While most people are incredibly cautious when it comes to what they put in their bodies, few are actually aware of what they are putting on their bodies. And for those that would like to know, the struggle is real when it comes to deciphering scientific names of unpronounceable and unheard of ingredients. For decades now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been warning consumers of the harmful ingredients in beauty products, from the likes of lead to traces of mercury. And yet, it is disheartening to discover the modest measure of power the FDA exercises in regulating some of the more questionable ingredients used in shampoos, makeup, skincare products, and soaps that are sold and used by consumers on a regular basis.

Just as you manage your diet and what you put in your body, why should skincare be any different? When it comes to beauty products, we seem to consume what we are given, believing what we see over what we hear. In more recent times, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and vegetarian friendly options have pervaded menus across a milieu of mindfulness in regards to what one is putting in his or her body. In light of this hyper awareness, few people practice this level of mindfulness when it comes to the “precious” products they are putting onto their bodies. Certain chemicals, such as Ethanol (alcohol), make other chemical compounds more absorbable in their presence by breaking down the skin’s natural barriers. This occurs when the chemical ingredient pulls apart the other ingredients so that they are smaller and more susceptible to absorption.

Think back to your favorite skincare item, whether it is make-up remover, moisturizing lotion, or a lash volumizing mascara. Often times, you try, and then you buy- depending on if you’re happy with what you see. Meanwhile, the direct application of these products often reveals short-term results, failing to expose the long term effects of hormone disrupters, such as phthalates that can result in reproductive abnormalities and decreased production of testosterone in males. This inconspicuous chemical is often concealed under the umbrella of “fragrance,” and can be found in a range of products from deodorant and nail polish to shampoo and conditioner.

Knowledge is power, and power is paying attention to the seemingly “profound” products you use on a regular basis. At the end of the day, manufacturing companies are not going to be the ones looking out for your overall well-being. Less than transparent, major companies market most of their products as safe when they actually contain hormone disruptors. You must do your due diligence in delving deeper into the nitty gritty of your products. The ugly truth is that most of the personal care products and cosmetics we have grown to know and love contain carcinogens and other harmful ingredients. While you may be tempted to hide behind your “hormone disrupting” BB creme, consider the long term effects of using a product that provides you with short term results.

Although the complicated ingredient label does not come as second nature to most, you no longer have to worry- Phone Apps such as Think Dirty and Healthy Living guide your hand as you otherwise blindly scan the cosmetics aisle of your local drugstore. You will be surprised to discover that some products fall under a vile veil of deception, marked as “organic” in the branding when they are anything but organic products. Available for free in the Apple App Store, Think Dirty allows you to scan the barcodes of products that are then rated on a “dirty” scale, from a positive green to a not looking so good yellow to a downright dirty red. Check out these all green, items we (& Think Dirty) recommend below!

Face Wash: Living Nature Vitalising Cleanser, Erin’s Faces Gentle Milk Cleanser, Pai’s Hydrating Cleanser

Shampoo and Body Wash: Honest Co. Shampoo + Body Wash, Niucoco Hydrating Shamoo, Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap

Moisturizer: La Mav Intense Moisture Nightly Repar Nectar, L’Occitane’s Pure Shea Butter,

Face Make-Up: Too Faced Bronzed&Careless, Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint

Face Mist: Evian’s pure mineral water spray, Balance Me Skin Bright Hydrating Face Mist, Glossier’s Soothing Facial Mist

Make-Up Remover: Neal’s Yard Organic Eye makeup remover, Organic Coconut Oil, One Love’s Vitamin B cleansing oil and makeup remover

Lipstick & Balm: Lip2Cheek Stains, Elate Clean Cosmetics Vivacious Sheer Lipstick, EOS lip balm