Think of all of the different grooming products you use on your skin. There is aftershave for men, blush, eyeliner, and various creams for women, and sunscreens and lotions for children. The products that we smear and rub into our skin and onto our faces may be harming us irreparably, and we don’t even know it.
Fortunately, with the powers of the Internet, we can research the products we use to determine their safety.
Researching the Products We Use
There is a skin product I use regularly, which I love. It is a face self-tanner by Avon, called Avon Sun Self-Tanning Face Cream. I googled this product and came across something interesting and terrifying. According to a cosmetic safety database, Skin Deep, my Avon Sun Self-Tanning Face Cream has major safety and health concerns.
According to the Skin Deep website, ingredients in the product that I have been using regularly on my skin for the past several years have been linked to a huge laundry list of problems. Some of the ones listed on the site are: reproductive and developmental toxicity; federal violations, restrictions, and warnings; allergies and immunotoxicity; contamination concerns; and biochemical or cellular level changes.
It is rated a hazard level of 7 out of 10 by the website. Apparently 86% of the other sunless tanning products they rated are safer than the one I have been using. The website goes on to list most of the major self-tanning products on the market, complete with safety reviews and hazard levels. Neutrogena Build-A-Tan Gradual Sunless Tanning Cream also rates at a dangerous hazard level 7, while Formula Latina Self-Tanning Mousse is the safest, at a hazard level of 1.
Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database
The Skin Deep cosmetic safety database is put out by a nonprofit organization called the Environmental Working Group. The site has safety information on all kinds of skin products, not just self-tanners. There are sections for skin care, baby products, eye care, nail care, hair care, oral care, and fragrance.
In browsing through the database, I was shocked at the hazard levels of some of the most common products on the market. These are products made by companies we trust. These are products we have been rubbing, spraying and massaging into our and our children’s hair and skin for years.
I did a quick search in the database for baby powder, and found a varied list. The very worst hazard rating of the list, 7, went to Huggies liquid baby powder with Aloe and E. Some of the problems cited were developmental toxicity, organ system toxicity, and contamination concerns. In fact, this baby product actually contains a form of formaldehyde.
From now on, before I buy any product for my hair or skin, and certainly before I buy any product for my children, I will research the safety hazards. Unfortunately, it appears that we cannot rely on our government to do this for us.