Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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My Cosmetic Purge January 17, 2008

Weather you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for a precious new baby, I’m sure you care deeply about protecting the health and well-being of your family.  We all do.  Would it anger you to discover that some of the cosmetics you routinely use contain chemicals with confirmed links to cancer, organ damage, contamination, allergies, and more? 

I hadn’t thought much about the cosmetics we use, but a book I’m reading pointed out that the skin absorbs the products we use.  Afterall, that is how topical medications work or patches for smoking and birth control.  Lotions, serums, diaper creams, etc are designed to soak into the skin.  Come to think about it, it does make sense to use products that are safe enough to eat, if possible.  If you care about ingesting pesticides, shouldn’t you care about using chemical-laden cosmetics too?

I know that this opens up a whole can of worms, but I seem to be doing that a lot lately.  I simply don’t believe that the status quo is always best.  Nor do I trust government regulatory systems to protect my health.  It’s hard to know who to trust really.  Do you ever feel that way?  But, I digress.  At any rate, my common sense tells me that cosmetics that contain tried & true natural oils, extracts, etc are safer than the latest chemical concoctions.

My research led me to a fantastic website sponsored by the Environmental Working Group, http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com/.  You can type any ingredient and most product names into the database to receive a report on its toxicity or safety with plenty of information regarding specific risks, studies, and alternatives.  Wow!  Before long I had ALL of our household cosmetics piled up on my desk.  My “toss” pile was significantly larger than the “ok”.  And, really, none of my products were great.  Even many “natural” or “organic” skin care lines have some products that rate badly for toxicity.  You really have to know your ingredients or use a site like Skin Deep (link above) to be sure you’re making a healthy, safe choice. 

What made me most furious was that my Balmex diaper cream contains a key ingredient rated as “Not safe for use on infant skin” by an independent cosmetic review board.  That ingredient is also restricted in Canadian and European cosmetics and prohibited from food in the USA.  And I’ve been slathering this cream on my baby’s bum for how many years!?!  That’s it, we need a whole new skin care line for babies at Euphoria – pronto!  A new line called Earth Mama Angel Baby is due to arrive next week.  And that’s good, because my Balmex diaper cream and Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Nourishing Milk Lotion are already in the trash!

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6 Responses to “My Cosmetic Purge”

  1. Erin Says:

    Thank you for all of your research! Once again I am enlightened, but also frustrated at the dangers of products we use every day!

  2. Dessy Says:

    Dear Rachel,

    Thank you soo much for the wonderful site.Or i should say scary site!You don’t know how many things went out the window flying!And I tought I was getting the real deal!Yeah,right!I sent it to all my girlfriends!Thanks again!!

  3. Gemma Says:

    I feel the same. I started researching what went into my body care products and have switched about 90% of what I use over to natural alternatives….which has actually made my skin better anyway 🙂 There are only a few brands I feel I can buy without feeling like I have to check the label: the two I use most often being Weleda and Pangea Organics. Great blog 🙂

  4. Friend Says:

    My friend on Facebook shared this link with me and I’m not dissapointed that I came to your blog.

  5. […] can read more about checking the safety of your cosmetics and the evils of Balmex at  My Cosmetic Purge.  Also see Desitin – Safe or Toxic? .   Comments […]

  6. […] 8.  Popular Diaper Creams:  Diaper creams are cosmetics too and likely to carry the same concerns as the above.  I list them separately because your loyalty to Desitin, Balmex, Butt Paste or the like may be so strong that you forget to evaluate it’s safey too!  Check your miracle cream’s toxicity rating at http://www.CosmeticDatabase.com.  Here are some case studies I’ve done: Desitin – Safe or Toxic? and My Cosmetic Purge. […]


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