What does non-toxic beauty even mean? Let’s take a closer look at this buzz word and determine what non-toxic beauty is and 3 ways to identify clean, non-toxic products.
Non-toxic beauty aims towards radical transparency & the elimination of toxic chemicals in cosmetics. Including but not limited to phthalates, certain surfactants, and preservatives. Among others, they may cause allergies, hormone disruption, cancer & can disturb normal development in children.
Let’s start with toxins in our beauty products and learn to what extent they can be dangerous.
1. What Is Non-Toxic Beauty
Toxins In Cosmetics
For those of you who are new to non-toxic beauty, let me explain what this inspiring trend is all about. With the intent to create cosmetic products that look good, smell good, work well, and most importantly sell well, the cosmetics industry has increased the load of toxic chemicals in their products. Unfortunately, all cosmetics are impacted – there is not one category that remains safe today – not even toothpaste!
Chemicals include but are not limited to phthalates, certain surfactants, and preservatives. Among others, they can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, kidney and liver damage, allergies, are hormone disruptors, and can cause cancer. In children, they can disturb normal development. , , , , , , , , , 
Absorption Of Toxic Chemicals Through Skin
You might think “I don’t swallow my makeup, I just apply a tiny amount to my skin”. Keep in mind that the skin is our largest organ. In the case of phthalates, for example, studies show that absorption through skin is as significant as inhalation! 
Quite bluntly, you might as well just eat your makeup – the toxicity is the same as when applied to your skin. (This example is for illustration purposes only. I recommend you use your makeup only as suggested by the manufacturer).
>> Check out our drugstore mascara ranking by toxicity
The Non-Toxic Beauty Trend | Clean & Transparent
Clean beauty products have been marketed as early as 1970. They are targeted towards health-conscious consumers who want non-toxic cosmetics as well as transparency as to how a product is made (sustainability, animal testing etc.).
Any truly non-toxic cosmetics brand uses only safe chemical or natural ingredients. All ingredients are backed by scientific research, verifying their safety. Since added fragrances (parfum) commonly contain toxic phthalates, non-toxic cosmetics primarily use essential oils as their fragrance.
2. How To Identify Clean Makeup | 3 Ways
Clean cosmetics are still pretty hard to find. While you find many great options online, very few have made it into the shelves of big drugstores. Let’s look at 3 ways to identify clean cosmetics.
1. Check Your Product In The EWG Database
The EWG Skin Deep Database assesses and compares the safety of personal care products.  You’ll find most common drugstore brands in categories such as sun, skin, hair, nails, makeup, fragrance, babies, oral care, and men. Their ratings inform you about concerns such as cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, and restrictions (ingredients banned in other countries) of each product.
I personally think this is a fantastic resource not only to check cosmetics you’re currently using but also to research safe, non-toxic options for your next purchase.
2. Research a brand’s website & product description
If your product isn’t listed in the EWG Database, you still have options. I recommend googling your specific product (“Is [Brand, Product] safe?”), as well as going directly to the brand’s website to check for non-toxic ingredient information & certifications. For example, a certification by MADE SAFE® tells you, that your product is safe.
But even if the brand you’re researching is young and not yet certified, their website will offer valuable information. Being non-toxic as a brand takes effort and expensive research – brands use it to promote their products. If you can’t find clear evidence on the website that their products are non-toxic – changes are high that they did NOT go the extra mile to research safe formulations.
3. Natural Pioneers’ Non-Toxic Directory | Fast Track
Over the past years, we’ve found & collected numerous brands that offer non-toxic beauty products. We’ve compiled them in a directory so that our readers & clients can have an overview & fast access to safe products. The list grows as we grow & will be updated regularly. Hence, if you don’t feel like doing any research as outlined in step 1 & 2 today, feel free to take the fast track to find the products you need.
3. Non-Toxic Directory | Cosmetic Brands
Our non-toxic directory is a list of non-toxic brands by category. The list grows as we grow, and we will add trusted brands as we do more research. We will always link you to the manufacturer’s site as we try to support small businesses. These amazing brands achieve the highest margins if we order from their site directly – as opposed to Amazon taking a part of their sale.
Makeup: Concealer, Foundation, Powder, Blush, Eye Shadow, Lip Liner, Lipstick
C’EST MOI, Mineral Fusion, Rejuva Minerals, Beautycounter, W3ll People, Paul Penders, Maia’s Mineral Galaxy
Beautycounter, Mineral Fusion, W3ll People, Rejuva Minerals, Maia’s Mineral Galaxy, Paul Penders, Saie, Physicians Formula (available at drugstores!)
Eyebrows: Liner, Gel
Beautycounter, W3ll People, Maia’s Mineral Galaxy, Saie
Lowen’s Natural Skin Care, Marin Bee, Gaondodam, Be Green Bath & Body, Beautycounter, Akar Skin, Whamsia, Silk Therapeutics, Isoi, Biossance, Organic To Green, Qet Botanicals, Makes 3 Organics, Versed, Sally B’s Skin Yummies, Isoi, Original Good Goods, Skin Perfection, Bravo Sierra
Mineral Fusion, Babo Botanicals, Beautycounter, Sally B’s Skin Yummies, Qet Botanicals, C’est moi, Gaondodam
Organic To Green, C’est moi, Beautycounter, Vika’s Essentials, Whamisa, Be Green Bath & Body, Billie, Exactly! Organics, Quet Botanicals, Aromatica, Rooted Beauty, Planted In Beauty, Rejuva Minerals, Paul Penders, Doctor Butler’s, Just The Goods
Just The Goods, Organic To Green, Mychelle, Beautycounter, Farm Grain, Isoi, Beekman, Codex Beauty, The Spa Dr., Be Natural Organics, Whamsia, Huangjisoo, Silk Therapeutics, Qet Botanicals, Lowen’s Natural Skin Care, The Big Green, Mineral Fusion, Honey Sweetie Acres, Attitude, Mychelle, Arganat, Everyone, Knours., AO Skincare, Vermont Skincare Company, Biossance, Jenuinely Pure, Do Naturals, Paul Penders, White & Elm, Rooted Beauty, W/O, For the Biome, Inna Organic, Gaondodam, Sally B’s Skin Yummies, Sea Kind, Matrescence, Nena, Farma Dorsch, Live Ultimate, Akar Skin, Olivarrier, Aromatica, Dr. Brite, Divine Woman
>> Learn more about non-toxic nail polish
>> Learn more about the difference between face washes and cleansers
Babo Botanical’s, 3rd Rock, All Good, California Baby, MADE OF, Soleo Organics, Thinksport, Ke Ko, Kabana Organic Skincare, Waxhead sun defense, UV Natural, Erin’s Faces, Adorable Baby, Celtic Complexion, Secret In-A-Tube, Badger
Soap For Goodness Sake, Billie, Attitude, Boyzz Only, Everyone, Baja Baby, Replenology, Thinksport, The Big Green, Avalon Organics, Whamsia, Herbal Essences (only sulfate free product line), Farma Dorsch, Inna Organics, Farm Grain, Rejuva Minerals, Paul Penders, Conscious Skincare, Qet Botanicals, Clevos, Aromatica, Be Green Bath & Body, Lowen’s Natural Skincare, EIN, Puur Ingrid, Vita, Clean Kids Naturally
Avalon Organics, The Big Green, Paul Penders, Baja Baby, Qet Botanicals, Rejuva Minerals, Be Green Bath & Body, Baby Mantra, EIN, Clean Kids Naturally, Dolphin Organics, Conscious Skincare
Thinksport, Purely Great, Qet Botanicals, Each & Every, Freedom, Be Green Bath 6 Body, Beekman, Biossance, Owl In A Towel
>> Learn more about the safety of toothpaste our article: Is Toothpaste Edible?
Non-toxic beauty aims to eliminate toxic chemicals in beauty products. This includes but is not limited to phthalates, certain surfactants, and preservatives. Among others, they can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, kidney and liver damage, allergies, are hormone disruptors, and can cause cancer. In children, they can disturb normal development.
For some chemicals, studies show that absorption through skin is as significant as inhalation! Especially the US market is heavily impacted: In the case of shampoos, the US bans only 11 ingredients, Canada bans 587, and the EU bans 1328.
Non-toxic beauty is mainly targeted towards health-conscious consumers who want non-toxic cosmetics as well as transparency as to how a product is made (sustainability, animal testing etc.). Ways to identify non-toxic cosmetics are either through the EWG Database, online research on the manufacturers’ website, or through Natural Pioneers’ Non-Toxic Directory.