As a conscious consumer, I advocate label reading when making purchases of all kinds. Checking the label for ingredients, country of origin and certifications is a quick and easy way to making more informed buying choices. You can always find a tag on your clothing telling you were it was made, helping you choose products made locally. Food labels give you information about the nutritional value of your item. But when it comes to the bath and body products we use every day, there is no current label regulation or strict safety standards for companies to follow.
Public interest has grown regarding the issue of safety in the bath and beauty industry. Fueled by several recent scandals, consumers are more aware than ever of the numerous toxic exposures involved with the use of everyday products. Bath and Body Works, the popular mall chain, made headlines last year for refusing to phase out the use of triclosan in their products, particularly those marketed to children. Johnson & Johnson faced a similar scandal when it was revealed that formaldehyde-releasing chemicals were present in their baby wash sold in the US, while a safer formulation without the toxin was being sold by J&J in other countries.
There are several initiatives working to regulate safety in the bath and body industry. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the leading group in consumer bath product safety, is pushing the The Safe Cosmetics Act to modernize the restrictions present in the industry. The current regulations have existed since 1938 and do not require full disclosure of ingredients or restrict the use of toxic chemicals. Their partner, the Environmental Working Group, has created the Skin Deep Database, which rates bath products on their level of toxicity.
Fortunately, there are many natural products serving as safe alternatives to the traditional brands on the market. Many of these products utilize the natural anti-bacterial property of essential oils like green tree oil and thyme oil. Essential oils also create a natural fragrance.
My favorite bath and beauty products that are safe, cruelty free, eco-friendly and made in USA:
CleanWell is a well-known brand of natural hand soaps and sanitizer products with thyme oil. Their products are made in USA, certified cruelty free and rated in the safest risk level by Skin Deep. They are listed as an innovator by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Earth Mama Angel Baby is another popular line of bath products for the family that are also American made and organic, vegan and cruelty free. Their line is rated the safest risk level by Skin Deep and have also been recognized as an innovator by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Aromafloria is a line of bath and body products made in USA utilizing aromatherapy. Their products are free of toxins, organic and vegan. The use 100% wind-power in manufacturing and have also been listed as an innovator by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Noodle and Boo Co is a collection of luxury maternity and baby skin care using certified organic ingredients made in USA. Noodle & Boo’s original line specializes in products for newborns, babies and children with eczema and sensitive skin.
Naturopathica offers a line of natural and organic skin care products and holistic remedies using sustainably harvested ingredients. They are Natural Cosmetic certified by Ecocert Greenlife and manufactured in USA.
Some other places to find natural bath and beauty products made in USA:
Simply Rustic – handmade natural skin care
Beautitorium – natural and organic beauty products
Benedetta – farm-sourced organic skin care
Avishi Organics - natural skincare for Mamas and babies
Herban Lifestyle – handcrafted herbal bath and body
American Bather - natural and organic bath and body products
I encourage you to try some of these natural alternatives and support the proposed Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 by contacting your representatives.
How do you avoid using toxic product on your family and yourself? Do you have any safe alternative favorites?