The Switch to Affordable Non-toxic Beauty Products



As a cancer survivor, I have become more health and environmentally conscious. Most of us survivors have increased susceptibility to secondary cancer and other health issues. When I began to switch to a healthier lifestyle, I knew that swapping out my beauty products would be a part of that transition. I learned what ingredients were harmful and how some brands use marketing to make you perceive them as "clean" when, in reality, they have toxic chemicals that absorb into your skin.

There are three significant ways chemicals and toxins enter our body; inhaling, ingesting, and absorption. By applying these things to our skin, we could be introducing high toxic levels of harmful chemicals in our bloodstream. I learned to avoid products with ingredients like parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, leads, petrolatum, coal tar, oxybenzone, phthalates, alcohol, fragrances, and PFAS

Did you know that the beauty and personal care industry allows the use of untested chemicals in their products? The laws in the US governing cosmetic safety haven't changed since 1938. Out of some 62,000 chemicals approved for use in the US, only about 300 are tested for safety. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now monitors 298 environmental chemicals that have been found in humans, including many used in the products you probably have in your home.

A few things I learned about beauty products is that a natural or organic label doesn't always mean chemical-free, fewer ingredients aren't always better, organic ingredients don't last long, and you can still be allergic to toxic-free makeup. Unfortunately, there are poor regulation and manufacturer loopholes when it comes to products in the United States. Thankfully, there are seals of approval like EWG verified (Environmental Working Group), leaping bunny, USDA Organic, and certified vegan to help. 

A single exposure to a toxic chemical probably won't hurt you, but over time, these exposures add up. They accumulate in our bodies over time. These synthetic chemicals are likely carcinogens and disrupting the endocrine system. The disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. 

Swapping out my beauty bag wasn't only about harmful side-effects. I wanted to invest in companies that care about consumer's health and the environment. The movement for toxic free beauty is in the consumer's hands. We can change the market and demand higher standards. Keep in mind that every ingredient is a "chemical," and my wish is to limit the number of toxins that my body is exposed to overtime.

The good news is that there are many excellent, safe, and natural personal care items available today. Below are some of my favorite products and brands!



1. Alteya Organics is known for its rose related products and they adhere to the USDA Organic standard. They use a rigorous process for selecting, distilling, and storing the raw ingredients for quality and potency. Their skincare line is always free of “parabens, petrolatum, paraffin, dyes, mineral oil, and any other chemical preservatives. 


The Alteya Organics rose water can be used as a toner, refresher, or spray on your pillow. It helps with redness on the skin and can be used on your hair. It smells like you're standing by a rose bush that's blooming every time you spray.

Rose Lip Balm soften lips and restores texture helping protect, hydrate and nourish.


2. Miessence has been creating organic, toxin-free skincare for nearly 20 years and offers products that are created with raw, 100% active ingredients, and therapeutic herbals by using food grade emulsification, cold extraction processes. Even better the products are certified to international standards which, if you don’t know, are typically much stricter than the US standards. Products are handcrafted on a monthly basis so they are super fresh. They are also sustainable as they have a 110% carbon negative footprint offsetting more than they emit. 

The fresh breath spray is made up of spearmint and peppermint essential oils with both sage and thyme. This spray is strong and works to kill bacteria and bad breath.


3. Biossance skincare products are clean and non-toxic. The company is committed to creating nontoxic skincare by using the highest standards in the industry so that it is good for you and safe for the environment. The company takes it a step further with its sustainability promise which puts the planet first by using vegan non-toxic formulas, compostable boxes, and renewable sugarcane. They have also partnered up with the EWG (Environmental Working Group)who is dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. EWG has a strict product verification program where their science team verified ingredients in consumer products that are safe.



The omega repair cream is ultra hydrating and improves the appearance of fine lines. It's a thick consistency but soaks in to the skin without leaving it dry or greasy. Your face will feel nourished after the first use.

The probiotic gel moisturizer is a weightless gel that helps balance redness and reduces the appearance of pores. It soaks into your skin fast leaving it feeling hydrated with a dewy and even finish.


4. SanRe is a family company that thinks past the saying “you are what you eat” and believe that just as important as that is their saying “you are what you absorb, apply and beautify yourself with,” continuing with “one doesn’t refrain from eating toxins only to place them upon their skin.” Products are produced in small batches, crafted, tested, improved, finalized, and produced by the company. Not only is the company focused on pure products but they also believe in “Earth First.” By limiting chemicals from packaging, using wind energy, eliminating extra cardboard packaging, use organic free trade suppliers, and Earth-friendly ingredients they aim to protect the Earth and keep it a toxin-free as possible. 







Supple Sunshine is a rosemary and lavender day cream for dry to normal skin.


Shaded Rose is a organic rose reef safe sunscreen that's safe for psoriasis and eczema prone skin.

Lavender Dream is a firming night cream for dry to normal skin.


5. Drifting by the Sea is by Colleen Miller; a certified herbalist and licensed esthetician with a B.A. in plant and soil science. She carefully develops her organic skincare line using herbs, fruit, vegetable oils, mineral-rich clays, steam-distilled essential oils and nourishing plant butters. Not only is she focused on clean ingredients but her skincare line is environmentally friendly. All her skincare uses native plants in Florida like saw palmetto, bee balm, cocoplum, and seagrape without pesticides or fertilizers.


Fresh new handmade soap made with natural and safe ingredients.

Skin Vapor Serum is specifically formulated to help decongest skin, reduce swelling, ton/firm the neck area, and encourage detoxification of the lymph nodes. 

Coconut Rose Cleaning Milk is creamy and leaves your face feeling soft, clean, and smooth. It's extremely gentle and pure with a fresh scent. 

Calendula Primrose Face Cream is a creamy moisturizer without the heaviness or grease. It actively hydrates your skin while making it appear smooth and lifted. 


6. S.W. Basics is a good kind of basic. Focused on using fewer ingredients to create more potent skincare all their products show you right on the box how many ingredients are in each product and what they are. The company focuses on sustainability and in blog posts (linked on their about page) they discuss "beauty buzzwords” used for marketing purposes, and don’t truly mean what one would expect them to. As an example, the article reveals how the term natural is widely used but isn’t regulated by any governing body so be wary of what others may call greenwashing. This is where companies use terms in marketing that make their products seem healthier than other brands but their ingredients aren’t any superior to the next. If you believe in the ‘less is more’ philosophy look no further than S.W Basics.




7. Good Chemistry is a cruelty-free non-toxic fragrance that is made without parabens, sulfates, mineral oil and propylene glycol. Their fragrances include essential oils that are exclusive blends of natural and safe synthetic raw materials. They work with trusted fragrance ingredient suppliers and partners who use solar panels that ensure 100% of the energy used is renewable. Good Chemistry doesn't use phthalates either which is typically used in fragrances to make them last longer. 





12 Other Skincare Brands For that Toxic Free Glow

1. 100% Pure creed non-toxic, organic, vegan skincare products, and cosmetics using biodegradable formulas. The team also operates using 100% solar power.

2. Acure is a EWG verified brand that creates skincare products without parabens, sulfate, and formaldehyde.


3. Aromatica is a EWG verified brand that uses raw ingredients and packages with zero-waste practices.


4. Beautycounter is a company committed to advocating for more health-protective laws and for green chemistry legislation to protect both consumers and the environment.


5. Botanic Organic is a plant-based, cruelty-free skincare line with products created from cold-pressed oils.


6. Cannabliss Organic offers natural, cruelty-free products made with hemp oil grown organically.


7. Juice Beauty if a vegan and cruelty-free skincare line with non-toxic ingredients located in California.


8. Meo Meow Tweet is a small company that created vegan products with natural and organic ingredients. All products are made with unrefined plant oils and butters.


9. OSEA offers products with organic seaweed concentrates, combined with essential oils. It is non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free.


10. Indie Lee was created after the brand's founder conquered a life-threatening brain tumor that pointed to environmental toxins as the culprit. An eco-friendly, cruelty-free skincare collection.


11. Shea Brand is a Brooklyn based company with products that are devoid of palm oil, manufactured synthetics, chemical stabilizers, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates.


12. Wildling offers lymphatic drainage, wrinkle prevention, for minimization, and uses sustainably wild foraged plans.




10 Clean Beauty Makeup Brands without Harmful Ingredients

1. Alima Pure makes mineral pigments that are made with no additives or fillers that irritate your skin.

2. Au Naturale was created without synthetics, animal byproducts or harmful chemicals.


3. Ilia is a ethical brand that uses eco-friendly packaging and organic ingredients.


4. Jane Iredale makes cruelty free cosmetics and makeup brushes.


5. Plain Jane Beauty is a brand that created a truly inclusive range products for all skin tones. They use plant based forums and sustainable business practices.


6. RMS Beauty if formulated with food-grade ingredients in does not use harmful chemicals, synthetic preservative or synthetic vitamins.


7. Tarte products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and other harmful chemicals.


8. Thrive Causemetics is makeup formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates and fragrance. Every product you purchase they donate to help a woman thrive.


9. Vapour Organic Beauty offers pure ingredient from the earth.


10. W3ll People is a minimalist makeup with multipurpose products.



4 Ways to Indemnify Non-Toxic Beauty Products

1. Greenwashing: The words botanical, clean, eco-friendly, green, hypoallergenic, natural, non-toxic, physician approved, safe and simple can be appealing claims used to make people believe that the product is more friendly than it really is. This is called greenwashing and the first step is to avoid it.  

2. Read the Labels: Look for the worst offending chemicals like BHA and BHT, coal tar dyes, dibutyl phthalate and toluene, ethanalomines, formaldehyde, fragrance, hydroquinone, oxybenzone, paragons, PEGs, Sodium laurel or laureate sulfate, triclosan and avoid them.


3. Look for Certifications: When you see third party certification like Certified Vegan, Cruelty Free, EWG Verified, Fair Trade Certified, Leaping Bunny, Made Safe, Natural Products Association, NSF/ANSI 305, USDA Organic, PETA Cruelty Free and Whole Foods Market Premium body Care on a product you know it has met stringent requirements. 


4. Check for Ratings: The skin deep cosmetics database from EWG provides safety ratings on personal care products. They also have a healthy living app where you can scan the bar code on a  product in the store. 



Study Done on the affect of Chemical Mixtures: https://academic.oup.com/carcin/article/36/Suppl_1/S254/316933?sid=db47f5ec-47a2-4879-bf30-6da9c076003d#4239904

Article on how chemicals enter and are distributed throughout the body: http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/TIB/entry.html


The medicinal uses described is based on information found in literature. The author may not have first hand experience with the medicinal uses they describe, and it's strongly recommended you check references and perform your own research before using this plant for the purposes listed above. Do your research and consult your doctor before using any of the remedies listed on this website.

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