The Easiest Way to Find out How Save Your Products Really Are
“On average, women use 12 personal care products a day, exposing themselves to 168 chemical ingredients.”
- Environmental Working Group
When my kids were younger, they used these sunscreens and shampoos that smell divine - their fragrance immediately transports you to a tropical beach and makes you feel like you have a refreshing pina colada next to you. In fact, my kids actually made up a song about these products that they would sing as they sprayed the delicious-smelling aerosol all over their little bodies. The sunscreen made then THAT happy. As I was browsing through Target the other day, I saw these products lined up so perfectly on the shelf. They looked so appealing, I couldn’t resist. I decided to inspect the ingredient list – just in case they had changed their formula to a safer version. Lo and behold, it said, “All natural” on the bottle! And there was a long list of ingredients they refused to use – right there on the bottle:
“Gluten Free / Paraben Free / Oil Free / PABA Free/ Reinyl Palmitate Free / Propylene Glycol Free/ Cruelty Free / Hypoallergenic/no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)."
Woohoo! I could hear the kids singing the sunscreen song in my mind. I could imagine the smiles on their faces. I was so excited this company was working to provide safe products, that I splurged and stocked up.
As I was driving home, I started to think maybe this purchase was too good to be true. I knew there were some other mystery ingredients on the packaging that I had not checked.
And I knew that when a product says “natural,” that means nothing because that term is not regulated. So, instead of researching each and every ingredient myself, I pulled out my phone and opened my EWG Healthy Living app. This free app tells you how safe your products are just by scanning the barcode. It was created by the Environmental Working Group, which is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment through breakthrough research and education.
So, I opened my EWG Healthy Living app and scanned the barcodes. Nooooooo! These delicious, creamy, yummy products are FILLED with “endocrine disrupting chemicals,” “ingredients that pose a HIGH health concern,” and “ingredients that are banned in Europe.”
Are you freaking kidding me? Well - luckily I did not tell my kids that I bought the stuff – and sadly I did not get to hear them sing the sunscreen song. But I am kind of proud of myself for keeping these kiddos safe.