But you don’t want to make your own body care products? I get it. Really, I do. There are dozens of reasons why most people don’t want to make their own soap, moisturizer, sugar scrub, toothpaste, and so on. Even I don’t want to make all of those things all the time. But I don’t want to put toxins into my body. That is non-negotiable!
Before I wrote Ecothrifty, I thought that the FDA made sure cosmetics and personal care products were safe, but when researching that book, I learned that it’s not part of their job description. As long as mascara doesn’t blind someone and they aren’t claiming that their face cream is better than a facelift (a medical procedure), companies can make whatever claims they want, and they can put whatever ingredients they want into their products.
In my book, Ecothrifty, I wrote,
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review was created 36 years ago to “review and assess the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics.” As of August 2011, however, they had reviewed only 2,300 of the 6,000 cosmetic ingredients voluntarily registered with the FDA. The FDA has banned the use of 14 chemicals in cosmetics. Even if there are only 6,000 chemicals used in cosmetics, it is more than enough to make some of us more than a wee bit concerned about safety.
I just visited the CIR’s website to see the updated list, and in the last four years, the FDA has not banned another chemical, although the CIR has added 12 more to their unsafe list, including several carcinogens! That means those products are on store shelves, and people are buying them and using them on their skin or putting them on their body.
Unfortunately, there are consumer groups that say there are tens of thousands of different chemicals in cosmetics and body care products. Companies have only admitted to using 6,000. Because companies are not required to submit those chemicals for any type of safety review or government approval, no one really knows how many are in personal care products. And we can assume they’d only admit to using the 6,000 that they thought were safe.
So, what do you do to avoid being slowly poisoned? You find products that are safe. However, that’s tough to do because words like “natural” and “safe” have no legal meaning, so companies can use those words in advertising as much as they want, even if they have the most unnatural product on the market. I have been looking for toxin-free cosmetics for a very long time because even I am not motivated to make my own make-up! Although there are plenty of companies out there that claim to be natural and even organic, they are not. Unlike the rules on organic food, cosmetic companies can use the word “organic” even if they are not certified. But there is an answer!
You can look up companies and individual products on the Environmental Working Group’s website Skin Deep, and get information about whether or not ingredients and products are truly safe. I’ve looked up many companies that are trying to greenwash their labels only to discover that their products are in the yellow and red zone, which is obviously not good.
I was really excited to discover Poofy Organics, which has products that all rank in the green zone on Skin Deep, and most are USDA certified organic, which is almost unheard of in personal care products. They are also certified cruelty-free because they do no testing on animals — and why would they need to? They are using ingredients that we all know are safe, such as natural oils. Their products are also all made in the U.S., which means we don’t have to worry about unsafe working conditions in a third world sweat shop or rules being broken across the ocean that could wind up compromising the safety of the final products. And the icing on the cake for those with gluten intolerance is that all of the products are gluten free.
I especially love their soaps, lotions, and deodorants because I can understand the ingredient labels without grabbing the dictionary. And I could make similar products in my own kitchen if only I had the time! I also like their nail polish because it contains no formaldehyde, no toluene, and no DBP, all of which are ranked 10 on Skin Deep, which is the worst possible rating and very unsafe, yet one or more of them is in most nail polish. Poofy’s nail polish remover is a real cosmetic rock star with no odor whatsoever, and the ingredients all rank 0 on the Skin Deep database, which is as good as it gets! Unlike acetone removers, which tend to dry out your skin, this one is actually a bit oily. I just recently painted my fingernails for the first time in many years!
I’m so excited about Poofy Organics that I signed up to sell their products. I will still encourage people to make their own stuff, and I’ll even give you recipes, but if you don’t want to do that, then I’ve done the research to help you make safer choices for yourself and your family. Remember, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and everything you put on it will be absorbed into your blood stream. You should be as careful about what you put on your skin as you are with the food you eat. If you’d like to know more about Poofy’s products, click here. If you find that you really love their products, you can host an online party or even become a GUIDE, which is what Poofy calls the people who sell their products.
And I almost forgot to mention it — in addition to a great selection of products for women, Poofy also has products specifically for babies, children, and men.
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