Are Your Beauty Products Harmful?

It’s a commonly quoted bit of trivia that the ancient romans used arsenic and lead in their cosmetics, and while we’d like to think that we’ve learned better in the intervening millenia the fact remains that many mainstream beauty products contain ingredients that are almost equally alarming. According to the Environmental Working Group, there are about 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products and only 13% of them have been safety tested.

Fortunately, there are a few websites out there dedicated to helping you make the smart choice about what you allow on your body. Here are three of the best:

Beautypedia by Paula’s Choice

Containing thousands of in depth reviews that are based on scientific analysis, not opinion, Beautypedia allows you to search by product type, makeup type, brand and star rating, or any combination of the four. Or if there’s a certain product you’re curious about, just type it in the search box – odds are, they have a review on it.

EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Databasephones

Encompassing a massive database with more than 68,000 products, for each product listed the site provides an assessment of things like overall hazard, cancer risks and likelihood of allergic reactions, as well as pointing out concerning ingredients and their respective hazards. It’s not the easiest site to navigate, but it certainly hosts a vast treasure trove of information that’s well worth checking out.

Good Guide

This site takes a more holistic approach to the issue, letting you know how your beauty product affects not only your health but also society and the environment. It’s not limited to beauty products either, so if you’re curious about the things you consume, this is a great site. GoodGuide scientists give every product a 1 to 10 rating based on their health, societal and environmental impact – and it even has an app for iPhone and Android!