Salicylate Free Skin Care Products

Food is obviously a big area where salicylates show up. The seemingly healthier the food (ie — fruits and veggies), the higher it is in salicylates. Which is why most people start with their diet and removing the biggest offenders. Unfortunately, removing salicylates from your diet is often not enough. Another area where salicylates show up a lot is in skin care products like lotions, sun screen, shampoos and conditioners, soaps, deodorant, and make-up making it important to swap out for salicylate free skin care products.

With the trend to add more and more organic, plant-based ingredients into our skincare, our products become salicylate bombs for those that are sensitive. Some common ingredients that (sound like they would be amazing but actually) contain salicylates to be on the lookout for:

  • salicylic acid
  • aloe vera
  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • castor oil
  • mint
  • menthol
  • plant extracts
  • fragrances and perfumes

Because salicylates can hide under a whole host of complex names, it’s best to copy and paste an ingredient list from the internet into SalSearch, a search engine designed to help you detect salicylates contained in the ingredients of cosmetics and care products. SalSearch is a freakin’ godsend because it breaks down the ingredients and tells you exactly which ones contain salicylates, making it easier than ever to discover salicylate free skin care products.

One note of caution with SalSearch: it manually overrides the term fragrance, so there still could be hidden salicylates in products that are scented. Always opt for unscented whenever possible.

Here are 9 salicylate free skin care products to check out:

  1. Free & Clear Shampoo* and Conditioner* — These two were the very first products that I ordered and was really curious how they would work. The shampoo lathers really nicely. And the conditioner is nice and thick, leaving my hair feeling soft after rinsing it out. My hair is always shiny and healthy looking when it dries, which is a definite must. The best part is not having to worry about whether different scents will bother me or be too strong since it’s unscented.
  2. Vanicream Gentle Body Wash — I’ve been really happy with this body wash. It doesn’t dry out or irritate my skin. And since it’s unscented, it doesn’t leave me with a headache afterwards. It gives a nice lather and would probably be even better with a loofah or shower puff of some kind.
  3. Vanicream Facial Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid for Sensitive Skin* — I’m always a bit skeptical of trying new products on my face since they make me break out 95% of the time. I was pleasantly surprised by how light the moisturizer feels on my face and am happy to report that it doesn’t irritate my skin at all. Would definitely recommend this one even if you aren’t sensitive to salicylates.
  4. Squigle Tooth Builder SLS Free Toothpaste* — unflavored toothpaste definitely takes some getting used to. It does the job and has a good foamy mouth feel to it like regular mint-laden toothpastes do. The only difference is the absence of a cool feeling in your mouth after using a mint-flavored version. I also notice that my teeth feel a little bit grittier after, so am not 100% thrilled with this product. It works, though, and I will keep using it until I can find a better option.
  5. Cleure Shampoo and Conditioner  — All Cleure products are labeled as salicylate free, which is really exciting. I love that I was able to ordera sample size in both the shampoo and conditioner to see if I liked it before buying the bigger versions of it.
  6. Cleure Shea Butter Body Lotion — This is hands down my new favorite product. My skin feels incredible after applying the lotion. It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving it feeling soft and cared for. Which is a definitely win, since shea butter can feel a bit greasy to me at times. I cannot recommend this product enough and look forward to seeing how it fares in the winter months when my skin and hands get extra dry.
  7. Cleure Original Unflavored Toothpaste — I was curious to see if the Cleure brand of toothpaste would be any different since it does contain baking soda. It’s honestly about the same as the Squigle toothpaste. It also has a good mouth feel (foams nicely) and definitely feels like it helps me clean my teeth. I still get that gritty feeling, though, and have yet to find a product that feels like what I’m used to…
  8. Almay Sensitive Skin Clear Gel Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant* — I have a love-hate relationship with deodorant. I want to love natural deodorant, but end up hating most of them because a.) they smell terrible and b.) they never work. I’ve tried crystal deodorants, homemade creams, and baking soda sprinkled under my pits but none of them ever work for me. They also all end up leaving red bumps under my arms and I just give up. Which is why I am so darn in love with this deodorant. I know it’s not natural, and, frankly, I’m okay with that. It works and I never smell (myself or the actual product) when I’m wearing it. I also don’t get those elusive and irritating red bumps anymore. HOORAY!
  9. Badger Balm SPF 40 Protect Land & Sea Sunscreen Cream with Clear Zinc — This is seriously THE only sunscreen I’ve been able to find that doesn’t contain salicylates that isn’t also $40 per tiny ass bottle (sorry, Cleure, I just can’t rationalize it…). I am so excited to give this a go this summer since I know I will be living at playgrounds and generally being outdoors with my two kiddos. (This product also comes in a tin!) Note: Outside of this product line, most of the sun care products on the Badger Balm website contain salicylates, so make sure to read the ingredients and run them through SalSearch to confirm before ordering.

*This is an affiliate link, meaning I make a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase something after clicking on it.

10 thoughts on “Salicylate Free Skin Care Products

  1. Love many of the products you recommend, especially the face foundation. Was wondering if you have a good blush you could recommend.

  2. Hi! I’m so glad you’ve found products that work for you! It’s so tricky when it comes to avoiding salicylates. Unfortunately, I don’t have any blush suggestions. I never needed it (my cheeks are always a little rosy). Perhaps check Andrea Rose, a salicylate and fragrance free skin care and makeup company (they have a section for blush and bronzer). Hope you find something that works!

  3. The sunscreen link now directs you to “Sport Mineral Sunscreen Cream – SPF 40” and it appears that there’s been a recent change in formula. Have you had luck with this new one? If you haven’t tried it, what’s the ingredient list of the one you like?

    1. What a bummer that they changed their ingredient list. I’m not sure what the old formula was, but would assume it was pretty similar. RPAH lists Sunflower oil as being salicylate free, so you should still be okay with this one. Maybe try a small sample size if you can first?

    1. Hi! Lip balm is actually really easy to make on your own. I’d suggest using your favorite (or best tolerated) oil and some beeswax or carnuba wax.

      A basic recipe:
      + 1 Tbsp shaved or chopped beeswax (or beads)
      + 3 Tbsp oil

      Melt the beeswax and oil together over low heat using a double boiler or on low heat in the microwave. Stir to combine and then pour into a container (tube or pot). Let cool completely before using.

  4. Hi Emily. I noticed te badger balm contains sunflower seed oil. I thought all plant oils, gels, extracts, and juices were a “no no” for those needing salicylate free products.

    1. Hi, Ruthee!

      Thanks for the comment. According to everything I’ve seen about low chemical (and specifically low salicylate) oils include rice bran, sunflower, safflower, and canola oils.

      Here’s an article from The Food Intolerance Dietician (Frances Walker) that talks about FAILSAFE swaps.

      If you look at the information about olive oil, the following is mentioned:

      “Olive oil is made from olives and olives are very high in salicylates and amines. So it follows that olive oil is not a good choice for the low chemical/failsafe elimination diet.

      Other high salicylate and amine oils include coconut oil, peanut oil, and other nut oils such as almond and sesame oil.

      Rice bran oil is low in food chemicals as well as canola, safflower and sunflower oils.

      Soy oil is also low, but many prefer to avoid if also avoiding soy, although there is unlikely any soy protein in the soil oil as it is extracted as part of the purifying processes.”

      Also, according to the most recent iteration of Friendly Foods (2019), the book the Royal Prince Albert Hospital (RPAH) puts out, sunflower oil is considered low chemical (along with canola oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil, rice bran oil, and safflower oil).

      Hope that helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *