I’ve read countless articles with the lists of ingredients to avoid in beauty products, but when it comes down to it who can keep track of what is bad this week? To be honest, if I were comparing cosmetics and one said “all natural” I would probably steer away from it because in my experience these products haven’t been the same quality as what I typically use– you know like the all natural eye shadow that doesn’t event show up on your face or the barely tinted lipstick. Recently I discovered The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an organization that does the homework for us and verifies that brands accurately disclose the makeup of their products and avoid harmful ingredients. I met Ken Cook, the President and Co-Founder of the EWG, at an event held by Mineral Fusion Cosmetics to celebrate their launch in 300 CVS stores in CA. Mineral Fusion is one of only 60 brands nationwide to be EWG verified. Here is a little background from EWG on what the extensive certification process entails.
What does it mean for a product to be EWG Verified?
A product that is EWG VERIFIED is a product that has met EWG’s strictest standards when it comes to the health and safety of ingredients used. An EWG VERIFIED product is transparent with all ingredients used, has no chemicals on EWG’s list of restricted chemicals and meets GMPs.
What are the differences between organic skincare and EWG verified? All natural?
For the most part, the USDA organic seal can be used on personal care products that are made from agricultural ingredients grown without the aid of potentially harmful synthetic pesticides. EWG VERIFIED goes beyond that, restricting the use of a long list of the ingredients frequently used in cosmetics that have been linked to negative health impacts, like cancer, hormone disruption and allergies. “All natural” is an unregulated claim, meaning that the FDA has not set a definition for “natural”. As such companies can use that term as they see fit, regardless of how “natural” they really are.
Can you talk about some of the potential consequences from using the ingredients banned from EWG certified products?
Because of our weak chemical safety laws, we allow chemicals in personal care products that are known endocrine disrupters, allergens, hormone manipulators and cancerous. These are just a few of the many health effects bad ingredients are related to.
What does a brand need to go through to become EWG VERIFIED?
EWG VERIFIED is unique because we do not verify an overall brand but base our review on formulations. This means that the process is longer for partner brands of ours because we review each ingredient and formulation for each product they would like to verify. In a little over year we have verified almost 1,000 products from over 60 brands – each review taking 6 weeks of intensive back and forth between teams to make sure transparency is first and foremost with every chemical in the product.
Do EWG verified products tend to be more expensive?
EWG VERIFIED products cover a range of categories from high-end face essential oils to everyday lotions. Because of the diversity of products and categories, EWG VERIFIED products are usually priced competitively.
What do you think of the Mineral Fusion line?
Mineral Fusion made a giant commitment to better beauty by being the first colored cosmetic line to have over 100 EWG VERIFIED products in the program. This investment in the health of their consumers is one of the reasons we think Mineral Fusion’s is a market leader when it comes to the health of the public and those we serve.
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