February 2006

Skin Deep

Skin Deep

Did you know that the Food and Drug Administration doesn't ensure the safety of personal care products before they hit the market? This means that there are thousands of products available for sale right now that contain toxic, hazardous ingredients. Since the government has no plans to enforce regulations on safety labeling, it’s up to the consumer to find out which products are safe to use. That’s where the Environmental Working Group comes in. This influential watchdog organization has created a free searchable database of nearly 15,000 products, from foundation, lip gloss, and perfume, to shampoo, deodorant and contact lens cleaners, all with safety scores of one to five, five being the worst.

Some of the worst offenders include:

  • OPI Nail Polish
  • Cornsilk Powder
  • L.A. Looks Styling Gel
  • NARS Eye Shadow
  • Clarins Self-Tanner

However, the following are considered safe:

  • DuWop Lip Venom Tingly Lip Gloss
  • Urban Decay Lip Liner
  • Burt’s Bees Poison Ivy Soap
  • Jing Jang Cream
  • Philosophy Hope And A Prayer Topical Vitamin C

Many harmful ingredients have been linked to cancer, and because lots of these products get washed down the drain, to rivers and streams, they end up affecting wildlife. Do yourself, your family, and the environment a favor and make safer choices in the drugstore aisles.

Reviewer: Kirstie Harless, FIDM Library Staff Member, S.F.