Sometimes it can feel kind of overwhelming when I have no clue where to start when I'm looking for safe and effective everyday house hold items like cleaning products, beauty products, & personal care items. I'll be sharing a couple of my personal tips and tricks to make it easier for anyone else who likes making sure they're not bringing in toxic and harmful items into their home.
Tip 1 - Google "list of best (fill in the blank)" & "things to avoid in (fill in the blank)"
This is usually how I start my research by googling a list of the best product I am looking into. Kind of silly but it gives me something to begin looking at when I have no clue where to start. Usually within those lists are some kind of product that excludes certain ingredients/chemicals for being harmful. I look into those ingredients/chemicals and now I have something to go off of from there and I can look into similar products without those specific ingredients. Then I usually follow up with googling "things to avoid in" and I might find some more information on what to look out for.
Tip 2 - Search on EWG
"The Environmental Working Group's mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action."
EWG makes it so easy researching beauty, household products, and food safety. They have 3 different guides that score and take an in depth look at the ingredients of a wide range of products based on how safe & environmentally friendly they are. Skin Deep (beauty), Food Scores (food), & Healthy Cleaning (cleaning products). One thing I love about all three guides is that that they give an overall rating to a product and then when you click on it you get information on why it got that rating. With the Skin Deep & Healthy Cleaning guides the ingredients within a product will get ratings as well and there'll be more information on what makes those ingredients hazardous or safe. Food Scores does give ratings in a similar way but they also look into nutrition and processing concerns. Each guide has a little bit of different criteria as to how they give scores and if you go on each of the guides' faq's pages you will find out how they do so.
EWG's guides don't have every single product out there but it is a good place to look at what common ingredients are hazardous and need to look out for.
Tip 3 - Reviews
The last thing I want to do is buy an expensive, all natural product, whether it be a cleaning product or beauty item, and then have it be shit. So once I have compiled a list of potential products to buy I look at reviews to find out if they actually work and get the job done. And sometimes reviewers will bring up another potential hazard
Optional Tip - Is It Vegan?
I always look for vegan products and this usually makes my research go by pretty quickly since it limits my choices greatly. That may sound like a bad thing, and sometimes it is, but typically I like that I have a bit more of a limited option. (Especially when looking at makeup. Keeps me from spending a ton at Sephora) So usually with Tip 1 I also google "best vegan __". I'v become pretty acquainted with non vegan ingredients but if i'm unsure I just go to my trusty friend google.
This may seem like a lot to some people but knowledge truly is power. I am more than happy to spend a couple minutes looking into the safety of a product than blindly buying whatever is most convenient that can lead to the hindrance and damage of my health.