Is X ingredient a chemical?

Yes. Everything is a chemical/made of chemicals—air, water, coconut oil, baking soda—so this really isn’t a very useful question. It’s sort of like asking if something exists. It doesn’t tell you anything about the ingredient at all.

This question is usually asked from a safety standpoint, so the better question is “is this safe to use as directed?”. For this information I would recommend referring to the Cosmetics Info database. Each ingredient has a “Safety” tab that contains more information.

It is important to remember that ingredient safety is not a simple “safe” or “not safe” thing. Think about water—safe to drink, but you wouldn’t want it in your lungs! Concentration (usage rate), where it is used on the body, and whether it is a leave-on or rinse-off product all play a role in determining if an ingredient is being used safely. There are many ingredients that are fine for feet and hands, but not eyes. There are many that can be used at higher concentrations in a rinse-off product than in a leave-on product.

Posted in: Safety

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