direction of All-In-One. The active ingredient in our shampoo bar (formulated with pineapple, hibiscus, and awapuhi) helps remove dirt, oil, makeup, and dead skin cells from your skin so you're left feeling refreshed and clean. The best part? It’s safe for the environment everywhere, anywhere, all the time.

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