What Non Toxic Skincare Means and What Ingredients To Avoid

Most people wouldn’t assume that toxic ingredients were lurking in their skincare, makeup, and beauty products. The idea of putting a potentially dangerous ingredient like sulfates, hormone disruptors, or carcinogens in a product designed to be applied to the face seems counterintuitive, but that hasn’t stopped many skincare brands from doing exactly that. 

Before you slather your moisturizer on your face, check the label for ingredients that are safe, effective, and free from toxins. It’s better for your body and better for the environment to choose proven, natural ingredients that can’t cause harm. 

What Is Non Toxic Skincare?

Products need to be manufactured to remain shelf-stable or to avoid expiring shortly after opening. Manufacturers want their products to last an eternity, and they’re willing to add ingredients that may compromise the safety of a product (or counteract a “natural skincare products" claim) in the name of longevity.

Ideally, you’ll purchase one skincare product of its kind at a time and use it up before purchasing another one. Your skin care products shouldn’t need to last forever. You should find the bottom of the eye cream jar or the toner bottle.

Non-toxic skincare is formulated to be shelf-stable without being eternal. It isn’t full of chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrances, or ingredients that are designed to be invincible like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES). They won’t be harmful to the environment when the remnants of your product gets rinsed down the sink or when the packaging is disposed of. The production of these ingredients isn’t harmful to the planet. 

When you use non toxic skincare, you’re doing a favor for people, the planet, animals, and your skin.

Why Non Toxic Skincare Is Important

Many toxic ingredients in your skincare products, shampoos, conditioner, or even lip balms aren’t things you would feel comfortable putting on your face, lips, or scalp if you knew they were lurking in the jar. Your skin is porous, and skincare products like serum are designed to penetrate the top layer of your skin. 

You want those vitamins, skin-healthy minerals, and essential oils to deliver their benefits from below the skin’s surface, whether you have acne-prone skin or want to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Your skin will look better and feel better as these formulas continue to provide nourishment long after you apply your daily skin care routine. You don’t want them intermingling with chemical ingredients like formaldehyde within your skin.

Some of your skincare will technically enter your body if the product is doing its job correctly. To sum up, clean beauty, if you wouldn’t eat an ingredient in your cleansers, sunscreen, or exfoliators, it’s probably not a good idea to coat your face in it. 

Ingredients To Avoid in Skincare Products

The ingredients list of your serum or moisturizer may seem a bit intimidating. Valuable active botanicals are listed under their lengthier scientific names, making it difficult to determine the difference between natural and artificial ingredients or understand their toxicity. 

When shopping for natural and non-toxic products, Google is your friend. Use this database to help discover which names refer to organic ingredients or true botanicals and hide harmful chemicals. You can also use Google to determine whether your products are vegan or cruelty-free. Learning the difference between helpful and potentially harmful ingredients will help to make you a conscious consumer of everything you purchase. 


Parabens are widely used cosmetic preservatives that may act as endocrine disruptors. Parabens may work to prevent the ingredients in your moisturizer from breaking down, but your body has no use for them. When parabens enter your body (or the body of an animal), they can disrupt vital reproductive, neurological, and immune processes.


Many people don’t realize just how much metal is lurking in their personal care products. Skincare products and deodorants often incorporate aluminum-like compounds into their products, using them as thickening agents to improve the consistency of the product.

This ingredient is controversial. Aluminum is generally recognized as safe in small amounts, but it’s not necessary to improve the way a product functions. Thickeners can just as easily be derived from less harmful plant-based sources. Why use metal at all?


Formaldehyde is used as a preservative in a lot of things, but you’ll generally never see it listed as formaldehyde on an ingredients list. Formaldehyde preservatives are other chemicals that slowly release formaldehyde into a product as they break down. The idea behind the inclusion of these preservatives is that their ability to leech formaldehyde into a product will continuously preserve them after the container has been opened. 

These products technically accumulate more formaldehyde over time. Every time you use them, you’re applying increasingly more formaldehyde to your face.


Phthalates are chemicals used in the manufacture of plastics. When mixed with plasticine materials, they make the resulting product flexible. Phthalates keep PVC pipes and above-ground pool liners from cracking. They’re also used to keep the texture of your skincare products malleable and to provide artificial fragrance to many grooming products.

There’s no reason for phthalates to be in your skincare products. The texture of moisturizers and serums can be changed simply by incorporating skin-healthy ingredients with a naturally soft texture.


Silicones provide a silky slip to skincare products. They actually feel good when applied to the skin. They’re soft, and they improve the surface texture of your face. It may not seem apparent why silicones shouldn’t be in your products.

The answer is simple. Silicones improve the texture of your skin by filling in your pores. While they’re blurring away skin texture, they’re clogging up your face. Breakouts can form when oil and sweat can’t escape from your pores due to the hundreds of little silicone plugs. Silicones lead to skin health issues with repeated use. 

Silicones in cosmetic products is a divisive issue. Some reporting suggests they’re perfectly safe for pores, while other research suggests that they may be problematic for people with oily or sensitive skin. Avoiding silicones is a personal choice, but it’s a decision that many people feel preserves the health of their skin.

How Caldera + Lab Does It Differently

Caldera + Lab doesn’t use any ingredients that don’t come from nature. Our products are formulated exclusively with botanicals. What we can’t sustainably harvest from the wild, we organically grow. 

Our products are free from toxic chemicals. In our skincare products, you won’t find any phthalates, formaldehyde, silicone, aluminum, parabens, GMOs, gluten, or animal-derived ingredients. We’re cautious in selecting our ingredients.

As a certified B corporation, we’re also held accountable for how we source our ingredients and manufacture our products. We didn’t need to become a B corporation, but we chose to. It’s crucially important to us that we aren’t harming people or the environment. Skincare should improve the health of your skin - not damage the health of the planet. 

What’s in the Good?

Our botanical skincare serum is certified by both Made Safe and EcoCert. Our blend of apricot kernel oil, fireweed, plant-derived squalane, dandelion, elderflower, astragalus root, spilanthes, seabuckthorn, prickly pear, red raspberry, frankincense, nettle, and dozens of other active botanicals works to improve the health of your skin. 

We’re proof that toxic chemicals and synthetic ingredients have no place in skincare. Our extensive clinical study followed more than 50 participants over 60 days to assess how The Good changed their skin. 

Expert clinical grading, imaging techniques, and a participant survey showed substantial results. 96% of our participants experienced healthier-looking skin after using The Good. 

Why put chemicals on your face when our active botanicals are clinically demonstrated to provide the results you want?



Parabens | Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

Formaldehyde And Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives | Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

The Dirty Dozen: Dibutyl Phthalate | David Suzuki Foundation