Americans spend about $8 billion on cosmetics annually, according to World Watch Institute. That’s a whole lot of dough to look pretty. The next question might be; how good, or bad, for us are the cosmetics we shell out billions for each year? We slather, spray, smear, spritz, and rub these potions and lotions directly onto our largest organ, our skin. Even though our skin is a barrier, it is still quite permeable. Our skin absorbs all sorts of things, both good and bad.
Are there cosmetics that are healthier for us? Are there cosmetics that are dangerous? There answer to both these questions is yes. There are still lipsticks being sold that have lead in the ingredients; bad. Many cosmetics are now made without any petrochemicals: good. I could literally write page after page about numerous cosmetic companies. I won’t do that. I will list a few that have extremely low toxicity levels and then give you a link to do some research for yourself.
To check out the cosmetics that you are currently using go to Cosmetic Database by Environmental Working Group and see how your products stack up. I will warn you, this database is huge. The site also asks for a small donation to support its work, but it is not required to use the database.
The cosmetic companies I listed all signed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics pledge. Many other companies signed as well, but these companies repeatedly showed up with low toxicity levels.
I have not tried any of the brands listed. I have used Bare Escentuals and Arbonne in the past. Bare Escentuals, or Bare Minerals as it is also known, has some good products that are considered safe, but there are some questionable ingredients, like mica. Arbonne has not been tested by the Cosmetic Database, so I would rather not make a recommendation based on safety at this time, but I have been happy with its products. I hope this helps some people sort through the vast sea of cosmetics, and weed out some of the more toxic items in your dressing table.