Recently, as part of my ongoing series on ways to save money, I made a post concerning reducing your costs for cosmetics (focusing primarily on makeup). During my research for that post, I came across the Cosmetics Safety Database. Since then, I have spent a considerable amount of time there, investigating various cosmetics (makeup, shampoos, hair conditioners, soaps, and so on). It has been an eye-opening experience. Some of the products you might think are perfectly wonderful (because the manufacturer has told you they are) are not necessarily rated the safest. Even some of the “organic” and “natural” products can have pretty high hazard levels.
I highly recommend that you spend some time at the Cosmetics Database yourself, to re-evaluate what you use and perhaps find a suitable (and safer) replacement. Here is a simple three-step process for replacing hazardous products with safer ones.
- Use the Search box to look up your favorite cosmetics one at a time or by brand. If something is rated 3 or under (low hazard), you might choose to consider that an acceptable risk, and move on to the next item, or you might wish to find a replacement as described in the next two steps.
- If something you use is rated as hazardous (above 3 is not good), or if you simply want all your products to rate 0 only, then the next step is to look at each ingredient to see which ones are the culprits. (Scroll down on the page for the product.) Think about what the hazardous ingredient is and what they say about it. Do you want to stop exposing yourself to cancer or other hazards?
- If so, do a search for the type of product. Was it a shampoo? Enter “shampoo” in the Search box. Then sort the resulting list by safety by clicking on the hazard score link. That displays the safest ones first. Look through the list to see what appeals to you, and then try that product.
For example, I looked up the shampoo I had been using and found it rated a 3. The main offending ingredient was something called phenoxyethanol. After reading about it, I decided I didn’t want to continue exposing myself to the potential hazard, so I looked up safer shampoos. I noticed that several of the safest shampoos (rated 0) use castile soap as a base, with a few extra ingredients thrown in (usually essential oils). I have Dr. Bronner’s liquid peppermint castile soap on hand (I use it in my hand soap dispensers), so I have switched to it. (A tiny amount foams up an amazing amount.) You may decide you want to do the same, or that you want to try another product. It just takes a few minutes to find something safer.