PART 1: Non-Toxic Personal Care & Beauty Products

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In my quest for non-toxic personal care products and non-toxic beauty products – that are also vegan and cruelty-free – I have learned some important things.

For example: Did you know that cosmetics manufacturers have no legal obligation to report health problems from their products to the FDA? 


Regulating Personal Care & Beauty Companies

vegan cruelty free beauty products

Regulators do not check the claims made by the products – including how safe they are! The only thing you, as a consumer, can do is to report any health complications to the FDA. (They have a section on their site on ‘Cosmetic Products and Ingredients’, but it’s best to not go there at all actually). And they will decide to investigate if there is sufficient concern regarding the products. Meaning if enough people complain, then they will investigate. 

This means that basically anyone can make products and sell them, and there is no way to check if they are safe for you until it’s too late. So you see how poorly regulated cosmetics are.

On the one hand, it’s good because you can make your own products and use them, and nobody can say anything (provided they’re safe for you). But on the other hand, you are exposing yourself to loads of unverified products that may harm your health. 

What can you do, then?

Should you go by Amazon reviews? Or should you try it on and see what happens?

Or, should you educate yourself about toxins commonly found in products and try to avoid them as much as possible?

Yeah, option 3, please.

Also, there are some responsible, trusted agencies, such as EWG, The Good Guide, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, that will tell you what products are safe, and perhaps also label the products. Stick to those products if you aren’t comfortable with learning a bit of chemistry. They’re doing the job of the regulators, and boy am I grateful for that.

>>> Check out this list of 10 Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Avoid.

>>> Check out this article on What’s in Your Personal Care Products?

>>> Check out this article on Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics


Toxic Ingredients in your Personal Care Products

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When you’re shopping for personal care & beauty products the next time, pay attention to the ingredients list at the back, and go over them with a fine-tooth comb. Here are the ingredients you must avoid:

General Ingredients (i.e. toxins) to Avoid

  • DMDM hydantoin 
  • Diazolidinyl urea 
  • Imidazolidinyl urea 
  • Ceteareth
  • PEG and polyethylene
  • If a product contains a ‘fragrance’, then please avoid it – the product probably contains numerous chemicals and can trigger an allergic reaction in you.

Ingredients to Avoid in Specific Products

Hair Products:

  • Artificial fragrances
  • PEG, ceteareth and polyethylene
  • Parabens: propyl, isopropyl, butyl, isobutyl 
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Sulfates
  • Petroleum products

Body Products:

  • In soaps: Triclocarban (in bar soap); Triclosan (in liquid soap)
  • In moisturizers: Retinyl palmitate or retinol
  • In nail products: Formaldehyde or formalin, Toluene, Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • In toothpaste: Triclosan 
  • In lip products: Retinyl palmitate or retinol
  • In sunscreen products: Aerosol sprays; Retinyl palmitate; Oxybenzone; Insect repellent

If you get your hair and/or nails done at a salon, make sure they use products that you feel comfortable with. If they don’t, take along your own products. This is about your health and the health of the environment. No need to feel shy or awkward asking for information! And if they refuse to inform you or use your products on you, then, well, save some money and DIY at home!


Toxins in Feminine Care Products

One important aspect we tend to overlook while cleaning up our intake of toxins: our tampons, sanitary napkins and vaginal washes. We already know about toxic shock syndrome (TSS) due to tampons, but did you know that tampons have aluminum, alcohols, fragrance additives and hydrocarbons in them? Most insidious is the dioxin in them, even trace levels of which may cause abnormal tissue growth in reproductive organs, abnormal cell growth throughout the body, immune system suppression, and hormonal and endocrine system disruption. Not to mention the possible GMOs in non-organic cotton pads and tampons.

And guess what: The average American woman uses 16,800 tampons in her lifetime.

Want to try some safer menstrual care products? Check out Natracare, Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons, Glad Rags Organic Pads, Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Tampons, and Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pads by Heart Felt. Check out this comprehensive post on safe, organic menstrual options that are available.

And what about sexual and reproductive health products? I recommend reading Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler. It’s not about the topic of this post, but it’s very helpful in helping you decide on the right contraceptive methods for yourself. (Sigh! I’ll probably do a separate post on feminine products, and reproductive health care, etc. It’s a big topic!)



Now for the goods. I’ll first list out entire brands that I’ve found to be non-toxic, cruelty-free and vegan. (This list will be updated should any new information come to light.) You can pretty much buy any product under these brands and rest assured that they’re safe for you.

I’ll then list out some specific recommended products that are non-toxic, cruelty-free and vegan (though they may belong to a brand/company that isn’t entirely non-toxic, cruelty-free or vegan).



Non-toxic, Cruelty-free, Vegan BRANDS 

Non-Toxic Brands


Aphorism Skincare

Arctic Fox Hair Color

Axiology Beauty 



Edible Beauty 

Elate Clean Cosmetics 

Honestly pHresh 

Kopari Beauty

Mad Hippie 




Province Apothecary

Rocky Mountain Soap Company


Tropic Skincare 

The Diva Cup

Vert Mont Perfumery

Yarok Hair Care

100% Pure 

non toxic personal care products

Non-Toxic Products

Non-toxic, Cruelty-free, Vegan Products

Sister & Co. Apricot, Lemon & Vanilla Body Melt

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil

INIKA Organic Long Lash Vegan Mascara

Herbivore Pink Clay Exfoliating Mask

Evolve Organic Beauty Citrus Blend Aromatic Body Wash

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Botanical Cream Deodorant

BYBI Beauty – Natural Mega Mist 

Natural Vegan Eye Shadow by Ana Carttori New York



Want a list of non-toxic lipsticks? Here you go.

Check out some non-toxic shampoos here.

If you’re serious about the contents of the products you use, download this app. Think Dirty has a list of safe personal care, beauty and household products ready for your reference.



Read More About Organic Personal Care Products

Zero Waste, Organic Menstrual Options

Grandma’s Amazing Beauty Secrets

Non Toxic Sunscreen Brands

Non Toxic Perfume Options for Smelling Divine


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