Toxic Skincare And Makeup: Are Your Products Safe?


  • Toxic skincare and makeup products are prevalent, but there are resources to discover their “scores.”

  • Visit Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database to see how your current items rank.

  • If your skincare and makeup products score higher than a 2, consider switching to toxin-free alternatives.

Does the term “toxic skincare and makeup” frighten you?

Well, it should! Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a survey and discovered the following:

12.2 million adults – one of every 13 women and one of every 23 men – are exposed to ingredients that are known or probable human carcinogens every day through their use of personal care products.

One of every 24 women, 4.3 million women altogether, are exposed daily to personal care product ingredients that are known or probable reproductive and developmental toxins, linked to impaired fertility or developmental harm for a baby in the womb or a child . . . 

One of every five adults are potentially exposed every day to all of the top seven carcinogenic impurities common to personal care product ingredients — hydroquinone, ethylene dioxide, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, PAHs, and acrylamide . . . 

Women use more products than men, and are exposed to more unique ingredients daily, but men use a surprisingly high number of products as well. The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 unique ingredients every day. Men, on the other hand, use 6 products daily with 85 unique ingredients, on average.

Yikes! It makes sense that women are advised to “clean up” their skincare regimen while pregnant. In fact, the EWG also did an additional study on toxins in umbilical cord blood:

. . . researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.

Yes, you read that correctly. EWG identified 200 different chemicals in only 10 babies! Clearly, the products we use seep through our skin and into our bodies. Surely there are regulations, right?

Currently, the United States FDA bans only 11 chemicals from skincare and makeup products.

The EU has banned 1000+! Also, get this: If you wanted to start a business selling soaps tomorrow, you could sell them without first being approved. According to the FDA, “The law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, except for color additives, to be approved by FDA before they go on the market.” Double yikes!

Don’t panic! Just make the Skin Deep database your new best friend.

Fortunately, the aforementioned EWG provides some extremely helpful resources on its site, including Skin Deep. Skin Deep is a database containing thousands of skincare and cosmetic products. It’s getting more comprehensive each day! Search for the products you currently use to view their score on a scale of 1-10. (For reference, I only buy products that are EWG-certified or rated ≤2.)

If your product is not listed, EWG gives you the option to create an account and build your own product report.

Once you’ve identified the score of each of your current personal care products, you can make the choice whether to stick with them or switch to new brands.

When I engaged in this process, I needed to make a lot of changes. For your convenience, I’ve compiled an assortment of my favorite toxin-free skincare and makeup products here. I hope that helps!

Bottom line: There are excellent toxin-free alternatives out there, so consider switching from your current products to safer ones!

⇒ To optimize every aspect of your health, visit My Favorite Things! There, you’ll find links to healthy packaged foods, toxin-free products, and overall wellness boosters.

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