Non-Toxic Cosmetic Ingredients

Laura Tolentino

Skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything we put on it, which is why selecting nontoxic cosmetic products is of utmost importance.

Health Canada scientists conduct regular reviews to ensure cosmetic ingredients are safe; this process is known as Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR). Here are some chemicals they have identified as being potentially unsafe.


Fragrance is the combination of chemicals that gives perfumes and colognes their distinctive scent. Companies manufacturing such products must purchase fragrance mixtures from fragrance houses that create customized blends for them; often this mixture includes chemicals as well as solvents, stabilizers, UV absorbers and preservatives. Manufacturers in the US must disclose whether their products contain fragrance allergens on their labels and disclose ingredients known to cause allergic reactions by 2023 under the Cosmetic, Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act 2023.

Though fragrance chemicals have been linked with serious health concerns like cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, allergies and sensitivities, most aren’t disclosed on product labels due to U.S. federal law requiring manufacturers to list all their product ingredients excluding fragrance components as confidential information.

Even though the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) maintains a list of fragrance ingredients and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials maintains safety profiles for these chemicals, manufacturers remain responsible for making sure any ingredients used in their products do not cause harm to consumers. They must assess how much exposure consumers will experience before determining whether an ingredient could pose risks; this process is known as hazard identification and dose-response analysis or quantification.

Determining how much exposure would lead to symptoms like skin rashes or other reactions requires measuring the concentration of chemical in a product and comparing that concentration against its individual ingredient’s sensitivities; one of the more complicated calculations.

. If you are sensitive to certain chemicals, having a patch test by a dermatologist may help identify which products to avoid and recommend which ones. You can also advocate for products without fragrance by asking employers, schools, gyms and communities for samples of fragrance-free policies and urging local politicians to support legislation mandating ingredient disclosure and chemical safety screening legislation.

Heavy Metals

Iron, cobalt and zinc are essential to living organisms including humans (iron, cobalt and zinc); while others are toxic at higher levels or under certain circumstances. Heavy metals that can be harmful include arsenic, cadmium, chromium and lead. These toxic heavy metals can damage cells and organs over time as they build up over time in our bodies; symptoms include stomach pain, chills, diarrhea and fatigue. Heavy metals are common contaminants of water supplies, soil pollution and air pollution as well as paints used by industry waste treatment wood products (see above); additionally they may even enter through mining, smelting processes, leaded gasoline use and agricultural runoff from fields containing toxic heavy metals present within its ecosystem – such as arsenic.

Heavy metals do not fall under a universal definition, though most experts accept dense and toxic as main criteria for inclusion in this group of chemicals. While transition metals and some metalloids often qualify as heavy metals, there may be disagreement on whether elements like mercury, bismuth and gold should also be included as heavy metals or not. Some define heavy metals based on density; density + weight or number = density; while others use other factors combining density+weight+number while excluding basic and metalloid metals from this grouping.

Although there is much information available regarding toxic metals and their dangers, it’s essential to remember that most people are exposed to them through various sources every day – often unavoidably such as eating food grown with excessive fertilizers or drinking polluted water – but you can reduce exposure by opting for organic foods and limiting processed and packaged products.

Education on the chemicals present in everyday household items, like toothbrushes or shampoo bottles, is also beneficial in making informed decisions for you and your family. In addition, organizations like Environmental Working Group strive to reduce harmful contaminants in our environment; you can support their work by signing petitions and attending public meetings or joining clean up activities in your local community.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a common surfactant used in shampoo, soap, and toothpaste products for years, has developed an unfavorable reputation over time due to its stripping effects on your hair and irritating your skin. While SLS products may be cost-effective and effective, their harmful nature has resulted in calls for Sulfate free shampoo alternatives; but Sulfates don’t only cause harm; some forms can even do an amazing job of cleansing while helping the body absorb nutrients better while helping it retain moisture more effectively than ever before! Sulfates don’t all evil either; some types provide great cleaning while helping the body absorb nutrients better! Sulfates have their uses both good sides; making sulfates an indispensable ingredient that comes in their many uses!

Though SLS can dry the skin, it is not considered toxic. A recent assessment indicated that SLS can be safely added to products applied briefly before being rinsed off like soaps and shampoos; any lasting on longer should limit its content accordingly.

SLS can be irritating over extended use and should therefore be avoided in natural skincare and beauty products; some individuals with skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or rosacea choose not to include it in their regimen.

SLS has also been linked to the destruction of tropical rainforests and environmental degradation when washed down the drain, as well as being harmful for eyes, leading to irritation or contact dermatitis in some individuals.

SLS and other sulfates have long been blamed for cataract formation; however, studies have demonstrated that they do not reach the lens of the eye directly and thus do not contribute directly to cataract risk; rather, other factors, including age-related changes may play a greater role than SLS in creating them.

Unfortunately, SLS can be harsh on both skin and hair. To provide alternatives that have similar cleansing properties while being more gentle is the sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), which possesses similar cleansing abilities yet less of an impactful response on body.

Knowing your skin and body is vitally important. Understanding the differences between SLS and SLES empowers you to make choices that meet your specific needs – speak to our team for more details!