Green Life – taking inventory

by Jen on April 25, 2012 in david suzuki foundation,environmental working group,Green life,skin deep database

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Last week our family committed to a few new “green” good habits. One of these habits was to detox our daily personal care routine. So, I decided it was about time we take inventory of what is in our bathroom cabinet. I thought it might be interesting to share with you what we are using on our bodies everyday. As you know from past posts, I was motivated to change the things I eat, the way we clean ourselves and our home, a few years ago. While I don’t remember exactly what I used to use, I have a pretty good idea. Instead of just looking at what we use today, let’s compare it to what I used to use! I took advantage of the Environmental Defence’s Skin Deep Database of cosmetics to come up with the scores for each product – old and new. (The scoring scale is from 0-10, 0 is low and 10 is high)


Here is what I used to use…

Dove Anti-perspirant deodorant – Score 4

Crest Tartar Protection – Score 3
Finesse Mousse – Score 4
Neutrogena Facial Moisturizer – Score 4
Vaseline Intensive Care Total Moisture Score 10
Herbal Essence Shampoo and Conditioner Score 5
Garnier Nutrisse Permanent Hair Colour (Natural Light Brown)  Score 8
Ivory bar soap Score 3
Average score – 5.1 
What I use now…

Avalon Organics Facial Moisturizer – Score 3
Avalon Organics Shampoo Lavender – Score 5
Avalon Organics Conditioner Lavender – Score 5
Soap – handmade olive oil – not in the database
Tom’s of Maine Natural Toothpaste – Score 0
Nature’s Gate Collodial Oatmeal Lotion – Score 5
Aveda Be Curly – Score 3
Average Score – 3.5

What my kids use…

Tom’s of Maine – Kids Toothpaste, Strawberry – Score 2
Soap – handmade olive oil – not in database
Same shampoo/conditioner – Score 5
Same body lotion – Score 5
Average Score – 4

What did I learn? Well, I learned that you do have to look deeper than the score given to a product. The EWG database can be very critical of fragrances, which score high on the “allergies & immunization” scale. I feel it is most important to look at the breakdown of a products “cancer” and “developmental & reproductive toxicity” score. I was obviously surprised by some scores, like Vaseline Intensive Care…a score of 10 is pretty harsh. I’m actually impressed with how low some of the “old” products did. In the end, I have identified areas for improvement…shampoo and conditioner. These are our highest scores. I will definitly keep this in mind when I restock our supplies. 
This has been a great exercise for our family. Although it took some time to plug in all the data, it is truly amazing to see the numbers add up. Also, I don’t wear a ton of make-up…really only mascara…so I didn’t even look in the cosmetics side of the database. I would be curious to see how someone would score if they applied a full regime of makeup every day. If you are interested in finding out your scores, please head over to Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep Database. Or, you can always print off this pocket sized list of the Dirty Dozen – Ingredients to Avoid in your Cosmetics – from the David Suzuki Foundation. 
If you do happen to do an inventory of your personal care products I would love to hear what your average score is…feel free to share in the comments section below. I will be sure to update you on any changes that we make, after all sunscreen season is upon us!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Cerys @ Rainy Day Mum April 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

What a great post and something that I need to do especially as we intend to use all shower water for watering our garden over this growing season. I used to travel a lot so used biodegradable and natural products but they seem to be much more expensive so we have fallen into bad ways.

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KitchenCounterChronicles April 25, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thanks Cerys. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with all the changes in products. Thanks for stopping by.

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Deborah@Teach Preschool April 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

Mmm, interesting…you got me wondering about my own score? Thanks for giving me something to consider:)

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Alicia April 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm

This is a great post and something I have been meaning to do since I’ve “greened” a lot of things around the house. I will link-up as soon as I get my butt in gear to write out mine. Thanks for the inspiration :)

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Sabrina April 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Wow great post! Another good website to help you figure out what’s in stuff is http://www.goodguide.com/ it rates products on various scales concerning foot print, ethics, environment, and toxicity.

While surfing the net why not check out my green kids ebook http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007VQIIXC

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