As a natural health and beauty editor, I rely heavily on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetics database for detailed info on specific personal care ingredients, products and companies. I often refer this tool to my fellow writers and editors, and even to friends and family who want to learn more about particular products or want suggestions for which new natural items to try. And now I’m stoked to share that Skin Deep just got even better.
This month, the EWG released a shined-up, revamped database that’s decidedly more intuitive and navigable and less daunting for the average consumer. You just type an ingredient, product or brand name into the search box and the site spits out a color-coded health hazard score of zero to 10 (zero being the lowest hazard, 10 the highest), along with a data score key, which tells you how robust a body of research is available to support the score. The EWG is very transparent about there being ample research on some ingredients while others haven’t yet been completely studied; therefore, a product or ingredient could receive a low hazard score because there’s not strong enough evidence to convict it, but that may not necessarily mean it’s entirely non-health harming.
An ingredient search defines the ingredient, identifies its uses, provides synonyms or other ways it may appear on a package, explains any associated health concerns, and lists government, industry, and academic studies and classifications. It also lists by category the number of database-logged products that contain that particular ingredient and lets you click through to access them.
Other new features include tips on which ingredients to avoid in particular product types and an easy-to-scan FAQ section.
If you're a retailer, a manufacturer or a curious consumer, get in there, check it out, play around and familiarize yourself with this tool. It’s highly educational and, in my opinion, a lot of fun.