How can personal care product ingredients be harmful?
Many personal care products (PCPs) contain ingredients that are known or suspected to be endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and are not regulated by the US FDA. PCPs are used for personal hygiene or grooming. Examples include shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, cosmetics, hair dye, sunscreen, etc. regardless of the gender it's marketed to.
Hormonally active chemicals like PFAS, phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and even some essential oils are some of the EDCs commonly found in our products, but there are many more. Read more about chemicals of concern.
With so many EDCs in these products and some chemicals having multiple names, avoiding ingredients by reading the labels can be challenging. That’s why we recommend the following tips rather than memorizing specific chemical names or ingredients.
How can we reduce our exposure?
- Use an app to choose safer personal care products. We recommend Think Dirty and EWG's Healthy Living apps, which are available on Apple and Android devices.
- Try Clearya's browser plugin or mobile apps when you shop to be alerted if products contain toxic ingredients.
- Search for products on EWG’s Skin Deep website.
- Look for safety certifications, like Made Safe, when purchasing products.
- Avoid personal care products with ingredients that are hard to pronounce and that have fragrance.
- Use regular soap and water to safely wash away germs. Avoid items that have antibacterial or antimicrobial properties, which are unnecessary.
- Use Silent Spring Institute's DetoxMe app or website for more tips and resources.
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