Personal Care & Beauty

Personal Care and Beauty

The average person uses about ten different personal care products on their skin and hair every day, with an average of 126 different ingredients. Surely, the government is making sure that these products are safe to spray, rub, or slather onto our bodies….  Right?

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The reality is that almost any chemical can be used as an ingredient in personal care products and the FDA does not approve the safety of cosmetics before they are put on the market.   But, these ingredients are ingested, nonetheless, through our largest organ:  Our skin.  The basic ingredients of many of these products are industrial chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens or developmental toxins, such as coal, tar, and lead acetate.

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Top Ten Tips for Safe Skin and Body Care
  1. Check the ingredients! Use the EWG’s Skin Deep Database (available as a mobile phone app) when shopping for personal care products or makeup.
  2. Avoid products that list ‘fragrance’ as an ingredient. The term is used as a catch- all phrase to describe up to 1000’s of chemicals, including phthalates (linked to male hormone disruption).
  3. Avoid oxybenzone, and parabens, found in almost all sunscreens, some shaving creams.
  4. Avoid formaldehyde, found in many nail products, and even shaving cream
  5. Avoid retinyl palmitate, found in lip balm, sunscreens, and wrinkle creams.
  6. Avoid triclosan, found in antibacterial soaps, shaving creams
  7. Screen carefully any product used on children, who are pound for pound more susceptible to the toxins and irritants found in many baby products.
  8. Do not use tanning beds!
  9. Choose only personal care products that are certified organic.
  10. Use only sunscreens that receive a 1 or 2 in the Environmental Working Group's 2012 Sunscreen Guide.

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Resources for Safe Skin and Body Care