Monday, June 19, 2006

Cosmetic Safety (Natural Skin Care)

Be careful what you put on your skin! Not all ingredients used in cosmetics are safe. Federal laws on cosmetic (by cosmetics I mean all kinds of personal body and hair care, as well as makeup) ingredients are rather lax, and they do not mandate safety studies on cosmetics. Some of the chemicals used in cosmetics have been linked to higher increases in cancer and many can cause skin irritations.

Four good websites on the issue are:

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics which contains many news articles and some reports on the subject, as well as a list of companies that have pleged not to use to use toxic materials in cosmetics.

Environmental Working Group has compiled a good database on ranking the safeness of thousands of different brands and ingredients of personal care products.

Though focusing primarily on organic cosmetics, Organic Consumer Association has dozens of news articles on organic/natural vs. synthetic ingredients used in cosmetics. I love this website--it's really eye opening, there is a lot of information on the tricks some companies use to try to fool the public into thinking their products are natural and organic. They have a lot of information on their site on all thing organic, not just body care!

This last website, which one of the regular posters on craigslist's alternative health and medicine posted (thanks CT!), is simply awesome. The "Guide to Less Toxic Products" is from the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia. As much as I love Environmental Working Group's database, not all of their safe cosmetic suggestions are all natural. Many on this guide are all natural, though some of their choices may contain some synthetics, but the products are pretty natural (Okay! so I am anal in where everything has to be all natural. My only bane, and vice, being toothpaste! More on that later!)


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Anonymous said...

Using safe cosmetics is very important, and I speak from personal experience! Over the last 9 years I have had skin troubles - ecema and boils. Doctors have told me to use liquid paraffin based creams, antseptics such as Savlon and vaseline based products. I now know that all these substances, including chemicals like benzoic acid and all benzyl type chemicals, have been the cause of the problem!
This Summer I suffered chemical burns from vaseline and the so-called boils turned out to be ulcers caused by these creams - they seem to leave a hardened residue in the skin.
I now use only essential oils in carrier oils and am embarking on making my own creams.
Your blog is a wonderful source of information - thanks.

Solarkat said...

Hi Sandy,

Thanks for your comments!

I started using natural cosmetics myself several years ago, when I became allergic to many synthetic chemicals!