1. The Simplest Way to Check Your Products for Safety is to Enter your product into the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
Just type your product names into the search engine. There is a Hazard Score Key. It will also list the health concerns of the ingredients.
Hazard score key:
|Low hazard||Moderate hazard||High hazard|
Data score key:
Data availability rating: the scope of ingredient safety data contained in Skin Deep®, and the number of studies available in the open scientific literature
Here's an example of the details you'll get when you search a product in the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database:
Example: Covergirl Lash Blast Waterproof Mascara
|Health concerns of ingredients|
|About the ratings|
|Developmental & reproductive toxicity|
|Allergies & immunotoxicity|
|Other HIGH concerns: Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Occupational hazards|
|Other MODERATE concerns: Contamination concerns|
|Other LOW concerns: Ecotoxicology, Data gaps|
2. Get to know the names of toxic ingredients (and why they're toxic). Use a good online database.
You will then recognize them when you read the labels when you're shopping. These websites have good summaries of ingredients:
So that you can stay away from synthetics which are in most cosmetics and skin care:
1) Carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals)
2) Teratogens (causing birth defects)
3) Reproductive toxins (male & female infertility)
4) Developmental toxins (unborn children)
5) Skin/sense organ toxicants (skin disease and rashes)
6) Allergenic Toxicants (causing allergies)
7) Mutagens (pre-cursor to cancer)
3. Get to know the names of natural ingredients, so you also know what 'good' to look for too.
Here are a few great websites with names of great ingredients, and why.
Other related information:
If you are looking for great natural products, see my review of Best Natural Skin Care Products.