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5 Resources to Help You Find Clean Home + Beauty Products

4 min read

Natural, clean, organic, pure, greenfive descriptive terms I see on A LOT of home and personal care products these days. We all know the deal. You’ll be strolling the aisles of CVS or Whole Foods and see them sprawled across a face wash or soap bar with a leafy, earthy aesthetic and catch yourself thinking, “Oh okay, this product must be legitimate. It seems so green!”

But what does that branding REALLY mean? In the home and personal care industry, not much.

I know, I know. I feel your pain. It’s so frustrating to feel like you’re being scammed when all you’re attempting to do is find a deodorant that works or a bubbly bath soap for your kids. But the truth is, the federal government hasn’t passed a bill pertaining to home and personal care ingredient regulation in more than 80 years. There’s little to no regulation in this realm, except for the ban of “adulterated or misbranded” products from being sold on the market. Personal care product recalls are voluntary and the U.S. currently has a list of 30 ingredients not allowed in cosmetics, while Europe has a ban on 1,328. We have a long way to go when it comes to federal policy on home and personal care product ingredients.

And while terms like “green” and “natural” are unregulated in the United States, there ARE companies bringing us the standards for what a safe and clean product is.

5 Resources for Buying Clean Home and Personal Care Products

1. Scientific Nonprofits

Made Safe is our country’s “first comprehensive human health-focused certification for nontoxic products.” This nonprofit is in the process of approving home, beauty, sexual health and personal care products with a very scientific and stringent set of standards. Peruse their already approved products to help you navigate online shopping. When in-store, if you don’t see the MADE SAFE logo in all caps, then it’s not approved. If you’re looking to buy strictly organic, look forUSDA Organic’s logo for their certification.

Image courtesy of Cruelty Free Kitten.

2. Cruelty Free

If you’re searching for clean products, that probably means you consider animal testing to be against your values as well. Cruelty Free Kitten’s article on spotting fake Cruelty Free logos while shopping is so informative, albeit kind of discouraging that we even have to consider this! In short, look for one of the three bunny logos from Leaping Bunny, PETA or Choose Cruelty-Free to confirm your product is cruelty free.

3. Governmental Databases

The Environmental Working Group is a not-for-profit that has a huge body of research on the safety of household and personal care products, as well as the foods we eat. They have a Skin Deep database and app specifically for ranking cosmetics and personal care products in safety. EWG has been around for 14 years and is one of the pioneers in the industry. Look for their green “e” logo for official certification in their EWG Verified process.

4. Smartphone Applications

Think Dirty’s app is making big waves because of its digestible information and accessibility to products (it recently launched a subscription beauty box service). You can scan an item in the app to see how ranks it.Think Dirty is a Canada-based company, and they use multiple sources in the industry for their scientific standards.

Image courtesy of @follain.

5. Conscious Retailers

Companies like Follain, Credo Beauty, Ayla Beauty, Safe & Chic, Beauty Heroes, Integrity Botanicals, Petit Vour and Aillea Beauty have specific ingredients they ban. While they don’t each have an app or governmental backing, their commitment to educating consumers, holding free events at their stores and providing online resources demonstrates their commitment to help all of us navigate a sometimes confusing journey of choosing items that are truly “clean.”

I think starting small with your clean home and personal care product transformation is the way to go. Attempting to switch every item you own out for something that fits ALL of the above criteria can be expensive and time consuming. Try scanning the back of the next product you want to buy and look for ONE logo you feel comfortable with, whether it be a cruelty free bunny, MADE SAFE stamp of approval, or another certification that’s important to you.

Interested in learning more about swapping out your beauty products for safer alternatives? Read our five easy steps to going green and the 13 ingredients you should definitely avoid in your products.

About The Author

Emily Shinde

Emily Shinde

Emily Shinde is a freelance writer and wellness advocate writing and living in Brooklyn, New York. With a master's degree in public health and yoga teaching certification, she's passionate about bringing a more holistic approach to a complicated healthcare system. You can read her words on wellness, the clean beauty industry and female entrepreneurs at www.emilyshinde.com and follow her on Instagram at @emilyshinde.

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