want to know what's in your cosmetics? these sites deliver the results

What do I want in my cosmetics? 
Good quality + Good price + Good for me
The sad news is that a lot of products out there only fit one or two of these criteria. They're either made with top ingredients but set at a ridiculously high price or made with questionable ingredients but priced so low you'd think it's a steal. A few years ago, I was still approaching every cosmetic purchase with a simple mind. If the colour looked nice and the price didn't break my wallet, it was an instant buy. Now, armed with more knowledge, I go through every ingredient on every label and make sure I understand the risks before I make the purchase. It's hard, believe me; when a gorgeous shade catches your eye or when your favourite brand goes on sale, you loose almost all rational thinking abilities. Lately, I've found a system that really works for me. If a product lures me in, instead of purchasing it right away, I'd do my homework first. I'd copy down the brand name, product code, and key ingredients on its label and then I'd walk away.

Next, I'd go online and search for reviews of this product. If other users seem to like it,  I'd search for a toxicity report on it next. A toxicity report will tell you whether a product contains ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine and reproductive disorders, and other allergens. 

The following websites are great for doing some research of your own:

This site contains info on many common ingredients found in all kinds of cosmetics from mascara to lip-gloss. This site will also have the latest issues related to cosmetics safety at your disposal. The info provided are very specific and organized in a clear manner with brief and understandable scientific facts and safety information highlighted for you. 
If you want to learn more about a certain ingredient in your product or if you want to know more about the possible hazards in product types , this is the perfect site to use. The only problem is that if you don't have access to the ingredient list on your cosmetics or if you just want to know if your new MAC lipstick is toxic or not, then this site is probably too general for you.

This is a great site to check up on not only personal care/beauty items, but everything from food to toys. I like this site because you can type in a product's name and a detailed report immediately shows up giving you a score based on the ingredients. The report is based on three criteria: Heath, Environment, and Society. A high Health score indicates that a product uses safe ingredients that pose no threat to your health. A high Environment score tells you that the product is earth-friendly and a high Society score means that the product wins favours with consumers. I was surprised to learn that a drugstore staple--Maybelline's Volume Express Waterproof Mascara scored very high in all 3 scores, especially its Health score: 10/10!

This site will give you a hazard score on your product and will literally break down every ingredient in your product and explain why it's toxic. The only irritating thing about this site is that its database does not contain as many products as other sites but it's useful overall. 

You can also print out a Shopper's Guide to Safe Cosmetics right here: 

This simple guide tells you some key things you'll want to avoid in your beauty products such as parabens and why they're bad for you.

There's no reason for you to be overly obssessive about every ingredient. Toxic chemicals are like germs, they're everywhere and it's just impossible to eliminate exposure to them completely. Sometimes just go with your heart and splurge on that new eyeliner, but keep in mind that you, as a wise consumer, have the power to control the amount of toxins that goes into and onto your body. With that, I wish you good shopping!


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