Friday, July 23, 2010

Environmental Working Group: Skin Deep- Cosmetic Safety Database

Okay, so I mentioned in the past couple article about Cosmetic Database and how I didn't quite understand their scoring.  Tonight, I went to their page and checked out the frequently asked questions section, in search of an answer, and indeed, I did find it:

Okay, so I get it now!  Kind of.  The part about it being higher than it's individual ingredients.... Let's say I have this product that is pretty good ingredients (not necessarily pure & organic, but not too harmful) and it's still rated, like a 7.. even though its ingredients are all in the 3 and under range.  Are they saying that just because your body is absorbing these ingredients, that makes it more harmful?  I can understand if its harmful ingredients... but not the healthy ones.  I don't know.  

I still think Cosmetic Database is a good resource to use, I just don't understand them sometimes.  That now makes my new mission to find a similar site to compare to.  I remember one in a previous post (I'll have to check and see which one it was) about how "green" a product was.  I'm sure I can find something with a little research.

But ... in honor of this post...
I would like to high light some of the lowest rated brands.  (And by lowest, I mean the healthiest)... so here we go...
This company pretty much carries a large variety of personal care products, as well as a few other things.  They have makeup, baby products, henna hair dye, soap, fragrance, sunless tanning, and even hair pieces.  Pretty cool, right?  Basically a one stop shop!

MOST of their products are vegan, gluten-free, non-comedogenic, free of titanium dioxide and iron oxide, and paraben-free.  Okay, so when I say most... this means like 99%.  Here are the exceptions.  The Goat's Milk Soap obviously isn't vegan.  And the Seashell Facial Treatment and Oatmeal Facial Bar aren't gluten-free.  BUT everything else stands by those terms.  Those are the ONLY exceptions.  Awesome!

Price is important in helping you factor what you're going to buy, right?  So, there are a couple things I use, when learning about a company, to get a good idea of their prices.  And I think that this company is a good way to introduce them, because they have such a wide variety of products!
  • Facial Cleansers:  $7 to $27
  • Facial Moisturizers:  $27 to $75
  • Shampoo:  $8 to $18
  • Foundation:  $28
  • Mascara: $25
  • Eyeshadow:  $18
  • Bar Soap:  $7 to $12
So, as you can see... prices are pretty affordable, in all categories except maybe the moisturizers.  I know I wouldn't spend $75 for a facial oil!  Foundation is comparable to Bare Escentuals in price, but its still more expensive than your drugstore brands.

Coastal Classic Creations, is probably the only obvious brand that you can see throughout all categories.  The rest of these are going to be a little harder...

Okay, so Rejuva Minerals focuses more on your face, primarily makeup with a couple other products.  They also have some sunscreen, cleansers, toners and the such.  You get the idea, I hope.  (If not, just go to the website!)  

I'm reading their "about us" section right now, and they try to use as many organic ingredients as possible.  Organic = No Pesticides!  Yay!  Moving on.. Unlike Coastal Classic Creations, their products do contain titanium dioxide and iron oxide.  However... none are nano-particulates.  Apparently, this is a good thing.  I'm assuming the skin might absorb them if they're so small?  I don't know.    
  • Facial Cleanser:  $28
  • Facial Moisturizer:  $16 to $26
  • Foundation:  $15 to $26
  • Mascara:  $10
  • Eyeshadow:  $8 to $15
I would definitely say that this site is a little more affordable.  If you're looking for makeup, this one definitely has a greater variety of products, but not much with skincare.  From the looks of it, right now, a lot of products are on sale.  Also, I love how this one has a color comparison list... for example, one is "If you wear this color in Bare Minerals, this color in our brand would most closely match". 

This brand, I am looking at for the first time.  I don't know why, but I've just never really noticed this brand before.  Maybe its the name... it sounds more like a product name than a brand name, but that's just my opinion.  The best way for me to describe their products, is that they're bath products.  For me, this is stuff, that if I was taking a nice relaxing bath, I would use, but not on a regular basis, in the shower.  It's stuff like eye bags, and bath mixes, and facial masks.  More spa like products.  They also have fragrance, and then raw products for making your own... mostly dry herbs.  (Oh, and when I say fragrance, I don't mean perfume... I mean incense).  

Ingredient wise, they use all food-grade ingredients, with the exception of the essentials oils (and from my understanding, they even try to avoid using those).  So most of their products, I guess, could be edible... although I wouldn't recommend it.  Also, all parts of the product are biodegradable, even the wrappers.  So, whatever you don't use, throw it in the compost!  
I'm not going to talk about the prices of these products for two reasons.  The first is with the uniqueness of the products, its kind of hard to compare them to other brands.  I mean, I'm sure I could.. but we'll save that for another time.  The second is that the company is based in Ireland, therefore the prices listed are all in Euros.  

B.Soapure looks like a nice little company.  The owner states that her company started with her increasing knowledge of essential oils... so you can already see that they're going to have a lot of influence from those oils.  She also claims to, basically have nothing synthetic, and with the exception of beeswax, I would say, vegan.  

She has your most typical skincare products... your cleansers, moisturizers, toners, lip balms.  And then she also has a few body ingredients and a few household ingredients.  So there isn't a huge variety of product here.  It doesn't vary depending on your skin type.  Its one facial cleanser, and one facial toner... So I think it would kind of be a hit or miss with these products, because even those they may be absolutely pure, everyone's skincare needs are different.  
  • Facial Cleanser:  $12
  • Facial Moisturizer:  $25 to $27
Healing-Scents looks like a nice home owned business, with a ton of products.  When I first visited their website, it was kind of overwhelming.  From the looks of it, its mostly your skincare products, plus some other stuff, like cooking herbs, insect repellents, laundry products, woman's health products, and makeup.  Like, I said, a tad overwhelming.  And if I could offer them one suggestion, it would be to simplify their homepage.  But that's not what this is about!

Their primary focus, with ingredients, are plant-derived products and essential oils.  They are gluten-free and petroleum-free.  I did notice on their homepage, that like I do, they don't entirely agree with cosmetic database, but more specifically with the toxicity of some essential oils. 
  • Facial Cleanser:  $9
  • Facial Moisturizer:  $16
  • Shampoo:  $6 to $13
  • Foundation:  $15
  • Eyeshadow:  $9
  • Bar Soap:  $6
I'm done now...
This is probably getting a little overwhelming.  I feel like Coastal Classic Creations is probably a Cosmetic Database favorite, and definitely worth trying.  I will say that I have yet to try any of these brands, although I would like to.  I get kind of weird about ordering offline, because you can never be too sure of what you're getting.

I would like to share this with you though...  Compact for Safe Cosmetics Signers.  It's probably safe to say that going with any company on this huge list, will be a good option when looking for a new product.  I haven't gone through the whole thing though.  But I would like to leave you with that...

If you have tried any of these products, I would love to know your opinions of them, or if you have any suggestions on some other great products, I would love to hear those as well!

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