A few months ago I tuned into a podcast that was focused on environmental issues and green living. This particular episode about plastic was shocking! And worrisome. Not long after I started making a conscious effort to be more green. When I began paying attention to what I was doing to my body, and how I could treat the environment better, a light went on. Why wasn’t I living safer? Why did it take me almost 4 decades to pay attention to all the facts? Maybe it was because I was unaware of the ingredients in the food I consume and products I was using. WHY? Because not all brands are completely transparent about their formulas, which is surprisingly not required by law in the United States. If that doesn’t scare you keep reading to see why everyone should be using clean, nontoxic beauty products.
The most important thing I will tell you today is everything is about choice. What if I told you that you could take your health into your own hands and beat severe skin, respiratory irritation and allergies? Or prevent and minimize the chances of cancer, ADHD, autism, neurotoxicity and organ toxicity using products with different ingredients? What if you could live to be as old as you want, be healthy and look and feel great? Would you listen? I’ll be honest, I had to wrap my brain around paying higher prices for organic food and giving up products I was loyal to and invest in new, safer products. But the reward — a healthier life — is far more valuable to me. That’s the choice you have to make for yourself.
So what does this have to do with beauty? At the height of my obsession with living a nontoxic life my friend Jan reached out about Beautycounter. I’d seen the trending hashtag on social media for a year prior but thought it was a generic tag for a makeup cabinet. Don’t judge… She educated me on the brand and brought awareness to how unsafe most of my makeup and some skincare was. Now I only use those products that I believe hold themselves to very high standards in terms of choosing ingredients and formulations that are not harmful to our health. I enjoy an occasional slice of pizza, wine and product that gets the job done, however, I am slowly eliminating all toxic products.
The Skin Deep database from the EWG is a great resource for researching your favorite products to see how they rate for toxicity. Choose products in the 0 to 2 least toxic range, with the green circles. Keep in mind beauty products are not the only toxic products on the market. They are in your food, your house cleaning products, your hair dye, nail polish and so.
Don’t believe everything you read. Knowledge is power. Take these claim for example and see for yourself how brands are being dishonest with you about the products you are buying.
Chart provided by Goop
|Organic||Nothing: There are no standards for “organic” personal-care products sold in the United States—none. People are confused by this because it’s different for food. Food packaging can’t boast the word “organic” unless the product meets the government’s USDA organic standards. But with personal-care products, companies can and often do slap the word “organic” on products that are full of synthetic chemicals. They may have no organic ingredients at all! In many cases, they have organic ingredients listed at the top of the label, followed by the typical synthetic chemicals found in conventional products. Buy USDA-certified personal-care products, which meet the government standard.
|Natural||Nothing: “Natural” on a package means that the company understands that natural ingredients are important to you, but the product may not contain anything natural at all!
|Green or eco||Nothing: Again, there are no legal standards for any of these terms. Even the word “hypoallergenic” has no legal meaning. Some hypoallergenic products contain potent allergens, such as formaldehyde-releasing preservatives or fragrance.
|Nontoxic||Nothing: Case in point: One brand of children’s face paint labeled “nontoxic,” “FDA-approved,” and “hypoallergenic” was tested by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. We found that it contained lead (a highly toxic substance) and nickel (which is allergenic). “FDA-approved” is a lie because the FDA doesn’t approve any cosmetics before they go on the shelves.