Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Skin Deep Cosmetics Database: My Results

I decided to do an inventory of the bath products currently filling my bathroom and makeup stand to see how they stacked up in the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. I'm not terribly surprised by the results, as I've always known I could be a lot more diligent about checking labels when I buy these products. So, in the interest of 'coming clean' so that I can truly clean up my cosmetics, here are my results:

**Note that the Skin Deep database does a lot more than just assign a number and hazard rating - so for more details, follow the links!**

Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade:
I swear by this stuff for keeping my carefully straightened hair straight on rainy days. It smooths my frizzies and prevents my hair from going back to it's natural wave/frizz when it gets rained on. That being said, any product that performs such 'miracles' is probably something I should have been skeptical of. So what did the database say?
This product scored a 4 (out of 10) which rates it as a moderate hazard.

Arm & Hammer Extra Whitening Triple Power Toothpaste:
I am pretty picky about the taste of my toothpaste. I think I've become even fussier since being pregnant and having many months where brushing my teeth often resulted in a whole lot of fighting with my gag reflex. So, I'm not sure if I'll change my toothpaste buying habits, even after I see the results for this product. However, I could try something once and let Adam finish the tube if I don't like it, and just keep doing that until we come up with something I can handle!
This product scored a 5 which rates it as a moderate hazard. (I used the closest match I could get, which was Arm & Hammer Complete Care Toothpaste Extra Whitening Fresh Mint).

Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse:
This product wasn't listed, so I'm just going with a random other mousse made by the same brand. As for the type I use, I am not surprised it doesn't rate very well, but I feel like it might be a long and expensive journey to find a suitable replacement. I like how well this mousse holds my curl and I've tried a handful of others and never been too happy with the results. I guess I just have to keep trying!
This product scored a 7 which rates it as a high hazard.

Aveda Brilliant Damage Control with Camomile:
This product was not listed and no comparable alternatives exist in the database at the present time.

Dove Sensitive Skin Day Lotion:
I can easily trash my Jergen's moisturizer (see below) and use this instead. I'm usually pretty happy with the results and the one I have happens to be fragrance free and dye free. It's never irritated my skin or clogged my pores, so it's probably okay to stick with using it. Also, I like supporting Dove because of their campaigns that show 'real women' rather than stick thin models. Using the closest match I could find, this was the rating:
This product scored a 4 which rates it as a moderate hazard.

Degree Ultra Clear Pure Rain Anti-Perspirant:
I usually have Dove anti-perspirant, but at the moment, the one in my bathroom is Degree. I'm not really attached to any particular anti-perspirant, so this might be the easiest product for me to replace with a less toxic option.
This product scored a 4 which rates it as a moderate hazard.

TRESemme Tres Two Extra Hold Hairspray:
I don't usually buy aerosol hair spray, but this is left over from our wedding when I quickly grabbed a few travel size toiletries that could be easily transported to our ceremony and reception venues in case they were needed. Well, I will happily be replacing this product! I hate the smell of it and I literally have to hold my breath, spray it, run out of the bathroom, then take a deep breath - that's how bad it is!
This product scored a 7 which rates it as a high hazard.

Burt's Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser with Orange Oil:
I LOVE the smell of this cleanser. It makes my skin feel amazingly clean, however, I find that it can also dry out my skin if I use it too often. I mainly chose this cleanser because the brand has a good name and is assumed to be fairly eco-friendly. Thankfully, the results reassured me that I can feel comfortable continuing to use this product!
This product scored a 2 which rates it as a low hazard.

Jergens Natural GLOW Daily Moisturizer:
I'm actually cringing at the fact that I even bought this product. It does a nice job of moisturizing my skin and smells pleasant. However, I haven't ever noticed a change in my skin tone from using it, so it's likely ineffective. On top of that, why on earth did I think it would be safe to put something on my skin that is MEANT to alter my body?? This one is likely to be headed to the trash. (Can you believe I actually used it today? Yikes... this is precisely why I need to eliminate such products from my bathroom so that the temptation to use them isn't there to begin with!)
This product scored a 7 which rates it as a high hazard.

For some reason I have three sunscreens in my bathroom. I think I bought one for convenience (the Neutrogena spray), one because I thought it was better for me and the earth (the Burt's Bees) and then the third is leftover from a vacation (the Coppertone).

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen SPF 30:
This is yet another product I knew better than to buy in the first place. But the sheer convenience (and lack of oily hands) of spraying on sunscreen won out over my own health. How bizarre is that? I chose to use spray on sunscreen that's bad for my health so that I wouldn't get a sunburn, which is also bad for my health. Apparently I'd rather get cancer from my sunscreen than from the actual sun. Sadly, I think skin cancer is probably more likely to be treatable than the type of cancer I might get from using this product. This baby's going in the trash!
This product scored a 7 which rates it as not recommended.

Burt's Bees Sunscreen with Hemp Seed Oil SPF 30:
I bought this sunscreen in an attempt to wean myself off of the spray on stuff, which I knew deep down was bad for me. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to smell it before buying it in the store, and I kinda think it reeks. So, it got used once and has since remained on my bathroom counter. Anyone want some free sunscreen? You might like the smell - it's just not for me!
This product scored a 4 which rates it as a moderate hazard.

Coppertone SPF 50:
For this one, I just used the closest match I could find, but it seemed like most of the Coppertone SPF 50s were rated the same, so it's likely to be fairly accurate. I think, at least for sunscreen, I might be okay with a rating of 5. It seems likely that it might protect me more than harm me. That said, it wouldn't hurt to continue to look for a better option. Also, if sunscreen expires (does it?) then probably all of mine are too old anyhow... or maybe they're fine, I don't know!
This product scored a 5 which rates it as a moderate hazard.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Dual Action Toner:
This wasn't listed, but two other, fairly different, toners from Neutrogena were listed. I'm going to assume that this one would probably fall into the same range and be rated a 6 or a 7, which would rate it as a moderate or high hazard. I should probably invest in something safer. 

Johnson's Baby Powder with Aloe & Vitamin E, Pure Cornstarch:
This isn't something I would normally use, but it has been the answer to one of my most frustrating pregnancy woes: the wonderful experience of my chest chafing against my belly. Oh how I miss underwire bras with all their lovely support! Alas, I have become a regular user of this baby powder. Thankfully, it doesn't rate too badly.
This product scored a 3 which rates it as a moderate hazard.


Well, that was definitely enlightening! This post took me the entire day to write (it was pretty depressing at times, so I took lots of breaks!). I think the end result is that I will immediately replace anything that received a high hazard rating (7-10), and then work my way down until all the products I use are in the low hazard rating (0-2).

I know not all of my readers keep blogs, but I would love to know if you looked up any of the products you have in your bathroom! Anything you've decided to trash? Anything you're happy to see rated as a low hazard? Leave me a comment here on the blog!

1 comment:

Leanne said...

I was disappointed that the majority of my makeup products were not listed - I primarily use Clinique and Marcelle, because of their hypoallergenic formulas.

While I definitely try to make concious decisions about what I put on and in my body, I think an 80/20 approach is a good idea (be diligent 80% of the time, and be less so for the remaining 20%). For example, maybe you can apply a cream sunscreen in the morning (and you're at home and able to wash your hands) and only use spray stuff when you're at the beach and you're reluctant to use the cream stuff because it makes a nasty mess (especially when mixed with sand). I definitely agree that the spray is so much easier, and when B and I were in Hawaii, it was a godsend, especially when you're constantly in and out of water and you want to make sure you won't get a burn. Further, I don't know if I'm right, but I get the impression that there is a much stronger link between sunburns and skin cancer than there is between some chemicals in sunscreen and cancer.

These are just some thoughts - who knows, maybe my approach will lead me to get cancer, but then again, maybe not. I think choosing products is definitely a personal decision and a balancing act, but having as much information as possible is beneficial.