Monday, January 14, 2019

GREEN LIVING :: Is My Product Safe?

I've been sharing articles on clean beauty on my Facebook page and have referred to it on my Instagram feed and my blog when I review products.  I figured I should show you two quick ways to check if your products are safe.  Products include anything you use in your house or yourself.  The scope is broad and it can feel intimidating to "green your life".  I get it.  I was once in your shoes getting started and did not know what to tackle first.  Years later, I realize that the race never ends because formulations change, products are discontinued so you need to find alternatives and new products are launched all the time. 

The biggest step is deciding to clean up your routine.  Bear in mind that the transition does not need to be an overnight one.  You can do it gradually at your own pace.  Going green does not require a huge budget either.  You just have to shop wisely and set your safety standards.

When you assess the ingredients in a label, you always have to keep in mind too that the placement of chemicals in the list of ingredients matters.  If they are at the top, that means that the amount of that chemical in your product is pretty high.  If they are towards the end, you are talking about a smaller amount of chemical.  Quantity matters for some.  For others, it's not a factor because they are dangerous and should be avoided.  

Now lets talk about the chemicals themselves.  There is no need to memorize lists of chemicals.  There are now free apps that you can install in your phone so you can use them while you shop.  If you scan the bar code or search for the product it will give you information on the safety of its ingredients and an overall rating score between 1 and 10.  The closer you are to 1, the safer the product.  Here's where you get to set your own standards.  You need to decide what's an OK safety rating for you.  I like to stay between 1 and 2 if I'm going to use it on my body.  For household products, you can get away with a 3 for some things.  

Here are two apps for you to check out.  They are a little different in their set-up but they essentially do the same thing for free, for now.  

Both these apps will give you safer alternatives for the product you are inquiring about if it turns out that it has a really low safety rating (anything between 5 and 10).  As you get more practice looking up ingredients and scanning products the process will get easier. You will become familiar with ingredients to avoid and spot them right away.  It's overwhelming at first but you can do it!

So I've given you two tools to figure out if your products are safe.  Now where do you start?  I would group products by category and start with those I apply on my skin daily (skin care or make-up).  The skin is our largest organ and stuff gets absorbed into our bloodstream.  Once you start, you'll find that you have to keep going.  However much or little you do, it will make a difference in your body so it's worth a start.  

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