Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

skin deep

So here is a post I’ve been excited to write, so let’s hope I can do it some justice. I want to talk today about a website, EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. EWG is the Environmental Working Group, which specializes in research and advocacy relating to chemicals and toxins in all areas that effect human health. They are the perfect source for quick information on healthy products. One of their big projects is the Skin Deep database. On this site you can search products and read ratings based on toxicity, hazard levels, allergies and ingredient description. If you’re not very familiar with all of the crazy ingredients that can be found in cosmetics, Skin Deep makes it so much easier to know if what you’re using is harmful. We aren’t chemists, so it can be hard to remember if that fancy, long, latin name of an ingredient is bad or good. Now you don’t have to worry about trying to remember! OH AND THERE IS AN APP, so you can search on the go!

skin deep

I wanted to write this post to inform everyone about this great site, show you a little about how it works, what you can find, and show a few examples of product ratings. We are going to start with one of my favorite products, the Andalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner. As you can see, it gets a rating of 2 on a scale of 10, 10 being the worst. Anything below a 3 is awesome, but ratings can get skewed, so I’ll use a 4 or 5 depending on the product.

skin deep

What you’ll find for each product is a quick guide of the concerns. Overall, this product has a low overall hazard, cancer risk, toxicity and allergy rating. Yay! Now you can see the use restriction is high, but that isn’t because of the ingredients. Any product can be irritating used in high quantities, and the clementine can make your skin sensitive in sunlight.

skin deep

Skin Deep will then show you the rating for each ingredient in the product, which is the most helpful part! As you can see, Glycolic Acid got a 4, even though it is natural. Don’t need to explain this much, because it is an ACID it can be irritating if used too much. Other than that, every ingredient has a 2, 1, or 0 rating. Awesome.

skin deep

Now I will show you a more popular product I’m sure a lot of you have in your bathrooms or are hoping to buy. The Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe spray is a summer necessity, and honestly I do really love this stuff. This product got a 5, which isn’t too bad, but it isn’t too good either.

skin deep

A number of the ingredients in this product has ratings of 3 or higher. If there are one or two higher rated ingredients, it can be fine, but if all of them are 3 or higher, it might be a product to stay away from. Here you can see Fragrance got an 8, super high! Fragrance is a tricky subject. Companies do not have to say what is in the fragrance, so there could be harmful chemicals hiding there that you wouldn’t know about.

skin deep

Just to show another example of this part of the page, I wanted to use a product that some people THINK is good for them. Organix is a brand with a ton of hair products in some amazing scents. It was the first company I ever really fell in love with. Until I realized ‘Organix’ didn’t mean organic. The name is so annoyingly deceiving. Tricking people into thinking they are using healthy products is a horrible business model. You can see above this vanilla shampoo has a moderate cancer rating. Uhm, I don’t want to put anything with a moderate cancer rating ONTO MY SCALP. WHERE MY BRAIN IS. Also, the allergies rating is pretty high!!

skin deep


Now, THIS is what we want to see. Tea Tree Therapy’s pure Tea Tree Oil. I use this product on blemishes as a natural anti-bacterial spot treatment. You can see, since it’s 100% natural, it doesn’t have a single bit of concern. I was actually surprised by this because I find tea tree oil can be quite irritating if used too much. It is important to buy a 100% tea tree oil and dilute it yourself for various purposes.

Not every product or ingredient has information on Skin Deep, but there are still a ton that are, so it can be a great resource to learn about your products. Hope some of you can start to use this site, and start buying more natural products!


5 thoughts on “Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

  1. Oh! This is really good to know! Especially since I use (and love) the Not Your Mother’s Products. It’s crap that people don’t realize that just because something is labeled as organic or good for you-that it really might not be! I will be using this site a lot!!!

  2. Such a great idea to let people know about the Skin Deep site. I use it extensively. Before I buy a new product I will look it up on the site. Good job with portraying the misconceptions about products as well. A lot of people trust a brand just by its face value. Not knowing that a lot of conventional brands have carcinogenic ingredients.

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