Posts Tagged ‘cosmetics’

Aubrey Organics Kids Line: Product Review

I picked up some Aubrey Organics Kids shampoo, bath soap (liquid) and lotion at Whole Foods in my quest to replace my Arbonne Baby Line with safer products. Aubrey Organics is free of parabens, phthalates, PEGs, dioxanes and sodium laurel sulfate.  My first place of reference in deciding which products to try was the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database. The Aubrey Organics line was rated a 2 out of 10, considered a low hazard.

I like the scent of the shampoo and body wash and it lathers nicely. In a nutshell, it gets the job done.

I did not like that these products were not tear-free. I also prefer an all-in-one shampoo and body wash, but it was not a big deal.

The lotion was also nice and smooth. You do have to shake well before each use and the scent of the lotion was very strong. My husband cannot tolerate it its so strong. And in my first trimester with baby number two, the smell got to me at times too.

The price was in line with most similar products, about $9 for an 8oz bottle.

All in all, it’s a good product line, but could be better. I give it a B- for not being tear-free or an all-in-one wash and for the strongly scented lotion.

Antibacterial products contain toxin Triclosan

Go figure, in our germophobe nation, many people use antibacterial products. Over the last few years, it’s come to public light that really these products are no better than regular soap and water. If the active ingredient in your antibacterial product is Triclosan, as it is in half of all hand soaps, then you are exposing yourself (and your family) to this toxic chemical.

In a press release, EWG states

“Triclosan has been linked to cancer in lab animals, has been targeted for removal from some stores in Europe for its health and environmental risks, and the American Medical Association recommends against its use in the home. It is also linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan may disrupt the thyroid hormone system. Thyroid hormones are essential to proper growth and development, particularly for brain growth in utero and during infancy.

Triclosan breaks down into very toxic chemicals, including a form of dioxin; methyl triclosan, which is acutely toxic to aquatic life; and chloroform, a carcinogen formed when triclosan mixes with tap water that has been treated with chlorine. Scientists surveyed 85 U.S. rivers and streams, and found traces of triclosan in more than half.”

The EWG published its own study and provides a guide on triclosan and how to avoid it and its cousin triclocarban.

This toxin poses a risk to everyone, but mostly fetuses, infants and young children. It’s found in many everyday products – such as cutting boards, shower curtains, credit cards, baby bibs, counter tops, soap and more. It can be passed by a mother to a fetus and to her infant through her breast milk.

It’s best to just avoid this toxin by reading product labels and using the EWG guide on where to look for and how to avoid it.  

Once again, the FDA is failing to protect us from toxins. Several stores in Europe are looking into banning all products containing triclosan.

I use Dr. Bronner’s soap and love it. I have eczema and it’s mild on my skin. I like the baby mild soap , but there are many other “flavors” including Hemp Eucalyptus, and Hemp Lavender; and they also have liquid versions such as Hemp Almond, Hemp Tea Tree  or Hemp Peppermint.

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What’s in your Cosmetics?

Would you rub animal fat, beetles or cancer-causing chemicals on your face to add color or moisturize? Unless you are trying to win a contest, you probably would not willingly do so, yet you are very likely doing this everyday! Many cosmetic companies use animal ingredients like gelatin, glycerin, carmine, collagen, lanolin, fragrance, and many others in their products. These ingredients are given fancy names like carmine, which is the natural red color that comes from the dried female cochineal beetle. Other chemical ingredients are known to cause cancer, birth defects and other health issues.

Currently, the US cosmetic industry is unregulated, leaving these companies free to put virtually anything into our personal care products. There are no laws that require pre-market testing. This is unacceptable, but there are groups working to push Congress to change this and make cosmetics safe for use.

The Environmental Working Group is one of them. Check out their Skin Deep website  where you can look up individual ingredients, products and companies. I have noticed that some products are dated, but you can double check the ingredients they have listed with those on your bottle, you can even join for free and get customized reports on products you use that are not listed in the database. While at their website, be sure to sign their petition to the US Congress urging them to make cosmetics safe for use.

The Compact for Safe Cosmetics is a global push for cosmetic companies to sign and agree that all of the cosmetics and personal care products made by that company anywhere in the world “meet the formulation standards and deadlines set by the European Union Directive 76/768/EEC to be free of chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects.”

There is some good news, there are many companies that are cruelty-free and have vegan products. Vegan products are not tested on animals and contain no animal by-products (like the beetles). Vegan products do not contain any animal by-products including eggs, milk, glycerin, etc. (important note: some contain plant derived glycerin). Look at the ingredients and for symbols, such as vegan certification. Besides Skin Deep’s website, you can look at websites such as this one or this one to learn more about cosmetic ingredients. It will note if the ingredient is derived from animals and what ingredients are harmful chemicals. Check out this website to learn what 10 ingredients to avoid to choose more organic products. This is a greater list of toxic chemicals found in personal care products.

Animal testing is just not necessary for cosmetics and personal care products. So much testing has been done to date that there is virtually no ingredient or combination of that has not already been tested. Yet some companies still conduct animal testing. Here is a good reference to determine who is and who is not conducting animal testing.

Many products make claims that the product is not tested on animals. There is no regulation or legal definition on what this means, so companies may make this claim if the final product is not tested on animals, though the individual ingredients may be. Companies may also farm out the testing to other companies or buy the ingredients from a company who does do animal testing. So just because that particular company is not testing themselves, does not mean that the company is ensuring the final product nor its ingredients have never been tested on animals.

List of Cruelty-Free companies (even beyond cosmetics)

Environmental Working Group

EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Companies that do/don’t test on animals

Pocket guide to cruelty-free companies