How can you be sure that the product you’re considering purchasing is really safe?
“A mind-boggling array of products contain chemicals that sensitize skin and trigger skin problems such as rashes, redness, acne, and other symptoms of contact dermatitis, says Malkan, who notes that doctors often misdiagnose these problems as eczema and prescribe drugs such as steroids or immunosuppressants. Then, of course, there are the toxic chemicals that are known or suspected causes of long-term health effects such as asthma, infertility, learning disabilities, and cancer—ingredients that companies persist in including despite the fact that they “already know how to make great products without these hazardous chemicals,” she says.”
You could try to familiarize yourself with the ingredients that are in most products and try to read the labels.
Ugh. The prospect is overwhelming, time-consuming and unless you have advanced knowledge of chemistry prone to error.
You could utilize some of the online databases such as the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website and do a lot of research first and then hope the product is available in the store.
You could alternatively use the Good Guide website’s database and still hope the product you’ve chosen is available in the store.
Thanks to the great people at EWG and Good Guide, a few convenient apps have come out to help you make informed choices.
First there’s EWG’s Healthy Living app which will scan the EWG database for a matching product and tell you it’s score on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most toxic. The app has barcode scanning capability which is very convenient when you’re in a store trying to make a decision. For my test I used this app on one of the Origins products. Now Origins which is owned by Estee Lauder markets its products as “natural” and their values are stated to be committed to ours and the planet’s “well-being”.
The product I scanned was A Perfect World Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea. It resulted in a 5 out of 10 rating by EWG due to its inclusion of methylisothiazolinone which “is a widely-used preservative and has been associated with allergic reactions. Lab studies on the brain cells of mammals also suggest that methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic.”
My other issue with the Origins line is that they do test on animals according to PETA.
Good Guide’s app also has a barcode scanner but it did not find the product in their database. Also their scanner is quite a bit slower to use but may still be useful. What I like about the Good Guide organization is that they include other products besides skin care. They also include household items such as cleaners and food. (3/6/2021 Update: As of June 1st, 2020 Good Guide has “taken a break”. While their URL still works, the only information available is a notice that they are on break)
Think Dirty is another convenient app that rated the Origins cleanser with a 5 out of 10 with 10 as the worst again.
Would I buy this product knowing the rating is a 5? Probably not if there were others that were equivalent but had a better rating….
I have included links below. Happy and Safe Shopping everyone!!!
Want EWG’s ground-breaking food and cosmetic product ratings at your fingertips? Download their new Healthy Living app. Use it for research or scan products to find their ratings while at the store!
We have rated & reviewed over 75,000 products based on safety and health. See your favorite products reviewed and rated.
Empower consumers to choose the safest cosmetics and personal care products. In app store now!
Think Dirty app
3/6/2021-The content of this post has been modified since the original publication.