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What's that on your face?

by niagarau
Thu, Mar 20th 2014 10:00 am
Image courtesy of zirconicusso/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of zirconicusso/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

by Shamone Jackson

Ladies and gents, what exactly are you putting on your face? What I mean is, what products are you using for your everyday skincare regimen?

For most men, shaving comes first and skincare maintenance takes a back seat. Generally, women consume the vast majority of skincare products, but whether you are a man or woman, you have the right to know the environmental health issues and hazards your skincare products may be causing. This is especially important since summer is right around the corner, and protecting your skin becomes even more important.

The Environmental Working Group owns a website that allows readers to discover the various types of environmental hazards that beauty and skincare products may cause. One major issue: cancer. Yes ... cancer. However, note that, according to the site, "the product's rating or score indicates the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in the product-not the product itself".

When going onto the site, which is www.ewg.org , you will find the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. You can type just about any product in the site's search box, find your product and discover the hazardous levels depending on that specific item. These levels are ranked from 0 to 10; 0 being the least hazardous and 10 being the most hazardous. The site's database holds information on about 72,000 products. Chances are you will find the product you are looking for.

I decided to consider some of the products I have used in order to share just how shocking it can be to see the risks that some of your favorite beauty and skin care products carry. 

All of the confusing ingredient names in certain products can prove to be daunting because they are difficult to read or confusing, but seeing the health and environmental hazards in some of these products truly made me second guess what I was buying, and research the risks of what I was using in my daily beauty regimine. Recently, I made a return to a retailer because knowing what was genuinely bad for my face, scared me. Take for example what I exchanged in order to reduce my risk:

What I bought:

Neutrogena's Pore Refining Cleanser-ranked a six on the hazardous level. Some high concerns include: contamination and irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs.Moderate concerns include: cancer and organ toxicity. Lastly, some low concerns include: endocrine disruption and ecotoxicology.

What I traded it for:

Boscia's Clear Complexion Cleanser- ranked a one on the hazardous level. It is not a zero, but still a much better choice. High concerns include irritation and low concerns include data gaps.

Neutrogena's Pore Refining Toner rates the same as its cleanser. Both the cleanser and toner may increase your chance of sunburn; the alpha and beta hydroxyl formula exposes your skin to the sun's UV rays. I decided to swap the toner with another Boscia product which currently has a score of one.

What I bought:

Olay's Quench Moisturizing Body Lotion- ranked a ten on the hazardous level. Some high concerns include: endocrine disruptions, additive exposures and cancer. Moderate concerns include: biochemical level changes and low concerns include: enhanced skin absorption and data gaps.

What I traded it for:

Josie Maran's Whipped Argan Oil- ranked a one on the hazardous level. Some high concerns include: irritation to skin and eyes and low concerns will include data gaps.

Olay's body lotion is what I believe to have been my most dangerous beauty product. I was sure that I needed to trade this product for a healthier product, and so, Josie Maran's products seem to be working just fine. I also made sure that her products would not increase my skin's exposure to the sun.

Be aware of all the ingredients in the products you use. Remember, there is always a chance of sunburn, even in the winter months, so don't forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!

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