Another good find today:
Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” Cosmetic Safety Database
Here you can type in either the product you use or the ingredient you’re interested in, and it returns a fairly comprehensive and fairly hype-free assessment of Whatever It Is.
(Just to be clear: sites, places, and people who get so completely nonlinear about anything that’s not Absolutely Bucolically Connected To Our Natural Roots Blah Blah Blah sort of annoy me. While cautions about Whole Foods still being a giant grocery chain which sells some conventional products are important to hear, rants about how they are no better than Giant and Safeway and the only place a Truly Environment-Loving Person can shop is the local farmers market, or screams about how how Tom’s of Maine has sold out and was bought by Colgate and Burt’s Bees by Clorox–these do not impress me. I read ingredient labels. I know whether my eggs are cage free and my milk is hormone free and my deodorant meets my safety standards because I pay attention.
Anyway, the cosmetic safety site: it grades products and ingredients on a 1-8 scale for potential hazard. I wouldn’t necessarily even just use this for a how-can-I-be-greener kind of litmus, though it’s helpful for that. Any product I used that made my skin itch, or caused any kind of reaction at all, I’d probably plug it in here and see what I can find. A good research tool!