In a recent search to uncover exactly what i’ve been putting on my skin/hair, I came across the cosmetic safety database, a great website created by the researchers at the environmental working group. On this site, thousands of products have been tested and you can type in any of your products and check to see the degree of toxicity that it contains.
The results of a search will tell you if ingredients in that product are linked to: cancer; developmental/reproductive toxicity; violations, restrictions & warnings; allergies/immunotoxicity; and other concerns for ingredients used in the product. It will also let you know if the manufacturer has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics or conducts animal testing.
Frankly, I was shocked to look up some of the products currently living in my medicine cabinet. For example, I typed in Aveda Botanical Exfoliant. I had assumed that a company like Aveda would be using fairly ok ingredients, right? Well ingredients in it are linked to: cancer; developmental/reproductive toxicity; violations, restrictions & warnings; allergies/immunotoxicity; organ system toxicity and contamination concerns just to name a few! Not to mention that Aveda (now owned by Este Lauder) hasn’t signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. This product scored a 6 out of 10 (10 being the worst) hazard rating.
Although I’m not necessarily going to throw out all of my products and rush to buy new ones (that seems like a huge waste and financial commitment), finding better alternatives to my current products and replacing them when I’ve finished is the new plan. When the database brings up a rating of a product, there is a link that tells you which other products have less toxicity.