Overwhelmed by Which Cosmetics are Safe and Which Aren’t? 5 Easy Steps to help you

greenlivingWhich are potentially harmful chemicals in cosmetic products we are using everyday? You don’t have to know what all those chemicals are. All you need to do is find companies that make products you can trust. With a little research, you can find those companies who are formulating with your well being in mind, which can significantly raise your odds of finding safer products. Then you can relax, purchase from your trusted companies, and forget about it.

How do you find those companies producing safe products? Follow these 5 simples steps:

1. Read Labels and Avoid Key Ingredients

Remember to avoid these five ingredients, listed below:

  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • Sodium laureth sulfate (and other sulfates)
  • Synthetic fragrance
  • Chemical sunscreens like PABA and oxybenzone

If you find brands that are using these ingredients, forget about them.


2. Use the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database

This is a great tool, and it’s easy to use. Just go to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, plug in your product in the search line, and the database will give you a score based on the product’s ingredients and the safety of those ingredients. It takes five seconds and can give you easy information on your favorite products, which can help you determine whether or not the companies making those products have your best interests at heart.

3. Check Out the Company Website and Do Your Due Diligence

You can learn a lot about a company from their website. Check to make sure they list all of the ingredients in their products. (If they don’t, that’s not a good sign.) Look to see if they talk about sustainable practices, natural and organic ingredients, and fair trade. Are their products certified by a third party, as shown by a seal, such as that from the USDA? Are they supporters of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics? Do they discuss what they do NOT include in their products? This is language you want to look for.

Check the about page, as well, as it typically gives the company mission or philosophy. Those companies concerned about their customers’ safety and well being will say something to that effect on their About page. They’ll talk about wanting to stay away from harsh and toxic chemicals. They’ll talk about a devotion to natural ingredients and the goodness of botanicals. They’ll talk about wanting to create products that are not only good for your skin, but good for the earth.

You want to make sure the company is also transparent and isn’t hiding anything. If the ingredients are not on the website, for example, and you call and they are not willing to share them with you, stay away. At the end of the day, no matter what language is on the site, the proof is always on the labels!

4. How Big is the Company?

In today’s world, companies that are truly devoted to natural ingredients and consumer safety tend to be smaller than the large corporations we’re used to. We’re hoping that as our voices are heard, more large companies will make changes, but for now, it’s the small to medium start-ups that are more likely to be creating truly safe products. It’s these companies that started because someone had an “aha” moment and wanted to create something better than what they were finding in the stores. The founders are typically people like you that wanted to make a difference.

5. Is the Company Listed on a Select Site?

Many special retailers these days make it their purpose to pre-screen products for you.

Some offers a carefully handpicked selection of the best in natural and organic beauty products from around the world. You’ll find the site’s criteria on their “About” page, where they state that most of their products are certified natural or organic by third party organizations.

That’s it! Follow these five steps, and you’ll find yourself quickly picker in on those brands that are much more likely to be safe, and much less likely to expose you or your family to potentially dangerous toxins.

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