Thrive’s Plethora of “Poisonous” Powders

thrive cosmetics coupon

Today we continue our series probing the hypocrisy of Thrive Market, the putative all-natural online store whose products often contain the very ingredients they claim to be toxic–but apparently only when found in competitor’s offerings.

In “The 9 Worst Chemicals Hiding in Your Makeup”, Thrive Market Lifestyle and Beauty Editor Dana Poblete calls out titanium dioxide in cosmetics for its possible carcinogenic properties.  She cautions readers to avoid makeup containing this compound, especially in pressed and loose powders, where inhalation is possible.1  Poblete cites the pseudoscientific Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Skin Deep” database as an authoritative reference on cosmetic ingredients and, not coincidentally, goes on to refer potential shoppers to Thrive’s own collection of makeup as an alternative (“No more nasty chemicals to mess up your makeup game!”).

Right then.  Thrive Market tells us to avoid titanium dioxide in cosmetics, especially in powders.  Got it!

Let’s go shopping at Thrive:

Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, "Deep 3"

Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, “Deep 3” for sale on (click/enlarge)


Above is a snapshot of Thrive’s Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, “Deep 3”.2  I wonder what’s inside?

deep 3 ingredients (

“Deep 3” ingredients. Wake the kids and phone the neighbors: there’s titanium dioxide! (click/enlarge)


Zut alors! Did you catch it?  Let me zoom in for you:

ingredients closeup thrivemarket titanium dioxde

Yes, it’s titanium dioxide. Thrive is selling us the very compound they linked to cancer, in the same product where they warned it could be hidden!  Lulled into a false sense of security, shopping on an “all natural” web site backed by the astroturf “research group” EWG,3  frightened shoppers are duped into forking over hard earned cash for a Xerox copy of the chemicals they were told could kill them.

“But surely this is just a one-off mistake!”, I hear the all-natural crowd cry.  Au contraire mon frère:

Mineral Hygenics at thrive market contains titanium dioxide

Mineral Hygienics Foundation, on offer at Thrive Market, also contains titanium dioxide, which the web site disingenuously links to cancer in humans. (click/enlarge)


A second powder on offer from (above) is Mineral Hygienics Fair Mineral Foundation.  Without further ado, let’s look at the listed ingredients:4

Fair Mineral Foundation from ThriveMarketOops!  Titanium dioxide again!  “But… but… but…” the organic apologists mutter, “the good people at Thrive are only human.  So they just slipped up twice!”  Hey, I’ve got you covered:

harmony blush on thrivemarket

Harmony Blush, sold on, also contains titanium dioxide, which the site links to cancer–but apparently only in products they don’t sell. (click/enlarge)


Strike three.  Act now, my friends, and you can save 31% on this nice Mineral Fusion Harmony Blush from our good friends at  Just ignore the titanium dioxide(or like Bill Clinton, don’t inhale):13

mineral fusion harmony blush on thrive market (ingredients)

I could go on (I really could), but I’m sure you get the point: Thrive’s little shop of horrors is loaded with the same chemical cocktail they claim can kill you if you buy it in a competitor’s product.

To add insult to injury, before you can purchase from Thrive, you have to buy a yearly membership.6  Bend over and grease up–you’re about to get screwed.

Just to throw a little science and logic at you: there’s nothing really dangerous about any of these products.  There is no evidence that titanium dioxide causes cancer in humans.  The woomeisters who attempt to push it as a carcinogen seem to be referring to the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) list of Group 2B carcinogens,8 which, for perspective, includes pickled vegetables, the profession of carpentry, and caffeic acid,10,11,12 a compound found in the Roasted Dandelion Tea sold by Thrive.9  The IARC lists these agents as “possibly carcinogenic” to humans.7  That doesn’t mean that they are.

But if Thrive argues that an ingredient is linked to cancer as a way to scare us away from certain products, why is their store loaded with items that contain the same additive?  And their store is loaded.  Perhaps because of my series of articles pointing this out,  a kind reader recently wrote to ask if I had a vendetta against Thrive.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Of the one hundred articles published on this blog since its creation in 2014, only four have mentioned this hypocritical market.  They’re no worse–and no better–than any of the other snake oil pushers I’ve written about (Vani Hari, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Mark Hyman, David Avocado Wolfe, etc.)

Thrive has my attention at the moment partially because their hypocrisy is so easy to spot–just read their labels–and partially because of the underhanded way some of their vendors are propping up their own brands through disingenuous research by non-scientific groups, such as EWG, that they themselves fund.  As we’ll see in an upcoming piece, the Environmental Working Group isn’t the only firm with financial ties to markets such as Thrive.  If you have’t heard of U.S. Right to Know and the Organic Consumer’s Association, get familiar with the names.  Along with EWG, they’re being funded in part by the labels you see on the virtual shelves of your favorite online organic vendor.

Stay thirsty (for knowledge) my friends.


(1) The 9 Worst Chemicals Hiding in Your Makeup (

(2) Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, “Deep 3” Ingredients (, retrieved 05 Aug 2016)

(3) Environmental Working Group/ThriveMarket Deal

(4) Fair Mineral Foundation Ingredients (, retrieved 05 Aug 2016)

(5) Mineral Fusion Harmony Blush (, retrieved 05 Aug 2016)

(6) How Thrive Works

(7) IARC Monograph on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans

(8) Agents Classified by the IARC Monographs, Volumes 1–112

(9) Thrive Market Traditional Medicinals Roasted Dandelion Tea

(10) Yarnell, E. ND, RH and Abascal, K. JD, RH.  Integrative Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 2. Apr/May 2009

(11) Li, Yan, Tan, et al. 2006. Qualitative fingerprint and quantitative determination of caffeic acid in compound dandelion enema.

(12) PubChem Summary for Compound ID #689043 (Caffeic Acid)

(13) Bill Clinton: I Didn’t Inhale


Image Credits
Thrive Market screen snapshots are used in strict accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Thrive Market coupon parody by Mark Alsip/Bad Science Debunked.


6 thoughts on “Thrive’s Plethora of “Poisonous” Powders

  1. If you would check your own source link you will see that there is only one section where titanium dioxide is listed and it says it is “a possible carcinogen” hiding in powders and only by inhalation. Nowhere in that article did it say for fact that it causes cancer and that it was proven OR that they offer specifically products that dont use it.
    In fact if you check the sunscreen notice they tell you as solution to avoid Benzophenone the best practice is to instead:
    “Choose sunscreen products that use non-nano zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.”

    I think you do have hatred against them.. That is why you’re so desperate in finding ways to discredit them… If you were honest you would disprove their evidence with real and true science and evidence from the opposite side of the same war they are fighting.
    But you can’t because the other side pays to avoid transparency and buys their way out of studies and research and bribes people to keep their mouth shut.
    And of course organic organizations will fund this path.. And they should.. This path is promoting organic foods. The only foods you can trust in today’s market.
    If you were trying to help people realize that 1 company or organization is better and the other kills people who would you reach out to for help and funding if you have none? Have you ever asked yourself that question?


    • The Thrive author specifically links titanium dioxide to cancer by inhalation, especially from loose powders. Thrive is selling loose powders containing titanium dioxide.

      The Thrive author made the cancer claim; I did not. Thrive is selling the products; I am not.

      These are the facts highlighted in the article and supported (rather clearly, I humbly submit) by the referenced material. In your comments, you neglect to address any of these facts.

      I thank you for reading and commenting. I hope you will write back and address the substance of the article which, again, is that a writer for Thrive is making a cancer claim for a specific ingredient found in Thrive products.


      • It is you who is clearly denying to see that within that same article they are promoting titanium dioxide as an alternative ingredient for a more harmful one under the sunscreen section.

        Also its cheap side to use make up as your evidence. Its a dangerous habit and often you do have to choose the lesser evil.

        You sir should be a man and accept that you are spreading nonsense.


        • No.

          Thrive Author Dana Poblete calls out titanium dioxide in cosmetics for its possible carcinogenic properties. She cautions readers to avoid makeup containing this compound, especially in pressed and loose powders, where inhalation is possible.

          Here is exactly what she says. Read the article:


          Found in: Pressed powder and loose powder
          Worry because: It’s a possible carcinogen (through inhalation only).
          Look out for: Titanium Dioxide; TiO2
          Best bet: Be wary of many loose powders. Pressed powder is safer, and avoid ones containing titanium dioxide.”


          Now, Thrive sells, among other things, Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation, “Deep 3”. This powder contains titanium dioxide in powder form, which is exactly what Thrive has warned is a possible carciniogen. The powder is applied to the face, where it can be inhaled.


          • To say that your building on a hint of warning about titanium dioxide is an understatement.

            Plathora of poisonous powders?

            Could you comment then on the sunscreen section of the same article where titanium dioxide is being preferred over something worse?
            Same article you imply says that titanium dioxide is definitely poison?

            And if you didn’t have a vendetta.. As you claim!
            Then why this over exaggerated article?
            Why bot bring to their attention this fact and find out if its a mistake or if they actually sell some products with that ingredient and why?
            Maybe find similar products without titanium dioxide to suggest to them to replace it with?

            Have you looked and/or found the same pressed powder product without titanium dioxide in it as whitener? Does it exist?
            Even the organic Industry allows certain gmo ingredients in organic food when non gmo versions cant be found. (just an example)

            You definitely seem to have a huge vendetta against these people.
            And I don’t blame anyone for making that assumption.

            And why? What have they done that has horrible effects on your personal life?
            For many people they are an inspiration and source of easily accessible lifestyle products.

            I believe everyone has a right to freely choose their path.
            And even if they sell a product that has an ingredient thats bad.. Just the fact that they warn against it is morally and legally justified.
            I mean who in their right mind as a business owners sells something that they themselves would tell you not to buy? So the fact that they do warn you is heroic if anything.

            If you look up pressed powder on many natural health and beauty websites online they all seem to have this ingredient.
            In some cases and products certain ingredients are almost unavoidable.

            In my books as a business they can sell whatever they want and the fact that they tell you clearly that it may be a possible carcinogen if inhaled is courageous and selfless.

            For many people that read that same article it’s apparent that titanium dioxide is being labelled as a “possible carcinogen” by inhalation and that its also preferred over more harmful ingredients such as the sunscreen notice section.
            For someone to arrive at what you’ve written in the manner you’ve done it.. You’d have to have a whole lot if vengeance and hate for them and what they stand for.

            Its a desperate attempt to say the least…


  2. Pingback: Thrive Market’s Little (“Carcinogenic”) Black Rain Cloud | Bad Science Debunked

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