Are you a clean eater? Is it so important to be concerned about what you are putting in your mouth but what about what you put on your skin? Your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs everything you put on it. The things you put on it do not go through the liver to be detoxified so it could be more dangerous than what you put in your mouth. The reason I say could be is that every substance is different and every human is different so absorption rates can very greatly. But wouldn’t you rather just use safe ingredients so you can be sure?
Below is a list that you should print, laminate and keep in your purse. This is a comprehensive list of ingredients you do not want in your personal products. At least it’s a start.
Here are three other things to consider when reading the ingredient labels for your products.
1. Fragrance – Fragrance is a word that you should never see on any of the products you are using. It tells you nothing and can be anything. Because fragrances are trade secret, companies are not obligated to tell you whats in them. There could be 1, 2 10 or even 1200 separate ingredients within that word.
2. Chemical Reactions – Some chemicals are not intentionally added to products, but are contaminants or are present as the result of chemical reactions happening inside the bottle of product. This is why it’s so important that you chose products from a company that is conscious of this problem and addresses it when choosing the packaging for their products.
3. Bulk Preservatives – When manufacturing companies buy bulk ingredients from suppliers they are often getting an already-preserved ingredient but the end product does not have to list the preservative that is tagging along. Again make sure you are purchasing products from a company that is aware of this issue.
It’s bad enough that the entire cosmetics industry is self regulated but the reality is we have to educate ourselves and be aware of everything. The truth is that the last time a federal regulation was placed on the cosmetic ingredient industry was 1938. The EU and other countries ban 1300 ingredients but the US only bans 11. Crazy, right?
So what can you do?
1. Consult list of ingredients that should never be found in your personal products. Above is the short version to keep with you when shopping. This link The Never List (by Beautycounter) gives you a better idea of why the ingredient is not safe and what products it might be found in.
2. The Environmental Working Group has a comprehensive database of products and ingredients called Skindeep. This database rates your products and ingredients from 0-10. 0 being totally safe and 10 being seriously unsafe.
3. Make your own stuff! I found a cool web page that had some good ideas. Dare you try this DIY?
4. Buy from companies you trust! There are some safe personal product companies out there. If a company is NOT listed on the Skindeep database, you might want to ask, why? Companies have to give the ok to be listed. There’s plenty of choices on there, you’ll find one.
Ultimately, we the customer are the people that need to start buying the safer products so that the big companies and lobbyists will be pushed out. Supporting your safe personal product companies is key to making the change so that hopefully the next generation will not have to worry about reading labels. That would be a happy world for me!
Be Informed. Be Safe. Be Healthy