Using ‘clean’ products is just as important as healthy eating and exercise. We unfortunately live in a world where being healthy is complicated.
As someone who has dealt with breast cancer twice, not only am I careful of what I eat, I also need to be vigilant about the type of personal care products used and made the switch to crystal deodorant a few years ago for example.
Products from the cosmetics industry aren’t regulated much, and those containers of nice-smelling personal care products (soap, lotion, cosmetics) might include ingredients that could be carcinogenic or potential endocrine disruptors. And it’s probably best not to rub that type of stuff all over your body’s biggest organ…your skin. My type of cancer was estrogen receptor-positive and endocrine disruptor chemicals have the ability to affect this.
Since personal care products aren’t held to the same standards as food and drugs, many of the products ingredients aren’t tested for safety at all – and instead they are on a GRAS list (Generally Recognized As Safe). This means the chemicals aren’t proven to be harmful or safe. If a product claims ‘trade secrets’ as an ingredient, I avoid it all together.
So…reading labels can be confusing and frustrating. Technology to the rescue! I recently found a great app to help if you are looking to avoid chemicals like phthalates and parabens. The Think Dirty app is a great way to navigate the complicated world of personal care product labeling. You simply type in a product name or you can scan a product’s barcode. It will provide a list of chemicals in that product and recommendations for similar products that are ‘cleaner.’
There are currently 110,000+ products on their database. If you scan a bar code and the product is not listed in their system, you can provide the brand name and upload pictures of the front and back labels. They will take the time to add to the database.
You can get more information at Think Dirty. I highly recommend it.