Are Your Beauty Products Toxic?

I’m really embracing my newest writing assignment as a columnist for Naturally…ILM as the Chic Green MamaI have researched a lot about being green and being conscious about what I expose my family to. Pretty scary stuff actually.
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Most people think that this just means food. Well yes, but what about what we put ON our bodies? What are we putting on our kiddos? Lotion, suntan lotion, soap, toothpaste, etc. What is really in these? Take a look, there will be a lot of ingredients that you can’t make sense of. My Mama always said it hurts to be beautiful, but jeez ;) 

While traveling, products can be even more confusing because they’re not familiar to us and because they’re not labeled in English either (although sometimes even in English it seems as if they’re in Dutch)! The United States is still one of the only countries that don’t put the smack down on some of these irresponsible manufacturers (L’Oreal is a big culprit). Here are a few tricks to understanding what these ingredients in our cosmetics mean.
  •           According to, some of the most harmful ingredients are “Mercury (often listed as thimerosal on ingredient labels), found in some eye drops, ointment and deodorants; lead acetate, found in some hair dyes and cleanser; formaldehyde and toluene, found in nail products; petrochemicals, found in some hair relaxers, shampoos, mascara, perfume, foundation, lipstick and lip balm; coal tar, found in dandruff shampoos, anti-itch creams and hair dyes; placenta, found in some hair relaxers, moisturizers and toners; and phthalates, found in some nail polish, fragrances and hair spray.” Who would have thought our morning routine could be dangerous?!
  •           The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database has thousands of products you can search to see if what you’re using is safe. I searched for my babe’s bath time products and will definitely be making some changes at the store next time. Crazy.
  •           The word “fragrance” can be a blanket term to disguise hundreds of chemicals. What are those chemicals? We’re not exactly sure, and I don’t think it’s worth the risk.
  •           When traveling consider packing everything you need while there to be sure you don’t have to buy anything you may not understand fully. The Plaid Suitcase has some great advice on how to pack easily for a lovely trip or a roughing-it-in-South-America kind of trip (I heart these kind).

I hope this helped clear up what a lot of these cosmetic companies are trying to cover up (pun intended). We have to make good choices and protect our families because they won’t, and we shouldn’t count on them (or anyone) to. To help raise awareness and tell our lawmakers what you think about unsafe cosmetics go here
Stay Chic, Beautiful and SAFE Mamas!

About Rana Mancini Cavanaugh

Rana is a Chic Mama dedicated to helping other Mama's live a fuller, happier, healthier life through this blog. She is proud to announce she just finished an eBook on how to travel with kids and is finishing up her first novel. She is a happy wife to her sweetheart since the fourth grade and Mama to a lovely little girl. Happy Travels! xo

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