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Easy Ways to Find Safe Cosmetics
11/14/2011 8:17:36 AM

This week’s blog is a guest blog from Sarah Finnie Robinson and our friends over at Practicallygreen.com .  Visit their site to learn more about how you can take simple steps to live a healthy, green lifestyle.  Happy Reading!

Feeling parched, chapped, and leathery? You’re not alone. As the weather changes, so does skin. This goes for men, too! Before you moisturize, take a moment to consider what’s in the ointments, creams, and oils you’re slathering on your skin—after all, it is your largest organ.

It’s a sad but true fact that the cosmetics we use daily can, and often do, contain chemicals that are harmful to personal health, and that there is minimal regulation over them. Some of these chemicals are linked to cancer and others mess with your endocPractically Greenrine system. Not exactly what anyone bargains for when innocently choosing a hand cream.

Thankfully, there are better options available. Reading most cosmetic ingredient lists can trigger a deep desire for a degree in chemistry, so here’s an easy plan to find them:

1. Check what you currently use on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetics database or Good Guide. These two safety ranking systems use very different formulas to rate products. [Weleda Editor's Note: The EWG’s is a bit more controversial because some of their databases are lacking safety information on ingredients that are natural, so that can unfairly effect scores. It’s important to keep this in mind when looking at the scores for some natural brands, but it can be a good place to start.]

2. What if you don’t like how your stuff scores? There are safe and amazing alternatives on Practically Green. We love that these products have been suggested by our users. We screen their suggestions to make sure they are truly healthy. For cosmetics, our guidelines state that products must be certified by USDA organic, the Natural Products Association or BDIH, a well-regarded European certifier. If it hasn’t been certified by any of these, it must score a 3 or less on EWG.

This goes for soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, all kinds of makeup, deodorant, and even toothpaste.

We’ve being learning a lot about different cosmetics companies because it’s a pretty complex arena. Our partner Weleda has signed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Compact for Safe Cosmetics, and the majority of their products are certified natural. Check out this impressive overview of their standards.

This time of year, two Weleda products getting rave reviews on Practically Green are Skin Food and their Everon Lip Balm. Some of our staff swear both are habit-forming.

Slather safely!

Susan

What kind of natural products do you use to ensure healthy skin? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you!

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