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April 13, 2008


I am a product lover. Once I have found a product that I like, I will usually stick with it for years. I have a stocked supply of the same face wash, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, perfume, lotion, etc. Recently, I have been replacing some of my tried-and-trues with newer organic and all natural products. Before, products really only had to pass the "smell-test" in order to get selected. Then, thanks to the influence of Marta Edmisten, owner of green cleaning business, Plain Jane's, I began instituting new criteria into the selection process...such as the "can I pronounce all the ingredients?" test, and the "do I see the word paraben anywhere on here?"

Today, however, I learned of a new way to evaluate products: Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database (referred by Marta again, of course). Skin Deep catalogs and rates thousands of products based on toxicity levels. It is easy to use, extremely comprehensive, and has managed to capture my attention for the last hour or so. I am thrilled that several of the items that I use have received lower toxicity scores, and am a bit surprised and horrified by those that didn't - silly me to assume that things I buy at WholeFoods are A-Ok.

You can use Skin Deep to see each category's worst offenders and best performers. Perhaps the best feature however is the comparison factor, which allows you to see how your product of choice compares to other products in the same category. For example, my deodorant has a toxicity score of 4 out of 10 (not bad), but reportedly 52% of other deodorants are better for you (hummmm). Unfortunately my face wash scored as an 8 out of 10 (yikes) and is bested by 82% of other face washes (get to the store STAT). I am thrilled to report however that my body soap received a toxicity score of 0 and is only beat by 2% of other cleansers. At least I am doing one thing right...

As an FYI, you can learn more about the toxicity of products and other things in your home at Marta's upcoming seminar:

Spring Greening: Detoxify Your Home
Marta Edmisten, founder of plain jane’s green cleaning products will discuss the hidden (and not-so-hidden) toxins found in the home and simple, healthy alternatives. Ms. Edmisten will teach you how to clean “smarter, not harder” and how to make your home safer for your family, your pets and yourself! Topics covered will include: “How we got here” - the history of chemical production in America, non-toxic house cleaning, laundry alternatives, cosmetics, safer food storage, reducing household waste and easy ways to “go green”.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 23 12:30-2:00
WHERE: In Good Company, Large Conference Room

REGISTER: Email Adelaide at
Adelaide@ingoodcmpny.com to secure your spot. Free for members

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