If your goals for 2017 include moving toward greener, less toxic beauty products — which is likely, since a recent survey found that half of American women are leaning towards more natural salves and makeup — then you may want to take a peek at the Environmental Working Group‘s updated EWG Verified database, which lists products that are considered toxin-free.
“When women purge their old cosmetics and personal care products, we want them to think of replacing one of those products with a newly EWG Verified version,” Nneka Leiba, director of research for the EWG, tells Yahoo Beauty.
The organization launched its EWG Verified products label in April 2016, aiming to help consumers weed out dangerous ingredients not yet banned by the FDA. It started out with 118 items it had deemed safe enough to carry its symbol. Now, less than a year after its launch, it’s up to 833 products, including mascaras, lipsticks, eyeliners, foundations, moisturizers, baby products, and shampoos and conditioners. Beautycounter, Biossance, Paul Penders, and Rejuva Minerals are among the 52 non-toxic brands.
“The number of verified products has been growing since last year, as more companies learn about and become interested in the program,” Leiba notes. “We are continually working to verify a queue of products and interest continues to grow.”
In a press release about the growing list of safe cosmetics, Ken Cook, EWG president and co-founder, noted, “The EWG Verified mark keeps consumers in the know about what’s really in their products, so they can rest easy knowing that every ingredient meets our rigorous criteria. We make it simple for families to avoid the toxic and potentially harmful chemicals widely used in personal care products.”
While the EU has banned or restricted more than 1,000 ingredients from use in personal care products, the FDA bans or restricts only 11 such chemicals — something a bipartisan bill meant to put teeth into the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (not updated since 1938) seeks to remedy. For now, the EWG Verified labeling system, as well as the EWG Skin Deep searchable database of products and ingredients, serve as helpful workarounds.