Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spotlight Site {1} EWG's Skin Deep Database

The business of organic and all-natural beauty care can be a slippery slope. Let's keep in mind that most of the products promoted as "All-Natural" are being produced by major companies producing products under more popular names. In all actuality, most of your products can be linked back to one of ten major parent companies. Let's take a look at the chart below to see who makes some of the most popular beauty brands. You just might be surprised.

Pretty shocking that nearly all of the popular brands in the USA can be linked back to just TEN parent companies. When I first saw this chart, I was shocked. Part of me was surprised, and another part of me was thinking, "Really? Is it that surprising?"

So after viewing that piece of interesting information, it brings me to the next, and main topic of this blog post. Environmental Working Group, or EWG, has created the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database to help consumers be more aware of the toxicity of their daily products. I put this site to the test and looked up a few of my current, and a few of my past products to compare and see where my products stand.

Brand: Desert Essence
Product: Thoroughly Clean Face Wash
Company Website: Desert Essence
A Few Words From Me: I purchased this at my local Co-Op and fell in love with it upon first use. Surprisingly, my boyfriend uses it twice daily as well, and he had been a die-hard Clearasil user. So has switching from Clearasil and my previous fave, Clean and Clear Morning Burst, benefited our health at all? Let's see...

Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash has received a score of 1; which means the health concern is LOW.  I then pulled up Clean and Clear Morning Burst. This product received a score of 7; which is a HIGH health concern. The following concerns are listed: HIGH: Endocrine disruption, persistence and bioaccumulation, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), miscellaneous, multiple additive exposure sources, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), contamination concerns, occupational hazards. MODERATE: Neurotoxicity, biochemical or cellular level changes. LOW: Ecotoxicology, data gaps, enhanced skin absorption. This product also contains: Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ethylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, and several other items of concern. So far, I'm glad I've switched products!

Brand: Earth Science
Product: Almond & Aloe Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15
Company Website:
A Few Words From Me: I ditched my Target (Up) Brand moisturizer for this one that I picked up at my local co-op. I was thrilled at the prospect of a natural moisturizer that would still provide me with UVA/UVB protection, since my fair, freckled skin is not fond of the sun.  So how does this compare to my old moisturizer? Let's take a look...

To my utter shock, Earth Science's Almond&Aloe Facial Moisturizer received a score of 7; which is a HIGH health concern! Oh no! This is devastating news because I fell in love with this product! These are the listed concerns: HIGH: Endocrine disruption, Miscellaneous, Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, lungs), Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards, Biochemical or cellular level changes. MODERATE: Neurotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (Non-Reproductive). LOW: Ecotoxicology, Data gaps, and Enhanced skin absorption. It's listing the following as the worst ingredients in this product with scores of 7 & 8: Fragrance (causes neurotoxicity, allergies, and other miscellaneous issues); Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate): Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Organ system toxicity(non-reproductive), Biochemical or cellular level changes); Oxybenzone/Benzophenone 3 Sunscreen (Active Ingredient): Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Endocrine disruption, Allergies, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Enhanced skin absorption, Biochemical or cellular level changes.) Final Words: I will be removing this product from my daily skin regiment.

So the question that this has brought to mind now is this: Is it worth it? Is switching to products that claim to be safe, and non-toxic worth spending more money than what you would pay for the easily-obtainable, shelf-hogs that line our drugstore, big box stores, and grocery stores shelves? I think at this point it is safe to say that you need to do your research BEFORE purchasing anything, if you want to stay safe and reduce your risks of beauty-product-induced-toxicity. As you can see, I just found out that one of the products I purchased that I believed was a safer alternative in all actuality...isn't. You never know what can harm you until you do your research.

So what products do you use that have received High health concern levels? Do you plan to continue using them, or do you have plans to switch to Low health concern products?

Until Next Time,

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