A program of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

How to Find Safer Cosmetic Products

Ready to clean up your beauty routine? We’re here to help you find safer cosmetics and personal care products, free of potentially harmful or toxic chemicals that can impact your health.  

It may seem nearly impossible to figure out what exactly is (or is not) in your beauty and personal care products. Use these tools and tips to formulate a clean daily self-care routine with safer cosmetic products that can help you feel your healthiest, best self.  

Choose your timeline: total cleanse or slow swap

Whether you choose to ditch all your toxic cosmetics products at once or gradually swap in safer beauty alternatives slowly over time, it’s up to you to choose a method that works for your time, budget, and preferences. It’s not a transition you need to make overnight, though a full clean beauty makeover for your beauty bag or bathroom vanity can be fun! Whichever method you choose, you can feel good every time you opt for a clean beauty product with safer ingredients.

Online tools and apps can help you identify safer products quickly and easily

Download Clearya

Clearya is a free web browser extension and mobile app that notifies you about unsafe ingredients in personal care and cleaning products while you shop online at Amazon, Sephora, Walmart, iHerb and Love Letter. Clearya lets you know about toxic ingredients that are present in the products you’re shopping for and helps you find safer alternatives. Make it easy to avoid toxic beauty and personal care products with Clearya!

Get the ThinkDirty & EWG Skin Deep Apps

These two apps rate products for safety and toxicity. You can like either scan product bar codes or search by product name, product type, and brand. They help you identify harmful ingredients in products as you shop, and help you find safer alternatives.

Look for the MADE SAFE® seal

The MADE SAFE® program takes product safety to a higher level. MADE SAFE® verifies products are made with safe ingredients not known or suspected to harm human health, animals, or ecosystems. It’s the only nontoxic certification in the country that crosses consumer product categories. A partner of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, MADE SAFE® makes it easier to identify verified, safer products. Visit MADE SAFE to find certified products. 

Don’t be fooled by natural and organic claims

Because the personal care products industry is largely unregulated, these words have little meaning. Natural doesn’t always mean safe as ingredients such as lead and arsenic are natural. Plus, not all synthetic ingredients are harmful. The FDA Certified Organic seal only applies to food – not personal care products. Don’t be fooled by marketing terms or greenwashing. Best to rely on the tools like Clearya or MadeSafe listed above.

Use our Top Toxic Ingredients lists

Our Top Toxic Ingredients is your quick cheat sheet of 20 top chemicals to avoid in shampoos, sunscreens, moisturizers, cosmetics, and more. We also have top toxics lists by product category. Save these resources to your phone or print them out so you can check product ingredients for toxics when you shop! 

Do your research to know the ingredients to avoid

Use our Chemicals of Concern to know what ingredients to avoid when selecting products and their negative impacts on health.

Check the “fragrance”

Companies are legally allowed to hide anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of chemicals under the word fragrance or parfum on a product label, some of which may be linked to harmful health effects Check out our Chemicals of Concern for more information about why hidden fragrance chemicals are harming human health and the environment. Also consider shopping with cosmetics brands that fully disclose their fragrance ingredients.

Looking for a Safer Alternative?​

Use Clearya’s app to find non-toxic products! Clearya alerts you to toxics and helps you find safe products.


Visit Clearya >

Get the Top 20 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid PDF FREE!

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Get the Full Red List Spreadsheet!

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Get the Full Red List PDF!

Get the Asthmagens, Allergens, & Irritants PDF!

Get the Emerging & Harmful to the Environment PDF!

Get the Ortho-Phthalates PDF!

Get the Formaldehyde Releaseing Preservative PDF!

Get the PFAS PDF!

Get the Do Not Use Chemicals Linked to Health Outcomes of Greater Concern to Black Women PDF!

Get the Do Not Use Chemicals of Concern for Everyone PDF!

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