Part of “Getting & Staying Healthy” is looking your best– which means being as aware of what we put on our bodies, as we do in our bodies. My guess is that you have bought at least a few items of food or household goods at the grocery store because it said “Natural, Organic, and made with real x,y,z”. What about your personal care products? How safe (or toxic) are they? What havoc are they wreaking on your skin, and would you even know if what the label claims isn’t entirely true? One would think that if millions of people are using a product, surely it is safe, right!?
What I bet you didn’t know, is that the cosmetics & personal care industry isn’t as regulated as the pharmaceutical and food industries… so don’t just rely on the marketing labels without turning the bottle around and actually reading the ingredients (if they are even listed). Once you start doing a little research, what you find may surprise you– and healthier choices are more readily available now than in the past.
How do I know what is toxic, and what isn’t?
- The Cosmetic Database (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com) provides an easy to use tool which ranks products on a scale of 1-10 (0-2 Low Hazard, 3-6 Moderate Hazard, and 7-10 Highest Hazard).
- Hover over any of the categories along the top bar to select the type of product to search, or search by a particular product you use.
- I challenge you to at least take a look at the products you use every day to see how they rank– include makeup, skin care, hair products, eye care, nail products, baby care, oral care, sun protection, and many others! I have personally done this and have gradually changed out all of my skin care, toothpaste, lotions, and cosmetic products. It is easy to do, and you will quickly start to know which ones are ‘good’ and which ones to avoid in the high-hazard categories.
Take your knowledge a step further:
- FAQ to learn more about the scoring system, why you should care, and harmful ingredient listings to look for: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/faq/
- Check out this handy ”Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics” that you can print and keep in your wallet: http://www.ewg.org/files/EWG_cosmeticsguide.pdf
- Sign-up to receive newsletters from the http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
Hopefully this information helps guide you to some basic resources for making healthier and knowledgeable decisions about the products you use every day. Educate yourself and take small steps to healthier choices…to keep looking young and fabulous even longer!
How healthy will your skin be by 30?