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How to Read a Skincare Product Label for Toxins

04.01.11 How to Read a Skincare Product Label for Toxins

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According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), "Most people use around 10 personal care products every day, with an average of 126 different ingredients. We'd like to believe that the government is policing the safety of all of the concoctions we put on our bodies, but sadly this is not the case. Instead, these unregulated products pose uncertain dangers for our health and our environment".

Some of the hurdle while choosing a product is just deciphering what's actually IN it. Even when products are called "natural" or "gentle", it doesn't always mean they are healthy for you or your kids. This is where knowing how to read a label for toxins becomes a valuable tool.

First step: Start at the end of ingredients and make sure to avoid the following preservatives:

  • Words ending in "paraben"
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Triclosan
  • Triclocarban
  • Triethanolamine (or "TEA")

Second step: At the beginning of the list, look to avoid ingredients that start with "PEG" or have an "-eth" in the middle (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).

Third step: Check the middle for words like--"FRAGRANCE," "FD&C," or "D&C."

EWG also advises, "Extra caution is in order for kids because, pound for pound, they are exposed to more contaminants in everyday products than adults. Their immature metabolism and organ systems are typically less capable of fending off chemical assaults. Even subtle damage to young bodies can lead to disease later in life". Also to keep in mind for kid's health, buy fragrance-free products whenever possible, avoid baby powder and try using fewer products, with less frequency. Even if you can't remember all of these chemicals listed, a good rule of thumb is to follow your instinct: if the label has a long list of ingredients, you're better off not buying it.

All of the skincare products sold here at MightyNest are free of parabens, phthalates, aluminum, formaldehyde and other petrochemicals. Instead, they are made with organic, natural and healthy ingredients so you can feel safe about using them on your skin.

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