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Top 9 clean beauty brands
Shop non-toxic skincare and cosmetics from these industry leaders.
The clean beauty movement has exploded over the last few years. It got a major bump in September 2020, when California passed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, which bans the manufacturing or sale of products purposefully containing 25 chemicals and contaminants.
Products marked “clean” are often formulated without potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, silica, talc and more while also touting helpful labels like cruelty-free and vegan. We tracked down some of the best clean beauty brands formulated without these additives and *bonus points* are free of additional unwanted ingredients as well.
Best non-toxic cosmetics brands
Plenty of companies are already manufacturing quality beauty products without additives like parabens and phthalates. Here are just a few to shop in the meantime.
|Brand||Products available||Also free of||Where to shop|
|100% Pure||Fruit-pigmented makeup, skincare, hair and body care||FD&C colorants, heavy metal dyes||100 Percent Pure|
|Ilia Beauty||Face, lip, eye and multipurpose products||GMOs, synthetic fragrances, gluten and talc||Sephora|
|Thrive Causemetics||Skincare and makeup||Synthetic fragrance, sulfates||Amazon|
|Briogeo||Haircare||Silicones, sulfates, DEA, artificial dyes||Sephora|
|KitavaMD||Skincare developed by dermatologists||Sulfates, SLS, synthetic fragrance, petrochemicals, triclosan, artificial dyes||Amazon|
|Kosas||Makeup and deodorant||Petroleum and talc||Sephora|
|RMS Beauty||Makeup, cream, body oil and supplements||GMOs, nanoparticles, talc||Sephora|
|Sephora||Makeup, skincare, hair care and body products from Clean at Sephora brands||Coal tar, sulfates, hydroquinone, triclosan, synthetic fragrance||Sephora|
|Tower 28 Beauty||Makeup and facial spray||Coal tar, talc, essential oils||Sephora|
Which ingredients are considered toxic?
The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act — which is set to go into effect by 2025 — requires products to be free of the following ingredients, except in naturally and artificially occurring trace amounts.
- Dibutyl phthalate
- Diethylhexyl phthalate
- Methylene glycol
- m-Phenylenediamine and its salts
- o-Phenylenediamine and its salts
- Several per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their salts:
- Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS); heptadecafluorooctane-1-sulfonic acid
- Potassium perfluorooctanesulfonate; potassium heptadecafluorooctane-1-sulfonate
- Diethanolamine perfluorooctane sulfonate (CAS 70225-14-8).
- Ammonium perfluorooctane sulfonate; ammonium heptadecafluorooctanesulfonate
- Lithium perfluorooctane sulfonate; lithium heptadecafluorooctanesulfonate
- Perfluorooctanoic acid
- Ammonium pentadecafluorooctanoate
- Nonadecafluorodecanoic acid
- Ammonium nonadecafluorodecanoate
- Sodium nonadecafluorodecanoate
- Perfluorononanoic acid
- Sodium heptadecafluorononanoate
- Ammonium perfluorononanoate
What’s missing from this list?
Though the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act prohibits 12 toxic endocrine disruptors and their derivatives, a few controversial ingredients are notably absent — like talc. Although talc, or talcum powder, is generally regarded as safe by the FDA, it's been at the center of lawsuits filed by women who believe its use in baby powder contributed to their ovarian cancer. Some beauty manufacturers use talc in powder foundation, blush, highlighter and eyeshadow to give products slip and absorb excess moisture.
The bill also leaves off coal tar and petroleum, used in products like lip balm and to make synthetic fragrances. Studies, including one conducted by <a href=” https: />the National Toxicology Program and another by Carcinogenesis Integrative Cancer Research, have linked these ingredients to cancer.
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