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Killing Ourselves to Look Good

The bad news is that some cosmetics and personal care products are toxic.

The good news is that now, we can find out which are and which aren’t.

The Cosmetic Safety Database, created by the Environmental Working Group, rates the safety of cosmetics and personal care products by type and brand name. It lists everything from blush to glitter to hair conditioner, and even includes things like contact lens cleaner, dental floss, and baby powder.

The database rates products based on the toxins (if any) they contain:

  • 0-2: Low hazard
  • 3-6: Moderate hazard
  • 7-10: High hazard

A lot of the products seem to be okay. I looked at several types but not at the whole database because, well, I really have to finish this and get back to studying for my final exams.

I looked at the database’s listing of blush products first. At the beginning of the list, all the products were rated 0 or 1, which means they’re pretty safe. But the database lists the safest products first. Why would you buy anything else (unless it was so good that it was worth risking your health)?

At the end of the list, some blush products got ratings of 9, which means they’ve got a lot of toxins in them. And you’d be surprised at some of the brand name products that got 9 ratings.

Eyeliner went from a rating of 0, very safe, all the way up to a few products (such as CoverGirl Eye Enhancers) that were rated 7, which means they’re iffy. Glitter products went from 0 to 8.

Right now at school, with final exams coming up, we don’t even have time to think about cosmetics. But the Cosmetic Safety Database is a good site to bookmark for future reference.

We shouldn’t kill ourselves to look good.


Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

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  1. David
    May 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I think it’s better for a girl to present herself as a worse case scenario. Let the guy know, basically, how you look when you wake up in the morning. After he falls for your natural beauty, then you can work on enhanceing, if you want to. It should never happen that he (or she) wakes up next to you and isn’t sure who you are. 🙂

    I thought it was hilarious, the other day, watching a Do it yourself show on DIY network. The couple was doing a renovation, getting ready for demolition, and the wife was in the bathroom putting on makeup. I saw this twice on different episodes.

    We men appreciate it when you go out of your way to look nice for us. But no need to overdo it.

    • Rinth de Shadley
      May 8, 2010 at 1:00 am

      Hi David —

      You’re probably more mature than most of the guys I know. They respond to what they see, and it has to be attention-getting, sexy, and different.

      Our look needs to have contrast but not too jarring, color-matching but not too bland, “come and get me” but not too slutty. NASA has it easy by comparison. 🙂

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