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BHA & BHT: What You Need to Know

BHA & BHT: What You Need to Know

Chances are at some point you have heard the acronyms BHA and BHT but if you are like me you are probably left scratching your head, asking, “what are they again?” BHA or Butylated hydroxyanisole is a preservative commonly found in some of your favorite foods as well as some of your favorite beauty products. BHT or Butylated hydroxytoluene typically goes hand in hand with BHA, accompanying it in many of the same products. Red flags were raised, when based on animal studies, the National Toxicology Program concluded that BHA “is reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen.” BHT, on the other hand, has been linked to both an increase and decrease of cancer in animals.

So just what is a carcinogen? According to The American Cancer Society, a carcinogen is any substance or exposure that can lead to cancer. Cancer is caused when changes occur in a cell’s DNA. There are many different reasons that cause ones’ cells to change ranging from genetic inheritance to a variety of substances and exposures. It is important to note that carcinogens to do not cause cancer in every case. The research on this topic dives deep and is multi-layered. Every individual is “built” differently in regard to genetic makeup therefore what may provoke cancer in some may not in others. 

As a company that takes pride on its skincare “with no secrets,” we are the first to admit the “jury is still out” on the final conclusion as to how harmful BHA and BHT may be. Multiple studies have shown different outcomes therefore, we cannot be definitive when we speak on the subject, however with that said we believe since the research has shown BHA to be a reasonablecarcinogen there is no way we would include it in our formulations, nonetheless our children’s. If we can create a way to make incredible products without possible cancer-causing agents, why wouldn’t we? It’s just not worth the risk.


Berkeley Wellness. 2011. Two Preservatives To Avoid? Published February 1, 2011.

The American Cancer Society. 2014. Known and Probable Human Carcinogens. Last Revised November 3, 2016.

Huffington Post. 2013. BHA and BHT: A Case for Fresh? Updated February 18, 2014.

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