Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Environmental Working Group

Yes, indeed. Two posts in two days. It occurred to me that many of you might not know about The Environmental Working Group's amazing Cosmetic Safety Database. Dazee discovered this last Summer, and it is a world of great information if you worry about putting potentially toxic, cancer causing stuff on your body.

The database ranks all kinds of common things, like shampoo, conditioner, makeup, baby goods, toothpaste and sunscreen from a 0 (safe) to a 10 (potentially cancer-causing). We were surprised to learn, many of the brands we'd been using from natural food stores were ranked high (ranking high in this context is BAD). Not only does the database break down individual ingredients, but it makes it easier to figure out if a product has been tested on animals or is vegan, and also gives information to find online sellers. The sunscreens are even ranked for their UVA and UVB effectiveness--very good information if you're a serial skin cancer maker like I am (for a quick moment there, I considered a slight name change for the blog--but it was just a quick moment and April Fool's isn't until tomorrow anyway).

Last week, I used the database to find two amazing vegan and chemical-free sunscreens--a delicate one for my face and a sturdier waterproof version for the rest-o-me. I would never have discovered these products without the EWG, since they are not sold in stores in my city. I am so smitten with the facial sunscreen, I wanted to tell you about it.

After reviewing the list of sunscreens, I opted for Key's Soap Solar Rx, which is ranked as a 0 by EWG, is listed as #2 as one of the safest available, and is made by a fellow melanoma survivor--serious stuff. First off, this stuff is pricey, and it needs to be re-applied often--balk if you need to. I paid $30 for a small 3.4oz bottle, but since I need the protection everyday, I don't want to wear something that is gonna make me zitty, melt into my eyes and sting like a mothafucker, or make me cancerous. I was happy to see the Solar Rx comes in a handy pump, and joyful to learn that you only need the tiniest dollop to get great coverage on your face, so cost effective after all!

Besides the Solar Rx, I also bought a few trial sizes of UV Natural Sunscreen, SPF30+, ranked as a 1 for toxicity, listed as #18 and vegan-vegan-vegan (lots of sunscreens are apparently made with the help of beeswax ((thanks Mr. and Ms. Bee)). I was actually surprised, but oh-so-delighted to see Vegan stamped on top of all the sunscreen I purchased. Keys actually puts a "Clean Green Vegan" right on the front and is not only chemical-free, but gluten-free ta boot (not that I would eat it everyday, but y'never know when a natural disaster is gonna hit and those elevator doors won't open).

So there you have it, my own little sunscreen infomercial. I hope you make good use of the Cosmetic Safety Database, it's awesome--we now use it to source our toothpaste, and hair-care products too.



  1. hey kittee,

    i'm still working through all of my cancerous non-vegan beauty products before i start replacing them with vegan ones. i've already started using vegan shampoo, conditioner, and lotions. my omni spouse and vegetarian child still use other products. i was fairly disgusted to find out the baby care products he uses has a "4" rating. zoiks, what to do? i'd switch to vegan baby products, but we have a ton of johnson and johnson stuff left that vin got on super sale. ick, ick, ick.
    on a happier note, i liked the pictures of that lady's garden.

  2. hehe. gluten-free sunscreen. it's like they had you in mind when they created it!

  3. Good to know. I always just assume everything I buy is safe since it's from Whole Foods...but since you said some of the all-natural stuff you were using is bad, now I'm worried. I'll have to check it out.

  4. Oh weird, who would have thought sunscreen isn't normally vegan. I'm not sure I can shell out thirty bucks for vegan spf, but that database is pretty darn cool. Thanks!

  5. awesome, thanks for letting us know about that website!

  6. That site freaked me out! My Jason Natural Tea Tree Deodorant is a SIX! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. yikes, i just looked up my hair stuff and it ranks an 8! i'm scared now.

  8. love the EWG sites. when rubes was even smaller than she is now i discovered them b/c i wouldn't wash her body with any soaps that have parabens....then came the sunscreen dilemmas....you know the drill. i'm so glad you found them! or dazee did.
    they also have a great pesticide produce list - what to buy organic and what not to worry about. the new one was just released...it's super helpful! it's on their site...xoxo

  9. Thanks for the heads-up, that database looks like a really useful resource!

  10. Goodness - I didn't realize you had skin cancer issues, Kitty. Crappy crap crap. I didn't know this site existed, so I'm off to see if any of the brands I use here are listed. I still have yet to find a facial sun screen I really like.

  11. Fork! The Earth Science facial products I've been using and faithfully espousing are all 5s. I try not to let internet bogeymen get me worked up, but I'm tempted to throw away all my lovely, expensive face wash (Rosemary-scented, which always makes me so happy) and start afresh. Crepe. >:(


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