Personal care products and cosmetics are a common holiday gift, but ones that are truly safe and effective can be difficult to find. And all of us at Made Safe know that the holiday season means busy, busy, busy—no time to research ingredients and investigate products. This is why our team does the heavy lifting for you. All of the products in our gift guide are MADE SAFE® certified.
We’ve vetted all of these products through our rigorous scientific process, which means that they’re made without known behavioral, reproductive, and neuro toxins, carcinogens, hormone disruptors, heavy metals, high-risk pesticides, flame retardants, toxic solvents, and harmful VOCs. In addition, ingredients have been examined for bioaccumulation (builds up in our bodies), persistence (stays in the environment) and aquatic toxicity.
On average, women use around twelve personal care products every day, and men use six. This ends up being exposure to more than 150 ingredients for women and 80 for men. While some of this exposure is in small amounts, some ingredients, like endocrine disruptors, can have impacts in unfathomably small amounts. Some ingredients can also build up in our bodies and the environment.
While we do know that some individual personal care product ingredients are linked to human health harm – carcinogenicity, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity, reproductive harm, and more – scientists don’t completely understand how these chemical mixtures work together. Most combinations used in products are completely untested.
With the potential for cumulative exposure, some cosmetic ingredients’ dossier of toxicity, and completely untested mixtures, choosing personal care products with safe ingredients for yourself and loved ones is so important.
This holiday season, choose no labels to read. No questionable ingredients. And no chemicals to research. Just holiday shopping made easy, from us to you. Choose MADE SAFE Certified products.
■ Bronzer, Concealer, Powder and Foundation: Rejuva Minerals
Why we love them: Some conventional foundations and bronzers can contain ingredients thatare contaminated with heavy metals like lead, mercury, and aluminum. However, because heavy metals are not usually intentionally added, but are impurities from manufacturing or in the raw material, they are not listed on labels. Rejuva is made without heavy metals, and with organic ingredients you can trust your skin to like.
Why we love Rejuva: Rejuva was the first company to achieve MADE SAFE certification for many of its cosmetics. Brenda Hyre founded Rejuva to formulate her own safer cosmetics after struggling with skin sensitivities. GIFT IT.
■ Sunscreen Foundation: True Botanicals Everyday Sheer Coverage SPF 20
Why we love it: Meant to be worn every day, this product comes in three tints and provides a customizable amount of coverage by layering. It’s formulated with non-nanoparticle zinc oxide, a MADE SAFE certified alternative to sunscreen chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, two UV filters that readily absorb into the skin, linked to endocrine disruption and ecosystem harm.
Why we love True Botanicals: Hillary Peterson founded True Botanicals because as a melanoma survivor, she believes we shouldn’t have to protect our skin with toxic ingredients. GIFT IT.
■ Body Wash: Alaffia Everyday Coconut and Everyday Shea
Why we love them: While you won’t find formaldehyde listed on a product’s label, an overwhelming percentage of personal care products, about 20 percent in the United States, contain preservatives like diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and quaternium-15 that release formaldehyde, an established carcinogen. Alaffia foregoes all formaldehyde releasers in all of their products, including their Everyday Coconut and Everyday Shea body washes that come in six scents.
Why we love Alaffia: So many reasons—the company’s commitment to ethically sourced products, Fair Trade ingredients, fair wages for workers, and funding of gender equality projects. This company’s dedication to our planet and people extends beyond safe ingredients! GIFT IT.
■ Body Scrubs: Kaelen Harwell Turmeric & Lime Salt Body Scrub
Why we love it: This scrub was a 2017 finalist for the Clean Beauty Awards! Kaelen Harwell combines inflammation-reducing turmeric, rejuvenating sea salt, and uplifting lime for a luscious scrub that polishes skin to its ultimate softness.
Why we love Kaelen Harwell: As a result of years in the spa industry, founder Kaelen Johnson learned that even brands claiming to be natural contained toxic ingredients. Seeking a better alternative, she formed Kaelen Harwell. GIFT IT.
■ Hand Sanitizer: Kosmatology
Why we love it: Instead of endocrine-disrupting triclosan, Kosmatology Hand Sanitizers kill germs with ethyl alcohol, a safer alternative, as well as antimicrobial essential oils like eucalyptus, clove, grapefruit, and lemon.
Why we love Kosmatology: Janis Covey, a pharmacist by trade, founded Kosmatology after trying to find gentle and safe skin care to soothe her baby’s eczema. Thanks to her formulations, her daughter has had clear, calmed and healthy skin for years. GIFT IT.
■ Cleansers: S.W. Basics Cleanser
Why we love it: A common tip for choosing safer personal care products is to look for ones with less ingredients, and with ingredients you recognize. This cleanser from S.W. Basics is gloriously simple, with a rosewater and glycerin base and a dash of tea tree oil.
Why we love S.W. Basics: This “small team of real people” believes that all products, not just their cleanser, should be simple and pure. To that end, their entire line is made with five ingredients or less, and in addition to being MADE SAFE certified, their ingredients are all certified organic, fair trade, or sourced from family farms. GIFT IT.
■ Creams: Neal’s Yard Remedies Frankincense Intense™ Cream
Why we love it: What can’t this cream do? It is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines in 60 days. And in consumer trials, the product received rave reviews. Most wrinkle creams contain forms of retinol, some of which are known developmental toxins and possible carcinogens. With this product Neal’s Yard Remedies harnesses the age-defying powers of nature without harmful ingredients.
Why we love Neal’s Yard Remedies: The company is bringing back the age-old concept of the apothecary, allowing the company’s understanding of herbal remedies to infuse their products. GIFT IT.
■ Mists: Mother Dirt AO+ Mist
Why we love it: We’re totally obsessed! The AO+ Mist restores and preserves the good bacteria naturally found on our skin. Live AOBs (ammonia-oxidizing bacteria) improve the texture and appearance of many common skin issues within two weeks of use, including sensitivity, blotchiness, roughness, oiliness, dryness, and odor, by restoring essential bacteria that was once a vital component to the organ’s health. And you can use it all over your body too!
Why we love Mother Dirt: Over the last century, contemporary personal care routines (e.g. lathering agents, chemicals and preservatives found in soaps and cleansers) have promoted the notion that all bacteria are harmful, and that “clean” and “sterile” are always healthy. Mother Dirt is working to shift that notion and remind us that our skin, like our gut biome, needs good bacteria. GIFT IT.
■ Moisturizers: Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm
Why we love it: It’s technically not just a moisturizer; you can use this product as a cleanser and full facial too! Neal’s Yard Remedies cuts out toxic ingredients often found in moisturizers like parabens, triethanolamine, retinol compounds, and “fragrance.”
Why we love Neal’s Yard Remedies: The company’s website features a Technical Ingredients Glossary, so if you want to nerd out about ingredients like we do at Made Safe, you can. The glossary breaks down some common NYR ingredients, so you can understand exactly what you’re slathering on your skin. GIFT IT.
■ Oils & Serums: True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil and Renew Cellular Repair Serum
Why we love them: These products are designed to reverse damage on the cellular level and improve the skin’s lipid barrier. Think plumper, dewier, smoother skin. Yes please!
Why we love True Botanicals: True Botanicals conducts independent clinical trials to prove that their products surpass conventional competitors, even without toxic ingredients. GIFT IT.
■ Masks: Ranavat Botanics Eternal Reign Detoxifying Masque
Why we love it: To give them structure, some conventional masks use acrylates, the same chemical ingredients in acrylic nails. Some acrylates are known reproductive toxins. Instead, Ranavat Botanics uses detoxifying clays like montmorillonite and bentonite for structure.
Why we love Ranavat Botanics: Pure luxury! The company’s aesthetic, inspired by ancient Indian royalty, makes for products that look so pretty, you won’t even need to wrap them. GIFT IT.
■ Toners: S.W. Basics Toner
Why we love it: Remember the days of using pure witch hazel as a toner? S.W. Basics is bringing back this time-tested toning ingredient, but upping the ante with organic raw apple cider vinegar and clary sage and sandalwood essential oils. Why add unnecessary toxic ingredients when you can keep it that simple?
Why we love S.W. Basics: One word: simplicity. GIFT IT.
■ Color Restorer: Hairprint True Color Restorer for Women and Men
Why we love it: Rather than being a hair dye, Hairprint restores grey hair to its natural color and texture. The ground-breaking product uses eight food-grade ingredients and returns hair to its natural color by mimicking the process that happens in the body before the hair turned gray.
Why we love Hairprint: The company worked with Made Safe Scientific Adviser Dr. John Warner and the Warner Babcock Institute to innovate the method using the latest green chemistry, a discipline which employs benign non-toxic molecules to achieve better results than synthetic chemicals. GIFT IT.
■ Organic Hair Dye: Radico Colour Me Organic
Why we love it: Conventional hair dye is made with a slew of harmful chemicals like the developmental toxin toluene, endocrine-disrupting resorcinol, the neurotoxin lead acetate and more. Radico’s products are not only made without these chemicals, but their organic hair dyes are made without the use of any synthetic chemicals at all.
Why we love Radico: The company, based in India, uses time-tested henna, an herb that colors hair. Radico also uses antioxidant-containing amla, hair growth-stimulating hibiscus, and moisturizing bhringraj in their formulations. GIFT IT.
■ Shampoo & Conditioner: Hairprint Chelating Shampoo and Hairprint Bamboo Conditioner
Why we love this shampoo: The majority of water in the United States is hard water, which can mean serious mineral build-up in your hair. Most chelating spa treatments use harsh ingredients to pull minerals from your hair. Instead, Hairprint uses saw palmetto fruit, along with other naturally-occurring chelating agents.
Why we love this conditioner: Most conditioners use quaternary compounds or “quats.” Quats can make moisturizing ingredients more likely to “stick” to hair in order to be more readily absorbed, but some quats release formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Hairprint uses fermented bamboo to transport nutrients into the hair.
Why we love Hairprint: Hairprint was founded with three missions: provide healthy beauty alternatives, clean up the environment, and educate girls in developing countries. Yes, yes and yes! GIFT IT.