Have you ever looked at the back of your shampoo bottle and realized you don't recognize a single word in the ingredient list? Skin care safety is important, so to help make determining the safety of your beauty products a little easier, we've compiled some online resources that will help you understand those confusing ingredient lists, point out the red flags you should watch out for, and give you the scoop on what "natural" really means.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) strives to use the power of public information to protect public health. They do so by making resources available to consumers seeking product safety information. One such resource is Skin Deep, a cosmetic safety database. Skin Deep compares ingredients in cosmetic producs against 50 known toxicity databases and then score the product based on its level of hazard. Bonus: the site provides product alternatives, so don't get too down when your moisturizer scores poorly.
Good Guide's mission: to find safe, healthy, green, and ethical product reviews based on scientific ratings. Good Guide has over 250,000 product reviews on its site and scores based on human health impacts and the company's environmental and social performance.
Safe Cosmetics campaigns for transparency with regards to the safety of cosmetic ingredients. The focus on helping the public learn what ingredients to look out for (both the good and the bad) and how to interpret the long ingredient lists found on the back of cosmetic packages. Safe Cosmetics also helps clarify that product descriptors such as "safe" or "all-natural" often don't accurately describe products since the FDA does not define what "natural" really means.
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) reviews and assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased, and expert manner, and publishes the results in peer-reviewed scientific literature. However, the CIR is funded by trade groups representing the cosmetic and personal care industries, so they are often the last ones to come out against dangerous ingredients.
It's always important to know what is in your skin care products, but even more so during pregnancy. Chemicals applied to the skin can eventually find their way into the bloodstream, so you're not just eating for two. Read BabyCenter's guide to skin care so your beauty rituals don't have to suffer during pregnancy.