Shopping for Safer Cosmetics; it just got easier November 18 2013, 0 Comments

We’ve all been hearing a call for better labeling, ingredient transparency and removal of toxic ingredients. Labeling of GMOs, removal of Trans Fats, even Wal-Mart recently announced a new Chemical Reform Policy, that will require manufactures to eliminate certain chemicals, deemed toxic, from their products and to be more transparent on their labeling.

As consumers, it feels like we are being duped with every purchase. Wouldn’t be nice if manufacturers felt responsibility to look out for their consumers by only producing safe, non-toxic products? Until then, we have to be our own advocates. 

Well, the fight to get safer products on the shelves just got a little easier. EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database recently released a smart phone app, Skin Deep.  This app is a tool to help you, the consumer, make smarter decisions about the cosmetics and beauty products you are buying. 

The first screen on the app list some pretty shocking information about the cosmetic industry. It lists the following:

  • Cosmetics are under-regulated and commonly made from chemicals that have not been thoroughly tested
  • Cosmetics manufacturers can use almost any ingredients they choose
  • The federal Food and Drug Administration cannot require safety tests or recall harmful productsewg Skin deep rating

It gives excellent and concise information on the ‘Top Problem Products’ and ‘Top Ingredients to Avoid’. However, my favorite feature is the ‘Scan a Barcode’ feature. You can literally scan the product at the store, and an overall rating will show up. (You can find additional information on Skin Deep’s rating system here.) It lists any health concerns and even lists hazard scores on specific ingredients. 

I particularly liked the additional information it gives on sunscreens. The app tells you the level of protection you are actually getting on UvB, UvA and UvAB along with sunscreen stability. 

The app also has social media buttons; twitter, facebook and google+ links so you can share your knowledge with others. Isn’t that clever? 

Anyway, I think this is an awesome app for anyone looking to make smarter decisions at the beauty counter, and who wouldn’t want that. After all, we have the power to influence the industry by what we buy and, perhaps more importantly, what we don’t buy. 

Happy (and safer) shopping. You’re worth it.