Eco-friendly personal care products are widely available in a number of boutique and mainstream stores. The best eco-friendly personal care products are gentle on the environment and on your body. Large cosmetic companies spend billions of dollars to try to get you to buy their products. Their advertisements don’t hold much weight when it comes to the environment, though. Conventional cosmetics and personal care products are often bad for you and bad for the environment. Here are a few things EnviroCitizen.org suggests you should avoid in order to find the most eco-friendly personal care products.
- Many personal care products use extracts from human and cow placentas to make your skin glow and hair luscious. However, placentas have a lot of hormones in them. One study found breast growth in toddlers that was linked to products that contained placenta extracts.
- Thimerosol is another ingredient to steer clear of, since it’s a clever disguise for mercury. It’s commonly found in mascaras and eye drops.
- Pthalates, commonly found in nail polish, damages male reproductive organs.
- Petroleum by-products are also found in personal care products like face cream. These by-products contain carcinogens linked to cancer.
- Anti-bacterial products are one of the least eco-friendly products out there. The problem with the chemicals in these anti-bacterial products, such as triclosan, is that they are linked to endocrine problems. More importantly, he biggest problem with anti-bacterial products is that they are enabling bugs (such as bacteria and viruses) to breed into super-bugs that are resistant to antibiotics. So, by trying to rid your body of germs, you will effectively help to create bugs that will be resistant to this efforts. There are bad bugs out there, but anti-bacterial products wipe out ALL of the bugs, both the bad and the good.
These are just a small handful of chemical ingredients found in personal care products that can cause detriment to your own health, as well as to the health of the environment. One of the biggest issues EnviroCitizen.org has uncovered is that a product can claim to be eco-friendly under very loose standards. For example, companies can claim that their products are eco-friendly if the packaging contains any recycled content. On that note, hypothetically, a company could market arsenic as eco-friendly if it was in a container that had 10% recycled materials.
In a time where green washing is a huge problem, it’s up to you as the consumer to do your research and determine if a product really is eco-friendly. The best, truly eco-friendly products are usually fragrance-free, are made with clean energy, have recycled packaging, and are 100% natural and/or organic.
EnviroCitizen.org encourages you to do your research. Just because something is labeled “eco-friendly” doesn’t mean it is. You need to be proactive and be a conscious consumer in order to take care of your health and your environment. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient or if you don’t know what it is, take some time and research it. After all, you are putting it into your body and into the Earth.
Enjoy EnviroCitizen.org’s list of eco-friendly, natura/organic personal care products here!