When you read about the problems caused by "chemicals everywhere" such as BPA and phthalates, it can be tempting to rip everything, buy a mud-colored hemp outfit and spend a lifetime in a network-independent community hammock Weaving But if you're someone who loves beauty products (and anything they promise), it can also make you dismiss the whole thing. Sure, any cosmetic ingredient will likely cause cancer or infertility – but not before the world ends, right?
Perhaps there is a happy medium between fear of fear and pure nihilism. Maybe we do not have to buy all our beauty products from companies like Goop and Whole Foods and can still live to tell the story. Goop and Whole Foods may be creating products that are no healthier to you than the products you buy elsewhere. Many of them are products that are manufactured in factories and do not make any efforts in terms of sustainability or waste reduction. They cost five times as much as the absolutely safe products would find at a Walgreens. After all, it's 201
This will not be an exact science, but here are our thoughts on trying to find a reasonable picture. clean beauty "balance:
1. Follow the Watchdogs
One of the first addresses you can turn to is the Skin Deep database of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which has nearly 70,000 products based on their own Enter the name of a lotion you want to buy and the search will tell you if any of the ingredients are known to be causing problems or if they are still in question (although we recommend using the name of the product) Googling products and "EWG" – the internal search is not amazing. "
" One of the biggest problems is that many of these ingredients have never been tested, "says the director of healthy life of EWG Wissenschaft, Nneka Leiba. Unlike pharmaceuticals, the ingredients in beauty products do not have to be completely safe before they reach the shelves. "What we tell the consumer is when there is no science for something n Do not assume that it is safe. "
If there is not enough information, the EEC will raise the alarm – which means that sometimes they can be very worrisome about ingredients, of which not it is known that they cause harm. So it is up to the consumer to look at the flags of the EEC and see if they are relevant.
The Group also awards a seal verified by the EEC for certain products that meet its high safety standards (although these seals have nothing to do with the effectiveness of 19459004 products – how certain they are "19659002" "Under this seal, we've already searched for worrying ingredients to make sure they're completely transparent to the consumer," says Leiba. "That they do not hide any harmful ingredients under the term" fragrance ", for example."
Other groups such as "Made Safe" also have a non-toxic seal for approved products.This system allows you to select products in a variety of categories.Yes, the use of these systems may mean that You may miss some safe and effective products, but if you want to avoid a number of researches on cosmetics and personal care they can be a good solution.
2. Ask your dermatologist
On the other hand, you might want to take the warnings of the watchdogs with a grain of salt. There is a lot of products that dermatologists regularly recommend to their patients with medium or high risk levels of the EEC.
For example, the CeraVe moisturizer that many dermatologists love has a rating of 4 (moderate) risk). Among the ingredients that the EEC considers dangerous, the preservative is propylparaben, a long-chain paraben that can bind to estrogen receptors in the body. It has been difficult to establish causal relationships between long-chain parabens and cancer. However, groups such as the EEC and the European Union consider that there is enough cause for concern. (Short-chain parabens such as methylparaben are considered safe by both groups.)
"It's really difficult to find products that are completely paraben-free, but there are more and more are available," says the dermatologist Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD. He does not specifically advise his patients to use products containing parabens, but he is pleased that patients can find alternatives.
Another discrepancy exists with retinoid products that have a 9-fold (high hazard) EEC rating because they produce more tumors in mice exposed to the sun. Dermatologists agree that retinoids increase sun sensitivity, but simply recommend them at night or with sunscreen.
For that reason, you should not be ashamed to submit your own list of concerns to your dermatologist – after all, you may be advised by Drs. Google only learn so much.
"People come in with their long list of craze:" Can I use that? Can not I use this? "Says Dermatologist and RealSelf Associate Michele Green, MD. But both she and Mudgil seem unaware that their patients are keeping them busy.
3. Going to a Point
Green notes that some patients feel more comfortable mixing their own DIY skincare – "They know exactly what's going on in them" – and do not resist the practice for as long as that not the case is how it is done well.
But the truth is that some natural ingredients are just as bad for your skin as man-made ones – even formaldehyde comes from trees. The biggest problem with herbal ingredients like essential oils is that they are potential allergens.
"Repeated exposure to a potential allergen may cause allergies." Mudgil warns you, even if you do not think you are allergic to the latest trendy natural ingredients like coconut oil. If you use it every day, you may become allergic to . Before mixing your own cleansers and masks, find out which ingredients dermatologists consider effective and which can actually make your skin worse.
If you're using natural products, watch out for your reaction to them and avoid anything with this vague label "scent" as it could still hide toxins and allergens. [19459009
. 4 Vote With Your Wallet
For years, Congress has been sitting on a bill that could extend the authority of the FDA for personal care products, forcing manufacturers to make all ingredients transparent. We are not holding our breath, but in the meantime, this could be a situation where capitalism works in our favor. And all these new products screaming "paraben free"! is a prime example.
"Companies are being forced to test their products more because consumers demand these scientific studies," says Leiba. "Businesses do what consumers demand because consumers vote with their wallet and they have a choice – and they do not choose companies to hide things from them."
Sabrina Rojas Weiss lives in Brooklyn surrounded by her colleagues and freelance writers. Her work has been published on Refinery29, Yahoo, MTV News and Glamour.com. The views expressed herein are their own and are to be taken with a grain of salt. Follow her on Twitter @shalapitcher .