Have you ever turned over a bottle of shampoo or lotion and tried to pronounce the long list of mystery ingredients? It can be daunting. Here are just a handful of ingredients listed on a bottle of Aveda Shampure shampoo: PEG-6 Cocamide, PEG-7 Dimethicone Isostearate, Babassuamidopropyl Betaine, Benzyl Benzoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palminate, Disodium PEG-12 Dimethicone Sulfosuccinate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, and the list goes on. These unpronounceable names are tucked between innocent-sounding ingredients such as Grapefruit Seed Extract and Water, but why am I left without an inkling of what lies in this supposedly natural product? Sure, many of the ingredients may be plant derived, but does that mean they are good for me?
I grabbed an armful of personal care products from my bathroom and decided to see how they ranked according to the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. We still had plenty of commercial products around the house purchased before our plastic-free challenge. Out of 10 possible points (10 being the worst), our Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion ranked 2, my tin of Burt’s Bees lip balm ranked 2, my daughter’s Toms of Maine Silly Strawberry toothpaste ranked 2, my Tom’s of Maine apricot deodorant ranked 4 (would be 2 if unscented), the Aveda Shampure shampoo (mentioned above) ranked 5, and the real kicker was the Vaseline Total Moisture lotion which ranked a whopping 10 out of 10! Does it really have to be so difficult to buy safe products? Call me crazy, but I’d prefer not to slather on a long list of chemicals each day. Knowledge is power and armed with more knowledge we can make our way through this confusing product maze. So, go ahead and check out how your favorite products rank.