Toxic Talk and Labels

Where Do I Find Safer Products?

+ Pamela Friedman

Have you decided to be more cautious in the personal care products you use? Are you reading labels, and avoiding potentially dangerous ingredients?

If so, you may be a little frustrated. It’s all well and good to want to buy better, safer products, but sometimes it’s another thing to find them! We think if we go to health food stores or places who claim to sell “natural” or “organic” products, we’ll be able to pull most anything off the shelf and feel good about it, but unfortunately, even these stores can sometimes have products with toxic ingredients. Rule of thumb: Always read ingredient lists no matter what the product claims.

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of places where you’re more likely to find the products you’re looking for. Again, always read labels, but if you start with these locations, you’ll have better luck getting what you need.

Skin Deep Database: Whatever product you choose, you can always check it out at the Skin Deep Database, which will list the ingredients and give you toxicity scores on each.

Health Food Stores: Though you must still be careful, health food stores typically have more safe products than will your typical department store. Try whole foods markets, vitamin cottages, natural health stores, organic shops, and the like.

Organic Departments: Many grocery stores now have organic sections that carry organic and natural brands of personal care products. You may find what you’re looking for there.

CV Skinlabs: My own skin care line, CV Skinlabs is made with only nourishing, safe ingredients that help repair and restore radiance, with no parabens, pthalates, synthetic fragrances, petroleum ingredients, or other potentially harmful chemicals.

O&N Collective: This is my favorite site for all organic, natural and sustainable skincare, baby care and products for your home.  Read my post on the O&N Collective here.

Beautorium: A natural and organic beauty emporium, Beautorium offers a hand-picked selection of the best in natural and organic beauty products from around the world. They screen the products so that all are natural or organic (most are certified), cruelty-free, and effective. A unique “good to know” system summarizes the information you need to know to make wise choices.

Bella Floria: Subtitled “truth in beauty,” this site takes beauty seriously-but naturally. They feature carefully selected natural skin care, cosmetics, aromatherapy, bath and body, soap, hair care and other beauty products. All are chosen for quality certified-organic and all-natural ingredients. Brands are eco-friendly and do not contain parabens, artificial fragrances, or dyes.

Best in Beauty: Confused about reading labels? This site has a new “Labels for Life” page that teaches you how to read cosmetic ingredients just like you’ve learned to read nutrition facts on food labels. A shopping site as well as an advocate for safer products, Best in Beauty has all-natural skin care, hair care, body care, fragrances, and gift packages.

Caren Online: Here you’ll find products to help you create simply beautiful skin-natural and organic items free of parabens and other toxins. Products are screened to be chemical-free. Even the site looks fresh! Also has a men’s care department and a blog.

Cathys Organic Super Store: This site prides itself on offering organic products at lower prices. Members get items at 25-70% off. The store is huge-everything from beauty to clothing to gifts to home to pets to babies. Lots to choose from!

Edible Nature: This is a discount web site carrying popular natural & organic health and beauty products from famous brand names including Tom’s of Maine, Burt’s Bees, Waleda, Ecover, and more. You can find vitamins, natural beauty products, natural cleansers, organic tea & coffee, and wholesale bulk organic foods.

Future Natural: Go to this site for Soleo Sunscreen-voted #1 by Skin Deep Database-and for organic perfumes, lip glazes, shampoos and conditioners, makeup, and just about anything beauty related. You’ll even find a blog and a glossary of ingredients.

Good Earth Beauty: Focusing exclusively on beauty products, this site screens all products to include only those that are natural, organic, and have not been tested on animals. You’ll find body scrubs, eye shadows, face & body oils, and much more, plus a blog, ingredients glossary, and even a vegan shop. Includes products from smaller companies as well.

Mint & Berry: You’ll find regular sales on this site, founded by Charmaine Leah, skin care therapist. Products include organic skin care, hair, and body care that are free of synthetic ingredients. They also avoid parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, phthalates, PEG, artificial colorants and dyes, BHT, petroleum, and more. These products contain more herbal extracts, fruit-based ingredients, and certified-organic essential oils.

Natural Solutions: Natural brands such as Living Nature, Primavera Life, and Brigit True Organics can be found here, as well as other natural and organic alternatives in the bath, body, skin, and cosmetic realms. No parabens or synthetic dyes. You’ll also find beauty advice.

Nimli: With sales of the week, featured brands, and a blog, this site seeks to show you stylish but sustainable natural and organic products, including beauty, home décor, accessories, and clothing. Founded in New York City, Nimli seeks to offer everyone green products that embrace style.

Pristine Planet: Selling aromatherapy, bath & beauty, cosmetics, personal-care items, skin care, and even products for pregnancy, Pristine Planet lists products from socially responsible merchants all over the world. The revenue from purchases goes to green businesses. Each product is tagged with a label to help you decide for yourself who you want to buy from.

Saffron-Rouge: This website has makeup, hair, and bath products all made without unsafe ingredients.

The Nature of Beauty: Makeup, skin care, hair care, mom & baby, & men’s products are all here-and all either organic or natural. Founders of the site claim to read every label and research every ingredient. The site also includes a blog, an ingredients-to-avoid list, and samples.

Do you have other places our readers can find safe products? Let us know.

Photo courtesy Snap Village.