Take a look at the ingredients of your shampoos, bar soaps, face wash, toothpaste, deodorants, moisturizers, lip glosses, foundations, sunscreens, perfumes.


Do you understand the ingredients? It is possible that there are very long words that make very little sense... then the ‘safety’ of your products is questionable. Here are examples of chemical names that are in your drugstore products
  • shampoo & body wash often contain sodium lauryl sulphate
  • hair products often use a combination of: sodium lauryl sulfate and TEA (triethanolamine, DEA (diethanolamine), or MEA (monoethanolamine)
  • methylparaben appears on many labels, from cosmetics to deodorant and perfume
  • dibutyl phthalate, or DBP, or diethylhexyl phthalate, or DEHP appear on many labels too.



Understand the problems you face when using many everyday commercial personal care products:

  • many beauty products are not well regulated
  • many use synthetically produced chemicals
  • many of these synthetic chemicals have not been approved by regulation authorities, but find their way into products and onto shelves through loopholes in regulations
  • as much as a third of personal care products contain at least one chemical linked to cancer
  • mineral oil and petroleum are the basic ingredients in many cosmetic products – these are derived from gasoline.
  • the meanings of "natural" and "organic" are generally not regulated and can mean whatever the company wants them to mean! “Organic 100% active ingredients” misleads you into believing that the product is organic, when it is most definitely not.



Choose organic products.

Look out for a list of natural ingredients. True organic personal care products do not contain preservatives. It’s up to you to learn to read the label and be aware of products claiming that they’re organic when they are not!



Keep learning and researching (see links below).


You’ll begin to realize that greening your personal care is a long and hard process. And the frightening aspect of the cumulative effect, because we use so many different products. Be proactive and read your ingredient labels. An easy resource to use when feeling overwhelmed is to start with EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database and look carefully at the ratings (1 Low Hazard and 10 High Hazard). Then making a careful decision whether to toss or keep.