If you do a google search for toxic ingredients in personal care products you will find many claims. I read those myself and do another search to find out if there are studies done to support those claims!
That takes a lot of coffee and long nights of googling!
Clean beauty means a non-toxic product that is made without a long list of ingredients linked to harmful health effects. The personal care industry is effectively unregulated and the last piece of the regulation was passed in 1938!
It now means that companies are essentially free to do whatever they want, with no government oversight.
Companies can then use whatever adjectives they would like when it comes to marketing their products. A lot of terms such as natural, green and hypoallergenic literally have no enforceable definition. So basically, what is written on the front of the products doesn’t have to really match what’s on the ingredient label on the back.
Some great resources to start learning about what’s in products and how they can be harmful are the ThinkDirty app EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database which allows you to search products and individual ingredients to see a rating.
This is a good starting point BUT I suggest you really read why a product or ingredient was rated the way it was. It basically comes down to knowing your ingredients!
Skin Bliss is also a new platform to search for ingredients and its mission is to fight misinformation and use science with the support of Artificial Intelligence to bring transparency to the skincare industry. They want to raise awareness about the consequences of using certain ingredients and give the knowledge and tools needed to make your own choices.
Disclosure: Greenify Organics is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for this site to earn fees by linking to those sites. If you buy any products from these links, I get a small share of the revenue at no additional cost to you. It helps me pay for my coffee so I can write more blog posts with my eyes open! Thank you for your support. Read the full disclosure.
The Top Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Beauty Products
Fragrance: Sometimes listed as parfum, this is like an umbrella term so that companies can hide chemical ingredients claiming “propriety information”. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that the average fragrance contained 14 chemicals that were not disclosed on the label. Fragrance manufacturers claim that the specific chemicals used to create their scents are TRADE SECRETS; a concept originally codified in the 1966 Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA).
Formaldehyde: In personal care products, formaldehyde can be added directly, or more often, it can be released from preservatives such as:
- DMDM hydantoin
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Diazolidinyl urea
- Polyoxymethylene urea
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
A 2015 study determined that longer storage time and higher temperature increase the amount of formaldehyde released from FRP (Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives) and could ultimately lead to more severe health concerns.
You won’t see Formaldehyde listed on any of your personal care products, but many of the preservatives that have been used as paraben replacements RELEASE formaldehyde! Read about all of them here
Parabens: These popular preservatives have been a hot topic for a few years, for their supposed link to breast cancer and other hormonal concerns. When parabens are absorbed into the skin, they mimic estrogens, disrupt our endocrine systems and can lead to breast cancer. Read the study here
Phthalates: Phthalates are found in a variety of products from skincare to vinyl flooring. They are used to soften plastics but have been linked to adverse effects on the development of the male reproductive system. Exposure to phthalates is widespread and The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies have found phthalates present in the majority of the population, particularly among children and women of child-bearing age.
Triclosan: Mainly used as a preservative, to stop bacteria from growing on the product and spoiling it. Also used in antibacterial products and children who are exposed at an early age have an increased chance of developing allergies, asthma and eczema.
Petrolatum: Petroleum jelly, aka mineral oil, liquid paraffin, toluene, and xylene. Petrolatum absorbs UV light and contains 1,4-Dioxane. It is derived from the same stuff that fuels your car. It goes by a few different names, including mineral oil and paraffin oil. It can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs — including skin contact over extended periods of time — is associated with cancer. On this basis, the European Union classifies petrolatum as a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics.
Phenoxyethanol: I personally do not use any products with Phenoxyethanol in the ingredients because it is harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin, especially to nursing mothers or infants. Phenoxyethanol can irritate skin and eyes and can cause blistering on the skin as well. Exposure to phenoxyethanol has been linked to reactions ranging from eczema to severe, life-threatening allergic reactions.
Nontoxic life is a journey! It can get overwhelming and seem like too much so please take it slow and do your research so that you can make your own decisions.
RELATED BLOG POST: 5 Ways to Help You Make the Switch to Clean Nontoxic Beauty
A Few Tips On Switching To Clean Beauty
- Switch one product at a time. Start with the products you use on a more regular basis. I switched to a non-toxic mascara first as it was creating so many issues for me.
- Try out subscription boxes which are a great way for trying out new products. A lot of companies will also give you a 10%-25% discount for just signing up for their email newsletter.
- Do your research and look closely at the ingredients especially if you have allergies to food and nuts. For example, if you are allergic to coconut 2 Phenoxyethanol and Ceteareth-20 both contain coconut or have coconut-derived ingredients.
RELATED BLOG POST: 3 Clean Beauty Brands Owned by Women Entrepreneurs
Download “Rejuvenating Skin Care Recipes” eBook by focusing on helping those new to clean beauty and natural skincare learn the basics of beginning their own routine.
Affordable Clean Beauty Brands
I think Clean Beauty really has a different meaning for everyone. I’m against toxic ingredients and I ALWAYS stay away from synthetic fragrances, if I see the F-word I simply do not by the product. Most of these brands are organic, plant-based, and eco-friendly.
100% Pure: Fruit pigmented makeup and natural skincare. They are affordable, clean and perform really well.
What I like about this brand is their makeup line is amazing too but also with every order, they donate one bowl of vegan dog food OR plant a tree! You can choose which one you prefer to be done at the checkout.
Follain: Check out their Clean Essentials Kit (Includes 4 trial size products plus canvas pouch). It has the basics to help you transition to a natural and non-toxic skincare routine. All the products included are best sellers and suitable for all skin types. Use code WELCOME10 for 10% OFF your first order!
Zatik Natural: This line does not contain anything synthetic and they are super affordable. Their skincare line is all under $32 and their soaps and deodorants under $10. I think for a natural line to be this affordable one might think why can’t all companies create a nontoxic line! Also available at Amazon
Aleavia Skincare: This company is one of my newest discoveries and a family business! They started the line since both their daughters had eczema. Check out their travel size trio which is great for trying out the brand. Also available at Amazon
OSEA Malibu: They have everyday essentials starter kits and travel size products which are great for trying out the brand. I love everything I have tried so far from this brand especially the Sea Vitamin Boost which is from Wild Organic Seaweeds. Also available at Amazon
Indie Lee: Her story is really interesting! After being diagnosed with a brain tumor and given six months to live in 2009 (happy ending – her brain tumor was successfully removed and she is all good!), it has been her mission to educate and empower others to make informed, healthy life choices and to create a line of clean products that are as effective as they are safe.
The Brightening Cleanser, CoQ-10 Toner and Squalane Facial Oil are all under $35 and their Discover Travel Kit consists of all three products mentioned and is only $29 if you like to give it a try first.
Watch my review on Instagram
Sulina Shop: Sisters Susan, Shelina and Rovina founded Sulina Shop over four years ago. Being from Fiji, with Indian heritage, they were familiar with Ayurvedic herbs and experienced the incredible health benefits of these ingredients. Try their Tamanu Facial Oil
Want to know the benefits of Tamanu oil? Find out here
USE CODE: Greenify360 for 20% off and free shipping.
Natural Clean Beauty Stores
Clean beauty stores carry many of the clean skincare and makeup brands at different price points. They are a platform for connecting you with all the nontoxic beauty. A place where people KNOW that EVERY product is nontoxic.
The Choosy Chick – This family-run company was created out of a personal quest to find safe and effective health and beauty care products. They have nontoxic products for the whole family! Shop their sale here.
Organic & Natural Clean Beauty Boxes
The Detox Box: In this box, you have 2-3 products from a featured brand each month worth at least $90 that follows a strict ingredient standard and helps you discover nontoxic ways to continue your beauty routine. What I love about this subscription is that you can try popular and undiscovered brands alike at a really good value!
Petit Vour Beauty Box: Every month you get 4 products valued between $45-$60 that are picked for you based on your personal profile that you create when you sign up.
You also get $4 back for every time you review your beauty box – yay!
Buy This Clean Beauty Box | $18/month @ Petit Vour Website – You can cancel anytime AND it’s affordable.
YEARLY $180 ($15/box) Best Deal!
Kinder Beauty Box: Each month you’ll get up to $165 worth of clean, vegan & cruelty-free skincare, makeup, hair-care and accessories, including at least two full-sized products. You will gain access to exclusive special collections, limited edition offers and flash-sales.
A portion of all sales benefits some of our favorite animal rights and environmental causes.
Buy This Clean Beauty Box | $25/month @ Kinder Beauty – You may cancel at anytime
3 months @ $24
6 months @ $23
Use Code BEKINDER when signing up and you will receive a FREE bonus item in your first box!
Crate Joy – TheraBox: I think this is the ultimate natural self-care subscription box!
Each box includes 1 research inspired therapeutic activity to wire your brain for more joy plus 6 to 8 self-care wellness goodies to reduce stress & enhance your life! They aim to inspire more love and happiness in every box through mindfully curated products to feed your mind, body & soul.
- 1 happiness activity plus 6 – 8 self-care wellness goodies (i.e., aromatherapy, natural/organic bath, body, skincare products, and other lifestyle goodies!)
- Over $100+ in retail value in every box!
- Curated by therapists to increase happiness and reduce stress
- Subscriptions automatically renew. Cancel anytime
Buy This Box | $30.99/month @ Crate Joy
See all-natural beauty subscription boxes here.
Use code CJFIRST10 at checkout to get 10% OFF your first order!
You can also read about another blog post where I’ve covered the best natural subscription beauty boxes in detail and there are more than 20 best hand-made, plant-based, vegan, organic and natural skincare subscription boxes you can choose from and the prices range anywhere from $5 to $55 per month.
- It’s The Balm! All-Natural Soap Box
- Modern Skyn Apothecary Skincare Box
- Merkaela All-Natural Self-Care Box
- Lathered Organics Natural Soap Box
- Clean Carriage Company Natural Soap Box
- Lolablue Subscriptions Natural Soap Box
- UNI Naturals Luxury Skincare Box
- Laurel & Reed Natural Beauty & Skincare Box
- Sudzly Vegan & Natural Bath and Body Box
- Pearlesque Clean & Organic Skincare Box
- Isabella’s Clearly Natural Box
- Shun Fragrance Body and Home Box (Fragrance-FREE)
- Vegancuts Beauty Box
- Natural Vegan Body Care Box
- Jersey Shore Organic & Natural Cosmetics Box
- Earth Beauty Vegan & Natural Skincare Box
- Sudz & Scrubz Natural Bath & Shower Box
- Goddess Sudz Co Natural Soap & Bath Box
RELATED BLOG POST: Best Natural Subscription Beauty Subscription Boxes
Natural and Aluminum-Free Deodorants
Meow Meow Tweet: I read so many good reviews on this deodorant cream also available in cream. The ingredients are arrowroot powder, baking soda coconut shea butter, kaolin clay, jojoba seed oil, and lavender oil. The ingredients of course and the packaging were a win for me.
Each & Every: I have personally bought this deodorant because it has so many varieties of scents and of course non-toxic. It looks white in color but goes on clear. It has 5 simple ingredients and essential oils. It’s safe and rated as low health/hazard risk in the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database.
Doji Naturals Deodorant Spray: My husband and I both have used this deodorant in Fresh Citrus and Mountain Pine and recently they have come up with the new Lavender scent which I absolutely love. It is non-staining, without Parabens, Phthalates, Artificial Fragrances, Sulfates and it’s Gluten-Free. Available at Doji Website
RELATED BLOG POST: 6 Best Aluminum-Free and Natural Deodorants that Actually Work!
Safe and Nontoxic Sunscreen Guide
It took such a long time for me to find a natural sunscreen that was affordable and it actually worked! I then decided to write an extensive natural sunscreen guide that talks about which natural sunscreens are the best and safe!
Here are the 8 BEST natural sunscreen brands and more than 20 nontoxic sunscreen products AND they are all under $20
- Badger Clear Zinc Sport Sunscreen Cream – SPF 35
- Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream Broad Spectrum – SPF 30
- Earth Mama Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40
- Earth Mama Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40
- Earth Mama Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
- Earth Mama Kids Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40
- Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion – SPF 40
- Babo Botanicals Continuous Spray Sunscreen – SPF 30
- Think Baby Safe Sunscreen SPF – 50+
- Think Sport Kids Safe Sunscreen – SPF 50+
- Think Sport Adults Sunscreen – SPF 50+
- Laguna Herbals Organic Mineral Sunscreen Tin – SPF 50+
- All Good Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion – SPF 30
- All Good Baby & Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion – SPF 30
- Raw Elements Natural Sunscreen for Face & Body – SPF 30+
- Raw Elements Tinted Facial Moisturizer – SPF 30+
- Raw Elements Baby & Kids Sunscreen Lotion – SPF 30
- Beauty by Earth Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 25
- Beauty by Earth Face Sunscreen – SPF 20
- Beauty by Earth Tinted Sunscreen for Face (Toffee) – SPF 20
Ways to Save on Clean Beauty
- Get up to $20 in shopping credit when you purchase a Thrive Market Membership.
- Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial – $3 for 30-day Free Trials
- 50% Off Amazon Prime – Prime Student 6-Month Trial
- Use this code to get a $10 bonus when you sign up with my link and spend $25. It’s FREE!
- Rakuten is an app, browser extension, and website that offers cash back to consumers who click on its links before checking out at a physical store or online retailer. Rakuten also provides a list of stores that have special deals for customers, such as free shipping, buy one get one free, or free gifts with purchase.
- The first is to search on Rakuten.com for a product across all of the site’s participating retailers and find the best cashback deal. Once you do, click through to the retailer’s site and proceed with your purchase as you normally would – No additional cost to you!
This is a list of clean beauty companies on Rakuten.
See all participating Rakuten merchants here.
I hope this budget-friendly clean beauty post has helped you find safe and nontoxic beauty skincare products.
Read product labels,
Know your ingredients,
AND stay safe!
RELATED BLOG POSTS: