Structural formula of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) / Teflon


What is it?

“Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), with the chemical formula (C2F4)n, is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene that has numerous applications. The best known brand name of PTFE-based formulas is Teflon. PTFE is a fluorocarbon solid, as it is a high-molecular-weight compound consisting wholly of carbon and fluorine.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This ingredient belongs to the groups:

PTFE is a fluorinated substance.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (previously the Breast Cancer Fund) list PTFE aka Teflon as associated with cancer, reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, and environmental bioaccumulation and persistence.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) reports that PTFE is a substance that “causes serious eye irritation.”

How is it used?

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), usually known as Teflon, is most commonly used on pans and kitchen utensils as a non-stick coating.

Because of the non-stick property of PTFE, it is also used as an ingredient in cosmetic products⋆. The chemical provides a smooth finish on application for many products, and can be found in products such as anti-aging lotion, shaving gel, eye shadow, mascara, foundation, powder, bronzer, blush, and lip balm.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

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Read about the other ingredients.