I remember reading once that just because you buy a product from a health food store doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy. I didn’t really believe it. It goes against everything I’ve always believed to be true. You see I tend to take things at face value. If a jar is labelled peanut butter, I assume it is filled with peanut butter. If a store is labelled a health food store, I assume it is filled with healthy products. I assume I’m paying more for them because they are made with more natural and healthier ingredients than the cheaper mainstream products.
However, lately I’ve come to realize that I can’t always depend on labels. I need to do some research to ensure I am buying the healthiest product. Luckily I’ve found a very good online research tool for cosmetics and personal care products – Skin Deep.
Skin Deep is basically an online searchable database of personal care products and their ingredients. The database rates products on a 0-10 scale from low to high hazard based on their ingredients. The database also lists “how much scientists know – or don’t know – about an ingredient’s safety”. They recommend consumers should look for “products with low hazard scores and at least “fair” data availability”.
I still haven’t perfected this system of researching and then buying. I was recently at the grocery store and decided to buy a fairly expensive bottle of moisturizer from the health food section. When I looked it up on the database I found it had a hazard rating of 6 – not good. Just out of interest I looked up another mainstream brand of moisturizer – Aveeno – and found which one of their products, that can be found in the regular aisles of the grocery store, had a hazard rating of 2 – much better.
So, the moral of the story is just because it’s in a health food store doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Lot’s of unhealthy chemicals get into our bodies through the products we put on them – soap, cream, shampoo, toothpaste – so you may want get some more information on the products you are using by visiting Skin Deep.