One of the most valuable resources for any woman seeking more beauty knowledge is the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Launched in 2004, Skin Deep is an online safety guide that will help you find safer beauty products with fewer ingredients that are hazardous to your health. The database combines product ingredient lists with information from more than 50 other databases to come up with two “safety ratings” for tens of thousands of personal care products.
The first rating is the most visible–the “hazard score.” This score tells you if the ingredients in the product pose a low or high hazard to your health using a scale from 0 to 10 (with 0 being the best). The second rating is the “data availability rating.” This rating can be: none, limited, fair, good or robust. It tells you how much scientists know about the safety of the ingredients in that particular product. (There are some products full of ingredients that have never been tested. So there are thousands of ingredients that scientists know next to nothing about.)
The Skin Deep Cosmetics Database was created by a research team at the Environmental Working Group in Washington DC. The same group co-founded the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of groups with the goal of protecting consumers by requiring the beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and a variety of other health problems. The Campaign began in 2002 with the release of the report: “Not Too Pretty: Phthalates, Beauty Products and the FDA.”
If you’re an all-natural/organic product junkie like me, you’re probably already familiar with this report, and you’re probably a weekly regular on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. But if you haven’t been there in a while, I encourage you to stop by and see the site’s recent makeover. It’s a lot more user-friendly then it was before. Now, when you type in a particular kind of product you’re looking for, it now gives you the optimal choices in descending order, beginning with the least toxic brands first. The ratings are also much more visible for quick reference when you’re researching a particular beauty product.