If you’re anything like me, you buy your favourite products out of habit. Some of us have been using the same beauty products since we were teenagers! But, just as our wardrobe needs a facelift every once in a while, so too does our choice of makeup and bodycare products.
We are now becoming more aware that what we put ON our body is as important as what we put in it. And, this is not a concern for women only. An Environmental Working Group (EWG) 2004 survey showed women using an average of 12 personal care products daily, and men used an average of 6. This equals an exposure to more than 80 unique ingredients.
Our self-policing cosmetics industry is able to use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient without an approval from the FDA. And while some companies make products that are safe, others use known human carcinogens or developmental toxins that can easily pass from the skin into the body within minutes of their application.
Why should we care? Well, some of those chemicals are endocrine disruptors like phthalates that wreak havoc with our hormones and increase our risk of some cancers. Lead is another endocrine disruptor and neurotoxin found in lipstick. Toxins such as these can also interfere with metabolism, contributing to weight gain. I go into more detail on toxins and weight loss here.
While we won’t necessarily find products we like without any chemicals, I have found some great ways to do a quick check so that I’m purchasing the cleanest ones I can for me and my family. My go-to resources to help me pick the safest products are the EWG‘s website and Healthy Living app (U.S.), and the Think Dirty app (Canadian).
The EWG’s Skin Deep section ranks over 70,000 products according to ingredient safety, and there are a number of resources and articles to keep you up to date. When I am actually out shopping though, I like to use the Think Dirty app to scan product barcodes, which provides me with a quick snapshot of ingredient safety as I shop.
Products I know and like
Face and Body
Face Cleansing: Garden City Essentials Facial Serum & Honey and Clay Mask (when I have time).
Body Cleansing: Dr. Bronners Pure-Castile Soap. Check out other uses here.
Deodorant: Garden City Essentials Deodorant Cream
BeautyCounter: Mascara and Lipstick
Mineral Fusion: Eyeshadow
Essential Oils: DoTerra Whisper Blend