- Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.
Other ConcernsEnhanced skin absorption and Use restrictions (high)
Restricted - Unaccpetable
The score of this ingredient can vary from Restricted to Unacceptable based on the method of product consumption. For instance, when used in aerosol-based products, this ingredient may pose a risk to respiratory health, leading to a higher score
Click here for more information about ingredient scores
Methyl salicylate is an anti-inflammatory ingredient common in pain relief creams for muscles and joints. Although the U.S. cosmetic industry's safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) considers this ingredient safe in products formulated to avoid irritation, a consumer's death in 2007 was linked to excessive exposure to a sports cream containing this chemical. In response, the manufacturer urged consumers to follow the directions for this over-the-counter drug.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
HIGHAllergies & Immunotoxicity
LOWDevelopmental and Reproductive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
Enhanced skin absorption
|Penetration enhancer||Open scientific literature|
|Known human any toxicant or allergen||Open scientific literature|
|Violation of government restrictions - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - any||Open scientific literature|
|Violation of industry recommendations - Restricted in cosmetics; use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - any||Open scientific literature|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - Use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics||Canada - Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients|
|Determined safe for use in cosmetics, subject to concentration or use limitations - Safe for use in cosmetics with some qualifications||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|Limited evidence of reproductive toxicity||Scorecard.org Toxicity Information|
|Limited or incomplete evidence of cancer according to safety/hazard data – scientific review cannot classify as human carcinogen due to data gaps||Open scientific literature|
|Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - any||Open scientific literature|
|2466 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical||NLM PubMed|
|Not suspected to be an environmental toxin||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
Persistence and bioaccumulation
|Not suspected to be persistent||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Not suspected to be bioaccumulative||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - any||Open scientific literature|
Multiple, additive exposure sources
|Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food||FDA Everything Added to Food|
- Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
- Health Canada. 2007. List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients. Canada's Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. March 2007.
- CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
- ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
- EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
- FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.
Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES
The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED® mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.
The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.