how to determine if your products* are safe
*products meaning – skin care and cosmetics.
Since becoming a consultant with Beautycounter, I’ve already spoken with several people who just aren’t interested in the mission or the product line. Either they have their go-to/faves that “work” for them or they’re just plain skeptical. And while I might not be able to tackle that skepticism right away, I can give them (and you) the tools you need to determine if the products you are currently using on yourself and on your children are SAFE.
let’s start with the BC NEVER LIST – a list of ingredients that you should aim to avoid at all costs when choosing products. Examples include:
*Mineral Oil (also listed as liquid paraffin, liquid petrolatum, paraffin oil)
a by-product of petroleum distillation that may cause contact dermatitis. Found in: baby lotions, cold creams, ointments.
*BHA and BHT
synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors, and may cause liver damage. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.
*Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl-, and others)
a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Specially, parabens mimic estrogen; they can lock on to our cell’s own estrogen receptors and mess with important natural signals. They may play a role in triggering breast cancer. Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.
Grab a few of your most used or favorite products to see if they contain any of these ingredients. If they do – throw them away!! I know, it’s sad. But there are SAFE alternatives, I promise!
Another tool to consider is EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (there’s also an app!) Scan a product or search an ingredient and you will receive a safety rating of low to high hazard (0-2 low, 3-6 moderate, 7-10 high.) It’ll even list the ingredients that might cause allergic reactions or other health concerns. Pretty cool, but very eye-opening and often not what you want to hear. I cringe at the mere thought of all the unsafe sunscreens and baby products I’ve used on my kids – I genuinely feel bad!
On a personal note, I also chose to look up the products you see below… products I used maybe once a week, but some that I
use used every. single. day. For years! All of these items rated above a 3, containing parabens, fragrance, PEGs, etc – all listed on the NEVER LIST! While only a few are considered moderately hazardous, what concerns me the most is the prolonged use and what that could mean for my health, down the road.
So this is my NOPE list – a list of past faves that I will attempt to replace with safer products. I’ve been using the Clearasil Adult Acne Tinted Cream for years and it works, so I may still use that, albeit sparingly (score of 4.) And the DK Cashmere Mist Deodorant – this stuff smells like a dream on your pits, man – so good! However, it comes in at a score of 5. Booooo, Donna. Aveeno Brightening Scrub – used it for at least 4 years and through my pregnancy with Zoey… score of 5. GlamGlow Super Mud – super effective at clearing out blackheads, but it scores a whopping SEVEN. Garbage. And my beloved Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion – it scores a 4 (not bad), but I literally apply this lotion to my body, from head to toe, every single day. Time to find a new lotion.
Listen, I’m not saying that you have to get rid of every single product that is deemed unsafe by the standards I’ve listed above; however, I am asking that maybe you consider swapping some of your higher rated products with safer options. Especially for your kids if you have them! Why not give them the best?
I encourage you to check out Beautycounter’s products, as they are constantly working on providing us with the safest options for skin care and cosmetics. Maybe start by switching to their best selling body lotion EWG rating of 2) or replacing the hand soap in your guest bathroom to BC’s safe and refreshing citrus mimosa hand wash (EWG rating of 1!)
I know it might seem a little overwhelming, but baby steps!
Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Wednesday!
ps. Yes, I plan to post about BC from time to time… it will not take over the blog, I promise. However, I do believe in this movement and I think it’s important that I help spread the word.