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Safe Cosmetics Australia

The Toxic-Free Campaign

Toxic-Free V's Non-Toxic what is the difference?

Prior to 2010 non-toxic was just a misguided marketing claim. To pressure the Australian government & the cosmetics industry into making safer & healthier products, The Toxic-Free Campaign was launched. It was the first campaign of it's kind advocating to raise chemical awareness & providing a toxic-free standard for Australian products.
Let's be perfectly clear here, non-toxic does not mean toxic-free! Capable of absorbing 64% up to 100% of what you apply to your skin, it's crucial to avoid toxic ingredients. It means absolutely nothing when products state non-toxic on the label giving no indication as to how they came to this conclusion - assessments by independent organisations provide a standard of accountability that manufacturers can adhere to.
It is important to understand that the term chemical & ingredients, are used interchangeably. Chemicals can be natural or synthetic or even naturally derived, these terms simply refer to ingredients. Products cannot truly be chemical-free, not unless the container is empty! It must contain something, marketing of products that claim to be chemical free refers to being free from toxic chemicals - the question is by who's standard?
Naturally derived ingredients have their origins in nature. Once a natural chemical has been processed it is quite often no longer considered natural, it is in-fact artificial by scientific classification. For example: the safest cosmetic colours are Iron Oxides, they have been used in cosmetics since the 1900's. There are 16 iron oxides, they are all compounds of iron & oxygen. Naturally derived & processed thus synthetic & not to be confused with carcinogenic coal tar dyes.
Synthetic is bad & natural is good? This is a blanket statement that is by no means true. Nature can most certainly harm us with poisonous bacteria, deadly toxins from snakes & spiders, to the humble apple that contains a compound called amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when ingested. Nature is as evil as any man-made chemical can be! In cosmetics natural should refer to raw ingredients while synthetic means man-made.
Current legislation allows toxic chemicals to be used in everyday household items like tooth paste, soap, face wash, shampoo & conditioner, skin care creams, hair care products, baby care products, sunscreen & much more. The safety of cosmetic ingredients is a global issue, EWG says it's time for cosmetic ingredients to be reviewed
If your anything like the average women you'll probably have applied up to 15 products this morning, just to get ready for the day. In an article for the ABC, they report that EWG have estimated that women use an average of 12 products each day, containing 168 different chemicals. Men use fewer products at 85 chemicals estimated per day, it's still a lot.
It is the repeated daily exposure of chemicals that is largely unknown. Giving people the choice starts with ingredient transparency, that's why brands that are endorsed by Safe Cosmetics Australia are required to publish their full product ingredients on their website available for you 24/7 to make informed decisions.
To date, brands that are endorsed by SCA's Made Safe logo are more than 95% free-from chemicals of concern. Whilst we could raise the criteria to reflect this, industry standards work off 100% or 85% when it comes to certified organics so SCA has taken the same approach towards formulating.
The Made Safe logo was introduced to recognise products that consumers demand and as a result may contain chemicals that are required to produce a specific product that performs a certain way. See the application process for more information on how SCA reviews products.
It is important to recognise products that are for the most, safe & natural. For example a waterproof mascara requires a plasticiser. Given the choice, the Made Safe logo offers peace of mind knowing that for the most, a product is formulated free-from SCA's hot-list of chemicals to avoid.
SCA campaigns to raise awareness concerning the potential irritants that are commonly used in every day products.  Most products contain fragrances as well as preservatives, emulsifiers, binders, fillers, colours, dyes & often metals, resins & sunscreen, as well as some food grade ingredients & components that are known to cause mild to severe skin irritation, dermatitis & allergic reactions including rash & anaphylaxis in some.
Brands that SCA endorses with the Allergy Certified logo, are required to publish their full ingredients on their website, as stated on the actual product labels. This provides transparency between consumer & manufacturer. Brands must also include specific product safety advice regarding potential allergens & irritants as outlined in SCA's list of Key Allergens.
Now in it's tenth year, Safe Cosmetics Australia continues to research & evaluate chemicals comparing tests carried out by leading formulation and production chemists in Australia to information published in the EU, USA & Canada by environmental working groups & scientific research groups as well as listening to consumers & feedback from manufacturers of Natural & Organic cosmetics. learn more now, see regulations.