Some of you out there, well versed in the rituals of applying make-up, may have thought twice about the ingredients in the liquids and powders you apply to your skin. Many more, unfortunately, probably never think past the various colors, brand names, or their reasons for using the countless beauty products.
While it may be true that for countless generations, women devotedly wore lipsticks and mascaras chock full of goodies like lead and mercury, and a lot of them seem to have lived long, and fairly well, we need to be smarter about the products we use. With more knowledge now than ever about the contents of seemingly innocuous products, we have no excuse not to look beyond the shiny packaging, and to stop and think beyond how the products ‘improve’ our appearance.
You can easily research any product you have questions about on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website. Very user-friendly, this site has a search engine in which you can simply enter a company, a specific ingredient, or a specific product.
I have to warn you however, you may not like the information you find.
With a score key rating system that goes form zero to ten, items are ranked between low, moderate and high hazard, based on chemicals that cause various forms of cancer, among other things.
Yes, the Clinique foundation that I use scores a rating of 6 thanks to ingredients like polyethylene and methylparaben. Wonderful. I won’t be buying any more of that.
Comparatively, I searched for another product that I regularly used, Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-in-One soap. Specifically, the peppermint version of this bar soap scored a rating of 2, with it’s scariest ingredient being citric acid.
We’d probably be hardpressed to find any health and beauty product – yes even organic soap – that doesn’t have a handful of ingredients that could pose health risks to us. I mean if a product as wholesome as Dr. Bronner’s can’t even get a clean wrap, what hope is there for anything else? I did also try to search for Lush products, my absolute favorite brand, but alas they are not listed on the site. Do know that you could contact Skin Deep if there is something you really want to request information about. It is Skin Deep’s mission to educate people about the potential hazards of make-up and also to get the big beauty industry machine to change it’s ways.