Everyone wants to love their label. How do you know if the ingredient list on your personal care product is safe and free of harmful chemicals? Please, if you only learn one thing, let it be that you need to know how to read the ingredients label on your own products. You need to learn it to love it! There are so many companies out there that use buzz words and say they are free from one harmful chemical or another, but then hide other facts by using strange names on the ingredient list to keep you in the dark.
Let’s take a look at this popular product. This product is a body lotion, and the front label says “do what comes naturally” and “for sensitive skin” and “paraben free”. Sounds good right? But let’s take a closer look at the ingredients list. It lists Polysorbate 80, which has been linked to infertility in mice (Pubmed), and has a host of other gut related side effects. The evidence suggests that this ingredient is potentially toxic, (particularly the lower grade versions which are typically used in cosmetics and lotions) and can instigate autoimmune responses. Next in the list of ingredients I find Phenoxyethanol. This is an ingredient used as a preservative and according to Safecosmetics.org it can cause reactions from eczema to central nervous system disfunction. In Europe it is listed as toxic, harmful and an irritant. Continuing down the list I find Retinyl Palmitate. This ingredient has an overall hazard rating on EWG.org of 9 out of 10. It’s listed by the FDA as a human reproductive toxicant, and when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions by 21% (FDA, 2011).
This is just one example of a detailed review of how to look at your label if you want to LOVE it. If you’d like a pocket sized brochure to carry with you while you shop, shoot me an email I can send you one! What have you learned from your personal care products?