skin deep: what does that ingredients list really mean?

Over the past two years, I have become pretty well-versed at scouting out the toxic ingredients in different personal products.  I know that it’s safer to stay away from parabens, BPA and other hormone disruptors.  I also know that it’s best to find a soap or shampoo without sodium laureth sulfate, even though it probably won’t suds up as well.  And, I know that the cheapo dollar store nail polish isn’t worth the purchase because it’s like giving yourself a toxic manicure.

But, there are all the other questions.  What about all the other ingredients that I can’t make heads or tails of?  Or, the rumors that circle the internet?  Have you heard the one about Johnson’s baby powder having formaldehyde in it?!  And, then there are the gray areas…  How risky is a single manicure of that gorgeous nail polish from a high-quality name brand going to be?  I am a pretty good reader, but it’s difficult to make decipher some lists and accurately gauge their safety.  And, honestly, at certain points, you are forced to take the claims at face-value.  Or are you?  I don’t know what the “Made with 96.4% natural ingredients” means on the Burt’s Bees bottle, because I don’t know what the other 3.6% is.

This is where the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database website comes in.  It is a massively comprehensive database of almost every, 65,000 plus at this time, personal care product on the market.  The variations of each line are endless and the site is constantly expanding as new products enter the market.  It’s a non-biased review of the facts behind the ingredients in each product.  The website is run by the Environmental Working Group and is laid out perfectly.  When you look up a product, you are given a quick reference with a green, red or yellow light and a rating of a number between 1 and 10.  When you look further into the product, you will be given a detailed description of where these two rankings came from.  The data is research based and simply explains what the risks are and why the ingredients are or are not a concern.

The website is wonderfully easy to use and maneuver and the information is detailed, but simple.  I appreciate that they provide the facts and let you make the decision from there on.  It’s also interactive and you can submit products for the database.  The Skin Deep website is definitely worth checking out and maybe even bookmarking!

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One Response to skin deep: what does that ingredients list really mean?

  1. Pingback: whatcha been up to? | The Sacred Bee's Blog

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