Reach for a bottle of facial moisturizer or body lotion from the store shelf, and you will be shocked to find ingredients such as phenoxyethanol, fragrance, and even cocamidopropyl betaine. The amount of preservatives and toxins within personal care and beauty products has reached a new level. The European Union has already taken extensive steps to ban chemicals from beauty products. However, the United States still has a long way to go, since standards are not as strict.
Since the FDA does not regulate products as they should, this often leads consumers to end up purchasing greenwashed brands they think are clean. Instead, they are tricked into false marketing and think cruelty free or paraben free means toxin free. This is far from the truth.
There is an overwhelming amount of toxic beauty and personal care products in stores, and often the purity of ingredients is overlooked. Below is a list of common harmful ingredients to be on the lookout for.
Formaldehyde, Methylene Glycol & Paraformaldehyde - known carcinogens
Quaternium 15 - a chemical that releases formaldehyde
Mercury- a heavy metal that has been shown to damage the kidneys and the nervous system
Dibutyl and diethylhexyl phthalates, which disrupt hormones and damage the reproductive system
Isobutyl and isopropyl parabens, which disrupt hormones and harm the reproductive system.
Long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS, which have been linked to cancer
M- and o-phenylenediamine, used in hair dyes, which irritate and sensitize the skin, damage DNA and can cause cancer
The list above is not exhaustive, as there are still many concerning ingredients to avoid. Learning to decipher labels is going to be your best bet. If you are new to toxin free living, there are many apps that can help support your introduction to reading labels. That being said, some apps are much more strict than others. Often apps do not acknowledge the harm of preservatives, so these ingredients will not be flagged. Clearya, the Yuka app, Think Dirty, and Switch Natural are all good resources to begin utilizing for ingredient safety. Ultimately, reading journal articles on specific ingredient toxicity will lead you to knowing if they are truly safe or not. But apps are a good place to begin. Below you will find an approved list of brands that contain nothing but clean ingredients.
Facial Moisturizers & Makeup
Baby Safe Brands
Many of these brands are sold online and are not yet sold in stores. Although brands like Carina Organics, Earthley, and Zaaina Skincare are making their way onto Amazon. As time goes on, these brands are becoming increasingly more popular for their clean ingredients and transparent labels. No preservatives, glycols, or words you can’t pronounce. This list will take the guesswork out of what is considered safe. looking for something specific that you don't see on this list? Feel free to send me an email!