Are your favorite personal care products safe? Now you can check your favorite personal care products for safety by plugging them into Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep Cosmetic database! I was turned on to this website about a year ago and it has been invaluable in helping me make better purchasing choices for both myself and my family.
It can be a daunting task to break up with our make up and skin care but a necessary one if you want to reduce the potentially harmful chemicals we expose ourselves to. Day in and day out we reward large companies for putting potentially harmful chemicals in our personal care products. We tell them its okay by continuing to purchase the stuff that hasn’t been tested for safety on humans. We are their lab rats and I for one am fed up with big business more concerned with profits than with the consumers health.
Knowledge is power baby and when we know better we do better. Maybe you don’t want to know or aren’t convinced that harmful chemicals are even in our cosmetics. Don’t bury your head in the sand any longer. Educate yourself about what you are putting on your largest organ, your skin!
According to The Campaign for Safer Cosmetics a number of striking studies have shown that the man-made chemicals in our environment and in consumer products—including cosmetics—are making their way into our bodies. Many of the chemicals found in cosmetics are absorbed by the skin into the body, and can be detected in blood or urine. The length of time chemicals remain in the body varies from chemical to chemical and ranges from hours to decades. For chemicals that are excreted quickly, the fact that we can so consistently measure them indicates continual exposures that may have long-term effects on health. Read the full article here.
Still not convinced that what we put on our skin gets absorbed into our bodies? Consider the effectiveness of the nicotine patch, hormone replacement patches and countless other transdermal pharmaceuticals.
Some of the products I was using actually were fine but some were off the charts high in potentially harmful chemicals so that is were I started to make changes first. I basically had two choices. I could educate myself and make my own DIY personal care products or I could do my research and find responsible companies that are committed to NEVER using harmful chemicals in their products and that prove to be transparent with their ingredient list. I may sound like a broken record but I will repeat this until everyone I love is aware of it. When you see the word “parfum” or “fragrance” on an ingredient list walk away from it. No, run away from it!
Those two terms can encompass up to 3000 different chemicals, some known to cause health problems. Manufacturers do not have to tell you what ingredients they are using to create a products scent siting trade secret laws. According to Wikipedia in 2005-2006, fragrance was the third-most-prevalent allergen in patch tests (11.5%).
‘Fragrance’ was voted Allergen of the Year in 2007 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. The composition of fragrances is usually not disclosed in the label of products, hiding the actual chemicals of the formula, which raises concerns among some consumers.
Fragrances are regulated in the United States by the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 that “grandfathered” existing-chemicals without further review or testing and put the burden of proof that a new substance is not safe on the EPA. The EPA, however, does not conduct independent-safety testing but relies on data provided by the manufacturer. In 2010 the International Fragrance Association published a list of 3,059 chemicals used in 2011 based on a voluntary-survey of its members. It was estimated to represent about 90% of the world’s production-volume of fragrances.
So what is a health conscious girl to do? I personally make my own toothpaste (get the recipe here), Sometimes I make my own skin care products predominantly made with coconut oil and essential oils but most often I rely on Beautycounter products.
If you aren’t familiar with Beautycounter, they are a brand out of Santa Monica, CA dedicated to transparency, advocacy and safer products that perform! Just the balance that many of us have been looking for! Beautycounter’s Head of Product Development, Xavier Ormancey has a reputation of being a visionary and has spent the last 20 years in Paris with companies including Chanel and L’Oreal. With him in charge, we know Beautycounter will deliver on innovation, safety and performance!