I have always been concerned about what was in my personal care products. I first became interested in it because I am against animal testing. Now I am interested because of health reasons. Most people don’t give it a second look and assume that what they are putting on their body, sometimes 20 products in a morning, are safe. I am hoping that the increased interest of “what is in my food?” and “where did my food come from?” will cross over to cosmetics and other body care products. There are so many restaurants known for their use of pure ingredients and you can go dine there in confidence. Wouldn’t it be great if someday…we could seek out salons that are just as safe? Even our own makeup bag? I am so happy to see this new short video on cosmetics that just came out this month. It inspired me to write this and it got me looking up some new things and I hope it gets other people talking and asking questions.
I just bought some toothpaste and lotion at the store. It is a fairly large brand in the health food stores. I read the labels and didn’t see anything I know to be toxic. It did say parfum. Which I know is on the toxic list. But it also said that it was free of syntehic fragrances, colors, preservatives, etc. So, I thought it was safe. I looked it up on the Cosmestic Safety Database. The lotion was rated 5 out 10 with a Moderate Safety Hazard. The toothpaste was rated 4- Moderate Safety hazard. This is what the Cosmetic Database and Environmental Work Group reported as well as a full breakdown of these catagories (check out the website for the full breakdown).
|Ingredients in this product are linked to:|
|Restrictions & warnings|
|Other concerns for ingredients used in this product: Neurotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive),Miscellaneous, Multiple, additive exposure sources,Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Enhanced skin absorption,Occupational hazards
Compact for Safe Cosmetics Non-compliant: This company has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and made progress toward compliance, but has not met all requirements: they have not yet fully listed all ingredients on product labels.
Steps You Can Take (Source at WebMD)
- When choosing personal care products, remember that simpler is better. This means not only looking for products with fewer chemical ingredients (soap instead of shower gel, or moisturizers without fragrance), but also using fewer products overall.
- Think about how necessary a product is before you use it. For example, bubble bath for your baby or for yourself. Do without if you can.
- Use your nose as a guide: If a product has a chemical-like odor, think twice about using it or where you will apply it.
- Read ingredient labels for ingredients like parabens, but realize that many of the most questionable chemicals (like phthalates) won’t be listed; instead, they’re contained in the umbrella phrase “fragrance.”
- Visit product web sites to get more detail on ingredients. Many of them will offer more disclosure than the label does. If you still want to know more, email the company.
- Visit www.CosmeticsDataBase.com for an up-to-date cross-reference of more than 22,000 cosmetics and a rating of their chemical ingredients.
- Seek out products from companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics pledge. Visit www.safecosmetics.org/companies/signers.cfm.
- Get the free CD report from Vassar College on environmental links to breast cancer, including the role of cosmetics and personal care products, at www.ERBC.Vassar.edu.
Find out what is in your makeup bag:
Chemicals of Concern
No More Toxic Tub
What to Choose:
Guide to Less Toxic Products (includes how to make your own at home)
Coming Clean Campaign
Green Salons Guides:
Women for the Environment
Safety for Cosmetics Campaign
What’s in Your Cosmetic Bag– Web MD