One of the true difficulties with trying to find safe cosmetics is that a manufacturer’s claims can be, well, obtuse or faulty. Since words like "natural" and "clean" don’t mean much legally, you’re left to choose between believing the manufacturer’s claims, or spending your time researching to find out what’s true and real — a time-consuming endeavor at best, and a trial to find correct information.
Enter the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. This thing is pretty spectacular; it lists zillions of products and their corresponding scores — little colored buttons (green is good). And then it gives you an entire breakdown of what they found — the good news and/or the bad.
For instance, I’ve been eyeing a particular brand of mineral makeup. I put the question to the Cosmetic Safety Database. Well, I hate to be a spoilsport, but I’m not too interested in "Organ system toxicity" … but I’m very glad to know the truth.
Which brings us to the Environmental Working Group itself. Who are they?
The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles.
At EWG, our team of scientists, engineers, policy experts, lawyers and computer programmers pores over government data, legal documents, scientific studies and our own laboratory tests to expose threats to your health and the environment, and to find solutions. Our research brings to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know.
Lastly, EWG alerts us to another factor regarding personal care products:
Due to gaping loopholes in federal law, companies can put virtually any ingredient into personal care products. Even worse, the government does not require pre-market safety tests for any of them.
Fortunately, EWG offers its Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, which is free to use.
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