Clean, green or safe? Whatever you choose to call it, the science of beauty can be confusing

As a beauty consumer, we want to avoid ingredients that are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors. Confusion can set in quickly, with so many organizations claiming the expertise to guide us along the way. How do you know where to find trusted education? It’s key to investigate apps and resources to understand the criteria used for stating a product is "safe." Does a product merely pay to play and have a listing on their site? While there are fees paid by brands wanting verification or recognition by various organizations, some research groups can be trusted to look beyond the mighty dollar.


Here is a quick list of resources to keep consumers in the know....


1. The David Suzuki Foundation

CosmeticsThe David Suzuki FoundationIn Canada, one of the better go-to resources is the David Suzuki Foundation. The organization has been advocating for better health and environmental issues since 1990. Their efforts support the environment, bio diversity, climate change and more.

When it comes to clean, green beauty in Canada, you can dismiss products with a quick trip to The Dirty Dozen. These are twelve chemicals you want to avoid in your skincare!

2. Think Dirty app

Think DirtyFacebook/Think Dirty Shop CleanThe app Think Dirty Shop Clean came to be after a personal journey of understanding truths in the beauty industry and how those truths relate to cancer. There were—and still are—too many brands using the words "natural" and "organic" to confuse the consumer despite an obvious lack of verification. The app helps consumers navigate the waters of safe and green beauty, empowering users to make wise choices.

Think Dirty has a methodology behind safe and clean products. They have their own process for brands and how they will include them, with a classification system clearly outlined here. The higher the ingredient rating, the higher score on their system and a higher score tells members of the public to stay away! 

It truly is a “consumer revolution for safer cosmetics, by learning one ingredient at a time and changing to cleaner options, one product at a time.” The app is handy to have on your phone allowing you to scan products in the database and search alternatives in the thousands.

3. EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

EWGFacebook/EWG.orgIf you want to get really serious about digging for the dirt then Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is the place for you! It is one of the best known, most searched and perhaps most scientific in North America. The higher the score on EWG's rankings, the more consumers should stay away from the product.

The mission of the EWG is to protect both the consumer and the environment, encouraging wise choices for better health and a better world.

The Skin Deep database is extensive and now into its ninth year, showcasing over 2,000 brands and over 65,000 products. The listings are not to be taken lightly. From product details to ingredient listings deep and wide, the EWG has gone as far as to develop a hazard rating, with a framework of fascinating tables and much more. All of the tools can be consulted here. The ratings system keeps it simple (from one to 10) with the lower the number meaning all the better.

NaturalsEach of these resources is a great go-to while out shopping or considering the safety of a new product. These organizations are working together for the common good and are always improving. Consumers can be armed and dangerous now in the path of skincare toxins.

Go forth and make wise beauty choices, setting standards high and making the most of the knowledge at your fingertips.