A New Skin Care Line Promises To Be Toxin-Free

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Phthalates, parabens, SLS, BPA, coal tar, 1,4-dioxane...these are just a handful of the controversial cosmetic ingredients whose safety is being called into question by some scientists, researchers, and health-conscious consumers. There's no shortage of unresolved arguments around the safety of these ingredients, but here's what we do know for sure: The United States regulates chemicals in cosmetics far less than you might think. For instance, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 ingredients from cosmetics, and the United States has banned just 11.

Sobering facts such as that one prompted entrepreneur Gregg Renfrew to start Beautycounter, a new line of nontoxic skin and body care. Beautycounter's formulas are free of all 1,300 ingredients banned by the EU, those restricted in the States, and a list of other chemicals — dubbed the Never List — that may be carcinogenic, irritating, or otherwise damaging to health. What does make it into Beautycounter's formulas: fruit and flower extracts, citrus oils, and herbs meant to keep skin healthy.

Interested? You won't find Beautycounter at the, er, beauty counter. Instead, the line is available online and through consultants — which may prove to be the best way to continue the conversation about chemicals in our cosmetics.

Photo: Courtesy of Beautycounter.