Friday, July 23, 2010

It's only skin deep (Day 8)

I need to change my cosmetics regime.   One of the worst offenders in the chemical chaos is the cosmetics industry.  Too many harmful chemicals are absorbed into our skin and poured into our river systems.  If I'm going to "greenify" my life, I need to start with myself.

As it happens, and the reason for today's blog, I needed to buy some face moisturizer.  I don't use a lot of cosmetics, but I do use this product everyday.  So I decided to check out the Environmental Working Group's cosmetics database ( to see how my current product rates. 

OK, that was scary.  My current moisturizer rates 8 out of 10 on the nasties scale.  Obviously, I wouldn't be replacing that exact product!  I also didn't want to have to visit a specialty store to buy green products, or pay for extra shipping/handling from a website.  I wanted to be able to purchase the product at my local drugstore or grocery store.

I made a quick trip into the store, to find all of the "green" cosmetics that were carried.  I wrote down the names of the ones that I thought would be suitable.  I picked the one that had the fewest nasty chemicals that I could read on the label, and brought it home for comparisons.

I was surprised by the ratings given to several of the supposed "green" products on the EWG's database.  Many scored 7, 8 or 9 on the scale, when I was sure they would be 2, 3 or 4.  I also plugged in several well known "regular" brands, just to see how they rated.  At the minimum, they were all 8 out of 10.

The product I ended up with scored 4 out of 10.  Much better, although not as good as I had hoped.  I paid for the "greenness", as it was twice the prize of my regular brand, but I feel this is money well invested.  I tried the product this morning, and am very pleased with the texture and feel of it on my face.  I will keep this moisturizer.

I will also check EWG's website as I need to replace my other cosmetics products.


  1. thanks for sharing this great site. I was shocked to find out some of my so-called "natural" products were linked to cancer & reproductive issues!

  2. I know - it's very scary! I'm the same - some of the products that I thought would score really well, actually were among some of the worst offenders.

  3. Hey Jen, cheap and eco-friendly moisturizer = olive oil! Check out this site for the Two Oil method of cleansing (castor and olive oils) -

  4. Thanks, Erikka. I will check out this website.

  5. Hi Jen,
    You know what else you can do is check out Lindsay Coulter, the Queen of Green on the David Suzuki website. She's got video tutorials and recipes for making all your own cosmetics, household cleaners, face creams, shampoos, toothpaste -- everything!
    By the way, I went through our toiletries a year or so ago to check the ingredients for the "dirty dozen" and got rid of almost every single product. It was scary! And the scariest thing? All the kid products were the worst offenders! Especially the kiddie bubble baths. Egad! Nothing short of criminal.
    Keep up the inspiring work!

  6. Thanks, Adrienne! I love Lindsay's recipes - I use them for my home cleaning products. I haven't tried any of the cosmetics yet, but it's on my "to do" list for the next year.

  7. Does anyone know if MAC eyeshadow is hazardous? It probably is since I love it! But it is not in Skin Deep's database.

  8. I emailed MAC for a list of their ingredients, but haven't heard back. I'll let you know when I find out.