Users Guide for the Non-toxic Products section


  • The Skin Deep danger score  or the risks of ingredients, based upon a scale from 0 to 10, reflects the known and suspected risks of the ingredients, 0 being the degree which presents a weak risk of danger, 10 being the degree which presents a maximum risk of danger to human health.
Low hazard Moderate hazard High hazard

Read more on the gray grades, the overall ratings (products) and the individual grades (ingredients) in  the chapter “ Skin Deep and other tools… ”.

  • When certain products selected in this Guide of products of hygiene, beauty and the non-toxic cosmetics were not posted on Skin Deep, I analyzed the grades of the ingredients separately and I posted them by writing the figure and the colour which corresponds to them (green, yellow, red). This analysis is not as exact as the overall rating of the product given by Skin Deep but it gives us a good idea of the harmlessness of the ingredients. When an ingredient is classified red only, it will remain a problematic ingredient in the total composition of the product, its degree of danger being able to be increased in the presence of other agent-activators of the penetration in the skin like PEG.  Example: Nail varnish Caramel Colour. Ingredients:   : Butyl Acetate* 1 – Ethyl Acetate* 4 5 – Nitrocellulose* 1 – AdipicAcid* /Neopentyl Glycol*/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer* 0 – Acetyl Tributyl Citrate* 2 – Isopropyl Alcohol* 4 – Stearalkonium Bentonite 0 –Acrylates Copolymer* 3 – N–Butyl Alcohol* 4 5 – Styrene*/Acrylates Copolymer* 3 –Benzophenone–1* 5 – Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate* 1 – Polyvinyl Butyral* 1 [+/–Peut contenir : Mica 3 – Silica 1 - 2 – Calcium Sodium Borosilicate 0 – CI 77891 3 (Titanium dioxide) – CI77491 2 - 3 (Red iron oxide) – CI 77742 1 (Manganese violet) – CI 77499 3 (Black iron oxide) – CI 77007 2 (Ultramarine) – CI 77510 5 - 6 (Ferric ammonium ferrocyanide) – CI 15850 3 (Red 6 lake – Red 7 lake)* – CI 15880 0 - 2 (Red 34 lake)* – CI 19140 2 - 3 (Yellow 5 lake)* – CI 12490* 5 – CI 77861 2 (Tin oxide) –Fluorphlogopite* 2 - CI 77000 8 ( Aluminium Powder ) – Polyethylene terephtalate* 1 ].

* Product of synthetic origin

  • Considering that labelling on sold products is bilingual in Canada, I sometimes kept some names of products in English (of other brands like Miessence or 100% Pure were quite simply not translated yet) when I did not find the equivalent in French to be sure that the list of ingredients corresponds to the product posted on Skin Deep.  
  • Fragrance and Perfume are two equivalent terms.
  • The grade of the harmlessness of the product (“health”) on GoodGuide is always on a scale from 0 to 10 but, contrary to Skin Deep, a high grade is allotted to the best products. Thus a product which has a grade of 10/10 for health indicates an advisable product, without health risk, while on Skin Deep , 10 is in the red and represents the highest degree of danger and a product to be avoided. Read more in the chapter “ Skin Deep and other tools… ”.
  • Certain products (especially coming from local production) do not have a Skin Deep grade , or a GoodGuide grade. They do not appear among the recommendations of Rita Stiens or other tools used to select the products and they do not have individual analysis of ingredients posted in this Guide of products of hygiene, of beauty and of the non-toxic cosmetics . Their ingredients were, however, scrupulously verified before their selection even if the formulas are not posted because one can find them on the Websites of the respective manufacturers.
  • The price , although often the first criterion in our choices as well as the weight, the comments and the place of purchase of the products are not given in a systematic way for each product. The difficulty of such a step largely exceeds our resources. I indicated as much as I could, for Montrealers, the place where the product may be but if it is not available in the shops near you, you should know that, unfortunately, I do not have an influence on the distribution network of the cosmetics in your area; in fact, it is up to you, to influence by your requests and your purchases and promote the use of healthier products of hygiene and beauty care.
  • All the lists of ingredients present in the Guide of non-toxic hygiene, beauty and cosmetics  products are INCI but they are not provided either in a systematic way for considerations explained below, but they all were seriously deciphered and in all independence before selecting the product. The same explanations apply to the absence of photography for part of the products [1] .
  • The lists of ingredients being very long, would have led to a much too voluminous book; I was inspired in my initiative by the l’Observatoire des cosmétiques  ( Observatory of the cosmetics-in French), which does not retain either, the ingredients nor the photographs of the proposed products in a systematic way;
  • When the product is certified (besides some categories of products and ingredients which are clearly explained in the chapters devoted to certifications and certified organic products) the danger is smaller from a harmlessness point-of-view than for the non-certified products. Therefore, their presence is not always available;
  • Certain companies correctly post the list of ingredients of their products and this is specified in the description of the product, you can thus do an interactive reading.
  • Contrary to Germany, in Quebec, in Canada, in France and other countries the word “ natural ”  affixed on a cosmetic does not have any legal framing, one thus uses a name legally recognized as “ certified organic ”. To see more on this subject go to the chapters “ Reading the labels ” and “ Labels and certifications ”.
  • The “ Dirty List ” is the list of the 12 ingredients to be avoided in the composition of cosmetics provided by the David Suzuki Foundation and it is in the chapter “ Are cosmetics toxic? ».
  • When you want to verify your products, certain ingredients can be posted by synonyms [2] . Thus if you are satisfied not to have found oxybenzone [3]    in your solar screen, you should know that it can be posted by one of the following synonyms: Benzophenone-3, 2-Benzoyl – 5-Methoxyphenol; 2-Hydroxy -4-Methoxybenzophenone; (2-Hydroxy – 4-Methoxyphenyl) Phenylmethanone; Methanone, (2-Hydroxy – 4-Methoxyphenyl) Phenyl-; (2-Hydroxy -4-Methoxyphenyl) Phenyl- Methanone; Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3); Oxybenzone 6; Methanone, (2hydroxy 4methoxypheny L) Phenyl; B3; Durascreen; SolaquinPour. You should verify if they are synonyms of the same ingredient or of different ingredients. Check on the Web the “CAS number” [4] .
  • Other dangerous ingredients for health and the environment that are constantly finger-pointed in this work are not posted on the labels. For example, 1.4 dioxan results following the combination of other ingredients present in the formula, the phthalates belong to the generic “Perfume” which is not detailed, the formaldehyde liberators can generate some at the time of their contact with other substances (water for example) or during the manufacturing process but the ingredient formaldehyde is not indicated on the label in spite of its presence in the product. For more details on this subject see the chapter “ Reading the labels ” and read the comment which I made at the bottom, on the page “ About “.
  •  I drew attention, all throughout this work to the fact that certain ingredients , even certified organic ones, have a potential allergen ; it is not because it is recommended by this Guide of products of hygiene, beauty and the non-toxic cosmetics that a product guarantees a total absence of allergy to you.
  • The list of 26 allergenic substances is in the chapter “ Body lotions ”. You can know more about it on the Website  Le Flacon .
  • An exclusive reading of the part “ Non-toxic Products ” of this Guide of hygiene,  beauty and non-toxic cosmetics is an incomplete reading, to your disadvantage. To understand the stakes of the cosmetics enables you to become autonomous and to better make your choices of consumption.
  • A lexicon of the ingredients is useless in this work: several lists are available on the Internet and the advantage of such a tool for the consumer consists in being able to verify the impact of the components of a product on the health and the safety of human beings and of the environment. The most complete and free source to this end is Skin Deep and even with more than 150.000 ingredients, it happens that one does not find there certain ingredients registered on the labels. Only disadvantage for the French-speaking consumer: it is in English!
  • The section TO BE AVOIDED at the end of each chapter of the section ” Non-toxic Products ” was conceived as an example and strictly for teaching ends. Our goal is to make comprehensible to the consumers that certain ingredients problematic for health are not virtual entities which are far removed from their daily occupations but quite to the contrary, that they are present in our drawers and our bathrooms and that we make use of them every day and since years. In that sense, I tried to choose the most popular products and to give a bare minimum of it so as not to encroach on the positive spirit in which this work was conceived. The classification of these products and ingredients in terms of ratings or grades is done by credible institutions such as EWG or GoodGuide. I did nothing else but refer to what has already been said, (with research and studies as support of what you can freely consult on the respective Websites) by these institutions.

The field of cosmetics, of regulations, of organic reference frames, being in full change, certain formulas, ratings, grades have been able to change since the drafting of this Guide of non toxic hygiene, beauty and cosmetics products . The field of scientific research being in full mobility also, certain evaluations of ingredients can also know changes. The only thing which should not change is your vigilance!


[1] ↑   The Guide of non-toxic hygiene, beauty and  cosmetics  products was conceived to be published on paper and these considerations (list of ingredients and too many photographs) in general, are problematic for the publishers.

[2] ↑   Generally, that should not be the case but all depends on the source of the product; for the active ingredients in solar products, Health Canada specifies which are the terms preferred on http://

[3] ↑  Oxybenzone is an ingredient present in sun lotions suspected of causing photo-allergic reactions. This chemical is absorbed by the skin in large quantities. It contaminates the organs of 97% of Americans according to researchers of the “Centers for Disease Control”.

[4] ↑

CAS REGISTRY counts more than 61 million organic and inorganic substances. Roughly 12000 new substances are added there each day!

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