Sunday, June 27, 2010

Much Ado About Ingredients in Beauty Products

I’m having quite the beauty conundrum so I’m just going to put it out there. The subject? Ingredients in beauty products. When I try a product, I usually go into it not knowing anything about it except that it’s a body wash or a mascara, etc, for example. I then use it a few times before reading up on it. That way I feel I can give a more of a honest answer and not just thinking I like it because of what I already know about it. But in the last few months when I like a product and the performance and wow, it lists great ingredients, upon looking deeper, POW, there are what some consider to be bad ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Mineral Oil, and polyethylene glycol, just to name a few. Maybe that’s why I got so excited when I discovered this one. I know that some people don’t care when it comes to ingredients in beauty products and that the FDA is there for a reason but I think more and more people are starting to pay attention.


Timing is funny sometimes as I just came across a website dedicated to calling specific products out called Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database. It’s worth a look as they have a rating system from 1 to 10 (10 being one of most concern) on how hazardous an ingredient is.

Another site that I didn’t know about until recently is created by beauty guru Paula Begoun and called On it, she combs through products and ingredients and wow, just a lot of info to take in but really easy to understand. You can also subscribe to the site to have access to all the info she provides.


So with my original conundrum in mind, moving forward I promise to the best of my ability of being just an average girl and using the above websites for reference, to notify you when I see a beauty product that I like that includes an ingredient you might want to be careful of, as in, “This product has Mineral Oil in it, which is an ingredient of concern,” and then you can make up your own mind. So they will be called “an ingredient of concern,” and be listed before the disclaimer with a link to read more about it. It’s really only fair to you the consumer, don’t you think? Again, you may not care but I feel it’s good to have the option.


So I leave you with a question, on a scale of 1 to 10, how important (10 be the most important thing in the world) are ingredients to you when it comes to beauty products?



Good question! I think I am becoming concerned more and more but the ones with all good ingredients are a little on the expensive side. hopefully this will be figured out.


Hi Stacey - I think only sometimes they are more expensive and think of it this way, you are paying for quality, just like when you buy clothing.

Sandra L


I came across your post because of the title. I'm a biochemist on the road to get my PhD in Biomedicine, also I have terribly sensitive skin, eyes and have psoriasis. That means I always read the ingredients! In fact I think everyone should. Most of the things that you put on your skin eventually make their way in and may have systemic effects. If you know your skin you'll eventually know what's best for you. Now, don't go crazy about it! I go to skin deep sometimes and honestly I think they exagerate in some items, danger lies on the concentration and place of action and they don't usually account for that. I prefer instead.



Hi Sandra - thanks for your email. I will check out And yes, it is easy to get caught up in all the ingredients in products but I just don't feel right featuring a product on the site that might have an ingredient that is really not that good for you. At least I feel better if I've made the reader aware of it and then they can make the decision.

John Ray

I have found so many interesting articles & information on various topics in your blog especially its discussion. I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work. I like your presentation.


Hi John - thanks for the coment and for reading!

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