Facial cleansers today can be filled with many toxic ingredients. Our facial skin, especially around the eyes, is the thinnest, most delicate skin and requires non-toxic, gentle ingredient formulas. Washing your face can unknowingly lead to exposure of multiple harmful chemicals. Cleansers with the following ingredients should be avoided.
What are Common Toxins?
Phthalates: A common toxic chemical commonly used in various facial cleansers are phthalates. This chemical is used in facial cleansers for many reasons including dissolving other substances, gelling agents, and to keep a formula from drying out. These are highly dangerous as they are endocrine disruptors, reduce sperm count in men, and are harmful to the environment. You can spot phthalates on a label as the suffix like ‘Diethylphthalate’ (DEP) for example.
Parabens: Parabens are used in facial cleansers as a preservative, but have been known to increase the risk of breast cancer and are a known hormone disruptor.
Sulfates: This harsh cleaning chemical can strip skin of good and bad oils, and is generally too strong for skin.
Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is used to prevent bacterial growth in facial cleansers. Short term exposure includes burning of eyes, nose and throat. It has been named a known carcinogen and should be avoided in any formulas. Common formaldehyde releasing agents are methylene glycol, quaternium 15, and 3 dioxane. This means when this specific chemical is heated, it turns into formaldehyde and releases fumes. It was found that around 20% of US cosmetics contained formaldehyde as tested on different products including body lotions, and most did not list any formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers on the ingredient list.
Fragrance: An important chemical, or group of chemicals to avoid in facial cleansers is fragrance - which serves no purpose in cleansers anyway. The US does not legally require companies to explicitly list out the chemicals that make up their fragrance on product labels, so hundreds of cancer causing, hormone disrupting and irritating chemicals can be masked as “fragrance” on the ingredient label and as facial cleansers touch some of our thinnest, most sensitive skin, and especially around our eyes, it is important to look out for this.
Triclosan: Triclosan is used to prevent and reduce bacterial growth in cosmetic products. This chemical is completely banned in hygiene products in the European Union, but still seen in cleansers in the US. This chemical bioaccumulates and keeps the body living in a toxic state.
What are Toxin Free Solutions?
Fortunately, there are many mainstream market brands that are creating clean and organic alternatives. Harvesting ingredients that are from nature as opposed to chemicals, and being transparent about what comes together to formulate a product are great solutions. No matter your skin concern or budget, there is a toxin free alternative just right for you!
Pevonia offers organic cleansers for all skin types and concerns. For three decades, Pevonia, based here in the U.S, has been dedicated to providing consumers with safe sourced skincare. Free from Sulfates, formaldehyde, parabens, fragrance, colors, as well as many more. From those looking to find cleaners aiding in aging benefits or an individual just looking for your everyday hydration, Pevonia is a great option.
Cocokind has a long line of skincare that is made particular for each and every skin type and texture. Their AHA Jelly Cleanser is an amazing alternative for those who are looking to treat skin texture and minimize the look of pores. This cleanser works to hydrate, clarify, smooth, and decongest the skin. Naturally derived ingredients including betaine, hibiscus flower acids, and fermented grape extract. As well as being free from harmful toxins, this Cocokind face cleanser is one to try!
Being a toxin free skin cleanser, it starts with being sourced from our planet. Earth Tu Face has done just that. Creating their signature and only face wash, Palmarosa + Aloe Face Wash. This toxin free wash is formulated with natural Earth based ingredients. The base being a planet-based Glycerin, followed by organic oils, this cleanser aids in the skin's moisture barrier. As well as smoothing and soothing the skin, boosting collagen, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, this Earth Tu Face toxin free wash truly does it all.
DHC skincare believes in formulating toxin free skin cleansers with natural oils sourced from earth based ingredients. With a whole line available of amazing skincare products, they have their organic cleansers. DHC offers oil and foaming facial cleansers. Designed to treat what your skin is needing. Using the best ingredients, made without parabens, added colors, and fragrance free just to name a few, DHC is an alternative we approve of!
One of our favorite brands, Paula’s Choice has formulated the Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel. This cleanser may be used both in the morning and night. While working to aid in redness, and dryness without harshly stripping the skin, this cleanser is 98% naturally sourced. The component of this product is also made from 100% recycled packaging, making this Paula’s Choice item #1!
For those who have oily skin concerns, as you enter the summer months, finding a cleanser that works for you may be difficult. HoliFrog offers an organically made cleanser just for you. The Superior Omega Nutritive Gel Wash works to deeply clean the skin, while made without toxic ingredients. Including fatty acids and probiotics to feed your skin. Catering to your skin type, this cleanser is perfect for those looking to organically deep clean!
Featured in ELLE’s Future of Beauty Awards, Kinship’s Papaya Enzyme Cleanser is a do-it-all toxin free cleanser. Kinship believes in only using clean, cruelty-free, and plant-based ingredients in their products. Made with Papaya and Jojoba oil, this cleanser works gently to replenish the skin's moisture barrier and remove makeup residue. With availability through their online store and Ulta, this Kinship cleanser is organic and accessible.
AprilSkin is an online sold organic and natural skincare brand. Selling toxin free cleansers and face washes to their consumers. Being a smaller and newer to the market brand, AprilSkin only has two available skin cleansers. Their Clarifying Foaming Cleanser and their Low ph Gel Cleanser. Both formulated with ingredients sourced from natural. Fragrance-free, vegan, free of sulfates, and being cruelty free, AprilSkin is one to watch.
We encourage you to look into these safe and toxin free skin cleansers and use your purchasing power for the good of your body and our planet. Finding a skin cleanser that is naturally sourced is a great way to start your clean skincare journey.