With literally thousands of chemicals and fragrances added to everything from moisturizer to nail polish, how can I know if my beauty products are safe? We found some great tips to get you started:
- Minimize Fragrances - Beware of the word "fragrance." You might think it's something that simply smells pretty, but scents are chemicals.
- Scrutinize Nail Polish - Phthalates -- used widely in nail polish -- are a big topic of controversy and research. Scientists have been studying this group of chemicals for at least 20 years and have found that they may be linked to birth defects in humans (they're definitely toxic to animals).
- Use Hair Dyes Less Often - Salons are not required to list the ingredients in their hair dye, but we know that many contain coal tar ingredients -- chemicals that have been linked to cancer.
- Avoid Skin Lighteners - You want to avoid anything that changes your skin composition, watch out for products that have hydroquinone -- a chemical that bleaches the skin and can cause lesions.
- Choose Shampoo Carefully - Be especially wary of dandruff shampoos, because they often contain selenium sulfide -- a neurotoxin and possible carcinogen. If you can, avoid shampoos that list ethanolamine or diethanolamine -- called TEA or DEA on the label.
- Simplify, Simplify, Simplify - Once you start digging into the ingredients of many of your favorite beauty products, it's easy to become disheartened. After all, who doesn't like to look nice, smell nice and have smooth skin and pretty nails? But try to look for ways to cut down the amount of products you're using: Drop a step from your skincare routine, give your hair days off from washing, use fragrance free whenever possible and always look for products with less ingredients.