Now, that we’ve looked at our chemical body burden, the next question is “What are the potential hazards of the chemicals we are using?” This is where I go to the Environmental Working Group. They have a fabulous resource called the "Skin Deep Cosmetics Database," www.ewg.org/skindeep/.
It has information on over 70,000 personal care products in it. You can type in a product or brand name and it will not only tell you what’s in it, but also the relative hazard. They rank everything on a scale of 0-10, where 0-2 is low hazard, 3-6 is moderate hazard and 7-10 is high hazard. That is where I found out that using Retinyl palmitate on your skin is considered a high hazard (9) (see my May 30 post). This database is thorough, and is a scientist’s smorgasbord. :) They tell you about all of the kinds of potential hazards such as reproductive, cancerous, allergic and ecological effects, and they also give the links to various studies. I have found an occasional minor error, but all in all I think it is awesome! In the next post we’ll look at some of the products I was using and their relative hazards.
Check out the database and tell us what you think!