The other day I mentioned reading about the toxic chemicals contained in many “green” cleaners, and how it led me to decide to make my own (see HERE also). I realized that in evaluating many products that we use around the house, I utilize a resource that you may not know about. This resource is called Skin Deep.
Skin Deep is put together by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an amazing group of people who want to shed light on and expose the plethora of toxins that we are exposed to in everyday products, including many marketed as safe and natural. They have created an extensive data base that ranks beauty, makeup, and various skin care products by their toxic load. For any given product, they go through the ingredients, and they’ll list out which ingredients research has demonstrated to have adverse side effects, as well as what those effects may be. They also give each product an overall grade. If a product gets an F, that’s probably enough information. But if you’re trying to decide between an A- and a B-graded product, you may want to look at the details.
The EWG started out by grading beauty and personal care products in their Skin Deep database. They’ve also shed light on other things we might simply assume to be safe; for instance, they were the ones who brought the issue of BPA used in thermal paper receipts to the fore. You may be familiar with their work in talking about pesticide and herbicide residue in foods, including their Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists. In more recent years, they’ve also started grading household cleaners. You can find out about safer laundry, dish, floor, and hand soaps.
If you buy pre-made beauty or cleaning products in a store, and most of us do, and you see anything on the label that you either don’t know what it is or that you wouldn’t keep in your own house, consider looking the product up in one of the EWG databases. You may find out that you’d like to find an alternative to what you’re currently using. You can then look up healthier alternatives on the EWG database, or perhaps come back here to Everyday Mindful Living** and learn how to make your own.
**UPDATE: This site used to be called Everyday Mindful Living. It is now called Everyday Intentional Living (you can read about the reason behind the name change HERE).