Least Toxic Shampoos

ishampoos and shaving foam lined up image by Georgios Alexandris from Fotolia.com

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, at least two carcinogenic ingredients have been found in shampoo. Two other common shampoo ingredients, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate, are considered "minimum risk pesticides" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and are defined as moderate hazards by the Environmental Working Group's SkinDeep Cosmetics Database. The least toxic shampoos, however, contain few, if any, harmful ingredients.

Burt's Bees Rosemary and Mint Shampoo Bar

Burt's Bees blends rosemary with peppermint oil for an invigorating cleansing without SLS or other harmful ingredients. According to the BurtsBees website, the bar contains vegetable soap base, glycerin, rosmarinus officinalis leaf oil, yucca schidigera leaf extract, avena sativa kernel protein, mentha piperita oil, urtica dioica leaf powder, rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract, persea gratissima oil, cocos nucifera oil and panthenol. Burt's Bees products can be purchased online and at local retailers. As of 2010, the Rosemary and Mint Shampoo Bars cost $6 for a 3.5 oz. bar.

The Cosmetics Database gives the shampoo bar a hazard score of "0," meaning this shampoo poses the lowest risk of toxicity. The only ingredients that warrant mentioning are peppermint, for its potential to irritate skin, coconut oil due to the unknown toxicity potential of one of its fatty acids, and rosemary and avocado oil due to their potential as skin, eye and lung irritants.

Alpenglow Shampoo Bar

Alpenglow shampoo bars have been given a hazard score of "1" by the Cosmetics Database, indicating that the product represents a low hazard to health. Alpenglow's three formulas - Aurora, Alaskan Cedar and Lavender Solstice - are all handmade in small batches in Homer, Alaska. Each bar contains Alaskan snow or rain, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, castor bean oil, sodium hydroxide, sweet almond oil, organic jojoba oil, wheat germ oil, pure essential oils, and rosemary oil extract. Alpenglow bars can be purchased as of 2010 from Alpenglowskincare.com for $6.49 for a 4 oz. bar.

According to the Cosmetics Database, the most toxic ingredient is sodium hydroxide, which has a slight potential for neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity and skin, eye or lung irritation. Castor oil, wheat germ oil and coconut oil present very low potential for toxicity.

Keys Soap Mangrove Shampoo

According to the Keys Soap website, the Mangrove Shampoo is vegan, gluten- and soy-free, has not been tested on animals and contains no chemicals or preservatives. The shampoo contains saponified natural coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, blood orange and sage essential oils. As of 2010, Keys Soap's Mangrove Shampoo can be purchased online at Keys-soap.com for $18.95.

The Cosmetics Database gives it a "0" rating for hazard potential, stating only that the avocado oil may pose a risk as a skin, eye or lung irritant.