Thursday, 20 September 2012

Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

Today I decided to share an online resource that I have been using for some time. The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. In addition the many informative articles published on the site, it is a searchable database that allows you to look up the products you commonly use and assess the potential risk factor associated with them. I highly recommend searching some of your everyday products to see how they measure up.

If you don't have a lot of time, I consider the following mandatory reading for every cosmetics consumer. Below is an excerpt from the article 'Myths on Cosmetic Safety'. The full article can be found at 

  • "Myth – The government prohibits dangerous chemicals in personal care products, and companies wouldn’t risk using them.
    Fact – Cosmetics companies may use any ingredient or raw material, except for color additives and a few prohibited substances, without government review or approval (FDA 2005, FDA 2000).

  • More than 500 products sold in the U.S. contain ingredients banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or the European Union (EWG 2007b).
  • Nearly 100 products contain ingredients considered unsafe by the International Fragrance Association (EWG 2007c).
  • A wide range of nanomaterials whose safety is in question may be common in personal care products (EWG 2006).
  • 22% of all personal care products may be contaminated with the cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane, including many children’s products (EWG 2007d, CDC 2009).
  • 60% of sunscreens contain the potential hormone disruptor oxybenzone that readily penetrates the skin and contaminates the bodies of 97% of Americans (EWG 2010, Calafat et al 2008).
  • 61% of tested lipstick brands contain residues of lead (CSC 2007)."

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