I’m sure that most of us would agree that we’d like to use the safest products with the least amount of harmful chemicals in our beauty and skin care routines.
But, when learning how to find safer and cruelty-free skin care and makeup, sometimes the research can be just as overwhelming as those unpronounceable names in ingredient lists.
How do you know where to start?
One of the first things you can do to find safer products is to look at the packaging.
There may be symbols included on the label that can help you feel confident in your choices.
Natural Product Standard Seal
Issued by the non-profit The Natural Products Association, the Natural Standard Seal is only for goods that
The Natural Standard Seal is a very lofty goal, and there aren’t currently many things on the market that can meet it. If you’re interested, the NPA does have databases to find products that have been awarded their seal.
More often seen on food items, the Organic Seal can only be displayed on products that contain at least 95% organic ingredients and have been certified by the USDA.
Leaping Bunny Logo
Another common image is the Leaping Bunny logo awarded by the Coalition for Consumer Information on
There is also a Leaping Bunny app to find certified items, create shopping lists, and even receive some exclusive promos!
For a list of my favorite cruelty-free beauty brands, check out this post.
Maybe you want some real concrete answers about what is in the products you buy.
Here are 2 great resources where you can search out info in greater detail.
Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
Run by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database allows you to search by ingredient, product, or brand. They have an in-depth rating system, where products that are given a 1 are the safest. You can also find advice on where to purchase Skin Deep’s best-graded recommendations.
I have to admit, it starts to be a little addictive, seeing where your favorite brand’s rate!
Also, when I started looking into this website, the EWG was giving away a really helpful 2-page guide for easy ways to choose healthier personal care products. If that’s still available, you might think of joining their mailing list so you can check that out. Their emails are filled with green living guides for all aspects of your home. I like the food safety tips and clean water guide.
Think Dirty App
The Think Dirty App is one of my favorite resources in finding what’s in personal care items.
It’s similar to the Skin Deep page, in that you can search by products and ingredients. They also have a 0-10 rating system.
What I love is that you can use the app while you’re shopping (or cleaning out your beauty product stash) by using the bar code scanner. Simply scan the code to easily find info on the ingredients that make up your make-up, skin care, or anything else in your routine.
I was a little surprised to find that my beloved Burt’s Bees Sensitive cleanser wasn’t listed in the Think Dirty index. But they make it really easy to add a new product. Simply enter some product details, and taking photos of the front and back. Then, the ingredients will be rated by the people behind the app, so all the users can be better informed.
Think Dirty has a bit of a social media feel to it, too. You can earn badges and build a personal profile. There’s even a virtual bathroom shelf to see the total rating of all your favorite products. It’s like a challenge to see how low it can go!
Thanks to these organizations, websites, and apps, learning how to find safer and cruelty-free skin care and makeup has never been easier.
No more wondering what exactly it is that you’re applying to your skin or spraying on your hair.
I know I feel a lot more confident about what I’m using on my body and for my children. I hope you will too!