Skin Deep: An Online Database That Grades How Harmful Your Beauty Products May Be

From causing temporary breakouts to long-term cancer, the rumored damaging effects of makeup plague the typical beauty buff. To be honest, sometimes we can’t trust the popular “green” brands or the claims of being healthy and all-natural. Enter Skin Deep, an online cosmetics database brought to you by researchers at the Environmental Working Group that grades beauty products on a scale of zero (harmless) to ten (extremely dangerous) based on the threat they pose to human health. Skin Deep covers cosmetic products from lipsticks and mascaras to household items such as hand soaps, toothpastes and sunscreens. The site is well organized, and you can either search for specific products and brand names or simply click on a product type and browse through the products listed, organized by grade. Under each specific product, Skin Deep lists the main ingredients with specific health threats (cancer, neurotoxicity, allergen, etc.) and gives each ingredient an additional grade.

Make sure to look up your most-used products, as many common products are surprisingly toxic, including the highly popular Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, which earns a grade seven and contains many skin allergens and toxins, and CoverGirl LashBlast Luxe Shimmery Volumizing Mascara, which earns a grade nine and may be carcinogenic. However, some popular “all-natural products” have proven their worth, such as Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, with a safe grade of two.

Photo via ewg.org