The beauty industry is seemingly ever-changing. In addition to new products being introduced to the market every day, newer and improved ingredients are being tested and used to help treat a myriad of conditions from hair loss and thinning to uneven skin tone and premature aging. But one area that’s garnering the most attention recently is the quality and safety of the ingredients in the beauty products we use on our hair and body. This is important, especially considering the fact that federal law loopholes allow certain toxic ingredients in the formulas of cosmetics that can cause a variety of harmful effects.
Luckily, more and more product lines are offering 5- and even 7-free products, which are void of these dangerous chemicals. “When it comes to beauty products, ‘7-free’ means that they are created without seven of the most common toxins found in cosmetics, including formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene and ethyl tosylamide,” explains Gabriel De Santino, founder and CEO of Gabriel Cosmetics. “It’s important to avoid these ingredients because the skin (even on our scalp) is our largest organ and it absorbs everything we put on it—including these toxic chemicals—and, because our nails are very porous, these add-ins are also necessary to avoid in nail polish because we can be exposed to toxins from polish when we rub our eyes or bite our nails.”
Read on for our favorite non-toxic beauty products for skin, hair and nails.
Image via Imaxtree
Live Ultimate Ultimate Facial Cleanser, $30
The smell of this cleanser alone is enough to make you feel refreshed. Infused with citrus and superfruits, including acai, camu camu berry, goji, mangosteen, noni and pomegranate, this cleanser naturally brightens skin tone and protects it from free radicals in the environment. It's free of harmful ingredients and especially ideal for sensitive skin since it contains organic aloe, which soothes and calms inflammation, along with polyphenol-rich organic green tea to help rid skin of toxins.
The last place you might think funky chemicals are hiding is in your bronzer, which many of us use religiously as the summer season comes to an end. Unfortunately, bronzer can contain just about any chemicals, from harsh parabens and phthalates to artificial fragrances and even gluten. Clove + Hallow's Bronzing Powder is free from all of these, as well as talc, bismuth oxychloride and phenoxyethanol—plus, it's cruelty-free and free of animal by-products or animal testing.
Mascara is another beauty product that most of us wouldn't think twice about sliding onto our lashes, but many of the most popular mascaras contain harmful chemicals such as parabens, thimerosal, synthetic dyes, aluminum powder and more. Kismet does not include these seven ingredients that are actually banned in the EU but not in the U.S.: formaldehyde, hydroquinone, triclosan, parabens, phthalates, selenium sulfide and quaternium-15. Made from a natural blend of beeswax and organic carnauba wax, you'll still get that desirable lengthening, separating and thickening of lashes but without the nasty chemicals.
There's a reason this product is called "The Everything Oil"—it does just about everything you'd hope a skin care product would do. It provides antioxidant protection, smoothes out fine lines, brightens skin tone, reduces pore size appearance, softens skin, reduces the look of spots and acne scars, and provides anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. The list of ingredients it doesn't contain is practically longer than its ingredient list. It's free from parabens, parfum, synthetic colors, silicon, petrolatum, phalates, BHA/PHT, coal tar, formaldehyde and propylene glycol.