Digging Deeper into Skin Deep Products

by Red Pill Mama · 3 comments

in Advertising+Media,Environment,Health+Wellness,Toys+Products

My husband recently told me about a website he heard about on Howard Stern of all places: Skin Deep, a cosmetic safety database compiled by The Environmental Working Group. The site rates what appears to be an impressive variety of personal care products on a 1-10 scale, the results of which fall into a low, moderate or high hazard category.  These ratings are based on the ingredients being linked to cancer; development/reproductive toxicity; violations, restrictions and warnings; allergies/immunotoxicity and other concerns (including neurotoxicity and cellular-level changes).  This is a fantastic resource for your entire family, analyzing the effects of products we ourselves use, those we buy for our babies and children, and products older kids might be buying for themselves (girls and makeup immediately comes to mind).  I searched on a couple of time-honored, generation-spanning products (whose formulas, admittedly, have probably changed over the years) and found the results to be both surprising, and alarming.  And of course (big shocker here) the most heavily marketed products and brands from the biggest companies seem to fall on the less desirable end of the safety spectrum.  And I’m talking about a check in the “Cancer” box, people.

This site can help you dig deeper into the many products you have in your home — helping you understand that most of them do not in fact only go skin deep.  And if nothing else, you can cruise through the categories and get a sense of the worst-offending brands and manufacturers.  And then I hope you’ll remember that every dollar you spend is a vote, and not vote for companies producing toxic products and reaping profits from them.  Help out the little guys at the top with the “O” rating who are doing the right thing, even if it costs you a few more ‘votes’.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Midwest Mama February 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm

This is the best database!! It’s not always easy to find the safest products, I have totally transformed the products I use on myself, my baby and those I used while I was pregnant. The biggest shock to me was some of the products marketed as natural or botanical based that turned out not to be so safe.

Sharon April 13, 2010 at 11:42 am

Agreed, it’s an excellent database. However, I remember purchasing one product they rated as “safe” only to discover, upon reading the ingredients listing on the package at home, that it contained an “unsafe” ingredient. I e-mailed the site to query their rating. They responded that they rely on the ingredients listings provided by the manufacturers, which aren’t always complete. So it turns out that while the site is a great start, you really do need to complete the research by reading the labels yourself before plunking down your money.

Red Pill Mama April 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Good point, Sharon: there is indeed absolutely no substitute for reading the labels ourselves! It’s also entirely possible that the manufacturer changed the ingredients and Skin Deep simply hadn’t caught up … now, how do you suppose those same manufacturers are getting away with incomplete ingredients lists? Surely that’s not legal!

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