Growing up I didn't have any older sisters, but had a few girls in my life like Gigi who I looked up to, but didn't get to stalk them on a daily basis like you would with a sister so i was pretty much on my own with discovering beauty and skincare products.
The evolution of my makeup picks started with lipsmackers chapsticks and lip glosses then evolved to maybelline mascara (the pink and green one) and plateaued like that for a while (give or take some scented glitter roll-ons in between) until high school when I started experimenting with other products. When I was young and at the mall with my friends I remember we would go into Bath and Body works and slather ourselves in every sample they had and walk out smelling like cucumber melon-pearberry-plumeria. Then we would gift each other the little bath and body works holiday sampler packs for Christmas. I started to have quite the inventory of bath and body works products. Along with other well marketed products that were being absorbed into my skin on a daily basis.
Holistic health was mainstream in my household, but I wasn't considering the dangers of these innocent looking products that everyone seemed to be using. That is until one of my friends told me about this website where you could check virtually any beauty product and make sure it doesn't contain cancer causing ingredients! Say what?!? I instantly went online and started plugging in my most used products. Red numbers and ingredients popped up everywhere indicating that there were multiple ingredients that have a high hazard rating. I immediately threw away anything that scored more than a 3 on their scale. You only want products with 1-2 ratings ideally.
Since the initial introduction to this amazing resource, the environmental working group's skin deep guide, I reference it often and anytime I am buying a new beauty product I check through the site to make sure it is safe and doesn't contain "highly hazardous" ingredients. It blows my mind that the beauty and cosmetics industry pumps their products full of these disgusting ingredients that disrupt hormones, cause toxicity and alter your cells. Over the years I have tried to become familiar with ingredients from referencing ewg.org and avoiding obvious ones in products. Once a year, usually in the spring, I gather all of my products and check them to make sure nothing slipped past my radar that shouldn't be used on or around my body. Sometimes gifts or other free products come my way that I don't always get to cross reference.
Not every product ever is listed on their site, especially new brands and some data is limited, but it is an incredible resource for referencing most popular products and brands. If a product is a small brand or new product you can at least search some of the ingredients that you can't pronounce and they will likely have data on the components of the item.
People don't always realize what they are being exposed to on a regular basis that could be altering their cells and causing cancer. It goes beyond filling our bodies with real nourishing foods exercising and drinking enough water. We have to be aware of what CLEANING products are being used in our house and our office, what we are absorbing through our skin in the SHOWER from the shower WATER to the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc., what products we are rubbing onto our bodies and using as makeup, anti aging serums, face washes, etc. To the clothes we are wearing and the dyes used in them and the pollutants we are being exposed to in the air whether they are outside in an industrial zone or inside our home from things like TOXIC SCENTED CANDLES.
IT'S A LOT.
but small changes and easy switches from dangerous, chemical laden crap to natural alternative products can be the difference between a long healthy life and an unnecessary death sentence.
I urge you to search the products that are closest to you on EWG.org's skin deep guide. Ignorance is not bliss and you should always educate yourself and investigate further especially on products that have potential to negatively impact your health.