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Learn more about ratings assigned to each product and individual ingredients
Our ratings are primarily based on the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, which is an independent panel of experts that assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics and publishes their results in peer-reviewed literature.
For additional assessments on the safety of ingredients, we reference warnings from the California EPA, ChemSec, Credo Beauty, European Union, Health Canada, TEDX, National Toxicology Program, International Fragrance Association, and SC Johnson.
Rating from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review that have sufficient data to show they're safe in cosmetic formulations.
Rating from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review that either have insufficient data to prove whether they're safe or unsafe to use in cosmetic formulations.
Ingredients that have skin sensitization concerns also have this rating.
We recommend avoiding products with these ingredients if possible.
Rating from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review that have sufficient data to show they're unsafe in cosmetic formulations.
Ingredients that have carcinogenicity, developmental toxicity, and reproductive toxicity concerns also have this rating.
We recommend disposing of products with these ingredients.
The safety of this ingredient has not been assessed yet.
Ingredients with the ability to cause cancer or contribute to the development of cancer.
Ability to interfere with hormone communication between cells, which controls metabolism, development, growth, reproduction and behavior
Ingredients with the ability to cause harm to the developing child including birth defects, low birth weight and biological or behavioral problems that appear as the child grows.
Ingredients with the ability to disrupt the male or female reproductive systems, changing sexual development, behavior or functions, decreasing fertility, or resulting in loss of the fetus during pregnancy.
Ingredients with the ability to trigger allergic reactions on the skin.
We will never accept payments to manipulate our ratings of products
Our ratings are primarily from the CIR (The Expert Panel for Cosmetic Ingredient Safety) which is an independent panel of experts that assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics. The CIR comprises of world-renowned scientists, including dermatologists, pathologists, toxicologists, and chemists. These experts are independent of the cosmetics industry and must adhere to a strict conflict of interest policy. Learn more about our ratings.
The CIR (The Expert Panel for Cosmetic Ingredient Safety) is an independent panel of experts that assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics and publishes their results in peer-reviewed literature.
The CIR is an independent, non-profit scientific body that was launched in 1976 with support of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) to assess the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in the U.S.
The CIR comprises of world-renowned scientists, including dermatologists, pathologists, toxicologists, and chemists. These experts are independent of the cosmetics industry and must adhere to a strict conflict of interest policy.ug Administration. These product ratings are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address their growing concerns about exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative became the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known by its original name of Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other developmental or reproductive harm. This list has grown to include approximately 775 chemicals since it was first published in 1987. A chemical in the Prop 65 list may be identified as known to cause cancer, damage to development or damage to the male or female reproductive system or any combination of these four health endpoints. Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. By providing this information, Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. Proposition 65 also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 15th Report on Carcinogens on December 21, 2021. The Report on Carcinogens is a congressionally mandated, science-based public health document that NTP prepares for the HHS Secretary. This cumulative report now includes 256 listings of substances — chemical, physical, and biological agents; mixtures; and exposure circumstances — that are known or reasonably anticipated to cause cancer in humans.
The SIN (Substitute It Now) List consists of chemicals that are identified as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) based on the criteria established in the European Union's REACH regulation. The SIN List has been developed by ChemSec as a combined effort of a collaborative of scientists and technical experts in the EU and the US drawn from companies with in the ChemSec Business Group and leading NGOs engaged in chemical assessment. It is based on credible, publicly available substance information from existing databases, scientific studies and new research.
Using the REACH criteria but in a more nimble NGO process, the SIN project identifies substances that will be prioritized for fast-tracking in the official REACH Authorisation procedure. This list hence provides businesses, consumers, regulators and other actors valuable early guidance on chemicals likely to move more rapidly through the REACH process in the coming years and so helps prioritize anticipatory substitution efforts for chemicals for which there is a substantial body of scientific evidence of high concern.
Credo Beauty's Restricted Substance List includes over 3000 chemical compounds and types/groups of chemicals (e.g. ethoxylated/alkoxylated ingredients). The list is intended to apply to chemicals that are used as intentional ingredients as well as those that may be incidental or contaminants at trace levels. Most are “prohibited at any level”, though some are “restricted” (i.e. a non-animal source is acceptable but animal-derived is not; phenoxyethanol is acceptable under 1% of formula).
Depending on the quality of the available information and the strength of the evidence, dermatologists and other scientists distinguish between established (in humans or animals), likely, or possible contact allergens. In their evaluations, they consider information available on the fragrance substance from human studies (for example clinical or epidemiological studies), data from experimental animal studies or chemical structure information that, based on historical experience with similar type of chemicals, suggest the potential of a fragrance substance to cause skin allergies.
Following their review and data evaluation, the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety identified a total of 54 individual fragrance substances and 28 natural extracts (essential oils) as ‘established contact allergens in humans’. The scientific committee also considered 18 individual chemicals and 1 natural extract as ‘established contact allergens in animals’, 26 individual chemicals categorised as ‘likely contact allergens’ and 35 individual chemicals plus 13 natural extracts categorised as ‘possible contact allergens’.
In 1999, a set of 26 fragrance allergens with a well-recognised potential to cause allergy had been ifentified, for which information should be provided to consumers about their presence in cosmetic products.
On this basis, the Cosmetics directive required that the presence any of these 26 substances be indicated in the list of ingredients when its concentration exceeds 0,001 % in leave-on products and 0,01 % in rinse-off products. These limits had been set in a pragmatic administrative decision in the absence of known thresholds for these allergens.
Such labelling allows patients who are allergic to one or more of these 26 fragrance chemicals to avoid products containing them.
The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety now identified more than 100 additional individual substances and natural extracts as established contact allergens or likely contact allergens by combination of evidence. In its conclusions, the scientific committee recommends that the consumer be made aware of the presence of all known and likely fragrance allergens in cosmetic products and not only the 26 currently listed.
The Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist is an administrative tool that helps industry satisfy the requirements for sale of a cosmetic, by providing a list of substances that are restricted or prohibited in cosmetics. The listed substances may contravene the general prohibition found in section 16 of the Food and Drugs Act or a section of the Cosmetic Regulations.
The Hotlist is a science-based document that is reviewed and updated as new scientific data becomes available. The Hotlist serves to keep the cosmetic industry aware of new substances Health Canada considers inappropriate for cosmetic use, or which require hazard labelling. It is recommended to check the Cosmetics website regularly, or contact the Cosmetics Unit directly to ensure the most accurate information.The Hotlist is used to keep the cosmetic industry aware of substances that are restricted or prohibited in cosmetics.
The IFRA Standards form the basis for the globally accepted and recognized risk management system for the safe use of fragrance ingredients and are part of the IFRA Code of Practice. This is the self-regulating system of the industry, based on risk assessments carried out by an independent Expert Panel for Fragrance Safety).
The Expert Panel for Fragrance Safety is an independent panel of experts that reviews the activities of the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM). They determine safety of use for fragrance ingredients through consideration of available information and active generation of additional data. If the Expert Panel for Fragrance Safety determine that a restriction of use is necessary for consumer and environmental protection, an IFRA Standard will be published. Certain fragrance ingredients are considered safe for their use in final product application but with a defined level of impurities (e.g. traces of solvents) or reaction products or defined procedures for extraction and/or production.
SC Johnson scientists analyzed more than 3,000 data sets from public and industry sources for potential skin allergens identified on country regulatory lists, fragrance industry lists, the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety reviews, dermatology clinic data and individual supplier safety data sheets. The company then shared its findings for validation with experts in the fields of dermatology, immuno-toxicology, fragrance toxicology and allergens.
The TEDX List of Potential Endocrine Disruptors is a database of chemicals with the potential to affect the endocrine system.
Endocrine effects include not only direct effects on traditional endocrine glands, their hormones and receptors (such as estrogens, anti-androgens, and thyroid hormones), but also all other hormones and signaling cascades that affect the body’s systems and processes, including reproductive function and fetal development, the nervous system and behavior, the immune and metabolic systems, gene expression, the liver, bones, and many other organs, glands and tissues.
Every chemical on the TEDX List has one or more verified citations. Each citation is from published, accessible, primary scientific research demonstrating effects on the endocrine system.
References are provided to support each chemical’s inclusion on the list. The number of citations presented in the TEDX List has been limited for practical reasons. It does not reflect the relative amount of research that has been done on each chemical and therefore should not be used as a method of ranking or prioritizing.
Note that the number of studies cited in the TEDX list does not necessarily reflect the number of postiive studies in the literature. TEDX is currently priroitizing identifying new chemicals to add to the list over backfilling more studies for previously listed chemicals.
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