These Safer Shopping Tips are brought to you from the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep Database an online safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products.
With safety ratings for nearly a quarter of all products on the market — 63,638 products with 7,769 ingredients—this is an invaluable resource for protecting you and your family that shouldn’t be missed.
Choose safer bath and body products
Find out what’s REALLY hiding in your personal care and cosmetic products. And locate safer alternatives that you love to replace them.
On your next shopping trip be sire to follow these 9 safer shopping tips to help protect you, and those you love, from harmful personal care ingredients
1. Use the Skin Deep Database to avoid especially problematic ingredients — like mercury, lead, and placenta — and the products that contain them. Also be sure to check out this helpful list of 5 toxic chemicals to look out for in your cosmetics from Healthier Talk contributor Dr. Mercola.
2. Use fewer products. Realistically you’re not going to give up every single cosmetic and personal care product you use. But is there something you can cut from your daily routine, or a product you can use less often? By cutting down on the number of chemicals contacting your skin every day, you will reduce any potential health risks associated with your products.
3. Use the search features on Skin Deep to find products that have fewer potential health issues. Pick a category (toothpaste? shampoo? mascara?) and peruse product ratings. Warning: goods in some categories, like hair relaxers, have uniformly high hazard scores.
4. Read labels. Marketing claims on personal care products are not defined under the law, and can mean anything or nothing at all, including claims like organic, natural, hypoallergenic, animal cruelty free, and fragrance free. Read the ingredient label carefully to find evidence that the claims are true.
5.Use milder soaps. Soap removes dirt and grease from the surface of your skin, but also strips away your body’s own natural skin oils. Choosing a milder soap may reduce skin dryness and your need for moisturizers to replace oils your skin can provide naturally.
Perhaps try replacing your current bar soap with a safer version like one of the products from A Soap for Goodness Sake or Ancient Olive Natural’s lines?
6. Minimize your use of dark hair dyes. Many contain coal tar ingredients that have been linked to cancer in some studies.
7. Cut down on your use of powders; avoid the use of baby powder on newborns and infants. A number of ingredients common in powder have been linked to cancer and other lung problems when they are inhaled. FDA warns that powders may cause lung damage if inhaled regularly.
8.Choose products that are “fragrance”-free. Fragrances can cause allergic reactions. Products that claim to be “fragrance free” on the packaging may not be. They could contain masking fragrances that give off a neutral odor. Read the ingredient label — in products truly free of fragrance, the word “fragrance” will not appear there. (Find “fragrance”-free products with our advanced search engine).
9. Reduce your use of nail polish. It’s one of the few types of products that routinely contains ingredients linked to birth defects. Paint your toenails and skip the fingernails. Paint nails in a well-ventilated room, or outside, or avoid using nail polish altogether, particularly when you are pregnant. Browse our custom shopping guide for advice on nail polishes that contain fewer ingredients of concern.